When writing a resume, what can you do to avoid ageism effectively?
Format your resume appropriately.
Your resume needs to be clean; that is one of the most critical things about it. We recommend a professional-looking and easy-to-read format, and if you’re not sure what a modern professional resume looks like, you can begin by browsing and checking out free templates that have been designed based on employer preferences.
While the terms of a professional resume may differ by industry, you can begin by making sure your resume reaches the following standards:
• Written comfortably on one page, unless you are an executive or senior leader.
• Margins are .5 inch minimum to 1-inch maximum.
• An easy-to-read font is used. The right font may differ by industry, but Ariel, Helvetica, or Calibri is typically best.
• Font size is 10 to 12 points, aside from section headers which should be slightly larger.
• It would be appropriate to bold your name and section headers.
• Make sure to add spaces between sections so it’s simple to read without leaving ample blank space on the top or bottom of the page, which might be distracting.
Improve your contact information. Your contact information section must include:
• Your full name
• Email address
• City or state
• A phone number that is easy to reach
• Even though your resume is not a legal document, it’s best and wise to use your legal name.
• Address: Including your complete address is no longer required since much of the hiring process is done online, which raises safety concerns for some candidates. You can simply include your city and state.
• Email: Consider using a current email domain instead of old ones such as AOL or Hotmail. It’s wise to use a professional email address that is not distracting and provides a positive first impression. It would be best if the email containing your name.
• Phone number: Include a reliable phone number and record a brief, professional personal voicemail message rather than leaving the default message.
Emphasize your education and remove graduation dates.
You probably have a valuable list of experience that the employers want to read about, so it is best to move your education section to the bottom of your resume. The more you pull focus on your work experience, the better. If you have advanced degrees like master’s or PhD. include those in rank order of level (ex. PhD., Master’s, Bachelor’s, etc.).
Keep your professional experience recent and highlight your impact.
You might have 15 or more years of professional experience, but including jobs older than 15 years may mislead employers from your skills and qualifications and pull attention to your age. It will help if you remove less related careers that do not add value to the specific role you’re applying for. Doing so can also assist you in keeping your resume on one page without using small fonts or extra-thin margins. Your most recent job should include the most extended description, with five to seven detailed bullets.
The rest needs to be shorter.
It would be wise to write about the specific impact you could make at each of your jobs with numbers, if possible, instead of including job descriptions and general duties. For example, a district manager could write, “Exceeded profit goals by 10% in the summer of 2019, beating other districts in sales and profit” instead of “Responsible for meeting profit goals by setting quarterly sales strategies.”
Reviewing job descriptions can also assist you in identifying your industry’s current skills and qualities that align with employer expectations. Using this language in your resume can prove you’re up-to-date with the latest industry standards.
To avoid ageism while searching for a job, first, make sure that you are familiar with how a modern resume looks. To do so, start by browsing free templates. Your resume must meet the desired standards.
Second, I suggest excluding the irrelevant experiences beyond the last ten years. If the employer doesn’t find them helpful and relevant, you have no chance for acceptance. Third, show that you are up to speed with technology.
Nowadays, technology plays an essential role in our daily communication, and companies are more in search of tech-savvy. So, make sure to highlight that you are proficient at the current software program. Plus, it’s much better to leave the price open for negotiation. Let the employer see the potential value first and then decide.
As a resume writer and career strategist, unlike others, I don’t believe in hiding your age on a resume, nor do I believe in hiding your experience, length of employment, or graduation year.
Ask yourself: Doesn’t leaving that information look like a red flag? If so, what else is the applicant hiding?
That’s not something you want to happen with your hiring manager. I tell the same thing to all of my 50+ clients. Present your background and experience in such a way that what you have to offer is already emphasized. Here’s the thing:
Let’s suppose you leave out your graduation dates on your CV to avoid the fact that you’re older. What do you think will happen if they look at your LinkedIn profile or ask you for an interview? Unfortunately, that ageism will exist.
BUT, if you can create an impression right away, they will notice that although you are an older applicant, you are a fantastic fit for their organization because of your considerable experience. Writing them all out there is a win-win for you and your recruiter. In the job hunt, don’t be bothered about your age. Will some businesses promote ageism more than others? YES, that happens, regrettably.
However, you must take self-assurance in your abilities and use it to distinguish yourself as a top-tier applicant. Then, you’ll find the perfect job.
While there are some ways to avoid giving out your age on your resume, including hiding birth dates, high school or college graduation dates, or work experience older than a decade, I do not suggest any of them, and here is why:
Imagine destroying all evidence of your age on your resume to make your application appeal more to certain employers. What happens next? What if they ask for interviews or meetings? What if you get a reputation for hiding important information on purpose?
There is a meager chance of working for a place and managing to keep your age from them forever. Instead, highlight your experience and skills. Have faith in your work and the years you have improved your professional life. True, ageism exists. Yet dishonesty does not solve the problem, and if it does, it’ll only be temporary. My advice is to stay true to your record. If it gets you the position, great; if not, why would you want to work for people who discriminate based on age anyway?