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15 ways to de-age your resume

de-age your resume, how to de-age your resume, creating a powerful resume,
De-age your resume!
Follow these tips to de-age your resume so recruiters will focus on your qualifications and not your age.

1. Delete job experience from before 15 years ago unless relevant to the positions you want or unless the job crossed into recent years (such as 1993 – 2011).

2. If beneficial, combine relevant past experience prior to 15 years ago very briefly in the last bullet of your last listed job. For example, state "Additional experience included serving as a production artist and creative director."

3. Replace “20+ years of ABC experience,” with “extensive ABC experience.”

4. Remove dates you attended college or received your degree. Note: Also remove education dates from your LinkedIn profile by going to your Edit Profile page, clicking the Edit link next to each school and leaving the Dates Attended box set on hyphen "-"

removing dates from education section of LinkedIn, LinkedIn education section,
Removed education dates on LinkedIn.

5. Remove months from past jobs so just the years show. Example: 2006 – 2008. This will fill in gaps between partial-year positions and de-clutter your resume. (Retain the omitted monthly information in case you need it for completing application forms.)

6. Omit dates from activities, honors, awards, and certifications.

7. Replace an objective statement (which is old school) with a bold headline stating your unique qualifications for each position. Example:

Human Resources Manager
with Fortune 500 Corporation Experience

8. Play up recent skills and remove proficiencies for technologies that are no longer used.

9. Add a skills summary near the top of your resume that includes all of the skills you possess that relate to the job titles you want.  

resume summary section, resume keywords, resume key words, creating a powerful resume,

10. Remove the outdated phrase “References available upon request” and either include your references or assume the company will ask for references later.
remove references available upon request,

11. Use an easy-to-read san-serif typeface. Also make good use of white space at the margins and between sections to give your resume a fresh look.

12. Attach recent samples of your work rather than dated or yellowed samples or examples from defunct companies.

13. Include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your contact information to reinforce that you “get” social media. To find/copy the address, go to your LinkedIn View Profile page and look for the words "Public Profile" at the bottom of the top box. Simply highlight, then copy the web address next to the words which looks something like http://www.linkedin.com/in/YOURNAME12354 and paste it into your resume.

14. Include a list of your LinkedIn recommendations rather than old reference letters. Learn how.

15. Include relevant, recent accomplishments so that it doesn’t look like your greatest moments happened eons ago.

Take active steps to de-age your resume! Doing so can help youGet a Job! 

What other ways can people de-age their resume?
Share your ideas by clicking on the blog headline and completing the Comments box or by commenting on a LinkedIn discussion board that might have brought you to this blog. -- Kathy


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  1. Those are very useful tips for making a attractive resume, I remember them and now going to make changes in my resume.


  2. As a career management coach with over 20 years' experience, I have several comments, with the understanding that career coaches sometimes differ in point of view.

    - Do not automatically delete jobs further back than 15 years. My advice is to think about what you want to save or delete, based on the job you want now.
    - Please don't use the term Additional Experience Includes - you can list the companies and titles of some previous jobs.
    - "Extensive Experience" doesn't fool a sophisticated resume reader. Round out the number of years -- e.g. if you have 13 years' experience, say: Over 10 years' experience -- etc.
    - Write a SUMMARY section just under your contact information and before your PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE section on your resume. List your RELEVANT SKILLS in that section. Please don't list all the skills you have....nobody will read that section.
    - Use dates of graduation for undergraduate and graduate degrees -- again, you're not fooling anybody. The reader will just think you are 63. And, indicate only the date of graduation, NOT THE DATES OF ATTENDANCE in college. Some people attend more than one college -- nobody cares. The date of graduation from the college where you were graduated is the key thing here.
    - Do not mention anything about references on your resume or in the material you send to recruiters. References are a separate issue. Be prepared to present a list of references (not letters, they are like eulogies....useless) For references to mean something, they must be confidential.

  3. If anything is "Old School" it is Linked-in. It's terrible how it limits your job prospects (they only allow you to post one resume right? What if your talents are broad and diverse and you seek work in various areas?)
    Besides, Linked-in is so porous my personal info turned up on a French Spokeo-styled web page. Clunk.

  4. Rather than looking at LinkedIn as old school because it only allows you to portray yourself one way, I suggest building up your profile and resume to prove yourself to be the best candidate for all the jobs types you want. You can do that by pumping up the Skills section for ALL of your skills, as well as pumping up the Summary section to show all the ways you are skilled.

    LinkedIn is powerful in so many other ways than just being a place to post your resume (which you can add more than one through the free Box.net feature). The main benefit is that it can allow you to leverage your network when applying for jobs because it can show you who you know at hiring companies so you can contact them and ask them for help. I explain how to do just that in this blog post -- http://www.getajobtips.com/2011/11/smart-ways-to-invite-people-you-dont.html -- Kathy

  5. So I'm guessing being an old timer doesn't help the job getting game? Thought it was opposite.

  6. I think one of the best spots in your resume is identifying your academic and personal strengths. I may have to suggest that looking for the help of the college admissions can be a key in making your resume attractive..

  7. I heard that using "AOL.COM" dates your Resume because younger candidates frequently use HotMail, Yahoo or Gmail. Is that true?

  8. Kathy, I've heard that (about AOL email addresses being too dated), but I don't think it's a reason by itself for a candidate to be rejected. At least I have never heard that from any recruiters I know.


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