If you start researching ageism in recruitment on the internet, you will very quickly come across a number of discussion groups where the posts tend to suggest that ageism, although illegal, is still very much a part of the UK recruitment scene.
There are many discussions and forums full of disgruntled forty, fifty and sixty year olds who feel that they have been overlooked when applying for jobs simply on the basis of age.
But how much of the alleged ageism that people talk about is real and how much is simply their reaction to the normal frustrations of job hunting.
Ageism in recruitment does exist. I am convinced of that, but attitudes are changing and I genuinely believe, from my own experience, that more and more companies are open to the idea of recruiting older candidates as long as they can demonstrate that they are the best person for the job. At the end of the day, why would any company want to recruit anyone other than the best candidate?
A poorly written CV is still a reason to turn someone down whether it is written by an 18 year old or a sixty year old.
Lack of relevant work experience, an unsteady work history, poor qualifications etc. are all genuine reasons for not employing someone.
Most employers now strive to demonstrate an equal opportunities approach to their workforce and their working practices so why should it be any different in the recruitment process. To do otherwise can prove expensive and time consuming for companies.
Job hunting is incredibly frustrating and in a job market where there are so many people competing for jobs it is not surprising that people become frustrated at continual rejection but, before you play the age card, take a long hard look at what you are doing.
Does your CV really sell you?
Do you have the relevant experience and does your CV demonstrate that?
Are you personalising each job application to the role or have your job applications developed a level of complacency?
Are you aiming at the right jobs?
Do your skills match the jobs that you are applying for?
When you can say yes to these questions every time that you apply for a job, then maybe you can blame ageism, or maybe you’ll be working again.