While the current U.S. unemployment rate is sitting at 4% (with some fields like accounting and finance even lower), it’s evident we are experiencing another candidate-rich market. And as the Great Resignation becomes an everyday term, many professionals are switching positions in search of better pay, benefits and remote-work options without a second thought.
But is it really that easy for everyone to just pick up and bail on their current employer? What about specific demographics that might be having a tougher time finding roles in the corporate world?
Well, recent data shows that older U.S. professionals are finding new roles at a slower pace than their younger counterparts and may still be reeling from the layoffs made in the earlier days of the pandemic, especially women and minorities.
Although we would hope that hiring managers judge each qualified candidate fairly, there is often an unconscious bias regarding experience and age. Are they overqualified? Are they going to expect higher pay? Will they need more benefits?
Whatever the case may be, as a job seeker, it is good practice to rid your resume of any details that might give away your age. And to be fair, hiring managers need to make a conscious effort to take age out of the equation when it comes to considering qualifications and skillset.
So, how can you make your resume age-proof when applying for a role? Find out below in the 5 Tips to Prevent Age Bias on Your Resume.
- Remove your graduation date.
Simply listing the school, city and degree is sufficient when showcasing your education. You do not need to include the month and year if you graduated more than a decade ago. This applies to all levels of education from high school through doctorate. For any certifications, it’s important to list the date of expiration. Other than that, it’s best to leave the dates off.
- Only include the past 10 years or most relevant experience.
More often than not, your recent experience will be the most pertinent to the new role you are vying for—or the very least, your experience gained within the last 10 years. Therefore, you should leave off experience any further out than that. Older roles will not provide much value and may date you, especially if the background includes out-of-date technologies, old company names or other snooze-worthy skills.
- Update your skills and technology experience.
Speaking of skills, be sure to list your most current skillset and update the technologies you have gained proficiency in. Remove any software or systems that are no longer in use. Further, brush up on skills you may be lacking by taking an online course, signing up for a webinar or doing your own research. This can help you remain relevant in a way that does not eat up too much of your time.
- Update your email address.
Having an out-of-date email provider is a sure way to give away your age. No one from the millennial or gen-z generations uses AOL, Hotmail or even Yahoo! these days. You should ditch those providers now and create a Gmail account STAT. It’s easy to do, free and will bring you up to speed. Also, do not use your birth year as part of your email address. Just use a combination of your first and last name, and throw in a middle initial if your name is taken.
- Sync up your resume and LinkedIn profile.
First off, make sure you have a LinkedIn profile. If you don’t, that could come across as a red flag that you’re not who you say you are, that you’re hiding something or that you are not savvy. Then, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete—including a profile photo, a custom URL, an About section and recommendations, and information that matches what you include on your resume.
What are some other best practices to age-proof your resume? Share your comments in the section below and let us know.
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2 thoughts on “5 Tips to Prevent Age Bias on Your Resume”
What do you do if you are retired from the company you owned, but due to divorced your 401 is empty. Your now 70 years of age and no college degree.
Hi Reginald, we appreciate your question/comment. First off, you’re never too old for anything! There are definitely project roles out there that we have found retired individuals enjoy and exceed in. As far as your resume, I recommend that you state your intentions in an objective right at the top, and then highlight your best skills and accomplishments over your career. Talk about your business and your areas of expertise. Don’t be afraid to tell your story (remaining as positive, as possible, of course :))