Finding a job when you're over 50

Finding a job when you’re over 50

Finding a job is hard. Add discriminating factors like age, gender or ethnicity to the mix and it can be harder.

That feeling you get finding a job when you're over 50

In this post we’re focusing on finding a job when you’re over 50. We’ll give you job search tips to fight age bias and links to programs and services that help over 50s stay competitive in the job market.

Tips for finding a job when you’re over 50

Career Transition Assistance

Career Transition Assistance (CTA) is a new program that can help you if you’re finding a job when you’re over 50.

It offers Tailored Career Assistance and Functional Digital Literacy courses that show you how to take your skills and experience and use them to your advantage when applying for jobs.

Right now it is available in 5 locations, but it will expand to all of Australia from 1 July 2019. Find out if a CTA provider is available near you.

Use keywords in your online job search

Some employers are looking for older workers because they’re perceived as more experienced, stable and reliable. Next time you search for jobs online, try using keywords like mature or experienced. You will get a list of jobs from employers who see your age as an asset. There’s also job search sites dedicated to mature age workers, so don’t forget to do an online search for them too.

Re-jig your resume

A long work history usually correlates with a long resume. It’s right to feel proud of your experience and achievements, and the temptation to include it all on your resume is real. AVOID IT.

Instead, use your resume to highlight your qualifications, not your age.

  • Try and keep it to 2 pages.
  • Focus on the last 10 to 15 years of your work history.
  • List qualifications that show you have kept up with the times.
  • Talk about how you contributed to your organisation’s success – don’t just list your duties.

See a sample resume at our job search tips page.

Finding a job when you're over 50? Stay positive, you're good!

Change your email address

Are you still using the Hotmail or Yahoo email address you set up 20 years ago? If so, you might want to change it to Gmail or a newer email service.

It was recently discovered an insurer was charging higher premiums to applicants with Hotmail email addresses. It claimed its data showed Hotmail users have a higher likelihood of crashing their cars. However, the subtext is that Hotmail users are typically older and resistant to change.

A switch to a newer email service can demonstrate to employers that you move with the times and stay up with trends in technology.

You're in your prime finding a job when you're over 50

And never forget – the best email address for finding a job is No cute nicknames, no date of birth. Just simple and to the point.

Keep your skills and qualifications up to date

If you need to boost your qualifications, you can find free and inexpensive training modules online. It is important to note in many cases you can complete course content for free, but you have to pay a fee to get a certificate.

Here’s some good sites to explore your training options:

TIP: If you’re registered with an employment services provider, ask them about using the Employment Fund to pay for accredited training.

Resources for age discrimination

Find out more about what counts as age discrimination and what you can do about it at:

Let us know in the comments if you have faced age discrimination when finding a job when you’re over 50. How did you deal with it?

Images: iStock, giphy


  1. the ten grand employers receive is not a very funny joke either, or is it, whats our age got to do with ten grand us struggling 50yr oldbattlers,

  2. Some good ideas in this article, particularly regarding keeping qualifications up to date.

    However, there are two major problems with this approach:

    1. This government has said nothing about age discrimination, only “there’s a job for everyone that wants one” and “you have to have a go to get a go”.

    Your article falls short on how age discrimination could be pursued, other than a link to a couple of services. This is either very naive or deliberately misleading.

    2. The second problem is that there is no mention of DES participants, where there is zero assistance available. The employment fund is not available to people in the DES system.

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