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.
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.
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.