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Avoid Looking Your Age On Paper

Whether it’s your LinkedIn profile, cover letter or resume, chances are hiring managers or recruiters will first meet you on paper (or online). You can either sizzle or fizzle with how you present yourself in writing.

Unfortunately, ageism is alive and well in the job market, but if you don’t let it be an obstacle and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward, you will no doubt land quicker.

For the 40+ crowd, you don’t want to rely on the resume you created 25 years ago and have just been tweaking ever since. To get into modern times you should make sure you avoid the following on your documents:

  • Overdone, meaningless cliché’s: “Results-oriented,” “passionate” and “guru” should be deleted.
  • Basic technical skills: Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are assumed skills and should be left off the resume.
  • References: “References Available Upon Request” should be left off because it’s assumed and having it there, just dates you.
  • Volumes of your life story: Keep it under two pages at the most, focusing on your most recent 10 to 15 years. Anything prior to this can be included in a summary paragraph with dates left out. If you’re going to three pages, ask me for permission first. You need a good reason!
  • TMI: Every single job you’ve had does not need to be clearly described and listed. Only relevant ones to the position you’re offering.
  • Descriptions of outdated skills: Outdated technology and skills should be simply documented as part of a job.

When you concentrate on your positive attributes and view ageism as just one of the obstacles you can overcome, you’re going to land the job you want.