5 Ways to Hide Age on a Resume

When applying to a job online, do you try to hide how old you are to avoid age discrimination? Certainly, there are some industries and professions more so than others where the make-up of the workforce leans towards younger workers. But, whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, or any other age category, there’s a general sense that impressions are formed based on one’s age.

While there are laws like the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in the U.S. that seek to protect workers and job applicants from age discrimination – particularly for those age 40 or older, it’s nonetheless an issue job seekers and workers continue to face.

Age discrimination exists not just in the workplace, but during the job application process over the resume, too! A resume signaling your age can hurt your chances to receiving a job interview. Often employers may make judgement over the resume and your suspected age before you’ve even had a chance to demonstrate the true value you bring to the table.

Even when you don’t list your age or your birthday on the application or resume, employers can come to senses about how old you may be. There are telltale signs that give it away on your resume.

So, here are ways you can hide your age on the resume to ensure you have a fair shot to an interview:

  1. Keep Your Work History to the Last 10-15 Years
    Employers place priority on what you’ve done recently in your professional career. What you did 25 years ago generally has much less value and relevance for consideration. Also, listing experience beyond that scope is a key takeaway that you are on the latter end of the age scale.

  2. Forgo Dates on Education
    Education is an important component on the resume, especially for certain industries. Inform employers about your educational achievements and accomplishments, but it’s unnecessary to specify when you received your degree and other educational accolades. Simple math around dates can give away your age.

  3. Remove Outdated Technical Skills
    If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, it’s critical to complete a careful run-through. Listing outdated terminology and technical skills on the resume not only says something about your age, but your skills as well. It can lead to questions on whether you’re up-to-date on the skills needed for today’s workplace and the job.

  4. Modernize Your Contact Details
    Have you ever considered that your email address can reveal a great deal of information about you? An email address like JackSmith1969@... may leave employers to think that the digits are representative of the year one was born. Most people who sign up for email today will also resort to Gmail.com. A resume showing an email address with an older email service provider like Aol.com or Hotmail.com is another age giveaway.

  5. Eliminate Old Resume Verbiage
    If you can’t remember the last time you updated your resume, it may suggest that your resume contains old resume verbiage like an “Objective” and “References available upon request.” While these may have been standard headings and language on the resume at one time, the modern-day resume has wiped these terms out.

Not all employers place an emphasis on age when it comes to hiring, but it’s none the less a matter that can impact job search results for many job seekers. Age is not something anyone should be ashamed of, but these tips can help ensure everyone, regardless of age, is given a fair opportunity at the chance to an interview to demonstrate their true value!


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