I’m 60 and Applying to Jobs – How Do I Beat Ageism? Women Weigh In

Older Woman Working


Leah Thomas
Leah Thomas866

Age discrimination is a barrier many older women face in the workplace today. One FGB’er wrote to our Community to ask for advice on combating this serious issue.

“How do I find opportunities? I am 60, a widow. and desire to work. I do not look 60; however, my friends tell me no one will hire me. I have C-Level Executive Assistant skills and accomplishments. I am scared. [My] husband died 19 months ago. He had been retired on disability. I stopped working to care for him, and I can't find a job which I want and need very much.”

A few FGB women responded to the initial post to offer advice and their condolences.

“If you have C-Level Executive Assistant skills, you must have hard-working skills to bring to the table,” one woman said. “I'd schedule coffee dates with acquaintances who are well connected. Everyone has different tactics, but networking that way for me has driven me to the success I have today. Best of luck with your search!”

“Tell your friends and family you're looking for a job! It can feel weird to be vulnerable that way, but so many people enjoy helping others and will pass along job opportunities if you let them know you're looking for one,” another FGB’er wrote.

Another woman recommended modernizing her resume and interview methods.

“During the job search process, I found that ageism is alive and well as a 59-year-old … My advice is to be sure that your resume format is in a contemporary design. There are many examples available online if you Google your desired role (i.e., Executive Assistant Resume). Be sure to use verbs that are being sought after today, such as ‘collaborative.’ Read up on the new interview styles. Many use the STAR method; Specific situation, Task, Action, Result. Again, Google is your friend. Look up standard interview questions and then bullet point how you would respond to it. Above all, don't give up! I almost did, but then found a company where age doesn't matter. It's in an industry new to me, and I'm loving learning something new. Don't be afraid of smaller companies; they are much more willing to look at the skill set you bring to the table. Good luck and have fun!”

While you shouldn’t have to take these steps, they are sometimes necessary.

We agree with these Fairygodboss women’s advice. Along with modernizing your resume, try to modernize your interview wardrobe, hairstyle, and makeup. And to prevent getting pre-screened out of interviews, only list your last 15 years of work experience, regardless of how long you’ve been employed. This makes it more difficult for employers to guess your age. You may also want to leave off the dates for your education and remove photos from your LinkedIn or UpWork profiles.

Remind both yourself and your potential employer that being older means you have more experience. You’ve worked in various fields for various companies. You’ve seen it all, you’ve accomplished so much, and you’re ready for more.

Reach out to our Community if you have any other questions regarding workplace discrimination.

We're here for you. And we'll leave you with one FGBer's important advice: “The ship hasn't sailed! Don't give up!”