Why you should age-proof your resume

Your resume is the first impression a prospective employer will have of you. Simple things, such as presentation, personal details, length and wording, may be the deciding factor in whether or not you are called for an interview.

Unfortunately, age rarely works in your favour, despite all the experience and knowledge it brings. These tips help reduce the risk of falling prey to ageist stereotypes.

Get a LinkedIn account
If you don’t already have one, get a LinkedIn profile. If you already have an account, make sure it’s updated to match your resume.

LinkedIn is like a social media platform for job seekers and employers. It allows you to connect with other professionals, find people in your industry, and showcase your achievements and professional experience. Possible employers are more than likely to look up your profile if they’re considering you for a job.

Keep it recent
More isn’t always better. Mention jobs, experiences and achievements from the past 10 to 15 years, as more may overwhelm the reader. While you may have decades of experience, listing it all on your resume may make you seem overqualified or outdated.

If you feel you have relevant experience from more than 15 years ago, explain it in a cover letter, or summarise it at the top of your resume.

Keep it short
Remember, this is a resume, not an autobiography. The truth is, most employers will only skim read your resume, so make it as easy to digest as possible. Use bold text to visually separate sections, followed by concise dot points. Avoid using waffly language, it’s more likely to distract than impress.

Keep it simple
Remember to ‘KISS’, or ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’. Make slightly varied versions of your resume, relevant to each job you apply for. To do this, put the most relevant jobs, skills and achievements higher on the page or below each subheading. Be clear and direct about how these skills are relevant to the role.

Keep it ageless
Ageism may be illegal, but it’s still all too common. While you shouldn’t lie about your age, withholding some minor details may help you avoid false preconceptions or stereotyping.

Make sure you are using an up-to-date email address. If you currently use an email address ending in hotmail.com or yahoo.com, it may be worth getting a new email address with Outlook or Google. This will help your interviewer know you’re more up to date with technology.

Another key piece of advice from moneytalksnews.com is to not ‘date’ yourself by stating when you graduated. Instead, list your academic qualifications and the school or institution you attended, but leave out the date that you graduated.

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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