Ask a Career Advisor: Should I Remove Dates on My Resume?

Ask a Career Advisor: Should I Remove Dates from My Resume to Prevent Age Discrimination?

By Alexia Hasbrouck | March 30, 2021

Have you ever felt you didn’t land the job or get an interview because of your age? Ageism in the job search is a real challenge for baby boomers looking to change careers, re-enter the workforce, or delay retirement. This form of discrimination seems to be more prevalent now than ever. Why?

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many baby boomers have been laid off from roles they have held for years, and are now unexpectedly finding themselves back on the job search scene. With unemployment hitting new highs this past year, the job market is already more competitive than ever. Add in the risk of aging yourself on your resume, and finding a career or even landing an interview can start to feel out of reach.

If you’re determined to get your foot in the door for an interview, you might be wondering, “Should I remove dates from my resume to prevent age discrimination?

We asked Lori Cole, iHire Career Advisor, for her thoughts.

“I typically recommend you update your resume to display only the last 10-15 years of your work history,” said Cole. “Remove graduation, certification, and any license dates, leaving employment dates (in years) only.”

Cole also suggested using a different resume strategy.

“A functional resume helps to highlight experience without tying it to a specific job from 15 or more years ago,” she added.

A functional resume is a format that focuses on the abilities and qualifications you possess without going too deep into your work history. In a functional resume, the emphasis should be on a section that includes a bulleted list of either “selected career highlights” or “selected achievements,” which looks like this:

 

An example of a functional resume.

 

Other proven job search tips for baby boomers to help overcome ageism include sprucing up your social media presence, brushing-up on salary negotiation tactics, and pinpointing any potential gaps in your skillset so that you can develop them where needed.

Now that you’re feeling prepared for the next phase in your career, download this helpful Job Search Preparation Checklist for Baby Boomers, or check out our Resume Writing Toolkit

 


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