• Tejal Wagadia

Graduation Date

One often sees career coaches and recruiters tell experienced applicant to not include their graduation date and no more than 15 years of experience unless the job asks for more.

This is to battle ageism. A lot of employers will not look at a candidate who they think are too “experienced”. Yes there has been more and more awareness towards a lot of issues including ageism.

But all the advice is for naught if when a candidate fills out an application on the company’s website, and one of the required field is graduation year.

In India we have a saying, which roughly translates to “the bull went into the water.” This saying means that no matter what the bull does to not slip into the water while drinking, it wasn’t able to succeed.

What does a candidate do when encountered such a situation?

Let’s take me for example. When I graduated with my Bachelor’s I was working as a server. Before I graduated, I already knew I wasn’t going to stay in Chicago after graduation. I focused my energy into finding a new job somewhere warmer.

I graduated in September but didn’t land a job until November of that year. Which means that I have a gap. If you look at it, one would wonder what was she doing during that time? Well not all of us are lucky to find a job right as we graduate college. Which honestly is okay.

If I come across a position like this, what are my options? I can either tell them my graduation year, which then tells them my age. Yes, people do reverse “engineer” your age based on your graduation year. Or I can stop the application.

A lot of jobs still require at least a Bachelor’s Degree, and you know what? That’s okay. You are the employer and if you want someone with a Bachelor’s so be it. But a graduation year is not needed to confirm that you graduated from college. This verification is just like verifying employment. You confirm whether this person graduated from that college.

Or if you are like me and still keep all your diplomas you can scan and send a copy of that. But why oh why in this day and age do we ask for a graduation date?

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