THE ULTIMATE BLOG ON ALL THINGS HR
& THEN SOME
& THEN SOME
Is Age Just A Number?
My friend and I were recently discussing her job search. She started to pick my brain as an HR professional. We are both “over the hill” now and she asked if age discrimination occurs. I assured her it does not. But then I began wondering. Does it? I’ve been a job seeker. Do employers reject candidates based on the age they think a candidate is?
I remember as a kid thinking how awful it must be to turn 50. All the black balloons and black decorations and gag jokes. Luckily for me, I don’t look my age. Conversely, that doesn’t always work in my favor. Employers may think I’m too young to fill the shoes of a director-level position. Or, if they suss out my age, perhaps they believe me unable to develop fresh ideas or burn the midnight oil.
[For the record employers, burning the midnight oil is no longer a thing. Work-life balance is. Employee engagement is. So is candidate experience. Get with the program—it’s 2022.]
So I ask again, does ageism occur?
Should you include on your resume or job application the dates of education or list work experience so far in the past it ages you? What about jobs whose skills included software that is outdated, perhaps even no longer used?
It depends. If you have continued learning comparable software in the same field, yes. If you’d rather leave off the dates, do it. If you think it’s unnecessary to list outdated software, don’t include it. If prior employment doesn’t relate to your current job search, delete it.
Some employers may be impressed with your commitment to learn software programs over the years. Some may revere you for having been alive when such programs existed. [They may just be my hope. Any Aldus Pagemaker fans here?]
The job market today is bananas. Things have truly been turned on their head and I’m not sure if it’s the job market, the industry, a little of both, or none of the above. The thought my friend fears her age is keeping her from getting interviews angers and saddens me. This is a jobseeker’s paradise right now.
As a candidate, your best bet is to go with what boosts your confidence. Put your best foot forward and own your experience. That’s what makes you the unique jobseeker you are. What you bring to the table is incomparable.
I choose to believe employers are ethical, honorable, and are considering the qualifications, temperament, personality, and skills set of a candidate. Age is just a number. Some 20 somethings are far more mature than individuals in their 50s. If an employer is obsessed with a number, they’re not the company for you.
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Creator: That makes me sound all powerful. I suppose I am in many ways. Hi! My name's Amy and I've been practicing HR for twelve years now. No big deal. I am here to offer fresh perspective on HR topics and topics about the world we live in and life in general.