It's been more than 50 years since the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was passed, but ageism is alive and well.

"Whether there's a conscious or unconscious bias, it's still taking place," said TopResume career expert Amanda Augustine, who has tips to age-proof your business profile.

Make your pitch

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Looking for a new job or making a career change can be tough, but let your experience stand out.

"Focus on your qualifications," Augustine said.

Streamlining your resume doesn't mean you are hiding your age.

"Look at it through the lens of what you want to highlight and what you want to downplay," she said.

Cut off dates after 10 or 15 years. Keep what's most relevant.

You may feel proud of old accomplishments, and it can feel personal to suppress them, but stick to what's most relevant to the job you are seeking, Augustine said.

"Limit your resume to two pages. Curate the information you include," she said.

While focusing on the last 10 to 15 years, you can still make mention of other achievements.

"Show the progression of your career," Augustine said. Include company name, location and job title, but exclude older dates such as graduations or certifications.

Companies are most interested in how your job history relates to the current role you're applying for, Augustine said. Exclude irrelevant information.

"If you held two roles, eliminate the less useful one," Augustine said.

Recruiters spend less than 10 seconds looking at a resume.

"You want the best, most relevant version of your career story, not a transcript of everything you've done," she said.

Mind the gap

Showing a continuity of employment is beneficial, so if you've had an employment gap there are two ways to go: Play it down and don't call attention to it, or highlight how you've kept your skills sharp.

With the job market as it is now, a job gap does not carry the same stigma as it may have previously, Augustine said.

Play with your dates. Instead of mentioning a month and year with start and end dates, just list the year to represent it as a smaller gap, Augustine said.

Address a career gap positively. Include skills-based volunteering, pro bono work, freelance gigs, and how you exercised your skills or learned new things while unemployed, Augustine said.


Do not include a photo, which is a top 10 dealbreaker for many recruiters, Augustine said. Employers do not want to open themselves up to discrimination lawsuits. If a photo is required for your work, it should be a separate document, Augustine said.

Do not include your home address. If you're looking for a local job, include city, state and ZIP code.

A professional email address is essential. Use your name and get a free Gmail account at google.com/gmail.

Include one phone number; it should be a cell number.

"Google your name on a monthly basis. If nothing pops up, that's equally as bad" as negative results, Augustine said.

Recruiters are checking out social media. Get a LinkedIn account at the least.

"LinkedIn now allows people to put a frame around their picture that shows they are looking for a job," Augustine said.

Avoid two spaces after end punctuation. It's a telltale sign you are older.

Get up to speed

"Be cognizant of technology software and systems," Augustine said. If the job requires certain knowledge, Google it. Reach out to a tech-savvy friend in your network.

"Show you are dedicated to learning new things and willing to grow," Augustine said.

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