If Youth Knew: 3 Ways to Prevent Reverse Age Discrimination in Your Job Search

November 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm 2 comments

“If youth knew; if age could.” – Sigmund Freud

This week’s newsletter is inspired by my client Tony who asks, “Even as a ‘younger’ person in the workplace, is it still good to keep things that would give an idea to my age, like graduation year etc., off of the resume?”

Most job seekers are aware of the potential for discrimination against an older candidate, a topic I addressed in this article.

But what about the younger applicant? Is youth a plus or a minus?

It depends. Consider your field and industry. Often, creative industries like web design, IT, and advertising have a positive bias toward youth. If this is you, yippee! Go ahead and use that ultrasound image as your Facebook avatar.

On the other hand, if you are a financial advisor or a life coach, youth will likely be a hindrance.

If you feel your career hopes could be dampened by people perceiving you as naive or inexperienced, there are a few strategies you can use to encourage decision-makers to fall in love with you before they know your birth date.

  1. Leave graduation dates off your resume and LinkedIn profile. It used to be you had to put a graduation date in LinkedIn. Thankfully, that is no longer the case!
  2. Take a photo that makes you look older than you are. Use it on LinkedIn and other social media. Consider hiring a professional photographer for this if you’re not getting good results on your own. (Just adding 5-10 years is enough. You don’t want people to feel duped when they meet you.)
  3. If you don’t have a long work history, focus on the depth of your experience. On your resume, instead of terse bullet points, opt for more context. Express the problem you were addressing, explain how you did it, and then share bulleted results.

Deception is not your goal. Of course, your real age will become apparent at some point during the hiring process. But you want to get your foot in the door so the hiring process doesn’t end before it’s begun. These strategies allow hiring managers to base their decisions on who you really are, not on their preconceived notions.

Follow your bliss,

Kim Mohiuddin, Chief Career Storyteller at Movin’ On Up Resumes

Entry filed under: Job Search, New Grad Job Seekers, Resumes, Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Networking not working? Craft a more compelling message. On a Resume, Context is King — Free Resume Sample

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Robyn Feldberg  |  November 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Sound advice and strategies, Kim. It’s really about making sure you get screened in and not screened out. When in doubt, leave it out. Wonderful post!

  • 2. Kim Mohiuddin (@KimMohiuddin)  |  November 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks Robyn! You’re so right with your less-is-more approach.


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