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Both young, old job seekers downplay age: Study

Posted on Aug 08 2014 | IANS

New York, Aug 8 : Age-related discrimination haunts both young and old job seekers, finds a study.

While older people perceive more discrimination and make an effort to downplay their age during interviews, younger workers also avoid discussing their age, apparently so that they would not be seen as too inexperienced, the findings showed.

Often, age-related discrimination starts during the resume-screening process, before a candidate even makes it to the job interview.

"Companies and recruiters should make sure they are not exhibiting discriminatory screening practices," said Ann Marie Ryan, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University in the US.

For the study, the researchers surveyed unemployed job seekers of all ages.

It is not the responsibility of job seekers to ensure their own equal treatment, Ryan noted.

"There is a lot of advice out there for applicants to help combat this type of bias, but our research is aimed at figuring out what kind of advice is beneficial and what kind of advice may harm you," Ryan added.

The study is forthcoming in the Journal of Managerial Psychology.

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