Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, protects workers 40 and older from age discrimination with respect to any aspect of employment: hiring, firing, job assignments, salaries, career advancement, benefits and other aspects. However, age discrimination is difficult to prove, so keep an eye on what you put on your resume. Is there any information on there that gives away your age? Listing a job you started in 1972 might be a bad idea.
Look to the obvious. Do not put your birthday, Social Security number or other personal information on your resume. If you live in a community that is well-known as an older community or retirement community, leave off the community name in your address. Many people leave their graduation dates out of the Education section on their resume. The Work History or Professional Experience section and listed skill sets on an executive resume may identify you as an older worker. However, most employers only expect your last 10-15 years of employment history to be listed on your resume, so this in itself may not give away your age.
Affiliations and Awards resume sections can also inadvertently give away your age, especially when they are age-related such as The American Association for Retired People (AARP) or lifetime achievement awards. Keep in mind that AARP membership and lifetime achievement awards are given out well before most American people now retire. Not a good idea to list AARP, just don’t do it.
The publications section on a curriculum vitae can also give resume readers a clue to your age, especially if it is extensive. This is because you would typically list publication dates for each work you have published. If you have 30 years of published works, your readers may assume that you are at least 50 years of age. 50 isn’t old, but you might want to summarize your earlier works in a paragraph format and omit the dates.
Check your resume or curriculum vitae routinely for anything that can easily identify you as an older worker. Do not give an unscrupulous employer any reasons to discriminate against you based on information from your resume or curriculum vitae.
The good news is that there are jobs out there for older workers, so get your resume polished up and go after them!