Ageism – does it exist?


by Darlene Zambruski | May 22, 2012

For many older job seekers finding a new position has been difficult, if not impossible. More than a few believe it’s because of age discrimination.

The answer may not be that simple.

Modern resumes don’t go all the way back to the first position a candidate had. The general rule is to include information dated no more than 15 years (10 for an information technology applicant as the industry changes so quickly). Therefore, until you show up for an interview, most hiring managers and recruiters have no idea how old you may be. (Granted, some may be checking you out of Facebook or other social networking sites. Be advised – don’t brag about all the discounts you get with AARP if you don’t want your age to be a factor).

The reason many older workers – and more than a few younger ones – aren’t called in for an interview is simply because their background isn’t a good match with the position. Or worse, they’ve provided nothing but task-based data without any accomplishments. That can be a fatal error.

In today’s job market, hiring managers and recruiters are looking for individuals who achieve results. Can you make their company money? Can you save their company money? If you can, proven by your past accomplishments, they don’t care how old you are.

They wants results.

Let’s look at this from a common sense perspective. You’re competing against a gorgeous young woman in her early thirties. She has experience but no achievements. She comes into work, does her job, goes home. End of story. You, on the other hand, have proven at your past companies that you positively affected the bottom line.

Do you really believe her looks and youth are going to win the job? Only a fool would hire someone because of that. The company’s success is on everyone’s mind and if your background points to that kind of effort, you will be asked to interview and offered the position.

Nothing is more important to a hiring manager or recruiter than what you can do for the company. Nothing. All the other stuff is fluff. How you excel is what matters.


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