How age-proof is your resume, anyway? Is it laden with successes of the past, making you feel and look like a has-been? Or does it speak genuinely of who you are on a professional level, with as much focus on the present as on the days of yore? If your reputation building and job seeking efforts feel a bit stuck in the yesteryears, then you need to understand how to make your CV age anonymous. It will make you look like you’re far less concerned with dwelling on the past than most job hopefuls. It will add value to your social media and public profile as an expert at what you do. And, best of all, it will dramatically increase your chances at finding that dream job, no matter how far along in your career you’ve reached.
It’s important to make your CV age anonymous in this day and age because, let’s face it, the economic downturn that still lingers on, even now that we’re sure the recession has ended, has significantly altered the job market. Not only has it lowered the overall number of jobs available in the pool, but it has also made the competition among candidates more acerbic. When a mid-level manager is potentially competing for a similar position with a fresh young graduate, something’s got to give. We believe it’s the focus on age – so here’s how to age-proof your CV for now, and for always.
1. Age ain’t nothing but a number…
… and it’s got no place in your resume. That’s right, you heard us. You might think it unthinkable to remove your age from your resume, but the truth is that it’s probably not helping your odds at gainful employment. The other truth is that anti-discrimination laws make it illegal for a potential employee to discriminate based on age, along with gender, ethnicity, religious grounds, and many other reasons. If you think of it this way, it makes no sense to include your age in the first place. In order to make your CV age anonymous start with removing that number or birthdate; after all, you wouldn’t list your ethnicity or religious beliefs in there, would you?
2. Make your jobs count
This essentially means that, if you want to make your CV age anonymous, you need to focus on your most essential work experiences. Forget about listing all your work experience – if you’re old enough to have reached the mid-point of your career, then you’ve probably filled enough work positions by now to have a diverse background in your career of choice. What you need to do is cull out the relevant ones from all that diversity. Stick to the most important positions, paint the rest of them in broad strokes and leave out any professional experiences that are older than 15 years ago. They really don’t matter anymore and eliminating them will make your resume easier on the eyes of a potential recruiter.
3. Make your CV age anonymous through structure
You’ve probably read the countless articles and white pages on what a CV ‘should’ look like. Do you want to know what the actual truth is? There’s no exact recipe for success, nor does such a thing as a proper resume structure, which everyone should uphold. Indeed, for a fresh graduate, listing their alma mater and other educational experiences right at the top of the list makes sense. But it makes far less sense for someone who graduated from college over two decades ago. Structure your CV as you see fit and even leave out school, or graduation years altogether. The important thing is to make it look coherent, interesting, and easy on the eyes of the person who’s going to read it.
4. It’s all about the present
This final point reinforces the one above. In order to make your CV age anonymous, you need to highlight your worth as a potential employee right here, right now. It doesn’t matter when you were a manager or what your graduation year is. What matters is whether or not you’ve completed any professional training that’s relevant for the position you’re applying for in recent times. Any connection to that position indicates how valuable and interested you are. An ongoing drive for improvement and change is what shows a recruiter you are keen on being an asset, for now and for always, no matter what your age is.