Since our blog went live more than two years ago, we've advised that older job seekers who are worried about revealing their age on their resumes shouldn't divulge the year they received their college degrees or high school diplomas. If you're over 40, we recommend that you state the name and location of your school and—if you graduated from college—your major. Your graduation date and grade point average are irrelevant at this point, and might even detract from the first impression you make.
Employers, of course, could be courting legal trouble if they asked for your graduation date since it can be interpreted as age bias. If they're interested in you, they may ask for your graduation date so they can verify it with the school. But if they don't hire you, it may be hard to prove that age bias was the deciding factor. The employer could always cite other reasons, such as a better combination of skills and experience with another candidate, or a strong recommendation from someone they trust.
Not everyone who writes on the web about job-search issues believes you should omit your graduation date from your resume. The issue, in fact, has spawned a bit of a debate. One blogger says leaving off the date is a "mistake" and claims one CEO "won't even speak with a candidate" who omits the date.
Where do you stand? Do you think that by omitting the graduation date from your resume, you're sending a message that you're trying to hide something or that you lack the confidence to admit your age?
Or, do you believe that omitting the graduation date is a smart way to market the best qualities that can maximize your chances of being called in for an interview.
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