Tips for Age-Proofing Your Resume

These resume tweaks will help older workers avoid losing out on a job opportunity due to age discrimination.

Age discrimination is the most common type of employment bias, according to a recent study.

The AARP Public Policy Institute’s March report “The Long Road Back: Struggling to Find Work After Employment,” found that 20 percent of respondents ages 45 to 70 said their age negatively affected their ability to get a job a “great deal” during their current or most recent period of unemployment. Another 31 percent said their age negatively affected them “somewhat.”

Lori A. Trawinski, director of banking and finance for AARP, also tells MarketWatch that 15 years of surveys on workplace age discrimination show that more than 60 percent of respondents have seen or experienced it.

So what’s an older worker to do? Giving your resume a makeover can pay off.

Scott Dobroski, a career trends analyst with careers website Glassdoor, tells MarketWatch:

There’s nothing wrong with age-proofing your resume.

He advises focusing on your most recent experience, going back only 10 years as a general guideline, to avoid dating yourself.

If you need to go back further, nationally certified resume writer Kathy Keshemberg suggests including a “previous work experience” section that lists company names and job titles without dates, she told U.S. News.

Alternatively, Marci Alboher, author of “The Encore Career Handbook,” suggests putting a summary at the top of your resume. She explains to U.S. News:

[Employers] often don’t really care what you did 25 or 30 years ago. But if that happens to be the most relevant work that you do, your challenge is to find a way to feature that prominently, and I always recommend doing that up in the top in a summary.

It’s a way to encapsulate a long period of experience and really highlight the relevant pieces of it … even though it was quite a long time ago.

Dobroski also says it’s unnecessary to indicate what years you attended or graduated from college.

Just make sure your LinkedIn profile and any online resumes don’t undermine your resume by disclosing more details that might age you.

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Stacy Johnson

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