Help, I’m too wise!
Recently there has been a lot of talk about age discrimination, with increased public discussion around raising the retirement age, limiting student loans for older students and the lack of a youth wage rate. Whether or not you have an opinion on these things, it’s fair to say that you are going to be judged to some degree on your age.
Let’s face it, employers are going to have an idea of the type of person they want, and if you’re a certain age, they might assume that you’ll have the perceived traits of a certain age group – whether older or younger. This can be a mixed bag of pros and cons. If you’re a Gen-Y member, then of course you’ll be a flashy, mobility-seeking hedonist who is liable to leave the job six months after starting. If you’re in your fifties, then you’ll be a technologically-adverse pragmatist who is resistant to change. Employers of Gen-X members might start by blocking internet access to that generation’s favourite X-Files and ’80s cartoon websites.
These are all lame stereotypes, but in a tight job market it is best to avoid any pitfalls . Age shouldn’t matter when it comes to getting a job – experience, education and personality should. Remember, some employers will be looking for an experienced, worldly employee, so being older could work to your advantage. However, here are some simple ways to age-proof your CV:
- Limit your job experience. Anything older than 1985 is probably not worth mentioning.
- Don’t include your year of birth. There is no problem with omitting this information.
- Show you’re technologically savvy. Include a link to a LinkedIn profile.
- Leave out your secondary schooling information.
- Have a look at CVs from people of other generations. Take a look at CVs of friends and co-workers from across the age spectrum to get a range of ideas.
- Don’t include a photograph. It’s not the norm for most occupations here in New Zealand.