Since the introduction of the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful for employers to discrimate against any current or potential employee(s) because of their age. However, even nearly a decade down the line there are still cases popping up about this very issue - one of the latest being an 88-year-old NHS secretary winning an age discrimination case after being unfairly sacked following complaints about her age.
It is unfortunate that this kind of discrimination is still happening, despite legislation and the drive for diversity. However, there are ways to avoid it - particularly when it comes to applying for a job. Believe it or not, it is not only young people with little experience that struggle with this.
Years of experience may look great on paper, but with many employers, for whatever reason, wishing to hire younger candidates, older applicants may feel they are unable to get a new job due to their age.
But here are a few things you can do to potentially avoid age discrimination when applying for a job.
1. Leave out the dates - especially your birth date
On your application, the first thing to leave out is your date of birth, as it's something that's most likely to lead to age discrimination. That, and it's really not all that necessary to have on there in the first place.
You should also consider leaving out other dates, such as the year you graduated university or left school. While this isn't as important as your birth date, it's definitely something else to consider.
Dating other qualifications (e.g. GCSE, O-Level, A-Level) should also be left out as they do not expire or need to be renewed, no matter how old they are. In fact do not reference O Levels at all as they stopped in 1987 and would identify as being aged circa 47 - 48 years old.
2. Only include experience from the last 10-15 years
While years of experience is great, it's important to focus specific experience and achievements from the 21st century. Listing work experience from 20+ years ago, unless relevant to the job, makes it unlikely for your application to be processed to the next stage.
You should mainly focus on your experience within the last 10-15 years and possibly add a brief summary of any earlier experience if you feel it would be necessary. Other than that, solely focus on your recent experience.
3. Avoid personal information
Just like with your date of birth, you should also avoid adding personal information such as your maritial status, childrens ages, number of years married etc. This sort of information isn't relevant to your suitability for the role you desire, so therefore doesn't need to be included.
The point of CVs are to focus on qualifications and experience so an employer can determine your suitability for the role. Therefore, it's important to stick to those three factors alone. Of course, you can add a personal interests section if you wish, but it should not include any personal details.
Job applications can be tough, and nobody should feel cheated out of an interview due to theirr age. It all comes down to experience, qualifications and work ethic - not the year you were born. If an employer wants to judge you by age, in this day and age of social media, a potential employer can trace you via LinkedIn, Facebook etc where you might even have a picture of yourself