Article by Ceri Wheeldon
At a time when authenticity and embracing your age is being hailed as the way to live your life, it seems that it is still socially acceptable to lie about your age. The pressure to appear younger extends to those looking for employment.
It is no longer a requirement in the UK to add your age (or date of birth) on your CV, yet individuals still feel the need to combat ageism by trying to conceal the number of years work experience they have in order to appear younger in order to improve their chances of being called for an interview – and getting a job.
Going to court to legally change age
Omission of early experience is one thing, but if you actually lie on your CV to get a job – and the lie is later discovered- that may well constitute grounds for dismissal. In the Netherlands Emile Ratelband aged 69, went to court to demand the right to officially change his date of birth to 49 – so that he could increase his chances of getting a job – without telling a lie.
An extreme case (his request was rejected by the court), however it goes to show just how age is still being considered as a barrier to success when it comes to looking for a job.
Be confident in what you can deliver and areas that you can add value when looking for employment – regard your age and experience as a strength – and emphasise the positives.
Research at Harvard has shown that decision making and problem solving improves over the age of 50 , so have this in mind when presenting your skills and experience on paper ( and in person).
Employers NEED the skills and experience those over 50 have to offer. You have to overcome the thought in your own mind that your age could be a barrier. View it as the positive it is….and don’t lie about your age !!
Much work still needs to be done to have age and experience viewed as an asset and not a liability in the workplace. Have you felt the need to lie about YOUR age?