Combating Age Bias During the Job Search

by Vault Careers | August 29, 2011

In today's competitive job market, many older job seekers fear that their years of experience won't help them land the perfect position, and one recent study proves they have cause for concern.

More Experienced Worker in the Crowd
In an attempt to measure possible age discrimination, the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College sent resumes with different ages out to 4,000 companies in Massachusetts and Florida. The results found that job seekers under the age of 50 were 40% more likely to be called into a job interview than older, more experienced professionals. 

Vault has discussed tips for the overqualified job seeker before.  The blog did touch upon ways in which older candidates could conduct a more effective job search.  However, here are some more specific ways in which an older job seekers can update their resumes and help eliminate potential age bias that could prevent them being considered for the ideal job.

1. Consolidate older work background

Early career experience can be combined into one section that provides an overview of skills. Older professionals should focus on specific knowledge and what they can bring to the table rather than total years on the job.

2. Stress more recent experience

Once older jobs have been consolidated, job seekers should then dedicate a larger portion of the resume to recent relative work experience. In a one-page resume, recently held positions should take up about half of the page, according to career coach Barbara Safani.

3. Get rid of old school phrasing

Older job seekers should eliminate phrases on their resume that were used 20 or even 10 years ago such as "references available upon request" and "out-of-the-box-thinker." Updated resumes should also include bullet points and summaries that focus on skills rather than obscure theories.

4. Eliminate antiquated skills

Job search specialist Carrie Krueger suggested that older job seekers only include relevant skills on a resume. According to Krueger, when a job seeker includes skills that generally everyone knows such as Microsoft Word, it's a dead give away that the candidate may not have the right updated knowledge to take on a new position.

5. Include social media links

Older professionals should add all links to their social media profiles including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to show that they have been keeping up with trends and have a large network of business contacts.

6. Don't deny

Older professionals should include dates when necessary and not try to hide their age. If an older candidate is called in for an interview, it will be immediately evident if a resume suggests they are actually younger than their true age.

--Published Courtesy of Brafton

Filed Under: Interviewing | Job Search | Resumes & Cover Letters


Tips for Becoming a Winner in the Workplace Combating Age Bias During the Job Search

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