Great Resumes Fast » Job Search » Should You Be Worried About Age Discrimination?

Almost every client I work with who’s above the age of 40 asks the same question at some point: Do I need to make myself look younger on my resume?  The fear that they are being skipped over for younger candidates is clearly a widespread concern among today’s job seekers.

While I certainly encourage those with 30 or more years of work experience to only include what’s most relevant on their resumes,  this article in the Wall Street Journal last week caused me to wonder whether age discrimination is really as rampant as people fear.  One passage in particular jumped out at me:

Meanwhile, the share of people age 25-34 living with their parents jumped to 13.4% in 2010 from 12.7% in 2008 … The poverty rate for adults age 25-34 living with their parents was 8.5%, but in that case they are considered part of a household.  If their status was determined solely by their own income, 43% were below the poverty threshold for a single person.

This is data from the U.S. Census Bureau—generally a fairly credible source—and it states that almost 43% of our young workers are living below the poverty line.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that those aged 25-34 suffered the highest unemployment rate of any age group in August 2010—9.8%.  Those 55 and over actually had the lowest rate of unemployment at 7.3%.

I’m not suggesting that age discrimination doesn’t exist.  If coloring your hair and buying a trendier interview suit will help you feel more confident during your job search, then go for it.  However, the reality is that younger workers are facing a job market that’s just as tough as it is for older workers—and in many cases the younger ones have an even harder time getting hired because of their lack of experience.  With more than 13% of the young worker population still living at home with their parents, it’s clear that even many with jobs are not making enough to live independently.

These statistics show that the job market has been tough on everyone. To increase your odds for an interview and an offer make sure your resume is completely customized and tailored to each position you apply to. For strategies at overcoming the “age issue” on your resume, speak with a certified resume writer today.


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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. Harold Shaw on May 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I am coming back into the job market and expect to face some age discrimination, at the same time, I am confident of my abilities and that my experience will also be a positive factor that will not be ignored. However, if I am not selected because of my age (I know it is illegal, but the reality is that it happens), I have to take the attitude and would I have fit into the culture of that work environment and I will be better off somewhere else.

    I have taken the opposite approach and highlighted that I am 54 years old. It may not be the correct tactic according to many experts, but it is who I am and what an organization will be getting if they hire me. It is a way to cull those organizations, who don’t want me because of my age.


  2. Robert Weller on May 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    In this new age of electronic job search how do you determine whether you are a victim of age discrimination? Applicants seldom see a face of hear a voice. The lack of personal contact and electronic resume screening is a perfect environment for discrimination. I suspect a great many employers use the new electronic system to practice discrimination against any number of protected classes. All without fear of being discovered. After all how many applicants ever learn why they didn’t get the job they thought they were perfecty qualified for?

    I think Jessica’s response is overly optimistic and unrealistic.

  3. don young on September 20, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I may have been passed over because of my age in a pile of resumes but nothing overt. In fact the last few companies that I have worked for have an average age of 40-45. High tech manufacturing in my experience values lots of experience. Grandchildren are a common topic in the lunch room. Even the sales staff and marketing at these companies are 40ish and then some. Im not saying there is no age discrimination in hiring but I haven’t noticed it. Im 55 and proud of every wrinkle and ache I have, earned every one of them!

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