FT Next Act: getting creative with résumés and mortgages
Should you lie about your age on your CV? That's the question we're asking this week. I'm Claer Barrett, editor of the Next Act. We'll also hear about RIO mortgages, a new type of equity release. Could one work for you? Joining me now is the FT's money mentor columnist, Lindsay Cook, the author and executive search professional Anita Hoffmann, and James Pickford, deputy editor of FT Money.
Lindsay Cook, coming to you first. Now, you have been in the jobs market yourself as an older professional, and you've also written an article for the Next Act about this issue this week. Why would people be tempted to mask their age on their CV? What's driving it?
Age discrimination in the workforce. Recruiters tend to bin the applications from people who are a little bit older. San Francisco Bank last year sent out 40,000 resumes to test this idea. And the group that got the least call back were those women, 60 to 64. Only 7% of those got people following up. All the other details on the resumes were identical. So age was the discriminator.
And it happens right across the piece. It is more difficult to get a job once you're into your mid-50s. A lot of people - something like 2m people over 50 start their own businesses because they can't get back into the jobs market.
Some of them don't do well enough. And you really have to be professional in how you set out about writing your resume, researching a company you want to work for, using your whole network. It's not something that you wake up, and you say, oh, this job's in the paper. I'll apply for it.
Age discrimination, baldly, is illegal. But it's the whole problem, Anita, that when an executive search professional, like you, advertises for a job and the responses come in, it's an easy way of trimming things down before the candidates go through to the interview stage.
That is an answer, which as usual is yes and no in a way. But let me sort of set the stage of why CVs are important and when they are not, and how to maybe - not get around, but manage this process. So, especially when we have more experience, when we are not beginners, around 80% of our opportunities for new jobs come through our own network and our own efforts. And that's normally through introductions. And you don't need a CV for that. People often include a LinkedIn profile. And that's why you need to sort of craft your LinkedIn profile in such a way that it showcases you for what you want to be known for. But there is no rule for what you need to include on a LinkedIn profile, or age or anything.
And your job is to get those meetings. Once somebody meets you and realises you have energy and you've got the knowledge, they become your champion. So even when that CV with everything back to your education and the years comes in, they don't really care much.
Now, we're going to diverge into the world of mortgages, briefly. I'm joined by James Pickford who is the deputy money editor of FT Money. And so, lots of British viewers on Facebook will be familiar with the concept of equity release, which is booming. As property prices have risen over the past few decades where, if you were in retirement, in later life, you can crystallise some of the equity in your house, and ultimately pay it back with a hefty slug of interest when the house is sold or when you die. But there's a new kind of bridge product coming in, which has going a rather fancy name - the RIO mortgage.
It's for older people - people over the age of 55. They can take out one of these mortgages, interest only.
So they're only repaying the interest, not the underlying capital.
That's right. That's right. Although, there may be some which emerge where you can pay the underlying capital and of course, just like a normal interest-only mortgage, you can pay 10% extra. There are arrangements by which you can overpay up to a certain amount. But the difference with a normal interest-only mortgage is there is no end date. So you pay this until you pass away or you go into a care home, and the house is sold to settle a capital sum.
And the reason that might appeal to people is that they just want to realise some of the equity, but they can still afford to pay a monthly interest repayment. And they think, why not? At the end of that period, you think, well, I've still got more equity in my house than I would if I had, say, an equity - a standard equity release product, where the interest rolls up -
- until the end. And suddenly, you know, most people will know what it means. You end up with less equity in your home.
If you want to read more articles on this theme, go to our content hub now, onto FT.com/nextact. And we will be back in a month's time to discuss and other issues for those in later life. Thanks very much.