Businesses will always deny they use age as a factor when recruiting, but when it comes to backing up this belief, statistics tend to prove otherwise. And when we talk about "age discrimination" we aren't always referring to the mature workforce, it's just as likely younger people will experience some form of age discrimination too.
There have been measures by the government to counter age awareness being used as an employment screening factor, and Australia benefits from the elimination of "dates of birth" and "age" in a resume / curriculum vitae and on job advertisements. However, it only takes a few simple questions by an employer over the telephone to quickly determine this missing piece of data.
Reading between the lines...
The truth is, it's hard to actually determine whether age will work for or against you. To gain some understanding about the age requirements within a job description, look at phrases such as "minimum of 15 years’ experience preferred" or "ideally 2 - 5 years working experience" and try to understand the context in which this has been written. However, you may still want to apply… the worst-case scenario is that you application won't progress any further.
Are seasoned professionals valued?
Seasoned professionals have the advantages of greater stability, greater experience, and greater loyalty to an organisation. Yet surveys continue to prove that the mature age force remain the highest sector discriminated against, and a bracket that faces the most barriers. Much is being done through the Equal Employment Opportunities act to help employers place less emphasis on age, but the simple facts are that sometimes, it's out of your hands. Therefore, don't ponder on the negativity, simply focus on the positives you can bring and don't worry too much if trying to challenge the status quo.
And remember, if an employer is seeking a younger employee, it might be that the role they are seeking to fill will be more suited to a career hungry candidate as opposed to someone seeking a role that offers work/lifestyle balance.
In just a few seconds you can shave years off your resume
Following these simple techniques, you can quickly remove elements of age and therefore reduce potential discrimination