Age discrimination is a problem many people face in their job search. The key concern hiring managers have when looking at resumes of older workers is money.
Generally, seasoned job seekers expect a salary that matches their work experience and wisdom. However, an employer could potentially hire two less-experienced workers in their 20s for the same cost.
A key idea to remember is that not all employers have an age bias. If you are the right candidate for a position, many businesses won’t have a problem hiring you. Essentially, you want to keep your resume short and focused on current skills. To minimize age bias on your resume, follow these tips.
1. Keep Your Resume Short and to the Point
You don’t need to include all your years of experience. If you have been working for 30 or 40 years, including your whole work history will make your resume too long and complex.
You should only include the last 10 to 15 years. If there’s an earlier experience, certification, or accomplishment relevant to the position you are applying to, you can include it in the additional information section, but leave the rest of your earliest work experience for the in-person interview.
2. Focus on Skills
Rather than emphasizing your years of experience, make sure your resume showcases your current skills. Prospective employers are interested in what you can do for their business right now. Therefore, your resume should focus on specific skills that you are going to bring to their company.
Most people in their 50s and 60s have acquired an extensive range of skills during their careers. Team-building, counseling, writing, editing, public speaking, coding, negotiating, or researching are some examples of skills that apply to the modern workplace. Make a self-inventory of all the relevant skills you have acquired throughout the years, and make sure they stand out in your resume.
Depending on the company you are applying to, concentrate on tailoring your resume to highlight specific skills. Read job descriptions carefully to identify exactly what the business is looking for.
With applicant tracking systems, companies scan hundreds of resumes and narrow down the pool of applications to the best matches. They do this by looking for keywords and other factors. Make sure you include the hard skills listed on the job posting in your resume.
3. Demonstrate Ongoing Learning
Today’s world is constantly changing with new ideas, business models, and technology. The software industry is a clear example of this; it’s changing on an ongoing basis, with software developers persistently creating new coding languages and tools.
An excellent way to eliminate age bias on a resume is to emphasize new skills you have learned in recent years or are currently learning. You don’t have to be an expert in these new skills. For example, showing that you are currently learning Python or any other coding language demonstrates to a potential employer you are a motivated individual who keeps growing personally and professionally.
There are excellent online educational platforms such as Coursera and Edx where you can acquire new skills and knowledge. Most of them are free, or you can get an official certificate to add to your LinkedIn page and resume for a small fee.
4. Start Your Resume With a Compelling Introduction
A key factor for minimizing age is conveying energy. All companies look for energetic and motivated people that add value to their business. Even if you feel less physically energetic than 10 or 20 years ago, you can still convey excitement about life and your current situation.
You can do this with an interesting and unique introduction or resume cover page that tells the employer about you and why you want to work in a specific industry or company. Also, summarize any accomplishments or skills you have gathered in the last five years that may be relevant to the employer.
5. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
Nowadays, most employers check social media when analyzing resumes from candidates. Make sure you have a well-curated Linkedin profile that matches your resume.
There are many tools you can use on LinkedIn to improve your chances of getting an interview. For example, you can ask old employers and coworkers to leave a review on your LinkedIn page.
Additional Career Advice to Minimize Age Bias
Make sure your contact information doesn’t have an outdated email platform such as Hotmail or Yahoo. The best option for an email address is to use gmail.com. It’s easy to create an account and very efficient. Also, if you provide a phone number, just give one, either your cell or home number.
If you are currently looking for work, take a look at the available job listings on jobsfuel.com.