If you’re in the later part of your career and find yourself starting over, you may be worried about a number of things. In particular, many older job seekers are concerned about the discrimination they may face during the interview process.
And honestly, it’s for good reason. First impressions happen quickly and make a lasting impact.
Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees. Unemployed workers who are 55 and older stay out of work 20% longer than those between 25 and 54.
Reducing your perceived age can help you to avoid this dilemma. The steps below will help you shave years off your resume.
- Truncate your work experience – It’s not a requirement that you list every job you’ve ever had on your resume. Including the last 10-15 years is sufficient to give an accurate picture of your work history and direction. Try leaving out your first few positions which may be less relevant, lower level, and possibly redundant as compared to your recent work history.
- Eliminate your graduation years – Dropping off your graduation years from your resume can make it harder to guess your age. Just remember to also drop these years from your LinkedIn profile and other social media sites, like Facebook.
- Use an up-to-date e-mail address – Stay away from older e-mails like AOL, Yahoo, or Comcast. These e-mail addresses are giveaways to a person’s age. In certain fields, it may also suggest that you’re not up to date with the latest technology. For a more modern e-mail address, consider Gmail or Live.com. Both are free and easy to sign up for.
- Don’t include a home phone – On your resume, you only need to include one phone number. Most likely, this will be your cell phone. But, whether it’s your cell phone or home phone, there’s no need to specify. The younger generation is no longer signing up for home phones, so displaying yours only highlights your age.
- Keep the total length to two pages, maximum – There’s no need to include every activity and project you’ve ever worked on. If you apply to jobs with a resume that’s more than two pages, you give the impression that you either don’t know how to write a resume, or you have WAY MORE work experience than everyone else. Keep your resume to one or two pages to avoid this stigma.
- Leave off “references available upon request” – There’s no need to include this phrase on your resume. You provide references as a separate part of the interview process. Including this phrase (or a list of references) on your resume only raises questions.
Just remember, a large part of your age is all about perception. It’s how you present yourself on paper, online, and in person. Taking a little time to clean up your resume can trim years off your age, and months off your job search.
I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.