De-age your résumé. Although it is against the law to discriminate against our protected age group, it is unfortunately still practiced. So, what we will create instead is an advertisement for an interview that does not give away our age. Keep in mind, the résumé’s only purpose is to advertise for an interview. Once we gain the interview, we will win them over with our value, confidence, and relevance.
Here are some ways your résumé may make you look old:
- Including a middle initial or your middle name
- Displaying your full address. This is not only recommended simply for your personal safety, but also for the potential of economic profiling
- Including more numbers than your mobile number. If you are uncomfortable placing your personal cell number, then obtain a Google Voice number as your mobile number. It can be set-up so that it will ring on multiple phones and can be configured to transcribe the message, which can then be emailed and/or texted to you
- Using an email address that is either aol.com or has reference to a cable company. Obtain a gmail email address or a forwarded email address from an alumni association or a professional society or association. Ideally, it would be great if you secured your name as your URL (i.e. maxgilreath.com), then use your personal domain for email
- Including the year you graduated college. Let’s just leave that off. In some cases, it may be before the hiring manager was born. If you are, however, a recent graduate, then certainly include the date
- Double-spacing after a period. I’ll be honest, I had to go back through this post and delete several extra spaces! It is a sure give-away we are “over 50” when displayed throughout your résumé
- Including an objective statement, which is all about you and what you want, the company doesn’t care. It reminds me of a quote from Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, he said; “We don’t hire you because you need a job, we hire you because we need you. So, no objective statement…period
- If you can help it, try not to go back more than 10-15 years of professional experience. Most certainly, do not list the jobs you held back in the 80s or 90s. If you find that your past experiences, or significant achievements, bring great value to the targeted position you are applying for, then I would recommend you summarize “additional experience” and leave off the pertinent dates associated with those experiences. One exception would be if you served in the military. Frame your service on your résumé, not the tenure. (i.e. served in the U.S Army for 4 years (not from 1980-1984)). If you served in the military, I want to personally honor, and sincerely thank you for your bravery and for the unselfish sacrifice you and your family extended to so many of us! Now, back to de-aging…
- Don’t list “run-of-the-mill” skills like MS Word, PowerPoint, or Excel. It makes it look as if you’ve just gotten onboard with those programs. You absolutely do not want to list a fax number, pager number, or how many words per minute you type
Since your résumé will get about a 10-20 second initial look by someone before they decide to read further and place you in the “call ’em” pile, you at least do not want to be quickly eliminated due to “old school” ways. Additional tips are available in the book Over 50 Starting Over, with a complete action plan.