Discrimination? Not in 2011! Unfortunately, regardless of moral or legal issues, facing discrimination in your job search can never be totally abolished. There will always be those with differing opinions from others. HR professionals, recruiters or senior executives do not always share the same opinion. There are many who will not consider a candidate without a degree and then others who believe experience is more valuable than a degree. Some feel maturity is defined solely by physical age and view it as an asset, while there are those who wouldn’t consider hiring anyone over 40! You will have your own opinion as a potential candidate and can choose to agree or disagree. Age, gender, nationality and appearance could influence some in the decision making process but hopefully not to any significant degree as they are all beyond your control and have no bearing on your qualifications to fill a position.
Recently, I was surprised to see the following advice offered regarding age discrimination; “most career counsellors will tell you to eliminate dates from your resume..”! (The author was not a professional career counsellor, nor did they provide any sources.) As previously stated, your age is beyond your control but lying about it or trying to hide it will most certainly result in eliminating you as a potential candidate. There may be a few decision makers who prefer to interview a younger candidate but you can be assured that all decision makers will decline interviewing any candidates that they feel are less than forthright, deceitful or trying to hide information. Employment gaps or missing graduation dates immediately sends out a red flag! More often, those who hide the dates on their resume are presumed to be much older than in reality; why else would they try to hide it unless they were really old! If you can’t be trusted to disclose basic information on your resume it is unlikely you will find anyone interested in interviewing you for a job.
Your resume is required to disclose professional information only. Do not include personal information such as religious or political affiliations. It would be easy to find those whose beliefs differed from yours or many who would not give consideration based on inappropriate content.