Five Ways to Age-Proof Your Resume
As a recent survey of nearly 4,000 tech professionals conducted by the DHI Service Dice recently revealed, ageism is a significant concern among Baby Boomers and Generation Xers. As a smaller, less formal survey by Rigzone revealed late last year, the perception of widespread ageism also exists within the oil and gas community.
A widely cited statistic is that recruiters typically spend just six seconds looking at a resume. Even in that short amount of time, they can make judgments about your age. As the author of your resume, however, you decide which information goes on the document. Consequently, there are steps that a seasoned professional can take to shift a recruiter’s attention away from age.
“Recruiters are looking to get a picture of you,” said Nate Masterson, human resources manager with Maple Holistics. “Consider the kind of worker you are, and the kind of work you are looking for, and adjust your resume accordingly.”
Below are five things you can do to age-proof your resume.
1. Draw attention to your (relevant) education.
If your college degree, certification or other educational credential is relevant to the open position, be sure to put it toward the top of the resume, according to Jeff Zinser, principal and founder of Philadelphia-based Right Recruiting.
“The first thing the recipient sees when they open a Word document is the top half of the first page,” Zinser explained. “That is very valuable real estate. If you’re in a discipline in which academics is important, listing your credentials at the top makes it immediately visible.”
By the same token, Zinser pointed out that it is not necessary to list the year in which you graduated – particularly if you have concerns about age bias.
2. Be selective with experience and personal details.
Would listing that bartending job you had in the spring of 1994 help you land your next oil and gas position? Probably not. What about listing that offshore roustabout job you had the preceding summer? It can’t hurt.
“If you have over 20 years of experience, there is no requirement to list anything before 20 years UNLESS the earlier experience has direct relevance to your field or is with an employer that can add value to your background,” said Zinser.
“If it was unconventional, was it shale, heavy oil, etc.?” explained Abhijeet Narvekar, CEO of The FerVID Group. “Maybe even put percentages on how much experience you have in shale. Similarly, if you have done fracture stimulation in addition to reservoir stimulation, state the same with percentages. This example is being provided as we have seen a few jobs around this subject.”
Narvekar added that putting a percentage on a skill set acquired and indicating when you used that skill set – and updating the figures often – will help your resume to stand out.
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