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Should you ever lie about your age on your CV? That is the topic we are discussing today. I'm Claer Barrett, editor of The Next Act, and I'm joined by Lindsay Cook, the FT's Money Mentor columnist, and Anita Hoffmann, the author and executive search professional. So, Lindsay Cook, coming to you first, now, you have been in the jobs market yourself as an older professional. And you've also written an article for The Next Act about this issue this week. Why would people be tempted to mask their age on their CV? What's driving it?
Age discrimination in the workforce. Recruiters tend to bin the applications from people who are a little bit older. San Francisco Bank last year sent out 40,000 resumes to test this idea. And the group that got the least call back were those women 60 to 64. Only 7% of those got people following up. All the other details on the resumes were identical. So age was the discriminator. And it happens right across the piece.
Age discrimination, baldly, is illegal. But it's the whole problem, Anita, that when an executive search professional like you advertises for a job and the responses come in it's an easy way of trimming things down before the candidates go through to the interview stage.
As usual, it's yes and no in a way. But let me sort of set the stage of why CVs are important and when they are not, and how to maybe not get around, but manage the process. So especially when we have more experience, when we are not beginners, around 80% of our opportunities for new jobs come through our own network and our own effort. And that's normally through introductions. And you don't need a CV for that.
People often include a LinkedIn profile. And that's why you need to sort of craft your LinkedIn profile in such a way that it showcases you for what you want to be known for. But there is no rule for what you need to include on your LinkedIn profile or age or anything.
And your job is to get those meetings. Once somebody meets you and realises you have energy and you've got the knowledge, they become your champion. So even when that CV with everything back to your education and the years comes in, they don't really care much.
Thanks very much to Lindsay Cook and Anita Hoffmann.