Should Companies Be Allowed To Ask Your Graduation Year On Applications?

Just like it isn’t legal to discuss if you have a family during an interview process, should companies also be blocked from asking your graduation year?

It is illegal for an employer to make a decision about hiring you based on your family status – if you are married, have children, or if you have plans to start a family soon or in the future. So, why is it still perfectly legal for a company to have pre-conceived notions of you and your work ethic, ability, or years left until retirement by asking the year of your college (and sometimes high school) graduation on initial applications?

Should Companies Be Allowed To Ask Your Graduation Year On Applications

Companies will find out the year of your graduation when they run a background check on you as you are in the process of accepting their job offer and preparing to join their team. So, why do they need to know about your graduation date before that time if not to use it as a way to stereotype before they get to know you?

Even if companies remove graduation rates from their applications, they will still continue to ask for the years you were employees by each of your former companies. Organizations could create less biased hiring practices in the future by removing dates altogether, and instead concentrating on a potential employee’s story.

Everyone has a work story, or a career adventure. This story can tell far more about a person than the years they were employed, or the dates that they graduated.

These stories can tell us what someone is really good at, what they are passionate about, and what they hope to learn in their next role. If organizations were to scrap resumes, and instead ask for personal essays (just like colleges do), they might just find that they have better luck hiring a more diverse team with more unique, well-rounded, and innovative ideas that can push the company forward.

So, what are ways these you can urge companies to care more about your career story than your years of experience? Here are three things you can try:

Submit A Personal Essay

Whether this is in written form or a video submission, by giving a company a sense of who you are as a person you give them a more in-depth portrait of the skills and knowledge they are hiring you for than a simple resume will.

Include Quotes From Past Employees Or Co-Workers On Your Resume

Rather than a simple form with your dates of employment, work to grow out your story on your resume by using quotes from those you used to work with. These quotes will tell a hiring manager about you and the way that you work far more than a list of your previous employers.

Share Examples Of Past Projects

Have you created something that you are really proud of? Include screenshots of the project in your resume, a link to where the project is housed, or news articles about the project. Work to bring your past work to life.

Ageism Educational Resources

What is Ageism?

Ageism In The Workplace

Reverse Ageism At Work

Ageism Stereotypes

Ageism In Interviews

Ageism In Sports

Ageism In Society