Your Resume and Your Age
The format and contents of your resume say a lot about your age. Age discrimination is a fact of life in today’s job market. This goes both ways for the young and the old. I want to discuss the signs that you are over 50 years of age and, hopefully, get you past the initial gatekeepers who might think you are too old.
For many years, we sent our resume and cover letter through the mail. We put our home address right on the top. Fact is, there is no longer a need to put your home address on the resume anymore.
There are other reasons not to include your home address:
- Economic profiling
- Length of commute
- Personal safety
If the employer needs your home mailing address, they can ask for it.
(More: Is the resume still relevant)
One sure sign that you are over 50 is to have an aol.com e-mail address or even an e-mail address from your cable provider like rr.com on your resume.
Either sign up for a Gmail address or get an e-mail forwarding service from:
- A professional society – I have had e-mail addresses from IEEE and ACM both technology associations
- Your Alumni Association – I have an e-mail address from my Northwestern Alumni Association
- Get your own domain – I have one client who acquired his full name as a domain name like MarcMiller.com
All of these options say something about your professional brand.
I always recommend using a separate e-mail address for your job search.
Home Phone Number
Who under 45 years of age still has a home phone? We ditched our home phone five years ago, and I am quite a bit older than 45. If you still have a home phone and do not want to give out your cell phone number, get a Google Voice number. Put the Google Voice number on your resume as your cell number. You can set it up so that it will ring on multiple phones (both home and cell). It can be configured to transcribe the message, and then email and text you the transcription. Some of the transcriptions can be really funny. I had one recruiter leave me a message and her name was transcribed as stressed out waters.
Double Space After Period
I am going to go out a limb and declare that putting two spaces after a period is obsolete. It is how most of us were taught to type on a typewriter. Therefore, most of us who do this (I have taught myself to stop putting two spaces after a period and it was hard) are over 50 years of age.
Over the years, I have heard that this has been used as a method of screening out older candidates.
Limit the skills you list on your resume to current and relevant skills. I have seen many technical resumes that list every system, software program, and technology that the applicant has ever worked on.
I could list that I wrote MS-DOS control programs, wrote machine level code developing word processors, managed IBM mainframe computers, and lots of other obsolete technologies. Unless I was applying for a position that required these skills, all it tells the reader is I am over 50 years of age and maybe older.
Look at your resume—what does it say about your age? Show it to others and ask them what it says about you.
Age discrimination is a fact of life in the job market today. You do not want to be filtered out by the staff who are screening initial resumes and lose the opportunity to demonstrate your talents and skills.
By the way, I chose to use resume rather than résumé in this article for the purists.
This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.
You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.