'Get the Job' pt. 4: De-aging resumes

LOS ANGELES Career experts say job seekers are facing a major problem these days. Many experienced workers look too "old" on paper, even when they're not. Eyewitness News uncovered some simple ways to help.

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Dawn Passaro loved her career as a human resources recruiter. She was used to hirings, firings and layoffs. Then she was laid off and had to sell herself to new companies.

"I have 20 years experience in HR -- actually more than 20 years," said Passaro.

That might sound like a good thing. But the 51-year-old knew from her job experience, it can actually be a liability.

"Job candidates do get screened out based on the age that they present in their resume," said Passaro.

And many in the prime of their careers in their 30s, 40s and 50s are looking "too old" on paper.

Melanie Holmes, vice president of work solutions at Manpower, a world leader in the employment services industry, admits age matters.

"I would really like to say that you can't look too old on a resume, but I think the reality is that some recruiters do judge us by how old we are," said Holmes.

Passaro knew it was important to de-age her resume. First thing she changed:

"I do not include all of my work experience," said Passaro.

Career coach and resume expert Jeanne Knight says often people list too much information.

"What candidates can do to make themselves look younger in a resume is only list 10 to 15 years of work experience," said Jeanne Knight, certified career coach and resume expert.

Also, drop graduation dates and make sure you list any seminars or workshops that focus on new technology.

Forget old fashioned lists of tasks and responsibilities.

Instead, use keywords to show you're up on industry trends. And don't underestimate the power of being "connected" on the Web.

"Every recruiter that I've ever talked to uses the Internet to look for candidates. And so having a presence on the Web is extremely important if you're serious about looking for a job," said Holmes.

That includes creating profiles on professional and regular social networking sites and blogging.

Job experts say beware of deleting all dates from your resume. That can be a red flag if it appears a lot of years are missing from your career experience.

Thursday on Eyewitness News at 5 p.m., we'll show you how to ace that all-important job interview.


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