How Old are You?


Should you remove all age identifiers from your resume? This became the talk in my circle after I sent out this article. I personally never put the year I graduated on my resume. I figure if it is that important, a potential employer could simply do their research by checking my alumni website, or boldly asking me about the missing dates during an interview. That has never happened to me, but if it was to occur my strategy is to have a candid conversation about how that person may view my age as a factor when making hiring decisions. When we make people aware about biases during point-in-time situations, they’re more likely to identify and correct them going forward. This article also made me pull up my current resume. Although resumes often only call for your last 10 years of professional experience, I have surpassed that. For example, I was a part of starting a ground-breaking respite program for homeless teens. I also worked for a world-renowned therapist. I didn’t care if it supposedly dates me. I want potential employers to see that institution and that therapist’s name and say, “Well shit, if she was part of the brains behind that project and good enough for that therapist then why not at least give her an interview.” I am also not on LinkedIn or Facebook, despite people telling me this will age me and hinder me. It has not. I am from the school of word of mouth and, looking at my career, it has served me well. I feel others could feel this way as well if hiring managers started having open, honest discussions on how ageism factors into employment decisions and commit to making a change — hire for skill and potential rather than age. Companies should also have trainings to teach managers to recognize and actively counter age bias. Combine this with creating and promoting an inclusive office culture that isn’t built around activities like drinking and sports, which often excludes people with young families.

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