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How can I avoid discrimination during a job search?

There is no way to eliminate the possibility that your age, gender, race, disability (in areas not relevant to the position) or religion may be a deciding factor in the decision not to hire you. Although illegal, discrimination during the hiring process is exceedingly difficult to prove since all an employer really has to do is list other reasons why you were not selected for the job.

However, with the awareness of the reality of discrimination, you can do your best to minimize the potential damage of it by being strategic with your application materials as well as your interview techniques.

For example, if you are over 40 and worried about ageism during your job search, consider including only your last 10 years of most relevant work experience rather than going back much further and alerting people to your age on your resume. Likewise, you do not need to include a date on your degrees, awards or other accomplishments.

Regarding job interviews, one way to head off inappropriate inquiries from hiring managers is to be ready to address some questions that might be asked. Preparing answers ahead of time will help you stay in control of your narrative. You won’t be as shaken or bothered by the exchange.

Finally, one of the most important things you can do to try to avoid discrimination is to seek out companies that have a strong track record of promoting diversity within their ranks. In fact, many companies that are invested in finding top talent already realize that discrimination in hiring won’t attract or retain the best people. Look for evidence of programs promoting diversity on the company website, mission statement, and programs in the community that they support.

1 This page is compiled from materials found Work Bloom. Specific source material can be located at

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