More job seekers try to hide their age

USA Today

The tough job market and rising concerns about age discrimination are prompting job seekers to try to mask their age Candidates are omitting dates or work experience from their resumes. Others are taking more drastic steps — colouring their hair or getting plastic surgery.

“They look at those dates and say, ‘I’ve got a dinosaur,’ “ says Robert Bloomberg, 64, of Jackson, NJ, who cut graduation dates from his resume to try to land a manufacturing job.’’

Job-seeking tactics on the rise Plastic surgery “They’ve been laid off for five or six months and want to do this before the next round of interviews,’’ says plastic surgeon Elbert Cheng in California.

More than half of face-lift patients are ages 51 to 64, says the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The number of men seeking procedures that make them look younger also has jumped: More than 130,000 had Botox treatments in 2002, up 25 per cent from 2001.

Richard Gonzales, 46, had a chin implant and other procedures to help his job search. “You have to look as good as you can,’’ says Gonzales, a budding actor and sports centre manager in Cupertino, Calif.

Resume fudging Some career strategists push job applicants to omit dates from resumes. Career coach Kathy Sanborn routinely advises clients to omit graduation dates and list only the last 10 years of their work history. Those tactics can backfire. “We are seeing more and more prospective employees trying to hide their ages on resumes,’’ says Scott Testa, chief operating officer at Mindbridge Software. “That’s one more reason to delete the resume from the pile. If they hide that, what else are they hiding?’’

Hair colouring Sales of Just For Men hair colour rose more than 15 per cent versus two years ago. “They don’t want to be perceived as older,’’ says Wendy Lewis, a New York-based cosmetic surgery consultant and author of ‘The Beauty Battle’.