8 Tips for Creating an Ageless Resume

Although it’s not something that most people want to talk about – discrimination in the world of work is real. If you are over 50, and concerned that you are being screened out because of your age, a good solution is creating an ageless resume. Prospective employers are hiring because they have a problem that needs solving – they are hiring solutions to problems – they do not care about job tenure. With that in mind, you have to demonstrate why you are the solution to the problem to increase your chances of getting a job interview. Here are 8 tips for creating an ageless resume.

  1. Remove mention of tenure in your summary statement. So instead of saying that you are a project manager with 20 years of experience, write that you are skilled at managing projects for Fortune 500 companies that are delivered on time and under budget. Highlight your talent and not your years of experience.
  2. Exclude stating your total number of years of work experience. As a job candidate, your competitive advantage lies in what you accomplished while working in a function, and not the number of years you worked in that role. What kinds of problems did you solve in the role? How did you cut costs or increase revenue? What systems did you implement that saved time? On your resume, instead of highlighting that you worked at your last employer from 1995 – 2013, emphasize the different roles that you worked in, and the years that you worked in those roles.
  3. Limit your resume to the most recent 15 years of work experience. Focus on the most recent 15 years of work experience, which is a good predictor of how you will perform in the future. Your expertise makes you a good hire, so talk about new technologies and current best practices that you have implemented. Consolidate your experience that is beyond 15 years under a heading such as Additional Related Experience and do not include any dates.
  4. Remove graduation dates unless they are recent. Graduation dates allow hiring managers to roughly calculate your age, so remove any date that will allow them to pinpoint your age. We are living in an age of constant change, and the information you learned while working on your degree 15 years ago is now outdated. However, if you recently completed a degree, go ahead and include it on your resume.
  5. Include professional development details. If you have updated your skills regularly and/or have completed certification in your industry or functional area, include them to demonstrate that you are a lifelong learner. You can add a section on your resume such as Recent Professional Accomplishments.
  6. Include recent business results. If you have achieved noteworthy business results, include them on your resume because your expertise and accomplishments help prospective employers to decide if you are the best job candidate.
  7. Show, don’t tell. This point relates to showing the prospective employer that you are the solution to his problem, so instead of simply listing your professional experience, demonstrate your expertise and accomplishment by using the Challenge, Action and Results formula. That means you state a problem you encountered, the actions you took to resolve the challenge, and the results of your intervention. Showing and not telling can be quite powerful on the resume and could be what sets you apart from others because you are focusing on solutions that matter to a prospective employer, and you are shifting focus away from your age.
  8. Use current terminology. The terminology and language you use on your resume can date you. If necessary, get a younger person to mentor you so you know the current terminology to use on your resume.

By following the tips offered, you are creating an ageless resume that will reduce the risk against age discrimination. Choosing the right information and terminology will demonstrate to hiring managers that you are a valuable job candidate and the best person for the job.