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Three Ways Your Resume Ages You

How to keep your resume from making you look old

outdatedDespite changing cultural attitudes about aging one constant remains: no one wants to appear older than they are. People may be active and working in their 50’s, 60’s and beyond–if you’re Betty White well beyond–but most of us don’t want to brag about it. The fact is that age discrimination is alive and well.

One of the keys to staying attractive to employers is to be one of those people who doesn’t look or act her age. While some think the best way to avoid discrimination is to avoid pictures online there are many other ways you can date yourself without realizing it. Here are three.

Outdated Format

When I started working everyone had an Objective Statement on their resume. It was a thought a good way to let employers know that we had some direction. Or something like that. Today having an Objective Statement on your resume makes it scream obsolete. Although even resume templates don’t include Objective Statements any longer I’ve seen them on candidate’s resumes.

Maybe even worse than being outdated it suggests that your focus is on what’s in it for you. Big mistake. Like most of us employers are listening to station WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). Creating a succinct Summary Statement updates your resume and puts the focus on the employer.

Old-School Email

There was a time when having an aol.com email address indicated that you were ahead of the curve. It showed that you were among the first to adopt new technology. That time is long gone. Now having an AOL email address, even a yahoo.com email address, looks decidedly old-school.

The trendy email address to have today is gmail.com. The good news is that gmail is free and easy to subscribe to. No need to eliminate that old aol.com email, use it to keep up with friends and family.

When you do sign up opt for a professional-sounding address, for example your name or a variation on your name that will look appropriate on your resume. Email addresses like talketome@gmail are not going to impress potential employers.

Clichés, Clichés, Clichés

If you want to stand out in a good way eliminate clichés from your resume. Everyday recruiters get resumes from out-of-the-box thinkers and those with excellent communication skills (which I admit used to appear regularly on my resume). Tired phrases like team-player, results-driven, and detail-oriented will make your resume look like it hasn’t been updated in 10 years or more.

Also avoid statements that begin with responsible for and duties included which will make your resume look like a reverse-engineered job description. Not something that will motivate potential employers to contact you to learn more.

Instead of saying you’re results-oriented include examples that showcase your achievements.  Infuse your resume with words like increased, decreased, achieved,  saved, mitigated, and led, to name a few.

Will making these changes disguise your 20+ years of experience? Not likely. Nor should you want them too. But, they will keep your resume from looking like you pulled it out of retirement. After all your resume is your first introduction to a potential employer shouldn’t it reflect someone who’s on top of his or her game?

Resume not getting results? Get help from a certified resume writer

About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.


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