Most people know that a resume tells the story of your professional history, education, volunteerism, and skill-set. However, did you also know that it may be telling your age—even without putting your age on the document? As people progress through their careers, it is important to recognize that age discrimination can and does happen. Although it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out someone’s age, it is also vital that you don’t give away that information if it is not needed. Check out the following ways that your resume may be ‘dating’ you.
#1 – Putting an objective on your resume. This is outdated and no longer needs to be there. Many years ago, this was the first statement on the document, telling the employer where you wanted to go with your future career. Today, employers want to know what you can do for THEM. Instead, use this space to provide a career summary.
#2 – Listing graduation dates. Unless you are a recent graduate (within the last three to six months), the graduation dates do not need to be listed on your resume. The year you graduated from college isn’t particularly relevant to any job opening and provides the employer with another way to guess your age.
#3 – Including more than the last 15 years of employment experience. Even if you have been working for 30+ years and have terrific experience, there is no reason to list your oldest employment history. I worked as a bank teller in high school which was over 20 years ago. This information is no longer relevant to my professional aspirations and is outdated – I simply don’t include it.
#4 – Adding the line ‘References Available Upon Request.’ In today’s job market, it is understood that you will be able to provide references when the time comes. There is no need for this line to take up space on your resume. In addition, references today are not able to provide as much detailed information as years ago—people and companies are wary of possible litigation.
#5 – Including two spaces after your punctuation instead of one space. When I was in high school, we learned to put two spaces after the end of a sentence. This was something that carried over from the days of using a typewriter, ensuring the readability of the finished document. Today, using one space is perfectly acceptable. If a resume comes through with two spaces, it is almost guaranteed that the reader will know the candidate graduated from high school a minimum of 20 years ago.
This is just the start of items that can make your resume feel ‘old’ and may take you out of the job running. Be sure to modernize your resume and get it ready for TODAY’S job market. Just because your resume has always looked a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to present the information. If you are ready to move forward with your job search, contact us today!
P.S. Are you ready to move forward with your new resume and want to rewrite it on your own? Check out our Do-It-Yourself Resume Kit that has 14-pages of valuable information, including a resume template!