[09.20.11] Avoid Revealing My Age on a Resume [Featured]

How Do I Avoid Revealing My Age on a Resume?

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Seasoned ProfessionalWe recently received the following question from one of our CareerHMO.com members and wanted to share it with our readers.

“How do I go about adding work history to my resume without giving away my age?”

We reached out to a community of career experts and asked for their advice. Here are the top five responses:

  1. Limit your employment-related details to positions held within the past 10-15 years. If you have worked longer than this, show previous position titles without dates on a line by itself to acknowledge previous work without providing a lot of detail. Organizations will understand you have prior experience but not be calculating exactly how long you have worked. [Advice by Wendy Robertson | www.robertsonconsulting.ca]
  2. The first thing a seasoned professional may want to consider is omitting his or her college graduation date and only including relevant work history (providing it is still in chronological order and doesn’t leave gaping holes in your work experience). For example, if you have 20+ years experience and are currently a senior level executive in the tech field, but your first job out of college was a sales rep for a beverage distributor, this first job may not be relevant to current jobs you are applying for. It is acceptable on a resume to begin listing your experience with relevant work history. You can then discuss your unrelated work history in the interview. [Advice by Craig Vived | www.vivaltainc.com]
  3. Give away your age. Address in your cover letter that you realize you may be “over qualified.” However, you are willing to accept the stated salary because you understand the competition is stiff. Be proud of your experience and stress what you’ve done is relative to the job you’re applying for. [Advice by Tom Gimbel | www.thelasallenetwork.com]
  4. Hiding your age results in nothing but the company trying to figure out how old you are. If they don’t want to hire an older person, then even if they bring you in, the likelihood of your not being screened out eventually anyway is slim. You may hide it on your resume, but you can’t hide it when you walk through the door. All your experience will weaken, not strengthen, their interest. Be who you are. Let the companies who don’t value your experience pass you by. Even if you by some small percentage of odds end up working there, ultimately you won’t be very happy. Don’t give the company all the control. It’s your career, your life, and your happiness. [Advice by Judi Perkins | www.findtheperfectjob.com]
  5. If you’re too old, don’t give them everything since the day you were born. If you’re too young, give them everything since you were born. Were you in sports, did you play an instrument, participate in boy/girl scouts, clubs in school, or community service work? Direct all experience towards the job you are applying. If you are qualified, this part should be easy. Why are you so worried about your age anyway? You should be worried about whether your skills are updated for the current market. If your skills fit the job, age won’t matter. [Advice by Barbara Atzmiller | www.expertcareersolutions.com]

If you have additional tips, please post them below in the comment section!

Image from Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock

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2 comments

  1. Regarding advice #5 from Barbara (” Why are you so worried about your age anyway? You should be worried about whether your skills are updated for the current market. If your skills fit the job, age won’t matter”.) I recently got an email back stating that although I was certainly qualified the hiring manager was going to interview candidates that were “a better long term fit”. Barbara, do you really believe that ” If your skills fit the job, age won’t matter”? That’s what we would all like to believe, but I have experienced it.

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