Avoiding Ageism in your Resume Without Misrepresentation

In 2021, many companies are looking to revamp their workforce after the pandemic. They want to plan with the future in mind, now more than ever. Unfortunately, this leads to many companies looking at older, experienced professional resumes unfairly because of ageism.

Ageism, discriminating against someone because of their age, happens all too often in job searches. Companies want to invest in people who they think will stick around for a long time. Seeing that someone has been in the workforce for 40 years doesn’t give this impression.

But your resume doesn’t need to misrepresent you to avoid ageism. In fact, there are some subtle but crucial tips that will optimize your resume towards positions you truly deserve.

Relevance and Recency

Perhaps always the most crucial part of any resume, your work history needs to focus on how you are specifically qualified for the job to which you are applying.

In regards to ageism, this doesn’t just mean avoiding irrelevant job history entries, but also avoiding outdated ones. Experience from more than 15 years ago might be in the correct job field, but as positions evolve over time, anything older than 15 years can come off as out of touch.

For example, if you have decades of experience in accounting, clearly including your recent experience is smart. But accounting experience from 1999 isn’t as relevant on a resume, because the accounting job world uses so much more technology now. 

It’s more impressive to have extensive knowledge in a modern job setting than it is to have 20 years of outdated experience. That’s not to say your 20 years is pointless, because it is important and will surely aid you in any job you work in. But as far as marketing yourself on your resume, think about what will impress an employer looking for people on the cutting edge in their job field.


This focus on relevancy and recency extends to education. Anything beyond high school you should definitely include. But depending on how old the degree is, consider leaving the graduation year off the resume.

To put this into perspective, seeing someone’s Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering degree from 1993 on a resume can come off outdated, as if you don’t utilize that knowledge anymore. Conversely, seeing a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering degree with no date implies a more current, permanent and relevant piece of the resume.

Your age and experience are nothing to be ashamed about, but you should take every advantage you can to ensure companies look at your resume and evaluate your talent, not your lifespan. 

If you’re worried about ageism affecting your resume, contact our writers at RazorEdge Resumes for a free consultation.

This entry was posted in Employment, how to ask for a job, Job Interviews, Job Search, Modern Job Search, Resumes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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