These Mistakes Make You Look Old

John Krautzel
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Whether conscious or subconscious, age-related bias against older job seekers is still commonly seen in many industries. Unfortunately, you may be making mistakes that let hiring managers deduce your age with a simple glance at your resume. Build a better resume by getting rid of these errors to let your skills and experience shine.

A Generic Resume

Younger job seekers work hard to make sure every resume they send out targets the position for which they are applying. If you're still using a standard resume template and sending that same document in for each position, the hiring manager may suspect your age. To make a better resume that doesn't hint at your age, edit each copy of your resume to showcase your strengths for each specific position and company.

That Objective Statement

Not only are objective statements dated, but they also take up valuable space while stating the obvious — you want the open position or one like it. That space is better used for a concise career summary, especially if you have a long work history. While you're editing, make sure you remove that similarly dated and space-wasting phrase, "References upon request." Then format your resume so that it is easy to read on a computer screen while avoiding dated style features, such as drop shadows and fancy fonts.

Contact Details

Never list both a landline and a mobile number. The younger generation typically only has mobile phones, and your mobile phone should be where you are most accessible. Avoid using an email address from a provider that is popular among the older generation, such as AOL. Gmail is a safe bet or an address directly from your internet provider. Create a better resume by making sure that all your contact information sounds professional and is similar to the types of contact information a younger applicant would use.

Too Many Dates

Don't let the year you graduated from high school or college give away your age. Unless you were a nontraditional student, it is best to keep these dates off your resume. Likewise, don't list a long job history with dates going back into the 70s or 80s. For a better resume, include any important career developments from those decades in your career summary without dates. You can always provide more information at the interview stage if the employer requests it.

Lack of Tech Skills

Up-to-date technology skills are important in many different job areas, and mentioning your experience using modern technology is especially important if you are an older job seeker. Share specific accomplishments that involved technology and any contemporary training you might have in this area even if it isn't directly tied to the position. At the same time, don't mention very basic skills that everyone should have, such as word processing or email. A better resume focuses on technical skills that are less common and that you have previously used to complete work projects.

Ageism is still commonplace in employment decisions, so it only makes sense to keep your age private during your job search. Craft a better resume free from clues about your age by reducing your use of dates, avoiding dated resume templates and making sure your contact details are in line with modern expectations.

Photo courtesy of annie walker1 at


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