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15 steps to de-age your resume

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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 (and not repeated in another more recent position). Also keep the position in if 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 "Also served as a production artist and creative director."

3. Replace “20+ years of X experience,” with “extensive X experience.” Sadly extensive longevity is no longer a sought-after attribute. Companies are much more interested in what you can do for them rather than how long you have done similar work, especially if the job description only asks for 10 or less years of 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 the hyphen "-"

LinkedIn education section, remove years from LinkedIn education section,
Instead of adding your education dates, leave the boxes on the hyphens.

5. Remove months from past jobs so just the years show. Example: 2006 – 2008. This may fill in gaps between partial-year positions, allow you to remove another short-term position in the same year, and de-clutter your resume. (Keep track of the omitted monthly information elsewhere in case you need it for completing online application forms.) More ideas to clean up your resume.

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.  

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 Remove the outdated phrase “References available upon request” and either include your references or assume the company will ask for references later.

references available upon request, remove reference line from resume,

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 resume contact information section to reinforce that you “get” social media. To find/copy the address, go to your LinkedIn Profile page and look for the web address just under your photo box. Simply highlight, then copy the web address next to the words which looks something like www.linkedin.com/in/YOURNAME12354 and paste it into your resume. Customize/shorten your LinkedIn profile.

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 you land a great job.

What other ways can people de-age their resume?
Share your ideas! -- Kathy


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  1. These are terrific suggestions. How do you de-age applying online through the employer's website. Most companies are using some sort of ATS to screen with mandatory content fields so it's hard to not put dates, etc.

  2. To de-age yourself on online application systems, limit your recent jobs to the past 15 years, don't add your school graduation dates if they don't make you include them, and most importantly, be very adept at applying online (many seasoned workers get thrown off by the complexity of some online application systems and give up or do a poor job of applying. Here is an article with more tips for applying online -- http://www.getajobtips.com/2011/10/12-tricks-for-completing-online-job.html


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