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Monday, November 17, 2014

8 Ways To Age Proof Your Resume

8 Ways to Age Proof Your Resume:

Preparing a resume that emphasizes your value is a good first step to preparing for your job search. Here are eight ways to age-proof your resume:

1. Don’t provide your complete work history: This is the number one mistake job seekers make. If it’s before 1990, employers probably don’t care. Hiring managers are most interested in what you did recently, so concentrate on your recent career. If you feel compelled to delve into earlier experiences, create a section called “Early Career” and provide just the highlights and no dates.

2. Watch your language: Avoid age-revealing statements such as “35 years of experience” or age-defining clich├ęs such as “seasoned professional.”

3. Stick to a “combination” resume style, leading with a strong “Career Summary” section: You may have been advised to mask your years of experience with a functional resume format. But employers do not like to see functional resumes because they are often used by candidates who are trying to hide something. You don’t want employers reading your resume and searching for a possible problem. Unless your work history is extremely spotty or you are completely changing careers, stick to a chronological format.

4. Show that you’re current with technology and industry trends: Are you proficient with Wang or an expert at BASIC programming? While these programs were once cutting-edge, they have been replaced with new technology. Show that you’ve kept up with the times by removing antiquated equipment, programs, and tools, and highlight your knowledge of modern technology.

5. Consider dropping dates of education: This is a tough call, because hiring managers who want to know a person’s age will go right to the “Education” section and do the math. If your education occurred in the 1970s or earlier, it might be in your best interest to eliminate graduation dates.

6. Keep your school names updated: If you graduated from a school that has since changed its name, include the new name. If you are concerned about discrepancies in case an employer asks to see a transcript, write the former name of the school in parentheses.

7. Show that you’ve been continually learning or taking on new roles: The key is to demonstrate that your skills are fresh and in demand. It is important that you show that you are flexible and willing to adapt to organizational changes.

8. Quantify and expand on your achievements: As a professional with a long work history, this is your chance to accentuate the positive. You have what younger workers may lack — years of practical experience. Provide examples of how your performance contributed to your employers’ goals, mission, and bottom-line results.

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    40 Post a Comment :

    Anonymous said...

    Although it is the recruiter's fault for assuming age based upon resume dates, how do you handle their disappointment (and possibly indignation) when they realize that you're older that they expected?

    Anonymous said...

    It's true employers are most interested in the last 10 years of work history. And while earlier experiences can be summarized, leaving out dates of employment, graduation, etc. is rarely a good idea. First, this information is easily obtained. Second, let's suppose we successfully obtain an interview. What do you think might happen when you show up for the appointment and the employer realizes you are older (perhaps much older) than they had been led to believe. You've immediately cast doubt on your credibility shortly after stepping in the front door.

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    Anonymous said...

    I have changed my resume for the past 12 years as suggested by many agencies. I have been in and out of temp jobs for many valid reasons. I just don't understand why I have to hide my age. I feel that by not showing dates it looks like I am hiding something. I think that the corporations can figure it out that if my dates aren't on my ressume that I am older and trying to hide that fact. I tried it and an agency said that I need to show my dates. Then another wanted to know when I graduated. Then another said not to show my dates. I am healthy and educated. Isn't this age discrimination? It is my understadning that companies are hiring on a contract basis so that they don't have a need to pay medical and because of age.

    Very concerning and disheartening.


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    Barbara Ruth Saunders said...

    Younger people get discrimination, too. When I was recruiting I read somewhere that the only people not vulnerable to age discrimination are those between 35 and 40. That's a tiny window! I did notice that after hitting a certain age, I got taken MUCH more seriously.

    Anonymous said...

    While age discrimination borders on criminal, and it is a very difficult issue for us "mature" professionals to deal with, there is an upside. Organizations that exhibit a negative attitude towards older employees are exceptionally misguided. Having worked for companies willing to hire the 50+ candidate, I can assure you that their managers are ahead of the curve. They have a real understanding of the advantages of both older and younger workers, and realize the benefits of diversity.
    Companies that age-discriminate keep a constant eye on their bottom line, and are more apt to lay off workers when times are lean. This is the Achille's heel of American businesses, but many don't yet realize it.
    You don't want to work for any of these employers even if you could, because as the young employee gradually ages, he becomes expendable.

    Anonymous said...

    A poster wrote, "Age discrimination borders on the criminal." I wish to clarify something: age discrimination IS criminal. If more people who believe they were discriminated on the basis of age file formal complaints with the government against the entity that allegedly discriminated against them, perhaps something would be done about this egregious practice. It boggles the mind how companies bend over backwards to hire minorities for fear of getting into trouble with the government, but have no issues with discriminating against anyone over 40, regardless of their suitability for a particular position. Personally, I believe that age discrimination is rampant in the United States and organizations and associations like the AARP, which includes members 55 years of age and older, do virtually nothing of sigificance to combat it. Even their list of organizations that hire people over 55 is substantially flawed. I've have been a perfect or near-perfect fit for many positions with organizations the AARP indicate are age-friendly but cannot even get an interview with them. On the other hand, I have found a few companies that do not have a problem with my age. These are small consulting firms who hire me on a project basis, and which have offered me full-time, permanent employment. Make no mistake, age discrimination IS illegal and we all should file complaints with the federal government whenever we encounter it.

    Valentino Martinez said...

    Disguising your age is like hiding your intelligence. You are who you are so put it out there in any job application you make.

    Hiding your age may get your foot in the door, but once in your busted as a person embarrassed enough about your age that you hide it.

    If an employer discriminates against the older professional--I want to flush that fact out now rather play games and discover it later.

    Dan Wells said...

    I just changed my resume yesterday to say "As an IT Professional with many years of experience..." instead of "As a seasoned professional with 25 years of experience...". We'll see if it makes any difference.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with Valentino's viewpoints, he is spot on. Experienced and skilled people should not have to dance around this age related dilemma. Be forthright about your age, the dates of your schooling and experience. If you don't get the interview because certain companies choose to discriminate, then so be it. You will know this to the case early in the process and you save yourself unnecessary aggravation.

    Let us be clear, this latter case is a lose/lose formula for the discriminating companies and you. Your best bet is to continue searching until you find the desirable win/win formula. You may need to target companies that require a greater degree of skill, assuming you have the needed skill set to offer.

    They can’t get this skill set by hiring the next guy off the street or the recent college graduate. Certain jobs really do require experience; there is no way around this fact. The companies that understand this fact will facilitate the desired win/win formula. Kevin

    Anonymous said...

    I have used these "age-proofing" techniques and's embarrassing to both parties when you do secure an interview and you can almost see the initial shock on the interviewer's face. When I had my first experience of this type I stopped hiding my possible age and was lucky to get a job at a company that embraces diversity and I am very happy with the job and the people. It was like a breath of fresh air!

    Mark Anthony Dyson said...

    I would exclude jobs before 1995-96, if at all possible. Especially if your accomplishments are plentiful. I like using energetic power verbs wherever possible like "tackle" and "boost."

    This is great advice. Good stuff.

    victoree said...

    I have had setbacks since 1990 that punched gaping holes in my resume and will always make it look very bad. There is no way to hide.I just do the best I can with the resume,practice positive answers for the interview as much as possible and understand that alternative ways of making a living is my best bet. One recruiter panel member told me I just had to pray.

    john chambers said...

    But it is absolutely imperative that you read the job description and try to get a feel for where the job sits in the organisational pecking-order. It IS possible to over-state your experience and qualifications and terrify the recruiters ?????????

    Aged 21-and-a-bit, my No 1 Son completed university brilliantly, with a Starred First in Geology and a whole host of departmental prizes that hadn't been won for years.

    This made him unemployable! Mineral exploration companies desperately crying out for more degree-qualified geologists wouldn't touch him !!!!!

    They reckoned that all their team leaders would be worried out of their wits, constantly looking over their shoulders in the fear that Wonder Boy would know more than they did and might fault them ... might-have-been employers reckoned all the old hands would rest easier without Wonder Boy on the payroll. So he never got a job offer in geology.

    Be careful NOT to play your experience and qualification cards too heavily if you are going for a team-member level job ... it's often not difficult to spook the horses.

    Ralph Steeber said...

    It has always been my opinion that "people hire people". In today market a JobSeeker has to look at their resume as a Sales Presentation - presenting themselves in the best light - pertinent experience and educational overview of what you have done that applies to what job you are applying for. The past 10-12 years is all most employers care about. Creating the right resume for you is an individual thing and whether you present past jobs in a creative way, eliminate years you graduated from schools, words such as 25 years or seasoned is YOUR DECISION.

    Getting in front of an employer in a face to face interview is your #1 goal. A resume is just a piece of paper - You are the product and give your self a chance - prepare a RESUME that works best for you. Good Luck!

    Chris said...

    I never have felt that age is barrier. The important thing is showing your dynamic, being able to adapt to change. In a world where technology changes constantly and the job market is very competitive, age should really not be a concern. I am 47 and have never had an issue with seeking work. It's about how you present yourself. Use social media, friends or whatever means it takes. Employers who feel your age is going to be an issue may not be worth working for anyway. It is not what the employer thinks, it is what you believe about yourself. Honesty, integrity and work ethic.

    fwordsblog said...

    Some interesting tips, such as not including dates for the early part of one's career. I had to fill in an application form recently where they asked for year of graduation. I guessed that was the secret question for working out one's age. Luckily they forgot to ask for date of birth (are they not allowed to?), so they're not to know that I was in my 30s when I graduated, as I did Open University as a mature student. I look forward to seeing their confusion when they see my wizened old face at the interview!

    Valentino Martinez said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Valentino Martinez said...

    Suggestions for hiding your age on a resume are exactly the wrong way to go.

    Suggestions to expound on your qualifications, as they relate to the job in question, are the right way to go if you want to make a positive impression.

    Teasing a recruiter or hiring manager with a deceptive resume will only add insult to injury when you are discovered to be too old for their taste in candidates.

    Accept the fact that there are shortsighted decision makers who will discriminate against the older job applicant. Wasting your time and theirs will gain you absolutely nothing in the end.

    And the concept of "winning them over" is a stretch. I'd rather put it all out there and let the employer be aware of exactly who and what they are considering. If my experience; accomplishments--and ability to adapt to expected and unexpected job related challenges don’t impress—they should pass on me.

    And, btw, I’d appreciate not working for anyone who saw no value in what I consider to be an outstanding past performance with strong indications of future value. If a hiring manager, or recruiter, feel they want to stake their needs on unproven or up-and-coming youth—have at it.

    If they want youth, let them grow their own. If they want proof, wisdom and "ready-now" capability--they can go for the proven older individual. Either way it's a gamble and I always go with experience and a track record of gravitas.

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    Gail Tolstoi-Miller said...

    Age and experience are rich and abundant resources for the workforce. I hope the following information will help some of the readers here to recognize their value: /6-reasons-why-older-out-of-work-workers-are-good-for-your-business/

    Resume Writing said...

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    Anonymous said...

    Due to the Age Discrimination implemented by the Advertising industry Ad Agencies have decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 50 years of age and above on early retirement, thus creating jobs and reducing unemployment.

    This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

    Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to AD Agencies to be considered for the SHAFT program (Special Help After Forced Termination).

    Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW program (System Covering Retired-Early Workers).

    A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as Ad Agencies deems appropriate.

    Ultimate said...

    When the economy took a dive in 2008, recruiters and employers began looking for the newly graduate of local universities and colleges that would accept 1/3 the pay to fill positions. History repeated itself and this move crashed and burned when the educated but inexperienced, basement dwelling, pant dragging occupy movement took the ropes and didn't know what to do with them. Many companies are turning back to the "seasoned" employees/contractors for the experience, maturity and knowledge of how to dress for the job (pants on the waist)to get the job done.
    So show your age/experience and expertise. The day has returned that paying peanuts gets you monkeys.

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    Darlene Zambruski said...

    It's especially important to focus on quantified accomplishments beginning with the opening summary (include two of the most recent/relevant), followed by a Career Accomplishments section prior to Professional Experience. Older workers especially need to wow the hiring manager or recruiter before they get to the work history. Results in previous jobs are one of the few ways to overcome age discrimination.

    Darlene Zambruski, Managing Editor
    CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer)

    manoj said...

    you make some very, very optimistic assumptions about that reader. You are certain that your reader is eager to find the best person resumes online

    Michelle Anne Custodio said...

    Age doesn't matter when writing a resume. You need to defend you are still fit. You can ask help from resume writer Calgary. They can definitely help.

    Anonymous said...

    Expose every company you interview with (either via phone or in person) and then discover age discrimination by posting your experience on Then their actions are out there for "ALL" to see and evaluate. Bring this practice out of the shadows and into the spot light. Companies hate bad PR. This website annoys them all.

    Resume said...

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    HouseOfResume said...

    If you think you are smart, recruiters are a wee bit smarter. They are well-versed with the tricks of the trade. The only way to outsmart them is to do it subtly:
    Specifying date of birth or age is not compulsory by law. So, keep away from spelling it out for all to see.

    HouseOfResume said...

    Age discrimination is a fact and some companies follow it too. But in my opinion your qualification, experience and achievements should speak volumes and the interviewer wouldn’t get a chance to reject you just because you are too mature for the job.

    Anonymous said...

    Aged people can be wiser and smarter than the recruiters themselves or others in the company. As the aforementioned story of the young geologist with medals, fools don't seem to like others smarter than them, instead of being positive and looking at someone older and wiser as an asset for the company and all in it to learn from. However, gone are the days where age or wisdom are respected; the fact nowadays is that 'no one should teach us anything; we know it all, more so if we are younger and for the time being fit the bill of the bare essential requirements of the job'; After all who cares about the finer aspects of life or about improvement or about character or about becoming better human beings, which are value added benefits far above the narrow job description (JD) sense, which is all what immature recruiters seem to be capable of viewing and weighing candidates with. Kudos to the Advanced Human Race. May they go far. Amen.

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    Anonymous said...

    Many companies these days require you to fill out online applications where school dates, work history dates, etc. are required fields.

    Anonymous said...

    What is usually missed by career coaches on this subject is that employers can have higher expectations for more senior workers, not lower. They expect leadership and mentoring capabilities and deep sub sector knowledge. Switching sectors? Expect a tougher go of it, younger workers may get more of a pass on that. Yes, I know major CEO's have switched from tobacco to IT industries, but those are highest level big picture jobs with a cult of personality behind them. You are most likely going for "technocrat" or upper mid-level positions requiring combined generalist and technical insight. It would help if coaches get away from wardrobe issues and resume formats only and start addressing these issues.

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