A 2013 AARP study found that nearly half of all older job seekers reported being overlooked for a job because of their age.
That’s why it’s so important that you not make yourself seem old on your resume, says author Marc Miller in a recent LinkedIn post.
“The format and contents of your resume says a lot about your age,” he says. And no matter how qualified you are, if your resume makes you “seem” older, there’s a good chance it’ll end up in the “no” pile.
“You do not want to be filtered out by the staff who are screening initial resumes and lose the opportunity to demonstrate your talents and skills,” he says.
To avoid this situation, Miller suggests you stop including these five things on your resume:
1. Your home address.
“For many years, we sent our resume and cover letter through the mail,” Miller explains. “We put our home address right on the top.”
Today there is no longer a need to put your home address on the resume, since it’s almost always sent electronically, he explains.
“If the employer needs your home mailing address, they can ask for it.”
2. Your Hotmail or AOL email address.
One telltale sign that you are over 50 is an aol.com or hotmail.com email address, or one from your cable provider, says Miller.
Create a Gmail account immediately.
3. Your home phone number.
Who under the age of 45 still has a landline?
“We ditched our home phone five years ago, and I am quite a bit older than 45,” Miller says. “If you still have a home phone and do not want to give out your cell phone number, get a Google Voice number.”
4. Double spacing after periods.
“I am going to go out a limb and declare that putting two spaces after a period is obsolete,” Miller explains. “It is how most of us were taught to type on a typewriter. Therefore, most of us who do this (I have taught myself to stop putting two spaces after a period and it was hard) are over 50 years of age.”
Miller says he has heard that this has been used as a method of screening out older candidates.
5. Your outdated skills.
Limit the skills you list on your resume to current and relevant ones.
“I could list that I wrote MS-DOS control programs, wrote machine level code developing word processors, managed IBM mainframe computers, and lots of other obsolete technologies,” he says. “Unless I was applying for a position that required these skills, all it tells the reader is I am over 50 years of age and maybe older.”