Age Discrimination Resume

3 Ways To Avoid Age Discrimination On Your Resume

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Age discrimination in employment is illegal, but it’s something that can happen whether you’re young or old. Even at the initial stage of the job search process – when you apply – employers are already scanning for information that may hint at your age. Your resume may be the culprit.

Related: Age Discrimination In Interviews

Whenever there are dates involved, there’s room for interpretation regarding your age. Other matters on your resume can also give away your age. Here’s what you need to look out for when preparing and submitting your resume!

Email Address

Your email address can give away your age, particularly when it includes numbers. For example, johnsmith1960@ implies your birth year, or the year of your graduation.

The email host you use can also hint at your age. Users with a Gmail account are generally taken as more current, where as those with an AOL account are generally associated with the older generation. An easy way around this is to simply sign up for a Gmail account and stick to using your names or initials rather than including any numbers.

Years Of Experience

It’s common for the top of the resume to include a profile summary with your years of experience, but keep in mind that your point of including that information is to express that you have enough experience for the job. So, if the job opening is requesting for 10 years of experience and you have more than that, it does not necessarily give you extra credit to note that you have 20 years of experience. Tweak the language to indicate you’ve met the requirement (and more) in general terms, like “10+ years.”

Also be watchful of your work history. Stop your resume when the jobs are not relevant or when they add years to your age. If they are reading your resume and are not interested in you by the time they reach your 1988 experience, listing those jobs adds no value and only ages you.

Significant Dates

Your year of graduation is often an easy way for employers to get a sense of your age. It’s not necessary for employers to know when you received your degree, so just leave out the date. Things like awards and certifications that are dated way back when can also make you appear like an outdated candidate. Review your resume to remove anything that would be irrelevant or outdated for the job and any associated years.

These are simple fixes you can make to your resume that will help keep you in favor with employers, regardless of your age, as they evaluate whether you are a candidate they want to speak with or hire.

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Don Goodman

Don Goodman, President of Best Resume Writing Service - About Jobs is a nationally recognized career expert. Get a free career assessment from Don here.

11 comments

  1. These comments are on target. I have been applying for several different positions with several different companies for the last 13 years and I have not had an interview! I’ve taken tests and scored high, but still no interviews. I thought that if I put my pay/salary goals that I would be seriously considered since I have a BS degree and have never made over $30,000 a year! 98% of job applications require “year of high school graduation”. This tells them EVERY time my age. HELP! I’m too young for retirement with no money in retirement account.

    • Nick from CAREEREALISM

      Nyetta,

      Thanks for sharing your issue with us. Have you tried getting certifications within your industry? They’ll show you’re making an effort to educate yourself regardless of your age. You should probably take your salary requirements out as well, unless they’re something the employer specifically asks for. They could think you are asking for too much OR too little (in which case they may think you couldn’t do the job well).

  2. All well and good until you get to that interview. You can see it in their 20-something eyes that they have NO intention of hiring you now that they’ve seen you. And there is no way to prove it, even after dozens of interviews where you were everything they said they wanted. Today I was told that the job I just interviewed for went to a recent graduate because “he had more experience in the field.” Whaaaaat??????? Did I miss some time travel aspect????

    • More experience at what? Social media, spending less time actually doing his/her job and spending most of the day texting and making personal calls to plan that night’s or the weekend?

  3. Notice how we are the ones who have to make adjustments because employers won’t obey the law. And even if we get the interview they can still see us.

  4. Bernardo Stevens

    People! All this stuff is true BUT it’s futile. There are several free websites where, in a few seconds, anyone can find out your age easily unless you have a very common name. PIPL.COM for example.

  5. Is it not ageist taking steps to hide one’s age? I really like when I see people having the confidence to show that they have had lot’s of experience and are not trying to work around it. It’s their story and they shouldn’t have to hide aspects of their story. I’m more interested in the person and their skills rather than age and that goes for early career candidates also.

    • See my comments below.

      I’ve got 99% of the experience and all of the skills PLUS but because I’m clearly over 40, I’m not getting interviews.

    • Clearly you are not a hiring manager in a youth-obsessed city like Austin. Here the biggest job perks are beer bong competitions, river tubing days and keg party Fridays. It’s all about bringing the college feel to work, not about expertise and hard-won experience. I wish it was!!

  6. I am 50+ and was employed by the same company from 1987-2012. If I’m applying for certain positions, I HAVE to include my first position which I held from 1987-1993. Most times, I start my employment at 1993. I don’t put the year I graduated college but I’m sure most employers deduce from my start dates that I am over 45.

  7. These are good ideas for the resume, but my concern is the application. I have seen applications where the high school and college attendance years are required. Companies are not allowed to directly ask age, but asking when the applicant finished high school is essentially the same question!

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