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Age discrimination in employment is illegal, but it’s something that can happen whether you're young or old. Even at the initial stage of the job search process – when you apply – employers are already scanning for information that may hint at your age. Your resume may be the culprit. Related: Age Discrimination In Interviews Whenever there are dates involved, there’s room for interpretation regarding your age. Other matters on your resume can also give away your age. Here’s what you need to look out for when preparing and submitting your resume!


Email Address

Your email address can give away your age, particularly when it includes numbers. For example, johnsmith1960@ implies your birth year, or the year of your graduation. The email host you use can also hint at your age. Users with a Gmail account are generally taken as more current, where as those with an AOL account are generally associated with the older generation. An easy way around this is to simply sign up for a Gmail account and stick to using your names or initials rather than including any numbers.

Years Of Experience

It’s common for the top of the resume to include a profile summary with your years of experience, but keep in mind that your point of including that information is to express that you have enough experience for the job. So, if the job opening is requesting for 10 years of experience and you have more than that, it does not necessarily give you extra credit to note that you have 20 years of experience. Tweak the language to indicate you’ve met the requirement (and more) in general terms, like “10+ years.” Also be watchful of your work history. Stop your resume when the jobs are not relevant or when they add years to your age. If they are reading your resume and are not interested in you by the time they reach your 1988 experience, listing those jobs adds no value and only ages you.

Significant Dates

Your year of graduation is often an easy way for employers to get a sense of your age. It’s not necessary for employers to know when you received your degree, so just leave out the date. Things like awards and certifications that are dated way back when can also make you appear like an outdated candidate. Review your resume to remove anything that would be irrelevant or outdated for the job and any associated years. These are simple fixes you can make to your resume that will help keep you in favor with employers, regardless of your age, as they evaluate whether you are a candidate they want to speak with or hire.

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