Finding a job isn’t easy and it sometimes feels like too much experience actually counts against you. Despite the fact that age discrimination violates federal law, workers say age discrimination is real.
A survey by AARP in 2018 shows that 16 percent of older workers believed they were rejected for a job they applied for due to age concerns. Nearly two-thirds of those age 45 and older say they have seen or experienced age discrimination on the job and 76 percent said age bias could make finding new work take longer than three months.
If that sounds familiar, tuning up your resume might improve your success rate. Here are resume tips to make your applications age-proof.
1. Only list recent experience
When you’ve got decades of work under your belt, stick to your recent experience. The last 10 to 15 years of experience should suffice to showcase your abilities and knowledge. What you’ve been doing all your life isn’t as important as what you’ve done lately.
2. Don’t say when you graduated
You also don’t need to date yourself by listing when you graduated. Instead, just mention the school from which you graduated without listing the year.
3. Keep your resume short
Keep the resume short. Hiring managers likely will only skim your resume the first time they see it, so make it easy to skim.
Use bullet points. Put the most important stuff first. Use bold or larger text to separate sections, and make smart use of space. Focus on accomplishments more than responsibilities. Avoid jargon and Proofread for anything that sounds outdated.
4. Consider changing your email address
If your email address still ends in yahoo.com, hotmail.com or aol.com, hiring managers might worry you’re still living in the 1990s. Gmail.com and outlook.com are both free and considered current, professional options.
5. Get a LinkedIn profile
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, get one. It’s like a free Facebook page for job-seekers, and you should expect hiring managers to take a peek even if they don’t ask you for a link to your LinkedIn profile.
6. If you already have a LinkedIn profile, make sure it’s up to date
Update it to reflect your polished resume. It would be a shame to put all that work in, so to speak, only to have your LinkedIn account still showing details that age you. And keep it current. Even when you’re not actively looking for a job, there are always recruiters actively looking to fill them.