I was recently on linkedin and read through an article titled “5 Things On Your Resume That Make You Look Old,” warning people that age discrimination is real and that individuals should be cognizant of how their resumes portray them (in this case, in terms of age). After reading through it, I decided to to take a look at my own most recent resume to see how I stacked up.
Here are the 5 things to leave off your resume:
Damn. I’m starting off 0 for 1. Right at the top of my resume, just beneath my name (in what I think is a reasonably nice header), I have my home address listed. I agree that people nearly always send things electronically, but I still think that if you’re applying (especially locally) it probably doesn’t hurt to have the employer know that you are a local, and potentially a more serious candidate. I tend to disagree, and I think it’s still reasonable to keep it on there.
Ouch. 0 for 2. I still have a hotmail account, and I still use it. I even have it listed on my resume. I do have a (joint) gmail account that Em and I use together, but I don’t have that one listed on my resume. I will admit that I have thought about this on multiple occasions previously to the point of almost being self-conscious about still using a (perfectly good) hotmail address. All the cool kids are on the gmail these days…perhaps it’s time to upgrade.
Home phone number. To this I would respond that I do have my “home phone number” listed…it just happens to be my cell phone. I don’t have it labeled specifically as home/cell/work. I just have it listed and assume that most people will understand that it is the number to reach me at, regardless of home/cell/etc. I would agree with the above and say that it’s probably easiest to just list one number (probably your cell), and there’s no need to worry about labeling it.
What have I become!?! A 60 year old man, apparently. I double space after periods. It’s a habit. I’ve done it since I’ve learned to type (on a computer – not on a typewriter!). I do it right here on this blog, I’ve done it on every paper that I can remember writing, and just about everything else. I know that the new norm is to not do this, but I do it without thinking most of the time. Are people really that adept at noticing the spacing between sentences at 1 versus 2 spaces?
Okay, I don’t think I have any of these “outdated skills” listed, although after seeing my track record from above, maybe I don’t know what is or isn’t outdated. No, I do not have MS-DOS listed, though I do have “familiar with thefacebook.com and myspace.com” listed. (I’m joking!) This one is pretty obvious I think (though again, exactly which skills are outdated maybe aren’t). My advice would be to look at the required/desired skills for whatever company or position you are interested in and try to tailor your skills to those – that will hopefully keep your skills less “outdated.”
While I don’t think the above is necessarily a perfect list, I do certainly agree that you need to be cognizant of how your resume portrays you to your potential future employer. I also learned that despite being 29 with an advanced degree and a fairly strong skill set by most standards, my resume makes me appear to be a curmudgeonly man in my 60s who may or may not still be using AOL dial-up internet or even a typewriter… Hopefully that’s not the case, but it was interesting to take a look at some of these specific pieces of information as included/not included on my resume!