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Is age discrimination real in IT?

By sloan ·
I had always heard about age discrimination, but never thought it would apply to me until I was in my 50's or 60's. I'm still in my 40's, and think I'm seeing it in my job search.

I've got what I think is a pretty impressive resume, but seldom get called for an interview even though I think the job is something I am really suited to. A couple of times, I have had the face-to-face, but never the follow up.

I was beginning to think that maybe I interviewed badly, or my resume wasn't as good as I thought. All kinds of self-doubt. I worked with a person that specializes in helping people find jobs (a coach, not a recruiter), and she suggested going back to one particular employer to ask some questions.

I explained that I respected their decision, and was not trying to second guess it, or anything like that. I explained that I had been looking for work for a long time, and wanted to understand what I was doing wrong so I wold do better going forward. At first, the person was a little hesitant, but she explained that they had chosen a younger candidate because they would bring more energy and fresh ideas. She also said that in their experience, people my age would not be satisfied with salary they were willing to offer for the position.

Lastly, she said my resume was great, and I had interviewed very well - no changes needed there.

So what do you think?

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You bet your sweet bippy.

by X-MarCap In reply to Is age discrimination rea ...

The problem is quite often that the IT management no longer is IT people. Many PMs and managers are not IT people any more. The people who think that You are "OLD" are looking for people who don't make much money. Everybody wants 5-7 years but no more... It is a money thing...

I have found that there are few comparable openings to what I make currently. Get a current certification and persue that and you'll start a rung lower than what you were, but you'll get back on the ladder...

Don't make the mistake I made. I went to a company with an expectation of raises. You may not get them...

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Some Thoughts

by BFilmFan In reply to Is age discrimination rea ...

Are you seeking a position only in your area?

Are you seeking a full-time or contract position?

If you are seeking an opportunity nation-wide and are open to both permanent and contract work, I've found that your age can be an asset. You bring years of experience in your field of speciality to the client.

The honest truth is that I frequently see resumes and most of them have the following mistakes:

Failure to include what you did to increase the profitability of your employer.

Employers are ALWYAS looking to improve the bottom line. Tell the interviwer how you've done this before and can do so again.

Failure to detail experience well.

"Provided enginnering support for Windows 2003 servers" doesn't tell me as much about your skills as "provided high-level engineering solutions for 25 Windows 2003 domain controllers in 2 Active Directory forests." It is critical to really detail your experience. It might sound as if you are shellacing your resume with varish, but the pretty package sells better at the store and everyone knows it.

And perhaps the recruiter was being honest that they couldn't offer to pay for your skills. Some clients are cheap. It's a fact of life. Most small and medium-sized businesses operate on the theory of "pay as little as possible." It's one of the reasons that small businesses have an 80% failure rate in any 5 year period.

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I went through the exact same thing

by tfitzpatrick In reply to Is age discrimination rea ...

I can relate to what you are saying because I just went through the exact same experience. I am 43 with 14+ years of IT experience (Application Development, App Dev Management, Business Analysis, Project Management) and I was looking for work for over 12 months. I had a lot of interviews like you, but none of them called me back for a second look. I started thinking it was my resume, but I had an HR recruiter(who is also a friend) review it and she said it was fine. All the recruiters I worked with said the resume was not an issue.

I then started to second guess my own abilities which was really scary. Eventually I landed a job in a small consulting company where the average age is 27 or so. The owner hired me specifically because I am mature and he was looking for someone to mentor the staff.

In this case, my age eventually worked in my favour, but that is not always the case. If your salary expectations are too high, you might want to consider lowering them, however, don't compromise your integrity and take a job at a lower rate just for the sake of getting back into the workforce. In the long run, you will regret it.

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Edited by moderator

by j6546 In reply to I went through the exact ...


Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

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Edited by moderator

by jm6546jm In reply to Edited by moderator


Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

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Expectations aren't that high...

by sloan In reply to I went through the exact ...

Truth is, after some serious life changes, my salary expectations aren't high - I don't need the big bucks anymore, just to earn a decent living. I've seen what you describe in my own career - where age was an advantage -- but seems like I've crested that hill, and am on the downhill side....

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IBM & other corporation's massive age discrimination

by j6546 In reply to Is age discrimination rea ...

I am also including information about IBM & other corporation's massive age discrimination.

Go to:

John Mellon
3231 Business Park Dr. C115
Vista, Ca 92081 (San Diego, CA area)

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I think I'm running into this, too

by mvl In reply to Is age discrimination rea ...

I'm 48 (49 in 2 weeks), and have been looking for about 15 months. Have had interviews, even a couple of 2nd interviews, but never an offer. I have tried to disguise it a bit, by trimming my resume to the past 18 years (I need a bit more than 15, since one of my goals is to return to a development role, having spent several years doing QA and support -- it was at a pretty advanced level, but it wasn't development), but I think my appearance makes it obvious that I'm pushing 50.

It is interesting that the employer actually told you that they'd hired a younger candidate and why. If you were vindictive, it could be an opening to file a lawsuit, which is precisely why the vast majority of employers will simply tell you they found someone whose skills and experience more closely matched their requirements.


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A different approach

by maxwell edison In reply to I think I'm running into ...

Don't see your age as an obstacle, but rather as an opportunity.

Focus on the things you can offer that the "stereotypical" younger guy can't.

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New Low For Age Descrimination: 40 Years Of Age

by logregg In reply to A different approach

Maxwell, thanks for your helpful take on things. I am in the rather challenging position of having just initiated a mid-career transition. Having just finished a BS in IT, I too have been confounded by a new found lack of response to my resumes. I naively thought my limited experience in this profession was my main obstacle. In my mid forties, I'm now concerned that my resume may reveal too much about my age. I appreciate your advice particularly because, like so many others in this boat, after I am done drowning in my sorrows I have to pick my self up and deal with this. I am also grateful, however, for the corroborating posts made by others because now I can become better prepared to address this issue. For starters I will remove references to my 1st degree in my resume and limit the years of experience I associate with my past profession. I will definitely follow this up by employing your advice through showcasing the perks that my professional experience offers. Thanks again!

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