Age issues

Let’s say a person’s resume leads you to believe that he/she is in their late 20s - year of graduation from college plus work experience. In appearance, this person looks even younger than that. He/she is a serious contender for the job so you do a detailed background check in accordance to company policy. You realize this person is actually 10 years older than you thought. He/she has in no way lied on his/her resume but just graduated from college later in life. Is this an issue for you or not? Should this person have mentioned that he/she was older?

It may be an issue for you, because you may be looking for a 22 year old (no wife/kids, can work 15 hour days, can travel on a moment’s notice), but the applicant is underabsolutely no obligation to mention that to you, unless you put on the job qualifications “seeking a 22 year-old”, which is probably illegal age discrimination.

EDIT - so I guess my point is this–if age is an issue, then why isn’t part of the job description? The answer is probably “because it’s illegal to refuse to hire somebody based on their age”. And if you’re toeing the line on what’s moral/ethical/legal, then why get upset when the applicant toes the line as well? (Note–the applicant didn’t toe the line at all.)

This is in the US? In Latin America they put age typically on the resume (at least ones I have seen).

I dont think there is any issue…in the US for me I have only had age come up a couple times when I am interviewing and if they dont ask my I have never felt it fit right to offer.

As long as they are willing to accept the compensation that a younger person would typically accept, shouldn’t be an issue. My firm requires candidates to fill out an application and I’m pretty sure DOB is on there, but it has never been an issue.

I’m guessing it is illegal to ding them for their age.

I’d ask them what they were doing for their “lost” 10 years and ding them on that if I’m uncomfortable with it.

edit: And no, I probably wouldn’t mention it if I wasn’t asked.

In my experience, firms will NEVER tell you why they don’t hire you. Maybe you’re too old. Maybe you’re the wrong color. Maybe your eyes are the wrong color. Maybe you’re the wrong religion. In any case, the answer will always be, “We found somebody more suitable for the position. Good luck on your job search.” This way, it’s harder for you to run to the EEOC (or other regulatory agency) and cry discrimination.

I think it’s more likely that the candidate is a female, but can’t decide if she:

A. Got married right out of HS and worked unskilled jobs before divorcing her worthless husband and then decided to go to college, or

B. Got pregnant in HS and couldn’t go to college until the kid was old enough to go to school.

Maybe they did a dime in the tank?

^ That would show up in the background check, and I’m thinking that would knock him/her out immediately.

Maybe they floundered in college for a year and a half because they didn’t have a lot of guidance, didn’t know what they wanted to major in, and didn’t know what they wanted to do.

Then they finally decided to join the mighty US Marine Corps for five years.

Then, when they got out, they didn’t have a degree, so they worked at crappy jobs while they finished their BS in Spanish.

Then, when they realized that their BS in Spanish was worth about as much as a few sheets of toilet paper, they went back and got an MSF at Local State.

Then, they used the Local State education to take the CPA exams and passed them when they were 30, then finished the CFA exams at age 33.

Sounds like a very logical progression to me. Not a bad employee, not an idiot, just didn’t have all the resources and guidance that a lot of others had. And now that they’re about 10 years behind the curve, they’ll be extra motivated to make up for lost time, because they have a really big chip on their shoulder.

^ do you not include your USMC time on your resume?


I knew it was just a matter of time.

Yes, I did include my military experience at first. But if I were to fill out a resume now, I probably would not. Nobody wants to see “Spanish Cryptologic Linguist with the NSA” on a resume. At least nobody I would want to work for.

As far as my resume goes, I got my bachelor’s in Spanish in 2007, my Master’s in Finance in 2009, and have been working since. Assuming I got my BA when I was 21, I would be about 27 now, but I’m really almost 34.

^Maybe so, but I bet I could kick the sht out of you if you were man enough to say that to my face.

I would consider military service to be a positive on a candidate’s resume.

You can’t ask a person’s age during an interview. That’s a huge HR issue. If you do and don’t hire the guy they’ll have grounds for an age discrimination suit and they’ll win.

Respect. Decent story, not with flying colours, but the most important is the relative progression from one period to another. You yesterday is the comparison point for you today.

Otherwise hacksaw to everyone b/c no one here is the lucky son of Abramovich.

Thanks, Drago.

And that’s kinda my point on many things, MBA’s being one of them. If you grew up upper-middle class in New Haven, then your outlook on life/school will be very different from the guy who grew up in poverty, in a trailer on a farm in Nowhere, TX.

It’s not what you accomplish on an ABSOLUTE basis, it’s what you accomplish on a RELATIVE basis. And I feel like I’ve overachieved in that respect.

Of course, he’d likely have to get on his hands and knees to do so.


Interesting post. I am like the contrary: looking older. I am 24 (almost 25) and have a mature-looking face. I guess its in my genes, as my dad looked older in his 20’s and now he’s looking rlly younger than his real age. Anyways, I hope the fact that I look older wont put me in a disadvantage during inrerviews. My resume would speak my real age given education background and work experience. And sometimes I do wanna put a sticker on my face with my real age on it so that ppl will give me a fair judgement.