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Four Resume Tips To Avoid Discrimination

Building your resume can sometimes feel like an art form. You should include the required items on your resume, like your job title, dates of employment, and your job accomplishments for each role. However, there are also items that you should leave off of your resume to avoid various types of discrimination. The following are standard items that you may include on your resume that can subject you to bias and how you can prevent it. 

Row of applicants with their resumes preparing for interview with employer

Your Address

Including your address on your resume lets the potential employer know that you are near their physical office. Adding your address can be advantageous if the employer is looking for someone who does not require relocation expenses or looking for a remote opportunity. However, this can lead to zip code discrimination. Zip code discrimination occurs when there is bias based on where you live in a specific city. To avoid bias based on your location when crafting your resume, you can enter the city and state in which you live. If you are selected to move forward, you can provide more detailed information as needed.

Graduation Dates

If you're a recent college grad or have had your degree for 20 plus years, this can show employers that you are someone who continues their education or is experienced in your field. Many employers look for recent college graduates because they can hire them at a lower salary due to their inexperience in their field. On the other hand, if you graduated 20 years ago and your graduation date on your resume could lead to age discrimination. Recruiters or hiring managers may be able to calculate your age based on when you graduated from high school or college, which can cause you to be passed over for that sought-after opportunity. The solution is to enter the degree you received and the college you received it from without your graduation date. 

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Lengthy Employment History

When applying for an opportunity, you want to show the employer why you're the best candidate for the job. Displaying that you are the best candidate may mean that you want to include all of your relevant experience on your application. Right? The answer is sometimes no to this situation if it may lead to age discrimination. If you are applying for entry-level or management-level positions, the past 30 years of your work history may not be needed. It's essential to include your most recent and relevant work history in your resume and keep it to, at the most, two pages in length. 

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Photos, Headshots, Selfies, Oh My

You will rarely include your photo on your resume, but it may be required for some professions. If you are submitting a curriculum vitae or are looking for employment in the medical field, these are two instances in which a photo may be required. Presuming that you are not entering the medical or teaching industry, you should leave your picture off your resume. Most employers will pass over resumes with photos to avoid any potential discrimination or unconscious bias. A best practice is to use your headshot for your LinkedIn profile or website. 

After you've updated your resume you need to ensure that you are prepared for the interview. Here are a couple of tips from me and other HR professionals on how you can prepare to land your next career. 


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