Home Forums Jobs & Careers Are recruiters ageist?

Inky Ess Posted 1 year ago
Are recruiters ageist?

I have been looking for work for 2 months now, applying to countless adverts.  Being unable to secure an interview I came to the conclusion that it must be my age that is against me.  Especially as some of the firms I applied to are still advertising and I know I have the right experience.  Are recruiters ageist? Maybe it’s me but that’s how it feels.  Someone suggested leaving my dob off my CV but some places ask for it on their application form.

Anyway, I had secured a position after I did get an interview that went extremely well.  However, lockdown happened and they had to close so couldn’t start me 😭  c’est la vie

Best wishes


10 likes & 68 replies
    • pollardc60 11th November 2020 at 12:25 pm

      We are definitely not on the scrap heap ! If your health is good and you like keeping busy, why not work for as long as you can ?

    • Leyland Lion 11th November 2020 at 1:50 pm
      • I will let you know.
    • Marc RL 11th November 2020 at 7:47 pm

      I don’t put my DOB on my CV. But yes if the application form asks for it I put it.

      Agencies don’t always ask for it, but they get it anyway as they ask to see your passport and they take a copy /scan it.

      When recruiting of course the HR dept /agency will know what the manager recruiting is looking for and will select CVs / applications that they think the recruiting manager is looking for.

      As you get older of course the likelihood is  that the person recruiting you will be younger than you.

      If you get to interview try to use recent examples in your answers, if the person you are dealing with is 25 years old , an example from 8-10 years ago will seem like half a lifetime ago to them.


    • David.W 18th November 2020 at 11:48 am

      Of course their ageist, soon as they see how old you are or deduce it from your CV odds are they will opt for someone younger. They can pay them less and Take more liberties which an older person wont tolerate. I was a carer for a parent for three years plus and have sent off for several jobs and heard nothing to date. With no end in sight to the chaos caused by Chinese flu the situation looks set to remain the same for time being!

    • Baij_Patel 18th November 2020 at 1:47 pm

      I would definitely leave your date of birth off your CV.  Legally employers can’t ask for that information during interview so there’s no need to put it on your CV.  I’m surprised you’re seeing it on application forms too as I thought that was illegal, at least during the interview stages.  I’m 50 and looking for work now and I only list the last 15-20 years of experience on my CV and don’t put any education dates etc as recruiters and companies can usually figure out your age from that.  Good luck with your search!

      • Inky Ess 18th November 2020 at 7:48 pm

        Thank you Bain, for your reply and I must admit I too was surprised to see it on application forms, but some companies do ask for your date of birth.  I try to be honest because I don’t want them getting an almighty shock if they call me in for interview, but as they’re not calling me in for interview then maybe it’s time I was more economical with the truth 😁

        best wishes Shari

    • Lainey 18th November 2020 at 10:46 pm

      I do think that recruiters are ageist. I am 51, been made redundant in July but got wages until October due to my notice period, but in that time I have applied for so many jobs even still today I keep applying.  I have also been advised to reduce the CV to show only the past 15 years so that in my case is one company, but 2 roles.  I finally got 2 interviews last week, both online. The first one went well and I felt comfortable online during the questioning.

      The second interview was not so comfortable and was for a compliance role which was my field prior to redundancy.  I researched and did my work for this one and doing these things on Zoom I don’t know what anyone else thinks but watching someone’s body language  i.e. facial expressions is priceless. I picked up on the interviewer not really liking what I was saying. He was mid 30’s and the HR woman was about 27…. I knew there and then it was not for me.  I was not successful but I knew during the interview it was not for me.

      I will keep going with the applications and remain positive and focused.

      • Lainey 17th January 2021 at 12:22 pm

        Hello everyone
        Apologies I have not been on for a little while as I have been working full time since December and managed to secure a temp assignment with Hays working for a Logistics company . It’s temp until Feb , I am grateful for the work but it is a big drop in money and the variety of work I am used to doing daily is not there.

        I am still applying for perm jobs which is my main job for today so I can try and get something in place for March.

        Good luck everyone on your continued job searches and wishing everyone here on the Restless Community a very healthy , happy and prosperous 2021.

        • Inky Ess 17th January 2021 at 3:34 pm

          Hi Lainey, congratulations on getting the job albeit temporary. I managed to secure a temp job at the start of December which should have lasted until mid Feb. Sadly when we went into lockdown I lost the job. Now I’m back applying for anything and everything. They say they’re not ageist but why do so many companies ask your age and/or date of birth on their application forms. This is really bad and ought to be looked into. It’s so obvious and so wrong. Anyway, staying positive and hopeful. Good luck on your job search. Hopefully we will soon have some good news to report.
          Best wishes

    • TC Pyke 19th November 2020 at 1:28 pm

      I think definitely they are. In this pandemic situation, it is the employers and recruiters market.  Demand and supply?  So it will be hard to find a good position.


    • amigrant 30th November 2020 at 5:11 pm

      I think most definitely. I too have applied for numerous roles I could prob do with my eyes closed and either get no response or ‘ we have selected a candidate more suitable for the role’. I have come to the conclusion that my age is the issue or it is assumed that at my age I would not be happy with the pay rate they have advertised. I was also told, off the record by a recruiter not an employer, that in todays market many employers are favouring ‘young and cheep’! eek

    • Mag 30th November 2020 at 6:40 pm

      Ii have been applying too but with no response and that was making me feel a little let down. After reading some of the comments, I feel it’s best not to mention the Age. This posts has given me some useful insights. Thank you all

    • Friends 2nd December 2020 at 3:37 pm

      Arrrrr thats a shame all I say is stay positive and strong no never stop applying. We can get a job I believe I will keep going and going because a yes will come remember no negatively. Before you attend a interview read up the company first it helps so much. Im Just learning what questions to ask the employer. The interview is our timetable shine.

    • Kurti 2nd December 2020 at 10:49 pm

      I have been applying for jobs for quite a few years now, and I feel that no-one is interested in someone who is over 60 even though I just gained a BA Hons degree last year. Because I took time off to raise a family there is also a gap in my cv and I think that this also makes employers wary. It’s a real pity as I feel under-valued and quite fed up about it.

    • Scotlad 17th January 2021 at 8:10 pm

      Yes, without doubt I’m afraid.

    • Wild_Violet 18th January 2021 at 1:46 pm


    • Silverclarity 18th January 2021 at 3:02 pm

      Yes, they are.

    • Chris S 2nd March 2021 at 8:54 pm

      In answer to the original question I would say yes, but that is partly due to pressure from their clients. I was made redundant from a job in the investment business aged 47, but it was obvious from my daily journeys into work together with the odd Friday evening in the pub or bar how young everyone seemed compared to me – and that was 11 years ago! If a line manager aged 30 something is looking to recruit and his staff are all only two or three years out of school or university, somebody at our time of life would be a complete non starter simply because it would be perceived that we wouldn’t fit in, and to be honest I’d struggle myself in that situation. However I made a career change which worked out very well for a few years, then expanded a part time “second” job into a new career when my main job ended and I’m pleased to say that it has kept me gainfully employed ever since. I feel that our generation have a great deal to offer would be employers with all the experience, skills and life lessons we have learned along the way and it’s a real shame that so many employers don’t see it that way. Anyway good luck to all of you who are jobhunting – I’m sure you’ll find something worthwhile eventually.

    • loislane 3rd March 2021 at 3:32 am

      I don’t think you have to put your d.o.b on your CV now, that’s what I was told.

    • hulldon1 3rd March 2021 at 11:01 am

      Are companies ageist? Would you employ someone who may retire, go long term sick or someone young and could have a long career with you? The fact is the labour market has changed. They think young people will stay with them longer but they invariably leave, whereas older staff are long term employees. They want young people with experience but at their age they cannot get it. Each have there own problems but you have to consider your skill set too. I am 60 and still taking technical courses. They may lead to a job, they may not but without them I would not have a chance. The upshot is do not stop learning and yes companies are ageist but just as much to the younger generation as the old.

    • hulldon1 3rd March 2021 at 11:05 am

      Ageism is not the problem. What is the problem is lack of detailed feedback from applications. If prospective employers had to give application feedback it would stop most discrimination. I would not mind them saying I am too old if they can justify it.

    • muddyboots 3rd June 2021 at 5:52 am

      Our ‘advanced’ age equals more experience, knowledge, productivity and generally a better work ethic. The little feedback I get is that I am too senior for the roles I seek as a freelance PM/interim business manager is that I am too senior or my experience of a particular activity is too far back in time. So although age is an issue in that regard, recruitment has also changed, certainly in my industry (offshore energy and engineering).

      Where previously, industry-experienced senior managers decided who they would recruit, we now have young HR professionals and agencies with no relevant work experience (in my case working offshore, marine sciences and engineering) as decision-makers. So, in addition to the issue of age, I also experience a lack of knowledge and understanding within the recruitment process.

      It’s simply become very hard to connect with the right people these days…home-working, Brexit and excessive electronic communications have added to the problem for me.

      • Inky Ess 3rd June 2021 at 7:48 am

        Thank you for your reply. You and I know that age means experience and reliability, but I do feel that companies are prejudiced against our age group. They do not give the reason as age but I know that is a factor. I have a wealth of experience and skills and I had no trouble at all getting interviews prior to the age of about 58 but since then out of the numerous jobs I applied for only one interview makes me think age is the reason. An advisor told me not to mention my age but why should I keep it secret? Also companies are asking age on application forms or date of birth even though I have been told this should not be happening, so although they are not supposed to be prejudice I feel they are.

        • Colin in Kent 3rd June 2021 at 12:14 pm

          Unfortunately, although ageism is prevented (supposedly) by the Equality Act (2010), it doesn’t explicitly prohibit asking for date of birth on application forms. Why, I don’t know, it seems guaranteed to facilitate ageism, and should really only be allowed where there is a legal age restriction for doing a job (like selling alcohol).

          There’s also this ridiculous idea that employers will only get a few years work out of older applicants, and thus training etc will be wasted, but since the days of life long employment are long over, and young people are more often to move from job to job, it seems counterproductive.

    • muddyboots 3rd June 2021 at 11:58 am

      We are on the same page and I agree that there’s no pointy hiding age…they work it out from subjects studied, track record, etc. Times have just changed, in recruitment and in society in general. I wish you the very best of luck with your job search, assuming that you are still looking…I still need to fill in another 5 years!!

    • Tranzed 8th June 2021 at 4:06 am

      Have you thought about working from home?

      Both the good lady and myself are quiet happy without a boss and can put in work when it suits us and not when some demands it.

      There are many things one can do in todays world; from home, with Internet and a laptop, pc or phone.

    • Gulfstream Granny 24th June 2021 at 8:15 pm

      Sadly ageism and sexism are rife in recruitment. Recruitment agencies and HR departments are swarming with (relative) youngsters that only have time to tick the boxes. In large corporations, CVs are not viewed by humans but go through a central computer (based in Wales) that searches certain punch words and sentences required by the employer. For smaller companies, CV’s should be the LAST thing prospective employers see. Having worked in recruitment I know for a fact that many folk lie on their CV’s. My son has his own recruitment agency in London and says the first thing he does is conduct a video conversation to see if those applying for the position(s) would be a good fit – personality, can speak and write the relevant language (yes, including their own), age-group – flexibility, adaptability, logistically etc…once he’s established the ‘fit’ then he asks for a copy of the CV. I hope this helps.

    • Maria Loten 30th June 2021 at 1:09 pm

      I think how much you might experience ageism when you’re looking for a new job can unfortunately depend on the kinds of work you’re looking for. Before I set up my business last year, I’d worked for over 15 years as a contractor. Many people in the teams were 50+, and sometimes 70+, because the companies needed to buy in the skills and experience that we had. Sadly not all employers realise the benefits that older workers can bring to their organisations.

      I would never put my DOB on my CV, and only included the last 10 – 12 years’ careers experience. What I did do, was to make it clear what difference I’d personally made in each of my roles. Rather than just list my responsibilities, I’d highlight my achievements and the benefits I’d brought to the company. This could be something as simple as identifying improvements to a process, but the outcome was it reduced the amount of time to complete the task by 25%, which freed up staff time to do more important activities.

    • Gaynor Lynne Jones 31st July 2021 at 8:25 pm

      Hi there!
      I work with Usborne Books. It’s a business you can start, maybe alongside a main job to begin with, or maybe not, but it can build into as big a business as you have time for. Perfect for book lovers and those involved with children (or not). We supply schools with books too. Totally flexible. I’ve done it for 15 years alongside teaching and I love it!

      You just need a device (a smart phone will do), you get a free website and full training and support, plus it’s fun and you make lots of friends all over the country. You don’t have to leave the house unless you want to.

      On top of all this, the starter kit is on offer throughout August! Only £40!

      If you’d like to talk to me my phone number is:
      07910 490964

      Personal profile: Gaynor Lynne Jones
      Business page: Ravenhill Readers

      email: [email protected]

      No obligation, but would be nice to have a chat.

    • Iva 31st July 2021 at 10:22 pm

      Very much so. Let’s be honest, Recruiters are sales people and they have to sell their candidates. They basically work on commissions.

    • MORENOCH1 5th August 2021 at 1:42 pm


    • Deleted User 10th August 2021 at 2:50 pm

      Sweets, I had 300+ rejections in 6 months all for jobs I was very much qualified for as I also am digitally savvy …. an odyssey … but Brexit had a lot to answer for too… as I am actually Austrian, never mind having lived here in the UK for nearly 20 years …. but dare I say, continental Europe ( including my homeland) are even worse in regards to female ageism (no idea about the boys club and how they fare), so the UK is miles better still … a disgrace and insult to all our intelligence … that8# for sure … the so called laws are nothing but mere PR propaganda … the undercurrents of reality look very different … also depends on the industry of course … there are vast differences too …. but in my experience… ageism is alive and well … 😜

    • Sonicimage 11th August 2021 at 11:28 am

      Yes, they are! They call you because of a good CV, for example. But when they realised how old you are, you will never hear form them again. Experienced it myself many many times. You should not put your date of birth on your CV anyway.

    • AnneW999 25th August 2021 at 10:29 am

      I hope this post will lift your spirits- it summarises what we older workers bring to the workplace. https://thecareercatalyst.co.uk/in-praise-of-older-workers-4-myths-busted/

    • Deleted User 26th August 2021 at 6:54 pm

      As you have to list all your jobs and account for gaps in employment, they can work out how old you are anyway! And I’m sure if it wasn’t against the law they would be ‘out’ about ageism.