Putting the age in the resume

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Resume: In some countries you don’t have to put your age

Age Discrimination is a very worrying subject in many places of the world. Especially if we see it from a perspective where the possibilities of people who are older (or younger) could be prejudiced. In some countries, mainly European and industrialized ones –and with the objective to stop these prejudices- putting the age in the resume is not an obligation.

Every worker should be considered for its abilities only, not for reasons that are discriminating towards the working community.

There’s a similar story with photos. In many countries, it’s actually illegal to ask for a picture on the resume, basically because they’re only taking into account the looks of a person and not what really makes them valuable: its capacity, discipline, compromise, etc.

Just like with the pictures, there are laws that offer protection of equality to workers, and they penalize everyone that discriminates a worker for its: age, race, sexual orientation, among other points.

Age in the resume
Age in the resume

Now, the effectiveness of this measure is a debatable topic.  
On the one hand, it’s a totally admirable action (one that should be imitated in every place of the world), because it promotes the labor integration that we need some much these days.
But on the other hand, if a recruiter doesn’t want to hire someone who’s older or younger, he/she will find any excuse not to do it. After all, even if the age isn’t explicitly written, it’ll still be reflected in the document according to the years of studies and work.
Either way, if we look at the future in an optimistic way, we can surely hope that this measure will be truly considered and integrated into the corporate culture of every company in a few years from now, or at least, that it’s absolutely controlled by the government.

So, do I include my age in the resume?

If the country where you’re living doesn’t require your age in the resume, you should definitely not include it (England, USA, and European countries, are the ones who have these principles already established). If you do it, you’d be showing that you aren’t aware of the labor standards and it can genuinely bother whoever is in charge of going through the resumes. Therefore, you should find out about it and be constantly updating your knowledge regarding these subjects. The same happens with the personal data that we mentioned before. If it’s not asked for, it shouldn’t be included. We have to let our abilities take over and be the reason why we get hired, nothing else.

The people that are always affected are the ones on the “limits”, meaning, the ones who are just integrating to the work force and those who have been a part of it for a really long time.
It’s necessary that workers leave fear behind and face the work future with reassurance of themselves. The fear of being rejected because of irrelevant factors such as age is, in many occasions, the reason for rejection, because it’s an insecurity that shows and is felt by others.

It’s also, extremely substantial, to be able to recognize an age based discrimination –or one for personal data-. If there are policies against those practices, and you feel discriminated, you should take the pertinent measures to avoid this situation from happening again.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

4 thoughts on “Putting the age in the resume

  1. Very informative article indeed. And age discrimination is so rampant in the labor market here in the philippines. I think its time for a change on hiring process a d policies. Government must step in on this issues. You see here, underemployment and unemployment is all over the country. Filipino people last resort is to work overseas due to this age discrimination. And the article is right, candidates should be judge according to the abilities not on the age, after all age is experience.

  2. I do not see any logic why they discriminate aged candidates..

  3. Surely not obliged to put your age, true; but still preferable: however you see it – without necessarily refering to labour standards ! – age is an important character and can be anyhow deducted from the other info present in the CV. Let us be tranaparent and make it simple!

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