I spent 7 years after high school working in hospitality, customer service, and semi-skilled manual labor. I returned to school got a bachelor's and later a masters, and now work in a research lab. I do not include any of my pre-respecialization work experience on my resume or LinkedIn. I also do not include my high school graduation date. As such, someone reviewing my resume could mistake me for a different candidate, one who was more focused and went right into the field. In some scenarios (application/interview), I do not do/say anything to discourage this assumption. I have a youngish face, though in terms of energy level I'm sure it comes through. Obviously, co-workers have an idea.
I feel that some cases of respecializing are respected, such as transitioning from one trained, professional role to another. People change, and taking steps to align your career with your priorities and interests, if these fall out of alignment is looked at favorably. Meanwhile, "menial" jobs (retail, customer service, food service, construction in some cases) regardless of the reason a person might stay in these jobs, are a looked at as lost time, and in most cases, are best glossed over or avoided.
Anyone have thoughts on this? If your resume/publications/accomplishments etc. do not suggest your age, should you fake it where you can? (as many people are most productive early on in their careers, ageism, etc)