back to article Bad news, older tech workers: Job advert language works against you

Economists have crafted online fake job ads and found that those incorporating age-related stereotypes discourage older workers from applying – another cause for concern among tech workers as the industry faces multiple lawsuits over ageism. The research – conducted by Ian Burn (University of Liverpool, UK), Daniel Firoozi, …

  1. Dr Scrum Master

    So?

    "We find strong evidence that ageist language related to communication skills, physical ability, and technology skills, even when it is not blatantly or specifically age-related, deters older workers from applying for jobs," the paper argues. "Job ads that feature ageist language attract younger applicants on average than job ads that do not feature ageist language."

    Ageist language such as: must have good communication skills (able to write coherent sentences without emojis), must have physical ability to get off arse to fix a problem, and must have a wide range of technology skills rather than just a few months of the latest fads?

    Actually, I don't mind ageist flags in job ads, or any other ists for that matter - it gives me an impression of the working environment without going through the rigmarole of applying and being interviewed. I really don't want to go on a recruitment merry-go-round only to then discover that the environment is just not for me.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: So?

      "I really don't want to go on a recruitment merry-go-round only to then discover that the environment is just not for me."

      It sounds as if this research put numerous people on a recruitment merry-go-round for jobs that didn't even exist, all to prove the bleedin' ovious. What did their Universities' ethics committees make of that one? Why does it remind me of that research project submitting bad pull requests to Linux?

      1. JT_3K

        Re: So?

        It's bad enough as a candidate with: recruitment consultants putting up jobs that don't exist in order to grow their "file candidates"; three-tier-deep scraping websites re-dating last year's jobs as current which then wash up in the big aggregators as current; and recruiters pushing out for jobs that they don't have the rights to recruit for on the hope that a candidate presented "on spec" will gain them a fee. This "research" needs to get in the sea.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: So?

        I don't want to defend them, but it sounds like they just collected resumes. Having someone receive a copy of a file I already have then tell me to go away because it's research is a lot better than going through interviews when they don't want me. Neither feels good, but one wastes two minutes of my time, whereas the other can be significantly worse. I'm not sure if there is a way to do this ethically except surveying people about what they'd apply to, and I don't think you'd get valid results with a survey.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: So?

      "must have physical ability to get off arse to fix a problem"

      Can I not fix a problem from my wheelchair?

      1. abstract

        Re: So?

        You already look desperate, the risk that you turn into a crazy killer is very high. It is better to discard you in the first place than face a $7.3 billion fine.

      2. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: So?

        If it's a cabling issue under the desk, no.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: So?

          Depends on how well the desk environment is put together...

          I manage just fine fixing most cabling issues - though I predominantly try to avoid generating those issues in the first place.

    3. abstract

      Re: So?

      And then there will soon be no more environment just good for you.

    4. Dr. Ellen

      Re: So?

      I worked as a museum curator. This is a job that's part intellectual, part physical. When you are working with an artifact, sometimes you must pick it up and move it. Most of the artifacts were 50 pounds or less, so when I retired, I noted that any future curator should be able to handle 50-pound objects. (There were some that were considerably larger -- moving them was a group project.)

      This is ableism, of course. So? It was part of the job.

      1. GNU SedGawk

        Re: So?

        I'm not sure on this, provided you know what needs doing, surely a person could provide access to the muscle requirement.

        I would expect the intellectual requirement to dominate, seeing this as something that would be as equally applicable to say a person without sufficient muscular control to exert lifting force, as one who could lift effortlessly.

        Why could this role not be aptly and perfectly fulfilled by an AI who instructed helpers to move objects, and if you concede it could.

        I see adding that requirement as simply a failure of imagination? What bearing does physical capability to move objects, have on the ability to provide an outstanding curation of the collection?

        1. Dr. Ellen

          Re: So?

          You really do not understand the job. The curator knows the strong and weak points, where, when, and how to lift things. This is a matter of muscle memory and dexterity, and it's almost impossible to explain how the job should be done. Curators have to do these things themselves if they want them done correctly.

          If you try buying an AI and hiring some muscle. you have problems. AI is stupid. It doesn't have a lifetime of experience; and having the lifter-and-carrier means you have to hire one -- plus pay huge sums for an AI and train it.

          And if that's not enough -- when you hire the muscle, the ad will still have the requirement to lift fifty pounds.

          1. GNU SedGawk

            Re: So?

            I don't suggest a computer/AI in the literal sense of wiring in a machine, AI - in the metaphorical sense of something telling others what to do. I accept it's poorly phrased - I'll gladly refund you the price of reading.

            I am sceptical that you can't explain to someone how to lift things, I don't think that a disability which means you can't lift stuff is grounds for you not doing a good job.

            You may find it difficult to communicate effectively, the consequences for failure to communicate effectively might means losses run into millions or the utter destruction of a irreplaceable artefact.

            In other words, you failed to communicate requirements clearly and the company is now being sued out of business.

            It seems like a excuse to keep disabled people out of that job, and your response seems simply to emphasize that communication would be of paramount importance..

            I would also expect that people who move expensive things tend to take care, despite despoiling them with their plebeian hands.

            1. Dr. Ellen

              Re: So?

              I must be able to communicate -- I wrote a novel and sold it. You, on the other hand, still haven't explained why the museum should hire two people to do a job better handled by one.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So?

                because there are two jobs.

                The physical moving, and the "intellectual".

                There is a difference between lugging a few 25kg objects once every few weeks for an exhibition, and doing it all day, every day. Not specifying which will have people rule themselves out that might not have needed to.

                In the UK (and presumably EU), you are also at the limit of H&S manual handling regs for men (Source), and outright blow through them for women.

                That aside, if you are moving heavier stuff, it would make sense to have something like a engine hoist (or pallet jack, or other assistive devices)

                Voila, you can use it for lighter stuff too.

                If you *don't* have such devices, surely that comes under the "reasonable adjustments for disabled people" obligation.

                "moving them was a group project."

                So you *do* have the staff -- have a group project for the lighter stuff too.

                1. Dr. Ellen

                  Re: So?

                  Look. This was a technical museum. Sometimes the object has hundreds, or thousands, of parts. Sometimes, also, it might have loose screws or bolts. Worse -- it might have corrosion. I would have to lift it onto the work bench, look it over, maybe turn it on its side to check things out (if it seems safe to, and if it even has a side it can stably be rested upon). I might have to open it up. I might have to make something to replace a damaged part.

                  As an example: I was at the workbench one day when the Director came in with a visiting scholar. The director pointed to an interesting object off to the side. "Can you show Mr. Visitor that one, and explain how it works?" I picked it up and looked it over (it was 1930s electrical equipment with a 1930s cord and plug) and decided it was safe to plug it in. I did. It did nothing, so I unplugged it and looked it over. "There's a loose screw, and it needs some adjustment," I said. So I tightened the screw and made the adjustment, and it worked.

                  I ask you: could you tell somebody how to do this, in two minutes, with an audience? Lord love a duck, I couldn't even have told the Director! He was a scholar, but of history. I was a scholar, but of technology. Hired muscle is probably neither.

                  The motto of MIT is "Mens et Manus" -- Mind and Hands. They work together, and curator is one of the jobs where they have to.

                  1. GNU SedGawk

                    Re: So?

                    I'm regularly called upon to design complex system at a whiteboard with an audience. I find the increasingly ridiculous attempts to exclude disabled people from cushy jobs sickening.

                    Firstly it was about the physical ability to list moderate weight, now it's become being able to say "Don't work, why don't you get a cup of tea, and we'll give you a shout when it's ready" - given it's a "workbench".

                    You doubt the abilities of the disabled to diagnose and repair a plug - I don't think my words could condemn you as thoroughly as your own, so let's leave it here.

                  2. Glen 1

                    Re: So?

                    "lift it onto the work bench... turn it on its side...I picked it up and looked it over "

                    Which could be accomplished by someone with one arm if they had the necessary equipment. or perhaps someone who could only lift 25 pounds. The 50 pound requirement seems arbitrary. You talk as if power tools/assistance is/are some heathen ideology.

                    As for, the "knowing where to hit it" thing.

                    If your expertise has value, presumably its worth a few hundred dollars of lifting equipment it might take say, a older gentlemen with the same expertise to lift the thing.

                    If it isn't, then how valuable is your expertise?

                    Explaining to someone how to lift (or help you lift) something so you can apply your massive ego expertise should be doable in a few mins. Maybe it takes a little longer. You are not on a production line where items per minute are measured.

                    Once your body begins to fail you (as will eventually happen to us all), do you think your knowledge stops being useful? Will you quit the job? Do you think you would be sacked? or will you insist on being assisted?

                    1. Dr. Ellen

                      Re: So?

                      When my hands lost some of the necessary dexterity, I did. quit the job.

                      Now, as an encore, could you please tell me how to tie my shoes? Bonus points for including tying a necktie.

                      1. Glen 1

                        Re: So?

                        Use velcro or slip-ons for shoes

                        Use a clip on tie.

                        This is the point I'm making.

                        There are assistive technologies/substitutes for many/most things.

                        I get that this is likely a sore point, but did you ask for help before quitting? If not, why? Was it a matter of pride? Did you actually quit on your own terms, or were you pushed?

                        There are *some* things that might take you out of the game - eyesight is quite important for example, but eyeglasses, loupes, and microscopes have been things for literally hundreds of years.

                        Whacking an arbitrary "must be able to lift 50lb" when the actual requirement appears to be dexterity only serves to prove our point.

                        1. Dr. Ellen
                          Boffin

                          Re: So?

                          If you're Steven Hawking, maybe. (Myself, too. I came back from some rather serious surgery with instructions not to do a number of things, including lifting heavy objects. I was called in from medical leave to help the librarian, and some exhibit designers. "Think of me as an associative memory bank right now," I told them, and helped them find things.) But that was temporary.

                          By and large, I had other things to do in my daily work. Sometimes a piece would be missing from an artifact. I had to recognize something was missing, and make a replacement. The educators wanted electrostatic generators for a class, with all the accessories. I designed and made them. Then, after I'd learned how it was done, I wrote and illustrated a booklet so they could make their own. I suppose that counted as handing my work off to muscle - but it had to be educated muscle to be able to use the tools needed.

                          This was no art museum. I'd be lost in an art museum. This was a museum full of made things. from the last three centuries. To really understand and explain a made thing, you need experience with it. Ideally, you make one yourself.

                          And once I'd made enough, I would farm it out to the people that wanted it. See, there are several things you can want from an object. You may just want a lookalike to put on display. You may want the original object, preferably in good condition. (Sometimes the "good condition" takes a bit of work. The rules are different in a technology museum.) Sometimes you want a work-alike, so you can demonstrate things. But whoever does these things needs to be an artisan, a maker. The intellectual shades into the physical through many stages, and you sometimes need to lift things. Some of them weigh perhaps an ounce; some of them weigh more. The worst I ran into weighed 180 pounds; it was broken because the previous guy who tried to move it dropped it. I never should have done it, but I got away with it.

                          Eventually I looked over the things that needed to be moved. Fifty pounds seemed reasonable to me. If you wanted less, I'd accept thirty, or even twenty-five pounds. If you were a trained watchmaker, electronics technician, micro-machinist, or gunsmith, even just ten pounds would be acceptable. All those trades involve taking complicated things apart, seeing to whatever needs doing, and putting them back together in the same order. The mind and the hands must be in harmony for this kind of work.

                          You want the person repairing your car to know cars. When somebody rewires your house, the electrician must know the job, because it's going to be inspected. If you write an article and give it to a typist for a neat copy, the typist must know the difference between < and > . (Good thing I type-read that one, eh?)

                          You simply do not have the time and patience to educate someone in the intricate details of doing the job.

      2. david 12 Silver badge

        Re: So?

        Sure, but how about Recreation room, Bean Bags, Festival tickets, Health Club, Friday night drinks, climbing wall, Sushi bar, Basketball ring, Tuition re-imbursement, international transfer opportunities, and "exciting team environment"

        That stuff says "under 25" just a surely as "no boomers".

        And yes, I look at that stuff and don't bother applying.

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: Recreation room, Bean Bags, Festival tickets, Health Club,...

          How about Cigar Lounge, smoking room, reading library for levelling the playing field?

        2. MJB7

          Re: So?

          "Recreation room, Bean Bags, Festival tickets, Health Club, Friday night drinks, climbing wall, Sushi bar, Basketball ring, Tuition re-imbursement, international transfer opportunities, and exciting team environment"

          Sounds good to me, and I'm 40! (I've just started being able to give my age in hex again).

          1. Mike 16 Silver badge

            Life begins at 0x40

            Or so I have heard. I celebrated when I turned 100 (octal) and regularly include job experience that would indicate my age to a recruiter with a few miles on the clock themselves. Saves hopeless interviews.

            OTOH, I once got a job offer by noticing that the questions on the civil-service exam were clearly "correct in 1962, not so much by 1972", and answering as if it was actually 1962.

            Decided not to take them up on that offer, unlike a friend who unfortunately mentioned System/360 assembly language, and got saddled with maintaining some COBOL support libraries whose mention might provoke a quick Sign of The Cross.

        3. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: So?

          You can enjoy those things if you're older, too. So you don't want to go to another country, but most of the young people aren't going to anyway. I know old people who like rock climbing, other sports, and spending some time with colleagues. I know many older people who would quite like drinking. I am younger and I don't, so maybe I should suggest that that item is targeted at a different generation, but we both know it's targeted at people who want to spend more social time with their colleagues.

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: So?

        "Most of the artifacts were 50 pounds or less"

        Most museums aren't collecting modern objects that are easily replaced. Something that weighs as much as 10kgs might be a good candidate to be moved by more than one person even if the second person is just making sure the cart doesn't roll out from under the piece being loaded onto it. It would make more sense for a job advertisement to list a requirement of being able to move items 10kg and under if that happens to be much more common. It shouldn't be hard to find someone to lend a hand for a couple of minutes when things are heavier.

    5. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: So?

      "able to write coherent sentences without emojis"

      Ageist version: Qualified applicants will be able to write coherent sentences using only emojis.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: So?

        "coherent sentences using only emojis."

        That reminds me of several books where, in the future, many things are communicated through universal symbols so while many people can read, not being literate isn't a big handicap. One such book is "Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson.

        I also don't see how one can be very precise using nothing but emojis or any symbol based communications. Meanings have to be interpreted and in a country such as the US, part of the population will claim those symbols are racist and sue or say they are a form of micro-agression.

    6. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: So?

      @Dr Scrum Master

      "the rigmarole of applying and being interviewed"

      And paying expenses!

      I was sent to Dell in Limerick, which sounds lovely but is a Game of Thrones / Lord of the Rings hellish village. First question, "The average age here is twenty seven, do you really think you could fit in?"

      Well, not any more I don't. I was thirty two.

      "I've always found the best environments included a wide range age of workers, from learners to teachers."

      Wrong answer, the correct answer would have been, "But I'm twenty six!"

      And they didn't pay me my travel or horrid B&B costs.

      I told this tale to my future employers, all far older than me and who all stopped buying Dell.

      Cost me a bit of cash but I reckon I dodged a bullet.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So?

      I read through the study and “You must be up-to-date with current industry jargon and communicate with a dynamic workforce” is apparently ageist; as is requiring a security guard to be "fit and energetic".

      You couldn't make this gibberish up. Well, I guess you can.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So...Actually, I don't mind ageist flags

      I guess I don't either.

      I remember in my late 40's, seeing the writing on the wall at my employers that the workforce was going to be almost completely turned over in the coming 5 to 10 years. Also saw that new technology was going to be implemented that did all the same things, just differently. I wasn't really interested so... I quit instead and began working contract. Turns out there were plenty of organizations that needed an "old guy" with experience work on their existing "stuff" ( including my former employer ).

      Even after retiring, I still end up doing a few jobs a month for clients that I like.. and that like me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So...Actually, I don't mind ageist flags

        Same here.

        After several decades managing VMS (even before it became OpenVMS) I discovered that there are several organizations sufficiently behind the times ("Because it just works...") who look for people with non-fashionable but still useful knowledge.

        Also not fashionable, but still in constant demand: COBOL anyone?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't know about that

    But at 56 I find I spend increasingly more time sorting out younger colleagues appalling written cruft. and it's not like even they can understand each other.

    It's all high jinks until your spec is for all intents and purposes useless.

    1. Flak
      Coat

      Re: Don't know about that

      colleagues'

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: Don't know about that

        Muphry's Law strikes again!

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Don't know about that

      appallingly-written cruft. And

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Don't know about that

        As a programmer, I'd expect those sorts of errors to be automatically fixed by a linter, formatter or prettifier that ran automatically and so I think we should give AC a break ;)

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Don't know about that

          >I'd expect those sorts of errors to be automatically fixed by a linter, formatter or prettifier that ran automatically

          Just need the user to install and enable an appropriate third-party browser extension, that naturally will interact with remote servers not under your control...

      2. iron Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Don't know about that

        appallingly-written cruft. And,

        1. Uncle Slacky
          Headmaster

          Re: Don't know about that

          It's OK to start sentences with "and" now? Did I miss a memo?

          1. Ahab Returns

            Re: Don't know about that

            "There is a commonly stated “rule” of grammar that beginning a sentence with and, or any other conjunction, is a mistake. But this is just not true. This supposed “rule” has no basis in actual writing, and even formal writing features plenty of sentences that start with and and other conjunctions. "

            Dictionary.com, so it much be true.

            1. mmccul

              Re: Don't know about that

              Disclaimer, I do a lot of writing for different audiences.

              The rules of writing are not a single body. They differ depending on the audience. Use of hyphenated adjectives, expected for some audiences, gauche to others, being just one example. Starting a sentence with a conjunction, even if theoretically permissible in many cases, is considered sufficiently poor form as to be indicative of bad sentence construction by most audiences I work with, indicating that the sentence should be reworded.

              I remember talking about some of the differences in expected writing styles of journalism versus literature once, and even core word choice and punctuation rules were quite different. In my job, I have to write very differently for standards language than I do for compliance language or run book language. Even something as basic as active versus passive voice, many forms of writing I work on professionally explicitly prefer passive voice.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Don't know about that

                I've got a gnawing feeling your audience are... 'old'. As I am. Illiterati tsunami is coming and due to sweep everything 'old'. They're already here, a month ago I requested a school letter / confirmation for my daughter. It was duly produced by a school administrator. Mistyped surname, twice, low case (new sentence), commas all over the place. All that in two sentences.

                p.s. no, teachers are no better than admin staff, they're all 'new gen', and it shows. We're doomed (domed?)

                1. Jilara

                  Re: Don't know about that

                  I applied for a job at a popular software company and was asked to provide a writing sample based on some input material. Since I was periodically appalled or insulted by said company's user instructions, I happily wrote up some professional-sounding text that didn't read like it was produced by an Instagram influencer.

                  I received feedback that I had been disqualified, due to their believing that I would not be "coachable." Later, I spoke to some others who had received the same treatment, and we all believe it was winnowing us out based on age (i.e. old enough to write like an adult).

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Don't know about that

                    "I received feedback that I had been disqualified, due to their believing that I would not be "coachable."

                    Next time you are asked, you can throw in "so, like" and "literally" several times at random. Don't forget "you, know" and "ok?" Don't spell out very word. If you want to use "because", write bc instead along with the common place IMHO, IANAL and so forth.

                    The goal if you want the job is to get past the gatekeepers to the interview with the department head if at all possible. This will mean lots of poor grammar if you have the opportunity to submit some sort of cover letter and fabricating a resume to fit the job even if you need to lie egregiously. If you are confident that you can do the job, assuming they've described the job on offer, not being entirely truthful is fine.

                2. Dr. Ellen

                  Re: Don't know about that

                  Our writing is drifting back to Shakespeare (or even Chaucer). In times past, there was no such thing as universal literacy - people spoke as other people spoke, and gave little thought towards their inability to read or write. The more informed could write, but the words they set down were spelled according to the way they thought right. (They didn't all agree.) William Shakespeare's name has been spelled in many ways: during his lifetime it was "Shakespeare" in his published work, but he used "Shakspere" in his signature.

                  People weren't ignorant during the Middle Ages -- but books were hand-transcribed and enormously expensive. Many people had never even seen a book up close and personal. They got their entertainment from bards or plays, and their news from travelers and criers. You can learn from listening, but spelling doesn't come along with it.

                  Today we get much of our news and entertainment audiovisually. Texting? The spelling can be abominable. And the writing of many reflects it, especially when homonyms enter the picture. Ah, well -- if Shakspere could live with it, so can we.

              2. Danny 2 Silver badge

                Re: Don't know about that

                @mmccul

                I've forgot something I learned decades ago, maybe you could prompt my memory. It was a style of language where you never say anything definitively, instead you speak neutrally. So, I think you are wrong becomes I think you may be wrong, or my mother ran down your dog becomes it appears my mother may have run down your dog. It was designed to take some sting out of language and make normal conversation more scientific.

                I remember I used to have a good memory.

              3. martinusher Silver badge

                Re: Don't know about that

                Comments on threads are not essays.

                There's a specific style used with technical writing (but that doesn't stop people from unconsciously including forward references).

            2. heyrick Silver badge

              Re: Don't know about that

              And so the language wars begin...

              1. hplasm
                Devil

                "And so the language wars begin..."

                Begun the language wars have...

            3. Dr Scrum Master

              Re: Don't know about that

              But Dictionary.com appears to be run by a bunch of twenty-somethings if their political posturing is anything to go by.

          2. TimMaher Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re:- and

            It seems to have become acceptable in the past few decades.

            And even I now do it.

          3. Jason Bloomberg
            Pint

            Re: Don't know about that

            "And did those feet..."

            Good enough for Blake. And it's good enough for me.

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: Don't know about that

              Blake was a deluded, romantic fantasist. I'd like to think I have higher standards than he.

          4. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: It's OK to start sentences with "and" now?

            And gates are not manufactured because they have limited capability. Nand and Nor gates are much more useful as they can be configured to act as And gates.

            (Showing my age there: Do they still make 7400's?).

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: It's OK to start sentences with "and" now?

              "(Showing my age there: Do they still make 7400's?)."

              If you need any, get in touch. I have loads. They are still great building blocks when prototyping and can be faster than programming an Arduino or eprom when you only need something simple. I also find it a good exercise to think in terms of the gates when I'm trying to solve a problem. Part of that is all of the courses I had in logic circuits giving me that sort of toolbox.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Don't know about that

            And how.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. MrBanana Silver badge

    Examples?

    It would be useful to show some examples of what the ageist vs non-ageist language is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Examples?

      Not least so one can avoid the apparently subconscious pitfalls..

      I'm also not sure that when given 2 CVs that are otherwise identical apart from one being 50 and ther other 20 that it's really unreasonable to prefer the younger one who has apparently done as much with their life as the older in less than half the time.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        Well, one example is that it's "two CVs" not "2 CVs". The latter is a car.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Examples?

          an alleged car, mind you

          1. Uncle Slacky

            Re: Examples?

            "Upturned corrugated baby carriage on wheels" is, I think, how Jasper Carrott referred to it.

        2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          pedant alert

          Since when is CVs the plural of CV?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: pedant alert

            CVs're, naturally.

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        Why would you put your age on your CV?

        Admittedly, a lot can be inferred if you went to university in the 90s and have 30 years professional experience..

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: Examples?

          Exactly, there's no need to put age on a CV, you just have to look at dates of education and/or length of service in previous employment.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Examples?

          "Admittedly, a lot can be inferred if you went to university in the 90s and have 30 years professional experience.."

          This is why you cherry pick what you submit and fail to list the dates you attained a degree. My professional experienced is already whittled down quite a bit on the resume that I never use (self-employed these days). It's a good idea to keep a long form CV up to date. If you ever need to apply for a job, just cut out the bits you don't need and save it as a version.

      3. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        "...apparently done as much with their life..." being the appropriate phrase.

        In any case how does one quantify "what one has done with one's life"? And why would that be relevant to a job application?

      4. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        > has apparently done as much with their life as the older in less than half the time

        I agree, if a 20-year old has managed to accumulate the same 30 years of professional experience in apparently no time at all, he's definitely somebody you'd want in your team: By 50 he'd probably have accumulated centuries of professional experience, and will be a most precious asset.

        (That is, until another 20-years old shows up, having managed to already accumulate as many centuries of experience in no time at all...)

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Examples?

          "By 50 he'd probably have accumulated centuries of professional experience, and will be a most precious asset."

          Does it really matter these days at all. The person that just left Tesla that was heading up their self-driving dreams went from a graduate degree to that position in one go. It didn't look like they had any real-world experience at all. Granted, self-driving technology is still be worked on, but that doesn't mean a better candidate wouldn't have some sort of real world experience doing something related.

      5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        "apparently done as much with their life as the older in less than half the time"

        If the older one hasn't done as much as you might expect that might be a cause for consern. But when the younger one has apparently done more than you might expect then you should consider their real talent might be in creative writing.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Examples?

      In Portugal, there's a phrase that's repeated verbatim in about half the job advertisements I see:

      Integration into a young and dynamic team

      I think it simply means "must be biddable", but it sounds dreadful. And that, no doubt, is the point.

      1. seven of five

        Re: Examples?

        "Young and dynamic team" is HR-speech for: "bunch of rookies, fired at slightest offense" Most probably including a shitload of unpaid/unrecorded overtime

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: Examples?

          The interesting thing, though, is that firing people in Portugal is quite hard and the problem is actually retention - once those rookies get a bit of experience they tend to head off for a higher-wage economy, Not to mention that it's technically illegal even to ask your staff to read their emails after their contracted hours.

          I suspect it's simply dressing up in the clothes of Silicon Valley to seem fashionable. Like the free fruit. And that's ageist: the pips get stuck under your false teeth.

          1. Stork Silver badge

            Re: Examples?

            Of course they leave - I was told by staff from a very competent company installing WiFi network in our house that you can't really get to earn more than about €20k/y by working for others. Lisbon pay may be higher, and the right degree helps, but rents in Lisbon are really tough for locals. The newly IT graduated son of a friend was offered €24k/y in Lisbon, but then looked at costs and declined.

            Because of employment protection, a number of companies (generally, not just IT) make sure to fire their staff before they become permanent after 2 years. Likewise, a lot of people regard it as madness to leave a permanent position, no matter the pay or conditions

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Examples?

              "Likewise, a lot of people regard it as madness to leave a permanent position, no matter the pay or conditions"

              That's easy to see. If you've purchased a home or started a family, stability will be important. It might be more of a factor than one's rate of pay. Good pay and benefits are useless if you are likely be let go every 23 months and have to look for another position.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Examples?

            "once those rookies get a bit of experience they tend to head off for a higher-wage economy,"

            That's pretty common everywhere. Many companies will overpay a new hire rather than dole out any sort of increase to somebody they already have. The upshot is that if you want a rise, you may need to find a new job.

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        "In Portugal, there's a phrase that's repeated verbatim in about half the job advertisements I see:

        Integration into a young and dynamic team

        I think it simply means "must be biddable", but it sounds dreadful. And that, no doubt, is the point."

        I was told that Portugal has a really bad problem finding anyone who can do a decent IT job. Maybe that's related? Seriously, I have 40 years+ of accumulated bullshit filter. No problem with a "young and dynamic team" if half of them have half my talent.

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Examples?

          You see that all the time in job advertisements although HR tends to use words other than 'young' just in case.

          What it means is that you'll be expected to work all hours and you'll probably be chronically under resourced. Its only the relatively inexperienced that will jump at such work, partly because the experience might be a useful stepping stone and partly because they probably don't know what they're getting into.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Examples?

            "partly because the experience might be a useful stepping stone and partly because they probably don't know what they're getting into."

            Yeah, I had to touch the hot stove and burn my fingers to finally believe what my mom had been telling me. When you have worked a couple of jobs where they abuse you for more hours than you contracted for and insist you are not keeping up when it would take superpowers to meet their goals, you start to realize that it's better to run when you find yourself in that sort of situation again if you weren't sufficiently warned at the onset.

            It's important to interview the company when you apply for any job. While you may think that it would be amazing to work at XYZ company, you might find they aren't actually changing the world for the better and offer more stress than professional growth. The only people on staff they might respect are the ones they recruited specifically.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Examples?

      Indeed.

      I downloaded the paper. This is an example of the job posting they created for Retail Sales Associate (page 35 of 59) :

      "Our women’s clothing store in *City* is looking for a sales associate to help us out weekday afternoons.

      We are pretty busy store and you must *Physical Requirement* . We are looking for someone with open

      to working in retail, who *Communication Skill Requirement* . We need you to *Technology

      Requirement*. So if this sounds like you, send us your resume and your earliest possible starting date

      and we will be in touch"

      Apart from the glaring spelling and writing mistakes, I stared at that for a few seconds until I understood that they used *Physical Requirement* (etc) as a variable, to be filled in at posting time, I guess.

      So I went and looked for their list of physical requirements. On page 46, I found a table that seemed promising, but their "control" text was like : "You must be good at working without supervision".

      What's ageist in that ?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        "What's ageist in that ?"

        It probably discriminates in favour of older workers so not really a good control. Syill, probably close enough for economists.

      2. MrBanana Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        "You must be good at working without supervision".

        No PHB? Sign me up.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Examples?

          "No PHB? Sign me up."

          That really depends on the job. Some jobs it's much better to have a manager that insulates you from those above and is in a better position to let them know what they want doesn't fit with the physics of our universe. Good managers are hard to find. I've had a couple and they made my life much better.

      3. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        Maybe the researchers are ageist in assuming that oldies would fail any *Physical Requirement* !

      4. abstract

        Re: Examples?

        When you read "should be able to tie his/her shoes alone?", You scream "hey that's me"?

      5. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        The job suggests that you'll be run off your feet doing the work of what used to be several people for quite low pay. As an added twist, being in this type of retail, your remuneration will be tied in some form to your net sales performance.

        This job will attract the naive or the desperate. The job has no prospects since if you are any good at it the only way to be promoted would be to leave.

        People like to complain about working in Amazon warehouses but at least what's offered by Amazon is written on the tin. (You know you'll be ground down physically and monitored every moment -- they don't try to hide it.)

      6. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        ""Our women’s clothing store in *City* is looking for a sales associate to help us out weekday afternoons.

        We are pretty busy store and you must *Physical Requirement* .........."

        Was that a verbatim copy or redacted? I've seen job listing templates being used before where they didn't fill out the variables. I also see plenty of postings where they've copied and pasted the job requirements from another location and it's impossible to tell what location they are hiring for. Nobody in HR could be pried away from cruising social media long enough to review the posting before hitting submit on Monster. They also didn't have any review process either so errors are caught both before and after posting the job to a job listing site.

    4. mif
      Angel

      Re: Examples?

      We have slides instead of staircases and we have great social events. And don't forget mankini Mondays.

      We're whacky, we are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Examples?

        this job advert would be swarmed with candidates... like sharks on chum...

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        "We have slides instead of staircases and we have great social events. And don't forget mankini Mondays."

        They just fail to mention that the pay is low, the hours long and there are no benefits. They'll also glide over that clause in the employment contract where you can be sacked for any reason without notice and waive all rights to bringing disputes before a tribunal. You have to submit to an arbitration firm of their choice some years down the road.

    5. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Examples?

      One typical example is when the ad uses pronouns in the 2nd person singular instead of 2nd person plural

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        That would be over-familiar; very bad form.

      2. Uncle Slacky
        Thumb Up

        Re: Examples?

        That might be acceptable in Yorkshire.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Examples?

          See my comment about over familiarity. There's a protocol. The rules are much the same as those governing tu & vous in French.

      3. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Examples?

        Thou?

      4. Gwaptiva

        Re: Examples?

        Informality is certainly a turn-off; in English this is much more subtle than in languages like French, German or Dutch. So is trying to get me (M, 50+) interested by offering "free soft drinks/smoothies and a chill room with fussball table and Xbox, followed by Laser Tag and pub crawl"... ok, might join you for the pub crawl...

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Examples?

          ""free soft drinks/smoothies and a chill room with fussball table and Xbox"

          Since I am a big nerd, they'd have me if they listed I can use the electron microscope after hours (after training) as well as the machine shop and lab gear. Especially if they didn't insist that anything I come up with is automatically their property should it be interesting. Free soft drinks and snacks is good too, but not going to be a huge motivation for me. Games, I'd rather play outside of the office with my own friends.

  4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    News reports about de-ageing the workforce got followed by news reports of productivity issues. Clearly I need a posher job title and a huge pay rise to not see the connection.

  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    Not New News

    The older I get, the more I have noticed this language.

    "Would you like to work in a fast paced, changing environment where using your own initiative is important?"

    Translates to:

    "Would you like to work in an agency who doesn't believe in hiring the correct amount of people to do the job, where deadlines are unrealistic, yet have to be balanced between new work and firefighting existing customer sites without any real management because we don't believe in proper management"

    And given I'm nearly 20 years in the industry, the older I get, the less I want to work for these sweatshops.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Not New News

      s/we don't believe in/we're crap at/

    2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Not New News

      On top of which, much of this "ageist language" is a round-about way of saying "we'll pay you peanuts and you'll have to give up silly notions like work/life balance and weekends". Anyone with even the slightest sense will steer clear.

      1. cyberdemon Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Not New News

        Or rather, anyone who has been there, done that will steer clear.

        And if you wanted to be really sneaky, you could put those kind of things over your ad, even if the pay and work-life balance are actually fine, to deter older candidates from applying in the first place.

        Or, i'm sure you can outsource that sort of thing to LinkedIn or Facebook. It will do the discrimination for you, hidden inside an AI recommendation algorithm.

        Icon: That's why I don't use LinkedIn or Facebook

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Not New News

      I've been in the job market for significantly less time than you have, to the point that I just overlook that sentence as having no meaning. I see something like that on almost every job posting, whether their work-life balance is good or not. It feels to me that someone somehow convinced everyone writing these posts that if you don't have some adjectives like that, you're asking for someone who has no initiative. I'm still waiting for job descriptions that tell you exactly what thing you'll be working on, rather than being sort of vague with general concepts of what the company does. Invariably, my first question asked during a job interview is "What specifically would I be working on", and the interviewer always knows enough details that I can get a good picture with two or three questions, so they could put that in the description instead of some HR template.

  6. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    "The question this paper is about is why?" explained Neumark. "Why would an employer run an ad with ageist language?

    Follow. The. Money.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Many companies don't want to pay the higher wages older, more experienced people expect. Large companies are probably looking at the future pensions liabilities of an ageing workforce who may have been with the same company since leaving education. Getting rid of them now stops further contributions into the pension and reduces future liabilities and, of course, replacing those workers with younger people on lower pay grades Win Win. So yes, money.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        I suppose the longer version of that is that the existing staff are on final salary schemes. New staff will be recruited into defined contribution schemes with far fewer long term implications. That also applies to older recruits but it might be difficult to get away with making older staff redundant and then replacing them at the same seniority level.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "Large companies are probably looking at the future pensions liabilities of an ageing workforce who may have been with the same company since leaving education."

        Pensions these days might be a big trap to avoid. I'd rather just manage that money myself. Beyond using it to buy and pay off a home (which I've done) and be in position to pay cash for things and avoid spending lots of money on interest, there are many more ways to save for retirement. Each has its own advantages. I don't like anything that has big restrictions on it. Life can have all sorts of bumps and change is a constant.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >"Why would an employer run an ad with ageist language?

      They don't have enough young blood in the organisation so write the ad to try and appeal to younger workers, rather than simply engage an agency who will only forward CV's that fit your job description. The agency will have obtained the CV's through their usual market trawling techniques.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Follow. The. Money.

      Spot on. It's too obvious I guess for the researchers. Then again, it's about who's paying for the research.

  7. OhForF'
    Stop

    >The latest research takes the opposite approach by creating fake jobs ads derived from actual job ad text and documenting the demographics of those who respond.<

    So it is fine to offer a non existing job and waste the time and effort people looking for a job put into applying if it is done in the name of science?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      I wonder if a couple of the authors are reading and downvoting here without bothering to explain why this was thought to have been an acceptable procedure.

    2. David Nash Silver badge
      Joke

      It's barely more a waste of time than applying for a real job that won't employ you because you're too old anyway!

    3. Stork Silver badge

      I did hear stories, in hard times, of companies advertising non-existing positions to give the impression they were doing well.

      I also once applied for a job in the Danish ministry of the Environment where they obviously had an internal candidate and just went through the motions. They asked for someone with experience from EU projects and negotiations in English (I checked both after working in UK on EU projects for over 4 years) and didn't get an interview. I phoned and asked come and if it was a problem I lived abroad, and got the answer "well, it is not our problem".

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "So it is fine to offer a non existing job and waste the time and effort people looking for a job put into applying if it is done in the name of science?"

      Companies do this all of the time. It's a way to keep an eye out for people that they might hire even if they don't need to fill a position. Some job listings are aimed at just one person or a very short list as a way to get around non-poaching agreements. If you leave a company to start your own, your employment contract may forbid you from making offers to colleagues to join you, but you can post a job with such specific requirements that the people you want to bring along will be some of the only ones that fit the bill, you might be able to stave off a lawsuit. You will want to talk with an attorney first if you decide to tread that path.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anon CVs

    I dislike it when people pad their CVs with irrelevant details, such as their age (+ hobbies, etc)

    Since my company moved to anonymous CVs¹ I've had some great hires that otherwise would have probably been discarded, such as a lawyer whose lifelong dream was to be a software developer (!?) and ran circles around other guys with the same amount of dev experience.

    Part of it might be that we chuck in the bin any CVs where people could not be bothered to follow some simple rules. No identifying information means no identifying information. It doesn't mean slap your picture next to your name, DOB and home address at the top your CV. We also ask people to create anonymous email aliases.

    ¹ In part because it looks good these days but this was actually driven by the security guys who wanted to minimise the amount of info that would get leaked if / when we get breached. We don't have to protect what we don't have in the first place.

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Anon CVs

      How does that work with listing previous experience and education? Somebody who went to uni in the 1980s isn't going to be under 30. If you remove the dates, somebody with two degrees is likely to be older than somebody with one, somebody with 10 previous contracts is likely to be older than somebody with five. My CV includes a list of published work, that would have to be stripped out, removing some valuable information.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anon CVs

        > How does that work with listing previous experience and education?

        The (work, not academic) CV is just a tool to make first contact. For me, the ideal CV is one with a couple of sentences explaining roughly what you can do for us and showing that you understand both our needs and your capabilities.

        Though I can't stop people from sticking to their old habits and many do, personally I don't expect to see dates listed along with your academic achievements¹ and we ask people to indicate their level of experience in general terms with anything over six years being "experienced".

        ¹ Some people take it a bit too literally and at least one guy omitted any mention of his academic qualifications altogether… including his PhD.

        1. teebie

          Re: Anon CVs

          "a couple of sentences explaining roughly what you can do for us and showing that you understand both our needs and your capabilities."

          That sounds more like a cover letter for a CV than a CV.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anon CVs

            Exactly! Keep in mind that the best hires often happen by word of mouth, and how often do you get someone to recite someone else's CV on those occasions?

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Anon CVs

              Word of mouth recommendations come from people who already have the information you'd otherwise see on the CV. That's very different from a mere covering letter.

              I find it difficult to understand exactly what you'd expect to see on a CV from someone with a couple of degrees and 20 years post-doc experience that wouldn't distinguish them in terms of age from someone who has 6 years work experience after leaving school at the earliest opportunity but would nevertheless enable you to decide which to follow up.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Anon CVs

                If both those types are legitimately applying for the same vacancy, I'd have to rewrite the job offer because clearly only one of the two profiles will be a reasonable fit.

                1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Anon CVs

                  So you're trying to use the advert to pre-select on age and if you fail in that then you then end up with the situation I queried.

                2. doublelayer Silver badge

                  Re: Anon CVs

                  Not necessarily. If the job needs the qualifications of the person with two degrees and that much experience, then sure, the younger person isn't going to qualify. If the younger person would qualify, you might see the one with more experience as having more to bring to the role which could result in a faster or better solution to your problem. In many cases, what they did during the last few years might be more important than their degrees seeing how much technical skills can be gained while working. There are many jobs that could fit both suggested profiles.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Anon CVs

            "That sounds more like a cover letter for a CV than a CV."

            True and many companies don't want to see a cover letter anymore.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anon CVs

          re. omitting academic qualifications... when I wanted to do apprenticeship (completely new area) and mentioned this and that, including ma, I received an honestly brutal assessment: you don't qualify, cause you're overqualified, sorry! And that was even before I mentioned my age (over 50), which would have made her run away in horror: you qualify for funeral, old, old man!

          1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Anon CVs

            > when I wanted to do apprenticeship (completely new area) and mentioned this and that, including ma, I received an honestly brutal assessment

            Including the fact that your mother has approved your search for a new job is likely to result in a "brutally honest assessment" from any recruiter.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Anon CVs

              my M.A., happy now?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anon CVs

            Someone might have lost a great hire there.

            I have utter contempt for those HR types who think they're anything other than a waste of perfectly good organic material.

            I will always let the candidate decide whether they're overqualified or not. My job is to convey frankly what they might expect from the job.

            1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              Re: Anon CVs

              I've been overqualified for every job I've had. If I used that to decide not to apply for any of them, I'd have starved decades ago.

            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Anon CVs

              "I will always let the candidate decide whether they're overqualified or not. "

              That's a good idea. The person might be overqualified but is applying due to reasons you may not know or are allowed to ask. It will be good to get them into an interview and see if those reasons surface. An older worker may want to live in the area to be close to family such as grandchildren and the job is something that pays enough and won't be super stressful given their background. They could also be taking part in looking after somebody and doesn't want a "fast-paced, dynamic job" that usually means lots of unpaid overtime. Even if they are just looking at the job as something to tie them over for a period of time, if you know that going in, you may be able to leverage their qualifications and plan to bring somebody else onboard later. They might be just the person to streamline a department and build a better workflow for the next person to slide into and don't need to be there for the next ten years to be worthwhile.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Anon CVs

          "I don't expect to see dates listed along with your academic achievements¹"

          Looking at the type and names of qualifications gives a good indication of age as they change over the years. Got GCE O and A levels? Old. Pre-GCSE. Or got any "fad" qualifications? Media Studies? A degree in surfing? Much more recent. Likewise, Curriculum Vitea, means, more or less, "life story", so it doesn't incude the relevant details, it's not a CV anyway. of course, some "disruptor" employers may not want that, preferring instead some sort of autobiography stripped down to a couple of sentences :-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anon CVs

            > Likewise, Curriculum Vitea, means, more or less, "life story", so it doesn't incude the relevant details, it's not a CV anyway.

            I don't quite understand your point here: are you saying that a "Curriculum Vitae" is not a "CV"?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Anon CVs

              No, I'm saying if it doesn't contain all the relevant and generally accepted information then the document is no longer a CV.

            2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: Anon CVs

              I assume there is a missing "if" in the original text.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Anon CVs

                Ah, yes, another case of my brain outpacing my fingers and messing up! I didn't even spot that until I read your comment. Another case of my brain seeing what I though I typed and what I expected to see. :-)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anon CVs

            > some "disruptor" employers may not want that, preferring instead some sort of autobiography stripped down to a couple of sentences

            Pretty far from being "disruptor employers", whatever that is, but I certainly do. If I read the twaddle that you and everyone else applying write on their CVs by the end of the day I'd lose the will to live.

            Introduce yourself with a quick note about how you can help, that's all I need to decide if I'm going to follow up or not.

            If you'd rather not write a personalised email and instead send a generic but very concise CV that's fine too (for some positions). I understand that you're probably writing to a dozen companies a day and just want to be efficient. I usually won't hold it against you.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Anon CVs

              So you say what you want and somebody simply replies that they can do that you'll either (a) take them at their word and follow up even though a longer reply would have made it clear that they couldn't or (b) take pot luck out of them and the 50 other replies that say the same thing because you've no way of differentiating between them.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Anon CVs

                > So you say what you want and somebody simply replies that they can do that

                It's not really what you say, it's how you say it.

                > you'll either (a) take them at their word

                Can't speak for everyone I work with but personally I'm inclined to trust people by default. Anyway, if you're the kind of person who is going to lie, you're going to lie no matter what.

                Just to be clear, are you actually satisfied with the more traditional HR approach? If it works for you, fine, but if I had to go back to it I'd fucking quit.

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Anon CVs

              "Introduce yourself with a quick note about how you can help, that's all I need to decide if I'm going to follow up or not."

              This isn't necessarily a bad approach, but it depends very heavily on how good your information is. I've applied to jobs that don't bother to give important details to deciding whether I'm interested or capable. They each have a list of qualifications and goals which I process (Using that language, check. You want performance increases, sure I can help. Secure design, fits very well). If those fit, I apply. I've had some come back later and mention requirements that aren't on their list or better characterize the thing I'd be working on which causes me to become less interested. Both our times could have been saved by providing better descriptions.

              It goes the other way as well. You know what kind of experience you're looking for, and I don't. I can take a guess about it, but if I were getting this job by word of mouth, I'd ask a lot of questions to establish your situation before telling you how I could help, which I can't do with a job posting. Sending a longer resume is a way of telling you what I have done which should help you to decide if I have the profile you want. It will be more reliable than if I simply guess from the paragraph you wrote what you need, get it wrong, but actually have the kind of experience you want.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Anon CVs

                > This isn't necessarily a bad approach, but it depends very heavily on how good your information is. I've applied to jobs that don't bother to give important details to deciding whether I'm interested or capable.

                You hit the nail on the head. It's GIGO all the way, you can't expect quality applications if your job ad is utter shite to start with.

                Sometimes there's a competitive need to be somewhat vague about certain things but not always.

                1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Anon CVs

                  "Sometimes there's a competitive need to be somewhat vague about certain things but not always."

                  Too often that's what companies think when thinking is not something they do very well at. If there is truly a need to not publicize positions needing to be filled as it's a new direction for a large company, something like Apple looking at making cars, it could make more sense to work with a recruiter that's under an NDA that boldly states their body will never be found if they leak the info. Otherwise, it's easy enough to write a fairly generic job description that covers most of the needed requirements of the job but leaves off a couple of crucial bits that might give away too much.

            3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Anon CVs

              "Introduce yourself with a quick note about how you can help, that's all I need to decide if I'm going to follow up or not."

              So basically you are saying you only want the short covering letter at this stage and based on that will decide whether I get to move on to the next stage, where you'll want more information about me, my experience and work history. But you'll already have rejected me for being proactive and planning ahead by sending the second stage information in advance, thus saving you time and effort.

            4. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Anon CVs

              "I understand that you're probably writing to a dozen companies a day and just want to be efficient. "

              That can translate to somebody that just looking for any job, not a really good fit and could bail at a cough. The best candidates will be the ones that put some effort into finding out about the company they are applying to and not just going by the marketing drivel that was posted with the job listing.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Anon CVs

                > That can translate to somebody that just looking for any job

                Sometimes a reasonably warn body is all you need.

                One other thing that gets in my tits about those HR twats is their idea that you have to find "the best candidate" (something they fail spectacularly at anyway).

                You don't. You just need to find someone who is good enough, without unnecessary faff or idiotic questions such as "why do you think you're the best person for the job?"

        4. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: Anon CVs

          That's just not true. When you have a large number of applications you need to know what experience someone has in order to match up their likely skills that have come from that experience, against the requirements.

          And someone with 15 or 20 years experience is way more "experienced" than someone with 6 and a half years.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anon CVs

            > someone with 15 or 20 years experience is way more "experienced" than someone with 6 and a half years.

            Sometimes. Other times you get someone with one year of experience twenty times over!

      2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Anon CVs

        I take it your published works include "Fly fishing by J.G.Harston"...?

        (Old person's joke there.)

        1. iron Silver badge

          Re: Anon CVs

          Unfortunately it's Fly Fishing by J.R. Hartley so you failed the interview.

          Either your memory has gone or you're too young for the post!

          1. tfewster
            Facepalm

            Re: Anon CVs

            @iron, you just outed your age. Nice trick, @Brewster's Angle Grinder!

          2. JT_3K

            Re: Anon CVs

            I see someone else enjoys Bernard and the Genie.

          3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Anon CVs

            I think "J.G.Harston" was the OP, so it's a fair substitution.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Anon CVs

          In my current job I was recently asked what IT training I'd done. So I sent them a list of all the jobs where I'd taught IT and office skills, the usual "introduce user to new system" stuff, as well as some basic programming teaching, and school science and maths.

          No, no, what IT training have you *received*?

          Well, none actually.

          Have you got any qualifications?

          Well, BSc: Bronze Swimming certificate. ;)

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Anon CVs

            "No, no, what IT training have you *received*?

            Well, none actually.

            Have you got any qualifications?

            Well, BSc: Bronze Swimming certificate. ;)"

            Excellent. The positioned is salaried and starts at 50% of the local cost of living if you aren't still living at home with your parents and they feed you as well. We like to see our "associates" commit to at least 60 hours of office time per week and to be willing to be on call the rest of the time with any communications being responded to within 15 minutes. You will need to supply a "high end" laptop and a reliable dual sim mobile phone with service provided by two independent companies so if one is down, we can reach you on the back up.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Anon CVs

      "Since my company moved to anonymous CVs¹ I've had some great hires that otherwise would have probably been discarded"

      I think this might be telling you something about your ability to read CVs - or more likely about the people who screened them before they got to you.

      1. eldel

        Re: Anon CVs

        Probably the technical knowledge free screening in HR. In a previous job I was amazed at the applicants that HR was trying to reject once a (very senior) VP decided to bypass them as we weren't seeing anyone vaguely suitable.

        What was more interesting was the responses when they were challenged on the matter. It consisted basically of <shrug> and the HR director backed them up.

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: Anon CVs

          HR are why so many job adverts require five years experience for the one-year-old technology. They don't understand anything, they're advertising, they just stick their standard boilerplate over it. Then they wonder why it's so hard to fill a position.

  9. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Isn't "they prefer the younger folks" another way of saying "they prefer inexperienced incompetants"? That explains a lot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Isn't "they prefer the younger folks" another way of saying "they prefer inexperienced incompetants"?

      Incompetents.

      Bit necessarily. It's just an euphemism for "the pay is shit, apply only if you're really desperate".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      they prefer inexperienced incompetants

      In general, NOBODY prefers inexperienced incompetents but EVERYBODY prefers to pay less than more, and 'pay less, lesser, least' goes, usually, with 'inexperienced incompetents'.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: they prefer inexperienced incompetants

        It's a case of wants outranking needs.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not noticed it an ads, but have been told to my face in an interview

    After getting made redundant some years ago in a somewhat obscure field, i decided to pivot my skills to mobile technology. It was bad enough no one had ever heard of the proprietary language I'd worked with for decades, but I think I found it additionally hard to get interviews because of my age.

    Things improved once I published my own app, so it at least showed I was capable, but I remember one interview, I got told I was probably to old to fit in the the young dynamic team of geniuses using the latest and flashiest libraries,

    I did eventually find a job in my new chosen field, admittedly the company was desperate for anyone to start immediately, I rapidly overtook the younger members in productivity, then a couple of years into the job, came up with an entirely new app covering a massive hole in our customer needs, all using the latest tech, which has now become a major focus of our company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not noticed it an ads, but have been told to my face in an interview

      This is an example of what I mentioned above about missing out on great hires.

      Missing out on great hires appears to be HR's whole and sole reason to exist, if you ask me. Always ignore the bastards.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Not noticed it an ads, but have been told to my face in an interview

      "came up with an entirely new app covering a massive hole in our customer needs, all using the latest tech, which has now become a major focus of our company."

      Having lots of experience doing the work can be a bigger qualification than using the latest tools. Many times I find that one software package I'm being supplied with or told to use is so similar to one I'm already pretty good at that learning the new one is less than a week. The skill is more in knowing how to approach a problem than learning a new CAD program to make the pretty pictures.

  11. teebie

    So the paper says that sprinkling job add with ageist tropes would discourage older people from applying if any companies were doing that, but they don't know if any companies are doing that, because they didn't look.

    That seems pretty pointless.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      No. It's not clearly expressed but I think the point was that studies comparing age distributions in appointments with age distributions in the original applications are unsatisfactory as a measure of age discrimination. That's because they don't see the self-excluded. The age distribution of the original applicants isn't representative of the job-seeking population.

      The researchers know very well that such terms get into the job ads. What they maybe haven't considered is that the applicants are using them to screen the advertisers to eliminate the jobs they wouldn't want anyway. Discrimination plays both ways.

  12. theOtherJT

    We don't get to chose the language...

    ...Talent Acquisition does.

    I've written half a dozen job adverts in the last year or so. I spend a week or two talking to the rest of the team, and some related teams we work closely with and come up with a careful description of what the job will entail, and from that try and derive a set of skills necessary to actually do the job. Off it then goes to the "Talent Acquisition" team for "de-biasing" before they post it to all the usual job boards.

    I use these scare quotes most deliberately.

    What inevitably happens next is that things like "Must have X years experience managing..." get removed for being potentially ageist - or weirdly, and weirdly often removed for using sexist language; for example I was told that the word "experience" has a masculine bias and should be avoided - and then phrases like "lively and enthusiastic!" get inserted without me asking for them because it counter-balances the language I've already used, and makes the advert as a whole more "age and gender neutral".

    What ultiamtely gets posted is only vaguely reminiscent of the advert that the people who know what we need from the candidate actually agreed on.

    I'm told that we use "industry standard tools" to perform this "de-biasing". Assuming that that's actually the case, if there is a systemic problem it seems like the real cause here is that these tools, and the people who insist on using them, are Absolutely Fucking Useless.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: We don't get to chose the language...

      I had this ongoing battle with a German-educated recruiter. He was obsessed that you needed a Master's in order to get out of bed this morning. I kept pointing out that in many other countries (like the UK) most people don't bother with a Master's as an Honours degree is considered good enough.

      After much tooing and froing, we managed to get the words "or equivalent experience" in which is better than before...

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: We don't get to chose the language...

        Oh - that type of idiots ignores all those people who were doing IT before "Master" or "Honours" even existed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We don't get to chose the language...

          > that type of idiots

          That's a bit uncalled for.

          It's just the old fashioned German way. It's changing now but traditionally it was very clear what kind of qualifications went with which job. And you needed qualifications for everything, whether you were a surgeon or a waiter.

          Industry and demographic realities have mostly done away with that system, but there's nothing to say the guy was an idiot, as opposed to just a bit set in his ways (it's a German that we're talking about, after all).

          1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

            Re: We don't get to chose the language...

            It is about tech workers, IT centered. Now you come up with professions which indeed need special qualification certified for 50+ years, in some cases 100+ years. Nice try of derailing!

      2. dvd

        Re: We don't get to chose the language...

        There's also the problem that some British universities give you a 'free' masters if you can stay out of prison and pay to come to the college dinner a year after graduation.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We don't get to chose the language...

        The UK equivalent which I still see from time to time is "must have at least a 2:1 from a red brick university", always laugh about those ads, either the agent or the hiring manager is a complete upper class prat.

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: We don't get to chose the language...

        "He was obsessed that you needed a Master's in order to get out of bed this morning."

        I can recall a job posting for a sale position selling an audio amplifier module targeted to be embedded in other maker's products where they wanted somebody with a PhD. For a sales job!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We don't get to chose the language...

      Could be worse. My previous employer was a real-estate company who bought our non-real-estate division. Corporate HR insisted on editing the job requirements. I think a lot of applicants were scared away due to what was added - why does a maintenance tech need to know financing mathematics?

    3. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: We don't get to chose the language...

      people who insist on using them, are Absolutely Fucking Useless

      Well, they are in "Talent Acquisition", arent't they?

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: We don't get to chose the language...

      Such businesses will get the recruits the deserve. The recruits they need will go to their competitors. It'll all work out fairly in the end but maybe you should consider joining one of your competitors before it's too late.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We don't get to chose the language...

      I'm told that we use "industry standard tools" to perform this "de-biasing". Assuming that that's actually the case, if there is a systemic problem it seems like the real cause here is that these tools, and the people who insist on using them, are Absolutely Fucking Useless.

      Seems to me HR, "Talent Acquisition", or whatever they're calling themselves these days are the industry standard tools.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We don't get to chose the language...

      > Talent Acquisition does.

      Oh dear. I feel for you. :(

    7. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: We don't get to chose the language...

      "I spend a week or two talking to the rest of the team, and some related teams we work closely with and come up with a careful description of what the job will entail,"

      What kind of weirdo are you? Nobody does that! All of the important work is done choosing the biz buzz words that will go in the blurb about how awesome the company is. /s

    8. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: We don't get to chose the language...

      "and the people who insist on using them, are Absolutely Fucking Useless."

      That last part is usually just abbreviated "H.R."

  13. Mayday Silver badge
    Stop

    Other job ad wank that “works against” me

    “Dynamic organisation” what? No one knows what’s happening there?

    “Competitive salary” competitive with what? If it’s competitive, just tell me what it is then

    “Agile” we have standups, but PMs want deadlines so they still fell relevant

    “Continuous improvement” it’s a shitshow and won’t ever change

    “ Additional duties as required” no shit, mostly after hours and not recognised as paid overtime

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Other job ad wank that “works against” me

      I think "Competitive salary" means uncompetitive, otherwise they'd tell you.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Other job ad wank that “works against” me

        Dilbert.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other job ad wank that “works against” me

      Fortunately there are 'public services' out there to help.

      Such as The Wonderful Wankometer

      It's nearly as old as the internet (the one the yung'uns know not the real one) which I guess makes it old ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other job ad wank that “works against” me

      > “Competitive salary” competitive with what? If it’s competitive, just tell me what it is then

      It's the law in Austria. You have to publish the *minimum* that you're offering for the position.

      I'm always amused by foreign recruiters at Austrian conventions. They spend ten minutes blathering about the vacancies that they hope to recruit for, feeling pretty pleased about themselves then they go "any questions" and you think "here it comes"…

      — How much do you pay?

      (Yup, there you go. I just hope he knows better than to mention the C-word)

      — Oh! …we're co******ve!

      (Face palm)

      Seriously, don't do this in Austria. Also don't try to bullshit people unless you enjoy being asked some very direct questions about your ethics and honesty. They're polite but they don't suffer fools very gladly.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Other job ad wank that “works against” me

        The ones that really annoy me are those that ask "how much do you want to be paid?"

        Beg pardon???? *YOU'RE* the ones who make the pay decisions, not me. You've got the embedded agency all the wrong way around. I can't afford to let *my* wants get in the way of being able to afford to eat.

  14. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    I dunno. The whole study almost sounds like it's looking for a problem to solve, not so much solving an existing problem.

    And in truth, the ageism probably cuts both ways - at 53, I would be loathe to end up on a team with a bunch of still-immature twenty-somethings, always yapping on about how drunk they got last night, or who they banged last weekend, or what concert they're going to next week, or what celeb posted twaddle about so-and-so on Twitter/Facebook/etc. No thanks, no need to subject us old people to a steady stream of that pointless early-life bullshit. We're old, we've got kids/grandkids, and it hurts to get out of bed in the morning.

    One day you, too, will know my fate,

    and smile it's black-toothed grin.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Youngster!

      When I joined a gaming publisher, I was the amongst the old guys at 32...

      Didn't prevent me from partying with people almost half my age however :-)

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        I worked at a university for almost 20 years - from the age of 29 until I was 48. I've had my fill of "youth culture" for one lifetime, and in truth, it doesn't change much from year to year, although the mechanisms have changed (AIM/YIM -> MySpace -> Facebook -> Twitter).

        Guess I'm a bit jaded.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          18 year olds are still 18 year olds. two new batches every year. I miss working for a college.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            two new batches every year.

            Quality control is still piss poor. You would have thought the factory could have sorted it out by now. Probably using unskilled production workers.

          2. Pirate Dave Silver badge

            Yeah, some things I miss too. There was a lot of stability because nothing ever changes quickly (unlike my new digs in Manufacturing, where things can be expected to change in a day or two...). And the food was good. Not to mention not feeling guilty about taking time-off outside of 4th of July week and Christmas week.

            Sometime around 35, I realized I was no longer "cool" and was basically considered the "computer janitor" by those kids. Eye-opening for sure.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I would be loathe to end up on a team with a bunch of still-immature twenty-somethings, always yapping on about how drunk they got last night, or who they banged last weekend, or…

      This is one thing I really appreciate about Germanic countries. You're not going to find that sort of attitude very easily.

      Ok, maybe Berlin? Let me quote the news from the last G20 in Hamburg:

      Hamburg sends home Berlin G20 police over public sex & booze parties

      > A group of some 220 Berlin police officers were sent home from Hamburg, accused of - amongst other things - public sex acts, property damage and mishandling service weapons. "They were bored," said a spokesman

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        > Ok, maybe Berlin? Let me quote the news from the last G20 in Hamburg:

        Oh please, don't do that finger-pointing game. Like there is any country without some scandal in their police. Or, more recently, with their (former) leaders.

    3. adam 40 Silver badge
      Pint

      I increasingly find it's the younger ones who are the lightweights, not being able to put down a few lunchtime pints on a Friday, or no staying power at the company party...

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/bulletins/opinionsandlifestylesurveyadultdrinkinghabitsingreatbritain/2017/previous/v1

        They're not lightweights. They're teetotal. Drinking is going the way of smoking, but maybe half a century behind, and slightly ahead of eating dead animals. As long as my bloodthirsty, alcoholic habits are quietly tolerated for the rest of my years, I don't really care.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "no staying power at the company party..."

        By preference I'd rather have the best excuse to not be staying at the company party for very long. By the time midnight rolls around, pickings are bleak (discovered the following morning. At the time they are perfectly acceptable.)

  15. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Age is relative

    When I started secondary school we had a guy who'd take us for occasional 'blank' periods. He was from the theatrical profession, and we never knew what he was going to come up with next - nobody ever missed those sessions. While we were in out early teens, he was somewhere in his 50s. In many ways he was the youngest in the room.

  16. AndrueC Silver badge
    Happy

    Bad news for the tech industry: This old fart is winding down to retirement at age 56.

    Good news for me: There's such a dearth of talent that if I ever do decide to come back I will have no real difficulty in finding somewhere. Most probably if I do come back it'll be because someone has begged me to.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge
      Pint

      >Most probably if I do come back it'll be because someone has begged me to.

      And you are finding "retirement" uninspiring...

      I suspect after a couple of years out of the fast lane, you'll have no desire to get back in the fast lane, even though the money might tempt.

      56... still time to have a circa 10~15 years second career - at a different pace...

  17. heyrick Silver badge

    Piss off!

    "Economists have crafted online fake job ads"

    There are more than enough headaches, hassle, and dead ends in the job market without so-called researchers adding to it.

  18. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Boffin

    No No Not The Mind Probe (Psychometric Testing)

    My interest in a role falls to lower than whale shit when presented with a "short test" & being put through scenarios that resemble IELTs exam questions relating to shopping\retail (Customer handling\sales figures) roles for a IT role or ones that give you 50 Mensa type questions* that you must score x% in order to proceed to the next level (Of more testing), while stating it doesn't matter how many you do in the time allowed typically 35 minutes** but will fail you anyway.

    *Saying that you can do it on smartphones, where you can barely see all the patterns in the sequence at one time.

    **If I am ever in that position again, I'm going to answer just the first 1 after spending the whole time on the answer.

    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      Re: No No Not The Mind Probe (Psychometric Testing)

      > 50 Mensa type questions

      Mensa is, IMHO, weird! Pay for such a test? Sounds like a scam to me!

      One of my aunts presented me a test when I was about ten years old. I dicovered, about 30+ years later, that I already solved most of those Mensa tests when I was about ten. Only those which require specific math were beyond my scope since, well, I was about ten.

      I would do exactly as you: Leave the room. Luckily not one of my employers (albeit not that many, and I was never without work) dared to present me one.

    2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      Re: No No Not The Mind Probe (Psychometric Testing)

      Applied for a coding job. Company (that produces mobile games as assessment tools) pointed me at a game to play to assess my suitability. Never had a more stressful 40 minutes of my life!. The game tested fast thinking, and had a "spot the mood of the face" session that presumably was to weed the ASD people out.

      So no room for a middle-aged, ASD engineer who prefers to think about problems to find the most durable solution.

      Nasty.

  19. GNU SedGawk

    Some companies refuse to let you hire experienced staff

    I was running tech interviews for Linux SWE/SRE/SDET candidates - a guy flies through the screen, nuanced answers, so much so I stop wasting his time and invite him to attend in person.

    The candidate was middle fifties to early sixties, and as brilliant in person as on the phone, I told my boss "Hire him today, he won't be around for long".

    Week or so later, the early forties boss is over his "worries about him fitting in", authorizes the offer to hands down the best interviewee I've ever seen.

    Naturally, the gentleman in question was no longer on the market. Doubtlessly snapped up by the next person with an above room temperature IQ to interview him.

    The advert was of course perfectly crafted to be free of all markers of prejudice, and the like, for the fat lot of good it did.

    I left not long after that, it really soured me on the company, missing out on talent, who is inexplicably prepared to work for the wage on offer, because of rank prejudice, words fail me.

  20. Pcoughlin404

    I have been discriminated against

    I applied for a Subject Matter Expert roll at Proctor and Gamble. My resume got kicked out by their automation. I called in a favor and got someone to tell my why, too much experience. I had to drop a job off of my resume (13 years) and resubmit. I made it through the screen when I resubmitted. That's an age gate if I have ever seen one.

    1. GNU SedGawk

      Re: I have been discriminated against

      It drives me potty.

      I simply don't care - old / young - all I want is competence and reasonably ability to keep the peace with the rest of the motley crew.

  21. Dave 15 Silver badge

    very sad

    Its come to pass that 'da management' want cheap people making mistakes the rest of us learnt to avoid 20 or more years ago rather than paying for experience.

  22. Nelbert Noggins

    Alternatively, the language isn’t ageist, it’s that those of us with a few years around the industry understand what the bollocks phrases are hiding and don’t bother applying.

    When your advert reads we have not got a clue what we’re doing or who we want to hire and our pay is so low we claim it’s competitive, nobody with a clue would apply unless completely desperate

  23. Paul Herber Silver badge

    Decision made

    I declare that I shall no longer apply for non-existent jobs, nor shallI create non-existent jobs, nor create or suffer harrasment in the workplace, never again shall I be late in the morning, or cause embarrassment by wanting to work late in the evenings. No manager shall ever complain that my work is not up to scratch, or doesn't meet the spec. When other people ask me how something works, never again shall I say "look in the documentation I wrote last week", nor will I be short with cow-orkers, whatever the provocation, for this week I come of full retirement age, and do I thank ****!

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Decision made

      " nor will I be short with cow-orkers,"

      Isn't cow-orking illegal in some countries?

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: Decision made

        Bullgaria?

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: "look in the documentation I wrote last week"

      I think someone's hacked Paul's account.

  24. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Holmes

    This news

    is rather like the story about bears shitting in the woods or the pope being a catholic.

    A lifetime ago I was merrily earning an OU degree in computery stuff, and was applying for jobs with buzzwords such as concurrency, synchonised, Java, etc etc, because experience playing with robots/machine tools taught you all about programming concurrent applications (and the resulting bangs if you got it wrong)

    Didn't get an answer....

    However tweaked my CV to leave off DoB, skewls attended, and the first 10-15 yrs of work and magically I had people wanting to talk to me (not many).

    The reason why companies want inexperienced younger staff is not about paying them less, or working them 100 hrs a day, its us older workers being able to see through the bullshit the PHBs come up with every day to try and justify their own employment/existence.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: This news

      "being able to see through the bullshit the PHBs come up with every day to try and justify their own employment/existence."

      We also don't "request days off" and instead just send an FYI.

  25. Auntie Dix Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    Scummy Ads and Jobs, from Scumbag Employers

    Profiteers rule.

    The U.S. remains mired in weak labor laws.

    This is unlikely to improve in our lifetimes. Just look at how long it took to attain the few protections that the American worker has and at how difficult (and often impractical) it is to enforce them (EEOC et al.).

    So, for now, no matter your age, engage as a resistance fighter against the (age-)discriminatory, quality-of-life-killing body-shop mentality, wherever you see it.

    Help your fellow man by shunning scumbag employers.

    P.S. This means that you must stop buying Apple products, for example. You know: The Chinese-factory children, the anti-jumping nets, etc. Too much of a sacrifice?

  26. Jilara

    Reading Privacy Statements

    I was just going through some job application forms online and there are some interesting things showing up. You really do need to read "What we do with your data." And there are some things there that younger people might not have a problem with. Examples: "You grant us access to your social media." "Your application will be used for analytics purposes." (Maybe for studies like this one?) "You agree, if in the EU, that your data will be sent to the United States for analysis." That last is REALLY interesting. Yes, that sort of stuff tends to winnow out Old Fogies like myself. The young and naive (and the lazy) just hit "Accept."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reading Privacy Statements

      > You grant us access to your social media."

      Against Facebook's et altri terms and conditions.

      > "Your application will be used for analytics purposes."

      Automated decision making having legal or legal-like consequences is illegal in Europe (Art. 20-something GDPR)

      > "You agree, if in the EU, that your data will be sent to the United States for analysis.

      Illegal as well in the absence of *informed* consent or if non-consent results in consequences for you, such as not being allowed to apply.

      Always take ten minutes to report those bastards to your local data protection authority.

  27. Lordrobot

    Goodbye Old Sausage....

    "Using language that explicitly deters older workers from applying is already illegal under the ADEA, but the subtler usage of ageist language that we study suggests that job-ad language that would not be flagged as explicitly illegal can still have pernicious effects on older workers in the labor market, and possibly facilitate age discrimination," the paper concludes."

    OK, Let's try some positive Agest language...

    Bring your Wheelchairs...

    We have elevators...

    Age is just a number

    Alzheimer's Daycare offered

    IBM punch card experienced desirable

    Defibulators at every terminal.

    OK Now for the subtle bad stuff...

    Apply in person 6th floor no elevators.

    Join our young team of professionals

    one-handed Thumb typing 60 wpm desirable

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Goodbye Old Sausage....

      Hush sonny!

    2. Ken Shabby
      Headmaster

      Re: Goodbye Old Sausage....

      Where do I sign?

    3. El

      Re: Goodbye Old Sausage....

      When I started my new position, I had one of my "athletic" coworkers ask me, "Is it okay if we take the stairs?" Dude... I'm not _that_ old! (Actually, I make a habit of taking stairs instead of elevators just to get more exercise.)

  28. hammarbtyp

    Goes both way

    I have an age related language problem. When a grad comes in expecting me to hire them on the spot because they mentioned blockchain or NFT as the solution to all my issues, I have a strong desire to use age related fruity language

  29. P.G. Sundling

    I worked ageism into my life plan

    I knew about ageism in tech over 30 years ago. So, I planned for it all the way back in high school!

    My plan was to build up money in tech until I could retire, no later than 50. Then I could spend the rest of my life writing.

    I lived frugally my whole life, saved up money, retired at 49, and I'm working on a sequel to my award-winning novel, The Internet President: None of the Above. It's great to chase my lifelong dream of being a writer, but I also enjoyed computer programming too.

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: I worked ageism into my life plan

      Computer programming is a form of writing, so there's a goodly overlap there.

  30. El

    I thought the "communication skills" item was there to discourage people whose first language isn't English. I've worked with many people I couldn't understand. The most confusing one was a Taiwanese girl that spoke perfectly good English when I interviewed her, but then she got stuck into the same office with me, I couldn't understand her!

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