Age can be a fraught and complex issue during the job application process. This personal trait isn’t quite like any of the others. Things like marital status, religion, and sexual preference can (and should) be left out of your application altogether, and in fact, these details don’t have to be shared in the workplace at all, not now and not ever. Other traits like your gender and race are protected from bias by law. But these protections can be hard to enforce, and even if you leave them off your resume (which you should), as soon as you step in the door for your interview, you’ll be sharing them with everyone who can see you.Age falls into a separate category, a class of its own. Like most personal traits, you can omit mention of it in your resume, and you don’t have to share it in your interview, but age tends to surface in context clues like graduation dates and experience levels. And even though age discrimination is frowned upon, it still happens all the time in the professional world and is almost impossible to counter, punish, and prevent. In fact, exclusion based on age is becoming increasingly common as the market floods with baby boomers who have been sidelined by the recent recession. The message is clear: if you’re over 50 and you’re on the job market, you’re probably going to face some challenges that your younger counterparts won’t.