Avoiding age discrimination on your CV - Part 2

Following on from our recent article regarding avoiding Age Discrimination on your CV  brought many follow up questions which highlights  how much of an issue this is. This article aims to address these questions.  

Some of the areas many of you were concerned about were:

Appearing dishonest

Some of you felt that, by structuring your CV in the way advised, avoiding personal details such as age, you could be accused of withholding your information from the employer and many of you felt uncomfortable with this feeling you might be being dishonest. Please be re-assured that this is not an attempt to ‘trick’ an employer and that they will not feel this is what you trying to do.

The purpose of your CV is to provide the appropriate information to demonstrate your skills and expertise for the position advertised. By going into detail of positions held over 20 years ago you are unlikely to achieve this due to the length of time ago and the relevance of those jobs in your application. In addition to this the general rule is for your CV to be no longer than two pages so going back around 15 years is perfectly acceptable and expected.

Application Forms

Many of you felt that while it was easier to avoid mentioning age in your CV, this was impossible in application forms.

To gain an appropriate legal answer for this I sought the expertise of Natalie O’Hare who is a HR and Employment Law Consultant from BeyondHR. Her response was as follows:

“Applicants do not need to feel that they have to include their date of birth on application forms if the question is asked. Especially, where it is not mandatory field there is no reason for the need to provide this, unless there is a justifiable reason for the business requiring this. Many businesses may still include this and not be aware that it’s best not to, due to the risk of age discrimination claims from applicants. Businesses can obtain a successful applicants date of birth later after appointment to avoid any such claims. But they may always just do what they have always done as they have not been advised otherwise, or nobody has challenged. “

School Grades are a giveaway

Some of you expressed a concern about mentioning your school grades as you felt the moment you mentioned O Levels etc this would then highlight your age. It would be perfectly acceptable to write GCSE equivalent or A Level equivalent and then the subject. For example, for those applying from Scotland or from overseas to positions in the rest of the UK they would put GCSE equivalent incase the reader did not understand their qualification and where it sits in the current market. Therefore, writing equivalent is fine and does not disclose your age.

Keep a positive mindset

Job searching can be an emotional rollercoaster from feelings of excitement, disappointment and frustration. I am a great believer in what is for you will not go by you. Keep persevering as the right position will present itself. Remember when you are at the interview you are assessing them also to see if they are right for you too. It is not a one- way street.

Hopefully this addresses the points from the last article and puts your mind at ease.