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5 Tips to Minimize Age Bias on a Resume

10 Jul, 2020

5 Tips to Minimize Age Bias on a Resume

About age bias…

Unfortunately, all types of unconscious bias exist in the recruiting process. Companies take many actions to remove unconscious bias; however, as long as people review resumes and other documents, we need to know that bias may creep into the selection of candidates.

Age bias is currently of concern for many as the pandemic has caused layoffs that may be affecting more tenured individuals. Hiring managers can guess a person’s age, but there are ways to have your experience and information “read younger.”

It is vital to write career documents in a way that looks to reduce the introduction of age bias based on the data included. Write resumes in such a way to minimize potential bias while still delivering the relevant information needed for the hiring process.

Here are five tips to consider when updating resumes to minimize age bias:

1. Personal Information:

Listing a phone number and labeling it as Cell or Home can be read as old-fashioned to a human reader. Just list the number with no labels. Labeling an email address as Email has the same effect.

2. Employment History

In most cases, listing the last 10 to 15 years of employment is all that is necessary. If targeted job opportunities need to highlight capabilities older than the year cutoff, consider using a functional or reverse chronological resume. A professional resume writer can help in determining the best style to use.

3. Dates of Employment

It is necessary to list employment dates on a resume; however, list only the year and not the month. This format puts less visual emphasis on dates.

Do not show dates right-justified on the right margin. Instead, show the dates in parentheses next to your title, which would most likely be left-justified. Here is the Before and After to illustrate this concept:

Vice President of Finance 2012 – 2020

Vice President of Finance (2012 – 2020)

4. Education

Do not list graduation dates.

5. Font Choice

Consider using a font that is considered more contemporary. An often-used font for resumes is Times New Roman. Today, Times New Roman is seen as old-fashioned and passé. Fonts as Calibri, Verdana, or Tahoma are more contemporary.

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