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How to Overcome Age Discrimination

Overcoming Age Bias in the Job Market

As you may have noticed, the laws regarding age restrictions in the workplace vary greatly across different countries.

While some nations have no legal age limits, others impose age restrictions. Please keep in mind that visa and recruitment policies are constantly changing, and we make updates to this page as new information becomes available.

It's important to address the issue of unconscious age bias as well. This page provides practical strategies for overcoming ageism in the workplace.

Reported Age Limits by Schools

55: Tanzania, Vietnam

55-60: Oman / Muscat (reports vary)

56-60: Saudi Arabia, Brunei Darussalam (reports vary)

58: Bahrain, Morocco, China (reports on China vary)

55-59-60: Indonesia (reports vary)

55-65: UAE* (after 60 annual work visa is expensive)

60: Colombia, China*, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore (unofficial), Turkey, Thailand

60-65: Nigeria*

62: Bahamas, Myanmar*, Netherlands Antilles, Malaysia

63: Albania

65: Cambodia, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Luxembourg, Nepal, *Turkey, *Taiwan, *Cambodia, *Hong Kong

*Loss of benefits after a certain age.

No Age LImits:









Costa Rica


Czech Republic

Dominican Republic











Korea (South)

















Russian Federation



Sierra Leone



South Africa



Taiwan (ROC)







Overcoming the Age Issue in Your Job Search

I corresponded with you a few months ago about the problems I had been having with the international schools´ rejection of older teachers. I kept at it, and have now signed a contract with a school in Southeast Asia. Age wasn't even mentioned.

What did I learn from this (sometimes painful) process? Older teachers need to approach the recruiting process a bit differently.

First, skip the early job fairs and early job announcements. Between the national laws of some countries and individual school hiring policies, applying early will be an exercise in frustration. (With the usual disclaimer to not pass up an individual situation that you may really want.) Schools will not be direct. They will always find some sort of excuse to not consider your application and dance around the real reason.

Second, if you want to go to a job fair, go to one close to where you are now during the peak of the hiring season. Otherwise you run a real risk of spending a great deal of money with little result. More than a few people I know came back from job fairs very disappointed and disgusted by the treatment they received from the schools. Use the Internet and Skype to do most of your job hunting.

Third, make some changes on your résumé. Don't go back more than 10 years when listing your experience. Employers aren't interested in what you did over 10 years ago, so there is no need to emphasize the fact you have been around a long time.

Another change you should make is remove your graduation dates from your resume. You have the degree and a prospective employer will find out the date soon enough, but this tactic gives you a chance to tell an employer what you can do without giving him/her a chance to say "no" right away. For example, one of my colleagues always begins his communication with an prospective employer by asking if his age is an issue. It's is not too surprising that most say "yes, it is" and the interview is over before it begins.

Finally, do not give up on your job search. I have come across quite a number of older teachers who simply got discouraged and quit looking.

Also the schools that are hiring at this point in time are usually not the "sexy" schools that everyone wants in Europe or Asia. But if a teacher is truly interested in international teaching and not a paid vacation in Western Europe, teaching at these schools should be just as interesting. (Of course the individual school should be checked out for any serious problems present.) So, it's off to Asia and the adventure continues (at age 67)!

Robert Jones - Asia

―Robert Jones, Joyjobs member

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Fighting Against Age Bias

Even in countries without visa restrictions, job recruiters may still hold unconscious biases based on age. This means that your job application may be judged based on its appearance and the impression it gives, regardless of your qualifications or experience. Here are some tips for overcoming age bias in the job market:


button Have your CV updated with a clean, modern layout to give it a fresh, contemporary look.

buttonAvoid using outdated materials in your application, such as printed resumes or photos.

button Limit the employment history section of your CV to only the most recent positions.

button Instead of listing the date of issue, include the expiration date of your credentials.

button Remove any outdated references from your application and instead, consider including a testimonials section with the best quotes from your references (without dates).

button Switch to a modern email service like Gmail and choose a professional, non-gimmicky email address.

button Edit your CV to remove your street address and other personal information that may be outdated.

button Include your Skype, Zoom or WeChat (for Asia) information in your contact details.

buttonAvoid using phrases such as "I am 65 years young." Instead, use language that is more neutral and professional. Instead of referring to "grown-up children," use the term "no dependents."

buttonEnsure that your photo is contemporary and reflects your current appearance, including hair, attire, and eyewear.

buttonFinally, include a link to your Joyjobs recruitment webpage in your application to showcase your skills and qualifications.

By following these tips, you can help to eliminate any outdated elements from your job application and overcome age bias in the job market.

Older Teaching Candidates, Age Limits


David, ESL, Music and Social Studies

Just accepted an offer to teach Music and ESL with a great school in Ecuador. Thanks for your support.

Here's how JoyJobs helped me do it.

JoyJobs provided the lead.

Moral: Check the job board everyday and follow-up immediately.

JoyJobs newsletters kept me motivated and taught me to:

Get a professional looking pic for employers to look at.

Streamline my resume and especially my cover letters.

Know what to put in my resume and cover letters (what schools are looking for in applicants).

Practice my Skype skills and pay attention to lighting and audio details that support a positive Skype communication. And so much more.

And don't forget - I'm one of those "older" teachers (ha, ha) - I will be 60 in July.

Moral: don't give up!

— David

“I got calls from Amsterdam and the one in Weimar and decided to accept the Weimar one. Even at my age (over 60) I was hired. I've already recommended your website to 4 other people!