Searching for a job can be a tedious process requiring a great deal of time and effort. People are accustomed to using various methods to find job openings, hoping to increase their chances of getting an interview. Yes, the skills and qualifications listed on your resume are a determining factor in whether you will be chosen as a candidate, but there are other forces at work to keep in mind. Failing to diversity proof your resume might hinder your chance to get that perfect job opportunity. Here are five tips on how you can make your resume diversity proof.
Prevent age discrimination
The ADEA, also known as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects individuals who are at least 40 years of age, from age discrimination. Although there are many people searching for employment who don’t fall into that age bracket, people over the age of 40 most often experience this problem. To avoid becoming a statistic to age-based discrimination:
- Remove your dates of education if at all possible. Many human resources departments and hiring managers are trained to look at the education dates to “count” and figure out your approximate age. Leaving the dates of your education or graduation out of your resume altogether is the best option if you think your age might be an issue.
- Resist the temptation to put “age identifiers” in your objective, which includes phrases such as “40 years of experience” or “managing for 39 years,” to avoid the possibility of being unlawfully denied the opportunity to proceed.
Check your resume’s work history dates
Since you need to include any previous and current work history on your resume to be considered at all, be mindful of the time-span included. For example, your resume includes experience that dates back 35 years, but then you are perplexed when you don’t receive any responses to any of your employment applications. Avoid age discrimination by only including work history for the past ten years.
Disguise your name if needed
Abbreviating your name to disguise your gender may help if you feel you may fall victim to discrimination due to your sex. As an example, if you are a male looking to find a job at a company that normally hires women for a particular position (i.e. secretaries), abbreviating your name so the resume screener or hiring manager won’t notice your sex could be to your advantage.
According to a study performed by professors at MIT (Massachusetts Institute for Technology) and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, people with “ethnic” sounding names are 50% less likely to get a response after sending out a resume, than individuals with “white” sounding names. These findings resulted from 5,000 resumes that were sent out in response to job ads placed in the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe. In summary, if your name stands as a barrier to you getting into the door of the job you want, disguise it or abbreviate it to increase your chances.
Stay current on computers and technology
In today’s technological age, most employers look for computer skills as a mandatory requirement; people who don’t include their knowledge of software and technology are usually disqualified immediately. Unfortunately, various decision makers equate the lack of technology skills on a resume, with being “older-aged.” Hiring managers expect a minimal degree of competency in popular applications such as Microsoft Word, or other software experience depending on your industry of interest. Learning which skills are applicable to your industry and becoming proficient in them will help diversity proof your resume.
In addition, removing “outdated” technology from your resume will help as well. Failing to remove any experience with outdated or obsolete software, computers or equipment can decrease your chances of getting that first interview. Highlight any current experience that you have with modern technology to boost your credibility in the eyes of your prospective employer.
Avoid location-based discrimination
Unfortunately, there are employers out there who will have preconceived notions about you, for no reason other than your home address. Remove your address to encourage diversity and avoid any address-based bias that could prevent you from getting the interview.
There are various ways to increase your chances of getting a response to your resume and landing an interview, without revealing your diversity status. Following these five resume tips will help you feel more confident, which will prepare you to swiftly move through the hiring process—with your new diversity proof resume!