Age Discrimination and Your Resume

Age discrimination should not hold you or your job search back. Discover our 7 steps to making your resume timeless.

by
October 6, 2022

Overcome age discrimination with a timeless resume

More job seekers today claim that they have experience age discrimination.

Shifts in employment together with the impact of technology have discouraged older Gen X and Baby Boomer job seekers.

The good news?

There are several techniques to make your resume “timeless”.

A timeless resume ensures the reader has no sense of how old or young you are.

A timeless resume allows the reader to focus on accomplishments rather than spending precious seconds of limited attention and time calculating age.

I’m going to give you some very basic but effective strategies for creating a timeless resume.

You can implement all 7 of the steps that I have laid out below in no time.

 

1. Combat age discrimination by giving your resume a 21st-century focus

Let’s kick off with dates, ideally, you should try to include dates and details pertaining to the past 15 years.

A very long and detailed resume often sends a signal that can trigger age discrimination.

Try to focus on the highlights rather than a laundry list of your responsibilities.

Keep in mind your resume is a marketing brochure, not a blueprint that documents your career history.

Experience prior to 15 years ago often reveals important information pertaining to your career progression, additional skills and expertise.

You can include it under an “Additional Experience” section that features your job title and the name of the company with dates removed.

When experience is relevant to your job search and you want it included as part of your earlier experience, stick with a quick summary highlighting your greatest achievement and keep it 2 lines max.

 

2. Demonstrate that you are tech-savvy

Employers want and need tech-savvy people.

More mature candidates can sometimes be less tech-savvy and this is a concern to employers.

It’s easy for us to construe a focus on tech-savvy employees as potential age discrimination.

The good news is, you don’t have to be an IT developer to showcase your tech skills.

If a job posting references certain technical or software skills and you have them – include them in a “Technical Skills” section.

However, if you have 20th-century technical proficiencies, be sure to omit them.

No one needs to know you were once fluent in WordPerfect 2.0 or Windows 98.

Another way to easily demonstrate that you are up-to-date with modern software is to use a modern resume template.

A modern resume template instantly makes you look more relevant.

 

3. Include a phone number at the top of your resume

Just like you, hiring managers and recruiters are on the go. Make sure your contact information includes just one number – preferably a mobile number.

Don’t forget to replace your cell’s robo-response with a professional greeting in case you can’t pick up and the call goes to voicemail.

 

4. Use a modern email address

I know from experience that Hotmail or AOL emails may raise a red flag. Using an antiquated email provider can signal that you are stuck in the 20th century.

Correct this impression by opening a newer web-based email account like Gmail and updating your resume and LinkedIn contact info with it.

 

5. Beat back age discrimination by including a link to your LinkedIn profile

In addition to your name, phone number and email, be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile. Doing this is an easy way to show the reader you are up to speed on today’s professional networking.

 

6. Modernize your summary section

Gone are the days of an adjective-rich summary section peppered with several industry-related keywords.

Make sure the reader knows you are ideally suited for particular roles by replacing generic phrasing with unique details about you.

Make sure to address the requirements from the job posting that fit your skills and interest you.

 

7. Use white space

Today’s resumes are likely to be read online on screens of all sizes — from desktops to mobile devices.

In fact, your resume may not get printed out until the fourth or fifth read – if ever.

Resumes written for a print read just don’t translate well on the screen (fortunately the reverse is not the case!) because the online reader has a tough time reading dense text and documents that lack white space.

Ensure your resume translates well on a screen of any size by keeping your paragraphs to 2 to 3 lines, and place at least .5 points of white space between each and every phrase or bullet on the page.

 

Conclusion

Resume formatting and writing have changed a great deal in recent years, and will no doubt continue to evolve.

In my view, this is because readers are increasingly on the go and because job seekers and decision-makers rely more heavily on technology.

The tips that I have outlined will ensure that the hiring manager won’t have a clue if you are 25 or 65.

Your skills and achievements will stand out and wow.

 

About the author

Virginia Franco, NCRW, NCOPE, CEIP, MRW

Virginia is a multi-certified executive resume and LinkedIn writer, coach and storyteller.

The former president of the National Resume Writers Association, Virginia has been featured in various publications and has been named a top follow by Job Scan.

She is the host of the top-ranked and award-winning “Resume Storyteller” podcast.

You can reach out to Virginia Franco directly at Virginia Franco Resumes.

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