Lie about your age? That’s right!

If you are anywhere upwards of age fifty or older and reconsidering a new job or career, or re-entering the job market, you may need to lie about your age and your experience on your resume. That’s what I have learned after having an executive recruiter review and rewrite my resume. I was shocked!

She told me to:

  • Shave 10 years off my experience (aka “age”)
  • Add as many computer skills as possible
  • Add my college grade point average and remove the year I graduated
  • Change my address to New York City
  • Blur dates

It was sobering. The recruiter basically inferred I most likely committed career suicide moving to the county and that I was over-qualified. She said I was both well-accomplished and too threatening. So, she demoted me on paper and downplayed some of the things I am, frankly, most proud of achieving. I always figured one spent the early part of a career boosting up your experience and the latter part boasting about what you accomplished. And I was told “never lie on your resume.” Times have changed, and we have to adjust. That includes some tweaking.

But fear not all my fabulous female friends over 50, we are wise beyond our years and fully aware that we are the women who move mountains, make things happen and can charm and chat our way in and out of any situation. What’s on paper doesn’t hold a candle to a well-projected personality. Book smarts are one thing; street smarts are another.

Ageism is a form of discrimination that no one wants to talk about it, and the time has come to address the elephant in the boardroom. Many industry friends I know have been displaced and replaced by much younger, and usually less expensive, tech-savvier talent. The words are usually, “We are going in a new direction.”

What to do about it?

Prospective employers: Stop age-discrimination and remember that achieving “diversity” is not only about  respecting race, gender and disability but also maturity.

Prospective employees: Listen to the recruiters and then adapt in way to make people take notice, yet still reflect the authentic You. Boost your skills and add to them.  Compromise within reason while respecting your boundaries.  Swallow your pride, but don’t let your confidence slide

And keep your sense of humor and perspective. That’s something younger people don’t always have.