Though age discrimination is illegal in the United States, it is still a common practice amongst companies. This happens in part due to applicants making age specific claims on their resumes. One of the great things about resumes is the fact that you are not required to place your age or birth date on your resume. This information is generally collected on a general application.
Therefore, you can instantly avoid age discrimination while crafting your resume by not placing age specific information on your resume. This includes in the writing of your cover letter. Many older individuals will use their cover letter to tell stories from their past. They will reveal their age and will even sometimes mention the fact that many companies discriminate by age.
This will generally be an instant “red flag” to most employers. If a potential employer sees a claim like this made in a cover letter they are less likely to contact you because you have already made your age an issue. If you are presenting potential employers with legal actions and phrases such as “age discrimination” in your resume, they are likely never to contact you out of fear that you are the type of person who will file a lawsuit at the drop of a hat.
You are not required by law to reveal your age within your resume. Therefore, you should not even make mention of your age in any way, shape, or form unless asked upfront. Even then, a company is not permitted to not hire you based on your age alone. They can only pass you over you if you are not capable completing the job for which they are hiring you or considering you for.
Isn’t Hiding My Age Against The Law?
There is a difference between hiding your age and not mentioning your age. There is no way that you can keep your age from a potential employer. They might not know how old you are based on your resume but the moment that you walk in for an interview they will know how old you are.
With that in mind, you don’t want to make a potential employer think you are younger than you are when crafting your resume. Therefore, you still need to include all date specific information such as the years you attended high school and college, and what years and dates you worked for other companies.
What you should do is prove to these potential employers based on your cover letter, objective and general resume information that you are the best choice for the job for which you are applying. If you can prove this to an employer based on your resume alone, the chances of them not hiring you upon meeting you and discovering your age are slim to none. Most companies are more concerned with experience and ability then they are with the age of a person.
Just because you don’t come out and reveal your age in your resume doesn’t mean that you are hiding your age. Just be prepared for questions that may be asked of you during your interview that may be age directed.