In today’s highly competitive job market, job seekers need to stay on top of their game and show that they are just as qualified – or even more so – than other applicants. But in your haste to present your outstanding qualifications, you may be dating yourself and contributing to unintentional bias. The presence of certain information on your resume can inadvertently sway decisions because they show that you are not up-to-date on the current trends and expectations. Does your resume fall victim to any of these common mistakes?
- Your list of competencies and skills is outdated: Technology is constantly changing and requires that employees stay abreast of new developments and keep refining their skills. While you may be an expert in MS-DOS, many companies have long since updated their operating systems. In addition, listing software such as Microsoft Office is irrelevant because it is expected that you know how to use basic programs such as these. Read through job openings and stay up with trends to find out what current employers are looking for. Refine your competencies to reflect up-to-date skills and consider taking professional development classes to boost your skill set.
- You still use an AOL email address: While your AOL email may be perfectly functional, it is a program that people rarely use anymore. Popular back in the 90s, many people have now shifted to using Gmail or other platforms. Keep your AOL address for personal use but create a professional account for job searching through Gmail or another reputable service.
- You’re still using an objective: While objectives used to be commonplace on a resume, they’re not anymore. They have been replaced by the much more effective summary of qualifications. It is obvious that your objective is to get the job for which you are applying; instead, show employers why you should get the job. Still having an objective shows that you haven’t really taken the time to update your resume accordingly to meet current expectations.
- You have listed years with your education: If you recently graduated with a degree, adding the year can be helpful to show why you have minimal experience. But if you graduated 10 or more years ago, it’s not necessary to include the years. Simply state your degree and where you earned it. There is no need to make your age stand out by saying when you graduated. Let your strengths and experience be the focal point.
Age should not be a deciding factor when it comes to a job. There are many older job seekers with exceptional skills and the drive to continue working for years to come. Their breadth and depth of experience can be a benefit so long as they’ve stayed current with the necessary skills and show willingness to continue learning and growing.