Lots of people are worried about age discrimination and so I get lots of questions about age-proofing your dental hygiene resume.
The interesting thing is it comes from two completely different age brackets – younger hygienists just out of school and older hygienists who have been out a couple decades.
Both feel they will not get a job simply because of their age/experience.
While you can’t hide your age or appearance forever, there are few things you can do to make it less obvious at the resume stage.
Here are four simple tweaks you can make to age-proof your dental hygiene resume:
I’ll be the first to admit, I have an e-mail address I use that could be a giveaway of my age (email@example.com). No, I am not 88 years old (ha!)! But I couldn’t get firstname.lastname@example.org the time so I added the year I graduated from high school.
Lots of people do this but if I am worried about age discrimination I would choose something else. Why even put something out there that may even cause speculation?
Last week I gave several tips on choosing the right e-mail address for job hunting purposes. Click here to read those tips.
Only Most Recent Jobs
There’s no rule or etiquette in resume writing that says you have to have to include your entire work history. In fact, it would be less-favorable to include jobs that are irrelevant to dental hygiene. So leave off the last some of your earliest jobs – no harm in doing this at all.
It would be bad and huge red flag if you simply left the years you worked at each job listed. That’s one of the most important things employers look at on resumes. They want to know how many years of experience you have and since it’s one of the most basic features of resumes not including it may mean automatic rejection.
Leave High School in the Past
There are some who will include their high school and graduation year as part of their education section. Totally unnecessary and a waste of space, no offense to those awesome years of your youth! Once a person enters college, I say ditch the references to high school on your resume. Especially for a dental hygiene professional, it really does nothing for you except tell an employer how old you are.
The College Years
Unlike the years you list in your work experience, I believe (and I share this opinion with lots of resume writers) it’s okay to not list the years you went to college. The more important piece of information is that you graduated (and are licensed).
Pictures can do a lot to hide your age if they are professionally done. If you choose to include a picture on your resume, my best advice is to hire it out. Dress in interview-ready attire and if you are older select a pose that conveys energy and vitality, with a subtle hint of wisdom. If you are younger, select a pose the shows confidence and maturity. A good photographer can help you with this.