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Asking for preferred candidates is a type of discrimination

Workplace discrimination often feels like it is targeted directly at you, specifically because you stand out from the crowd in some way. Maybe you're the only woman in a male-dominated workforce, for instance, or perhaps you're a fresh college graduate in a workplace where everyone is 50 years old and older.

However, it's important to note that there are some general steps companies can take that discriminate against you and the group you belong to on the whole, even if they do not focus directly on you personally. One example of this is when you feel excluded from a position because the hiring advertisement suggests or states that they have a specific type of candidate in mind.

Now, in 2019, this probably will not be too overt. You're likely not going to see an advertisement asking for white workers and telling minority workers not to apply. This is such a clear breach of employment laws that, though it used to happen in the United States, most employers are well aware that they can't do it.

However, they could still discriminate in more subtle ways. Is asking for "recent college graduates" just another type of age discrimination? They're not coming right out and saying that you cannot apply if you're in your 40s, but odds are it's been two decades since you graduated from college. Does that ad exclude you and discriminate against all other qualified workers in your age group?

As you can see, discrimination looks very different from case to case. If you see vidence of it, you need to understand what options you have.

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