I run CV Clinics twice a month at Pitman Training, the idea being to help their students to take the skills that they lean there, put them into their CV and then get the CV sorted out so people get interviewed. On average I see 10/30 people and in recent months have noticed the practice of putting their birth year in some form within the email address that they use for job hunting. I’m guessing that 20% of people who I saw this month had a variant of their date of birth in their email address.
Usually it’s in the form of first name second name birth year @ whatever internet provider. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
So what is the big deal about this and why am I writing about it? Surely in the UK we have age discrimination legislation and age is not a determinant of capability. people aren’t allowed to discriminate against people on the grounds of colour, sexual orientation, age, etc?
How has this happened? My guess is that at some point in time there was a groundswell of opinion within the IT Technical community that putting your year of birth would somehow make that email unique. Whilst that is undoubtedly true, the decision has perhas proved that the law of unintended consequences was at work. In hindsight, it’s a terrible idea.
The sad fact is that some people are prejudiced, whether overtly or covertly and some recruiters and some employers will have a view on the age range of their preferred candidate. I have a suspicion that one of the reasons some people don’t get interviewed is that their date of birth in their email gives away their age and if that doesn’t fit the age profile in the employer’s mind, the CV gets rejected.
Of course, no-one will ever admit to this, the competition is so severe for some roles that some bigots don’t need another reason to reject someone older or younger, hiding behind the fact that there was some other reason for rejecting the CV. Would I want to work with someone who discriminates against people on the basis of age? Probably not; however this is a subtle way of showing your age and getting a job role over the age of 50 is hard enough without inadvertently falling at the very first hurdle.
At some point obviously, people will know or guess your age through interview and at that point, you’ll have the chance of proving how you may be the best person for the job. Until then, keep your age to yourself as much as you can, certainly keep it out of your email address.
Author: Glenn Hughes
I’m a professional CV writer who also writes website content, LinkedIn profiles, helps people with bespoke job applications and more. I’ve been writing for the internet since 2009 and have many published articles.