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Resume features that tell hiring authorities you’re out of touch.

First impressions matter and preconceptions pop up in a flash. How can prescreeners decide so quickly that someone is not the right fit? A quick glance could suggest you’re out of touch.

Street Address

Now that more resumes are submitted or posted online, hiring authorities understand it is important to leave an address off the resume due to privacy concerns. Those who keep the address on are viewed as old fashioned and it can be a flag for an older candidate.

Email Address

Use your first and last name with a gmail email account. It’s the safest email provider to use in terms of age discrimination. Edu email addresses could connote you’re cheap due to a recent skill change. Other emails can be incredibly dated due to buyouts. Avoid using birth year in your email, as it’s another indicator of age. For example,


Candidates are now expected to outline the skills they offer an organization. An objective is “me” focused, asking for what you want from the hiring organization before they’ve clearly expressed an interest. It’s poor form. We now know better. You’re far more likely to land an offer if you showcase your value first.

## years of experience

If you start your summary with 25+ years of experience, you just set yourself up. You might think those years give you credibility, but not so. Years of experience do not equate to quality candidate and more often than not, it sets you up for age discrimination.

Hiring authorities are most interested in what you’ve done lately. Emphasize the most recent 10 years, then carefully consider how much further you should go back.

Times New Roman

This once ubiquitous font has had its heyday. It screams older candidate since it was the default font in Word for years, replaced with Calibri in 2007.

Wall of Words

Hiring authorities spend very little time scanning your content. Thick blocks of texts make it far less likely they will engage or retain key information about your candidacy. Improve the odds that you’ll be top of mind with clear, succinct phrasing. Better to leave them wanting more than unable to slog through dense prose.

Two spaces after periods

Two spaces after periods generally indicates you learned to type on a typewriter. Quickly find and replace those double spaces with a single space. Yes, it’s subtle, but it’s made many red flag lists, so why risk it?

References available upon request

This outmoded endnote was never necessary. Of course, you’ll respond to requests for additional information, portfolio, or references. There’s no need to spell it out. This phrase has been cut for decades in favor of keyword-laden content. If this pops up, it’s a surefire indicator that you haven’t been on the market for a long time.

Find and eliminate these tells from your resume to ensure you’re not needlessly subjected to prejudice. Better to be evaluated based on your value as opposed to a few out-of-date features of your resume.


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