How to Overcome Ageism in Your Job Search, with Alex Motta

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We like to think that ageism isn’t a thing in our job market, but that’s not true. Age is very much still a part of what employers consider when hiring. How do you continue to move forward in your career, or switch fields, if you’re an older worker? It all starts with self-confidence, says Find Your Dream Job guest Alex Motta. Alex also stresses the importance of keeping up to date on technology. Your experience and skills are needed, but you have to market yourself in a way that shows the value you bring and what you have to offer. 

About Our Guest:

Alex Motta is an employment strategist and a certified resume writer who specializes in Linkedin profile optimization. Alex is also a Linkedin Top Voice for 2023 in Latin America.

Resources in This Episode:

  • If you’re ready to level up your LinkedIn profile or resume, find out how Alex can help you by visiting
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Find Your Dream Job, Episode 410:

How to Overcome Ageism in Your Job Search, with Alex Motta

Airdate: August 2, 2023

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life.

I’m your host, Mac Prichard. I’m also the founder of Mac’s List. It’s a job board in the Pacific Northwest that helps you find a fulfilling career.

Every Wednesday, I talk to a different expert about the tools you need to get the work you want.

Find Your Dream Job is brought to you by TopResume. TopResume has helped more than 400,000 professionals land more interviews and get hired faster.

Get a free review of your resume today.

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Ageism in hiring is real.

It’s also illegal.

But what can you do about ageism when you look for work if you don’t want to file a lawsuit?

Alex Motta is here to talk about how to overcome ageism in your job search.

He’s an employment strategist and a certified resume writer who specializes in Linkedin profile optimization.

Alex is also a Linkedin Top Voice for 2023 in Latin America.

He joins us from the city of Montevideo in Uruguay.

Well, Alex, let’s get right to it. How big a problem is ageism in hiring?

Alex Motta:

Well, ageism is a huge problem for those workers above fifty. But many people above thirty-five experience discrimination in their job search. It happens that discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes prevail in many hiring processes.

We are humans. So there are subjective elements in the decisions we take, and age is something that concerns many people. Why? Because many companies, or for many people, when you are above a certain age, you’re supposed to be less familiar with technology. You’re supposed to be less flexible, and there are many people who harbor these prejudices.

Some research has been done by universities that they say that people who are against sexism or racism in the workplace, they still harbor prejudice against people because of their age. So it’s still a big problem in the job search and in the recruiting process.

Mac Prichard:

Well, let’s unpack that, Alex. One thing that surprised me in your answer, though I probably shouldn’t be surprised, is when you mentioned age groups. I think many listeners think of ageism as a problem that affects only older workers. But you mentioned people thirty-five and up. Tell us more about that.

Alex Motta:

Well, I can tell my experience. My experience taught me a lot because when I was thirty, I wanted to change careers, and reading the job boards, I noticed that there was a limit. In my country, it’s not forbidden. So there was an age limit of thirty-five. So I need to hurry up and do this career change before thirty-five.

I successfully did. But I noticed then, when I reached that age, when I sent my resumes, the answer was not the same. It became a bit different and a bit difficult to find a new job, to be called for interviews when I was approaching forty. So, yes. It changes. As you become older, it changes.

Mac Prichard:

Well, let’s talk about your advice about how to overcome ageism in hiring, no matter where you live. Your first suggestion, Alex, is to start with your mindset. Tell us more about this and how thinking about your mindset can help you overcome ageism in hiring.

Alex Motta:

Yeah, that’s really important because this problem demands a cultural change. But cultural changes don’t happen overnight. The society must change. But you, as a job seeker, have something to do. You have something to do with yourself.

The first thing is thinking what you can change as a person. What is under your control? Because you can’t change prejudice overnight. But your attitude- there are things that you can change, and that means that you can market yourself better.

That’s something you can change, and that starts with your mindset being positive. I don’t know why. Don’t ask me why. But if you are positive about the outcome of your job search, well, it will be easier for you to get the job. I have had many experiences concerning that with job seekers.

Mac Prichard:

You work with so many job seekers, Alex, so you hear, I’m sure, from your clients how discouraging sometimes job search can be. What’s your best advice for how to both maintain and/or adopt a positive attitude when you’re looking for work?

Alex Motta:

It’s advisable to look for a career coach or employment strategist, or resume writer. So try to find someone or look for someone who believes in you, who believes that you can; despite your age, you can. Your age is a minor issue. It’s not a problem. You can do something about it. You can market yourself better.

I know, so surround yourself with positive people. People who believe in you because you can. You can find a job you want. A job where you will feel valued regardless of your age, and there are some other things you can do with your profile, with your resume. You can rejuvenate the way you are seen by others, and there are many strategies.

One of them is being careful about the dates you include in your resume. In Latin America, I don’t know in the United States. But in Latin America, it’s very common that people include their age and their date of birth in their resumes. That is something you should not include. You have nothing to hide, but that’s not relevant for the job. So leave that information out.

Another thing you should leave out of the resume and also the LinkedIn profile because many people don’t know that you can omit your graduation date on the LinkedIn profile. So if you graduated before 2010, omit the date. That way, it won’t be easy to guess your age.

Mac Prichard:

Let’s pause here, Alex, and take a break. And when we come back, I want to talk more about your advice for how to overcome ageism in your job search. Stay with us.

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Now, let’s get back to the show.

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio. I’m talking with Alex Motta.

He’s an employment strategist and a certified resume writer who specializes in Linkedin profile optimization.

Alex is also a Linkedin Top Voice for 2023 in Latin America.

And he joins us from the city of Montevideo in Uruguay.

Now, Alex, before the break, we were talking about how to overcome ageism in your job search, and I loved your advice about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive people, including career coaches and resume writers who can help you with your search.

I’m curious, what’s the best way to find these people, Alex? What has been your experience as a career coach? What do you recommend to someone who’s thinking of asking for help and tapping into that positivity?

Alex Motta:

I think that mentors are important, and when I say a mentor, I say a relationship with someone who has walked the same way you are walking now or most similar possible. So nowadays, we have the social networks, and on LinkedIn, you can connect with many professionals. You can join groups.

Groups are very useful on LinkedIn. Most people ignore that when you join that group, and you can join groups that have thousands and thousands of members, you can write them without asking to connect. So you can communicate with many people in your industry and also in real life finding people who have overcome the same problems, the ageism problems. You can join other people who are looking for a job. So using the valuable technology, I’m pretty sure you will find a way to nurture yourself with positive thinking.

Mac Prichard:

So connect with others, and learn from their experience and tap into that positivity. Another step I know, Alex, that you encourage job seekers to take to overcome ageism in hiring is to highlight your current skills and learn new skills. How does doing this help you as a candidate overcome ageism in hiring?

Alex Motta:

Learning new skills is mandatory in order to rejuvenate your profile. Because if your resume says that your skill is using problems like Wordperfect, you won’t be seen as a modern person, someone who is skilled at the new technologies. Typing, I don’t know, there are many skills that are not so required nowadays. But there are skills that are very required.

So you should learn to use a range of skills, software skills that are needed today. Like, for example, Power BI, Trello, Notion, and Clickup. Learn those skills ASAP. They are in high demand in the job market, and if you inform in your resume, in your LinkedIn profile that you have those skills, you are not going only to be seen as a young person. You are young because you are skilled at things that are in high demand.

Also, your email address. If you have a Yahoo email address, you are not going to be seen as someone young. You’re going to be seen as someone who has not adapted to the new times. Nowadays, most people use Gmail or Outlook. So I think that those are very important.

And when we are talking about highlighting your current skills, well, it’s your job to explain in the interview how the skills you have gathered along your career will be useful for your future employer.

Mac Prichard:

Well, thank you for mentioning Wordperfect, Alex. I’m ancient enough to actually remember using that, and I agree with your advice there. It was a useful program, but there are always new and better tools that we all have learned since.

Now, let’s talk about resumes. You mentioned in the first segment the importance of rejuvenating your resume, and you had some practical tips about dates – leaving them off, and you mentioned a moment ago pay attention to the email address you use, and make sure it doesn’t appear out of date as well.

What are some of your other tips, Alex, about how to update your resume so that it shows that you’re up to date as well? What do you suggest to your clients?

Alex Motta:

I have worked with so many people that are proud of their twenty, thirty, or forty years of experience, and you should be proud of them. But don’t put that in your resume or your LinkedIn profile. Because that will make you look old, just mention that you have experience in this and that sector. That’s enough. Don’t mention the years of experience because that will not make you a favor.

Another thing you can do is your experiences before 2010; you should not mention the years, the dates in those experiences. A long resume will not be beneficial for you. Keep it in two pages.

So you should explain what you have done in the last ten years. Your achievements, your competencies. But your older experience, just gather them under subtitle – early career, and there you should only mention the title and the company. Nothing else because if you mention work experience from the 80s, you’re enabling prejudice against you.

Mac Prichard:

Your last suggestion, Alex, for overcoming ageism in hiring is to project confidence. Why is it important to project confidence when you’re looking for work? Especially if you’re an older worker? And what’s your best advice for how to do this?

Alex Motta:

Well, confidence is so necessary in your job search because you’re marketing yourself because you are selling yourself, and that comes from knowing your value, from doing that great work of self-knowledge, and knowing you have so much to give. You are needed in the companies. Your experience is needed.

So your job will be to communicate that. That doesn’t mean being arrogant because that’s something I’ve seen in many senior professionals. Some of them lack of confidence. But many of them are overconfident.

And that will close many doors because you will be seen as an overqualified worker, as someone who can’t accept orders, as someone who is not flexible. So you should find a balance between those things.

Mac Prichard:

Well, it’s been a terrific conversation, Alex. Now, tell us, what’s next for you?

Alex Motta:

Well, I’ll be glad to connect with all of the people who listen to this podcast. Please tell me that you heard me here when you send me your invite to connect. You can also follow me on LinkedIn; alemotta is my profile, and I have recently started posting on Twitter. So you’ll find me on alexresumes. That is my user, alexresumes, for Twitter.

Mac Prichard:

Well, terrific. I know listeners can learn more about you and your company by visiting your website,, and we’ll be sure to include that URL in the show notes.

Now, Alex, given all of the great advice you’ve shared today, what’s the one thing you want a listener to remember about how to overcome ageism in your job search?

Alex Motta:

I think that every person has a gift and every person has something to give. You are needed. Your experience is needed. Your skills are needed. So you have to do the job to develop your skills, to acquire new skills, and to communicate, to market yourself in order to communicate that you have what is needed to do the job.

Mac Prichard:

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Next week, our guest will be Ursala Garbrecht.

She’s the founder of Resume Horse. Her company helps you write your resume from scratch, prepare for a big interview, and optimize your LinkedIn profile.

It’s time to change jobs.

But before you apply everywhere, says Ursala, you need to look within yourself.

Join us next Wednesday when Ursala Garbecht and I talk about why you need to know your values before you start your job search.

Until next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job.

This show is produced by Mac’s List.

Susan Thornton-Hough schedules our guests and writes our newsletter. Lisa Kislingbury Anderson manages our social media.

Our sound engineer is Matt Fiorillo. Ryan Morrison at Podfly Productions edits the show. Dawn Mole creates our transcripts. And our music is by Freddy Trujillo.

This is Mac Prichard. See you next week.