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30/07/2009

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You should keep the date of birth off the CV as a matter of course, since the Age Discrimation Law came into effect it is no longer a requirement on CVs. I've had similar questions from my own candidates (I work within project management recruitment) and the advice I generally go with is to think about the specialism or niche experience you're bringing over and above people who have less experience. Look for roles which need very specific help (and generally these might be contract roles where you are asked in to deal with a very specific issue or project), your niche should be the thing you concentrate on selling.
You may find that age is overlooked because the organisation knows that they won't be able to find this specific experience in someone less experienced.
It's difficult to advise further because you don't give any details about the work you're in or what sector but hopefully it gives some food for thought?

Regards Lindsay
http://www.arraspeople.co.uk

Keep the d.o.b off the CV and also be careful to structure the CV in a way that does not make it obvious to your age from the experience provided on it(ie listing roles back to 19XX) etc.
Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that even with legislation to protect older members of the work force, some/ perhaps many individual employers still carry mis-conceptions about employing older people. On the other hand, others will highly prize the greater experience you may have.
The niche experience suggestion from Lindsay sounds sensible - but it is difficult to understand why the interview is not succesful without further details.

Some broad advice might be:
1. Never be too opinionated on issues/people
2. Do not over-sell or under-sell your skills but find a sensible balance.
3. Do not be overly friendly at interview - keep it professional whilst demonstrating you are a personable person.
4. Keep your answer comprehensive but to the point.
5. Smile - allow the interviewer to warm to you
6. Make eye contact with them But don't stare at them to the point you or them feel uncomfortable.
7. Ask sensible questions about the company to show you have researched them and are really interested - 2-3 questions is an ideal amount.

give up don't bother claim sickness benefits DLA etc you won't get a job at your age face it, this country is [moderated]

The advice above is good. I'm nearly 64 and work in a niche area within Project Management & have done so for years. I make sure that my qualifications are kept up to date and add new qualified skills when I think the market might consider them in the future. age is not the limiting factor, only your own self worth.I'm turning jobs down now as I have decided to make a career change so it is never too late. Experience takes time to gather and mine has been picked up from across the whole world on many projects.

@ tony bridges - For someone who "wants to work", I don't think the advice to "give up (and) claim sickness benefits" is really that appropriate!

I know plenty of people who are 60+ and who are still getting employed. Age is only a factor if you make it one, and with such stringent age discrimination rules in place, an employer cannot discriminate against you because of your age. The standard retirement age is 65 but a lot of people continue working past this age.

Bear in mind that we're in a recession - everyone has to work harder to find a job, regardless of their age. Claiming benefits unnecessarily isn't exactly going to help this country out of a downturn.

A colleague of mine changed his DOB on his CV by knocking 10 years off. He was lucky but he found employment abroad in the Middle East in the Oil & Gas industry where the age limit is normally 58 year of age. I don't know how he doctored his passport though as these companies require a copy of the passport. I imagine there are ways on a computer to alter the DOB on a scanned copy of the passport but here in the UK it would be considered deception and you would probably face criminal charges.

I am 54 years and live in Dubai.My CV is only one page,it does not show my DOB and it mentions my skills and experience during the past 10 years.I promote myself as an Accounting specialist.

I have been doing accounting assignments for the past 5 years and the recent recession has no effect on me.I am still getting new assignments.

My advice to CTG is to place emphasise on your skills in the CV and at the interviews.

Yoga

Well, count yourself lucky (Yoga) if the recession has no effect on you. Perhaps you have been able to build up your career and reputation over a period of time so the work finds you. I've just started a PM career, loving the variety and wealth of experience that contracting offers, however, due to the recession, I'm finding it impossible to get work as the market is forcing people to be pigeon-holed. The jobs advertised are very product, sector and time specific that if you don't match every single criteria word-for-word, you don't stand a chance, even though you have transferable skills. I want to work on different types of projects and different sectors, not the same exact thing as when I started. Its very frustrating as like C.T Gwent, I just want to work.

If you are over 60, you should just retire - assuming you arent on the bread line - there are many thousands of young peopel who need a job, and it ismore important that they get a foot on the ladder. Take up gardening or golf!

@Goosygandy, your unhelpful response is a glib way of looking at a big problem.

Firstly, jobs that CT is likely to be qualified to do are unlikely to be the same jobs that a school-leaver or graduate could do. So in no sense is CT "stealing" a job from a young person. It is just a variation on the ridiculous "British jobs for British workers" idea that Mr Brown came out with.

Secondly, there are many people in their 50s and 60s, who, thanks to the economic crisis, or Equitable Life, or whatever, find themselves with a lot less provision for retirement than they expected. These people HAVE to work to continue to provide the standard of living they and their family have had.

Third, the retirement age is 65 (soon to be higher) - so people have the right to get a job and work until that age. The government should force large companies to have a balanced distribution of age in its workforce, just the same as they do for sex and disabled workers.

Fourth, inevitably it is difficult for someone to get a job when they are older - so they need more support from the government. There are people and websites around that DO HELP older workers - see Martin Lloyd-Penny and his website for accountants
http://www.matureaccountants.com/.

Fifth, older workers can often be better doing contracting/interim/maternity leave cover, etc - because this overcomes employer's concerns about them being closer to retirement, or also going off sick.

Last, not everyone likes golf and gardening!

Very thoughtful answers.
Just a polite tip to original poster, C.T., Gwent, gained from hard experience. Always check your outgoing copy offline, before posting, and particularly before sending covering letter.
Example:
'..interest wanes when I am arrive.'
The 'am' is just wrong there. Probably a simple cut & paste error, which certainly wouldn't show up on basic spell-check, but might on 'grammar' check.

You don't state the nature of work you were applying for, but there is a good chance of falling at the first hurdle if the nit-picking recipient (e.g. in publishing) is feeling snotty about (other people's) typos that day.

At least you secured interview.

As for the advice given 'keep the d.o.b off the CV'- curriculum vitae is by definition a life/professional history and history tends to use dates!

Kind regards

I am 56 and was out of work for 6 months and found the same problems ie my age. I was lucky enough to get a job as a support worker, working with people with learning difficulties. Its not everyones cup of tea but there does seem to be more of this type of work at the moment.

Experiences is the best teacher for next my jobs

Everything depends on what type of work you are interested in or capable of doing. I have no problem with getting work, in fact I turn more jobs down now as I am trying other things and enjoying a slight break whilst I start another business. I am over 60 and contract out my services. I have no academic qualifications and I know plenty of people that earn between £350 and £1300 a day every week of the year. I know a lot of others who do not get that each week, so I do know the problems. There are certain sectors that are booming and if you have the right skills wages above £75K are achievable and this week three of my colleagues are considering moving to jobs that pay over £3K per week. The only restriction is yourself saying that you are too old or will not travel.

I am sorry to say but I know from my own experience that companies definetly discriminate against older canditates when recruiting. I went as far as to take one company to an Employment Tribunal, its a long story but after my experience I would not advise anyone else going down this route as I now believe the Age Discrimination Act is a complete waste of time, to try and explain, when I was questioning one of the respondents and found a number of contradictions between his witness statement and the documents in the bundle I was told by the employment judge that this was irrelevant because their solicitor had wrote the documents in the bundle, but I said surely he received the informaion from the respondant to write down in the first place...the judges answer was....you would think so...this was only an hour or so into the proceedings, I knew then I was wasting my time, and was proved right when I received his completly imbecilic summary.

Just retire?? What an answer!!! If we could afford to retire, we would! I retired at 55 (had to); but $1500 per month in California is below poverty level. My house payment is over $2,000 alone. Most of people over 60 now need to work!

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