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Hope you’re not job hunting over the age of 40…

(BUSINESS NEWS) When job hunting, age has a role in your chances. A new study looks at how the age of a job applicant impacts their landing an interview.

job hunting gig culture

When experience isn’t something to boast

For those looking for jobs over the age of 40, you may want to consider leaving a few years of experience off of your resume.

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New research shows that age discrimination exists for potential employees, as people over 40 are finding it harder to find work.

Sucks to be an older woman

It is ironic being that the retirement age is continuing to increase. Though experience comes with living longer, it may end up being more of a disadvantage if you are older and searching for work. Economists in California tested this theory by sending out 40,000 resumes to various jobs across the country.

The resumes were exactly the same except for one thing: the age.

After waiting to hear back from potential employers what they found was that as age increased, they were less likely to be contacted.

In fact, call back rates were the lowest for older women.

After categorizing the resumes into three age groups (younger, middle-aged and older), the studies found that call back rates dropped by 25% moving across each group.

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Loopholes in the law

By law, it is illegal to discriminate against workers based on how old they are. Protection for older workers is enforced by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

However, the boundaries get fuzzy when it comes to potential employees.

Though employers cannot prevent people from applying to jobs based on their age, some have found ways to discourage it.

For instance, you may find a description asking for candidates to be 2-3 years out of college.

Tobacco Company R.J. Reynolds, who is now being sued, ran into trouble after their strict resume requirements resulted in less than 2% of their new hires to be over 40. In fact, their resume review guidelines specifically stated to “stay away from candidates with 8-10 years of experience,” assuming that that includes older candidates.

Know your market

Age discrimination is not always explicit but as older workers are looking to find jobs, it is important to read between the lines.

#Ageism

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Written By

Natalie is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and co-founded an Austin creative magazine called Almost Real Things. When she is not writing, she spends her time making art, teaching painting classes and confusing people. In addition to pursuing a writing career, Natalie plans on getting her MFA to become a Professor of Fine Art.

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