Do You Hide or Show Your Age on Your Resume?

By Martin Buckland - Executive Career Management Professional

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It’s been quite interesting this week to follow a social media discussion amongst my Canadian colleagues regarding ageism as it relates to hiring practices. Despite it being illegal for an interviewer to directly ask your age, I’m disappointed to hear that is still being done. While I agree those companies should be reported and, truthfully, would you really want to work for a company that acts so unprofessional, I understand how challenging it can be to decide if you should list or hide dates on your resume.

I’m of the opinion your resume is about creating an open and honest first impression, so I strongly recommend you show all your employment and graduation dates. My philosophy as an executive career management professional is further supported lately by the trend among executive recruiters wanting to see the return of dates on a resume.

Let’s be honest; at some point during the hiring practice, the employer is going to meet you and realize your real age so why not be forthright from the beginning. By omitting dates, you actually leave your real age open to the imagination and interpretation of the reader who may inadvertently add years onto your true age. I’ve often told someone during a free resume critique session, that I assumed they left dates off their resume because they graduated university in 1974. In 99.9% of the cases, the individual actually graduated in the 80’s or 90’s but felt they would appear “old” and stagnant on paper if the truth were told.

Any HR professional with integrity values the achievements of an individual over their age. Many in the hiring sector have said the skills, experience, attributes, and professional development Boomers possess will be missed and can’t be replaced by the younger generation. This leaves a void of opportunity for the mature career professional to take advantage of….but you can only do that when your resume emphasizes career achievements aligned with the employers need.

So my bottom line on ageism is this: Go ahead and show your age on your resume and move on. If you’ve managed your career effectively, you’ve conquered challenges, gained new skills and acquired invaluable experience, all still highly desired by the right company. Don’t let age stand in your way.



Martin Buckland, President of Elite Resumes, is a leading resume writer, career coach and job search strategist with a global clientele. Martin currently holds the following certifications: Certified Professional Branding Strategist, Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Employment Interview Professional, Job and Career Transition Coach, Certified Job Search Trainer and Co-Pilot Executive Coach. Visit my website at

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