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How to Overcome Age Discrimination

Beat Age Bias

As you can see from the list below, most countries do not have legal age limits. However, there are also many countries that impose age restrictions.

Visa and recruitment policies change frequently. Occasionally, conflicting numbers for the same country are reported. We update this page as new information becomes available.

Unconscious age bias is a separate problem. Read this page for the practical strategies to overcome ageism.

Age limits, as reported 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:

Algeria

Angola

Austria

Azerbaijan

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Congo

Costa Rica

Croatia

Czech Republic

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

Georgia

Guatemala

Guinea

Honduras

Israel

Italy

Japan

Jordan

Kenya

Korea (South)

Kyrgyzstan

Latvia

Lebanon

Macedonia

Malta

Mexico

Mexico

Mozambique

Myanmar

Nicaragua

Pakistan

Panama

Peru

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russian Federation

Rwanda

Senegal

Sierra Leone

Singapore

Slovenia

South Africa

Spain

Switzerland

Taiwan (ROC)

Togo

Uganda

Uruguay

USA

Uzbekistan

Venezuela

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 the age bias

The countries that have no visa limits may have a different problem: recruiters' age bias.

You will be judged based on the feel and look of your application. It is critical to eliminate all outdated elements.

Here are some tips.

button Have us reformat your CV for a clean contemporary layout.

buttonPrints are the biggest giveaway when it comes to age. Don't photograph or scan any printed matter - pictures, resumes, support files.

button CVs: include only the most recent employment history.

button Rather than the date of issue, indicate the expiration date of your credentials.

button Eliminate old references from your application. Post the best of them as "quotes" in the Testimonials section (quotes don't need to be dated.)

button Avoid legacy email services. Use Gmail with a non-gimmicky ID.

button Edit your CV to remove your street address and other legacy elements.

button Do list Skype in your contact info (Wechat for Asia).

button Avoid cliches such as "I am 65 years young."

button Instead of "grown-up children" say, "no dependents."

buttonMake sure your photo is contemporary (eyewear, hair, attire, etc.)

buttonInclude your Joyjobs recruitment webpage in the application.

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!

—Sharon