During the November Resume Workshop we hosted for the HBA DFW Chapter there were a few questions that came up that we unfortunately didn’t have a ton of time to elaborate on. I wanted to round out our 2023 blog series by digging in a bit more on those.
HOW NOT TO AGE YOURSELF ON YOUR RESUME?
For those candidates who might have a few more years of experience under their belt, a common concern we hear is that they’ll be overlooked due to their assumed age by prospective employers. First of all, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is supposed to protect people 40 and over from being discriminated against (read more HERE), but I understand it’s still a worry for some of our more tenured candidates. If this applies to you and you’re looking for ways to help shield your resume from potential unwanted assumptions here are a few methods you can employ:
- Remove dates from your education, especially if it’s not the most relevant education.
- Don’t have an “old school” CV that includes your partner’s name and your children’s names.
- Don’t include your first work experience, especially if it’s not relevant for the role you’re applying to now.
- Only highlight and expand on the last 10-15 years of relevant work experience in your resume, you can add a section that touches on previous positions if you’d like, but you can keep those abbreviated.
- Ensure your “summary” section is updated and focuses on your recent relevant experience and includes key words for the role you’re applying to. Delete anything that does not help you make the case for why you’re a fit for that role.
WHAT ABOUT LOCATION/RELOCATION?
If you’re applying for jobs in a place that you don’t currently live- it’s important to take the guesswork out of the process for the HR person or Hiring Manager. They shouldn’t be asking themselves “why did this person apply when they don’t even live in the territory?”, if so, you’re likely going into the “no” pile quickly. Also, quick sidenote on relocation. Most companies aren’t looking to pay for relocation of a candidate, so if you’re needing to move, or wanting to move, or open to moving for a job- be ready to pay for it. Your odds will be much better if you aren’t asking a company to give you a job AND foot the bill for your move.
- Under your name, phone, and email on your resume where your location would typically go- you can add a line that says “Dallas, TX- flexible for relocation as needed” or something to that effect.
WHAT IF I CAN’T INCLUDE A COVER LETTER WITH MY APPLICATION?
For the people who see value in a cover letter and would like to add some additional context to their job application, but might only have the option to upload 1 document to an application… what do I do? You can create a new document and add your cover letter as the first page of your resume, then continue with your resume on page 2, so that it’s all there in one place. If you’d like to get started on a cover letter, check out one of our previous blogs that covers that HERE.
I hope these last few tips of 2023 are helpful for you! Thanks again for those of you that attended the event, we had a fantastic time hosting and are looking forward to seeing more of you in 2024!