Does Your Resume Reveal Your Age?

In my previous blog posts on the subject of your resume I hope I’ve convinced you that this document is NOT a list of everything you’ve ever done in your life as an actor, but a road map or “vetting” doc of determining whether you’ll get an audition, meeting or other appointment.  It’s only job is to get you in the door.

The reader of your resume is a human being (for now – watch out for AI in the future) and has their own set of “glasses” or perspective they are reading with/through.  That being said, without actually having a number, or even range of numbers, printed on that doc, the format and contents of your resume say a lot about your age.

Age discrimination is a fact of life in today’s everyday job market and there are numerous articles in the trades that confirm it in our business of show too.  This goes both ways for the young and just starting out, and the older professional, been in the game for years, actor.

Home Address

For many years, we sent our resume and cover letter through the mail.  Even then we knew not to put our home address on the top, however many did. Fact is, there has never been a need to put your home address on the resume.  It often excludes actors who live a distance away from the “action” and also shows that you’re either very young and green or older and out of touch.  Thank goodness there’s no field for this in online profiles.

There are other reasons not to include your home address:

  • Economic profiling
  • Length of commute (especially in LA)
  • Personal safety

If anyone needs your home mailing address, they can ask for it.

E-Mail Address

One sure sign that you are over 50 is to have a e-mail address, or even an e-mail address from your cable provider like on your resume.  Yes, I confessed in a previous post that I still have an address, but it pulls into my @gmail account and is only used for log-ins and other personal matters.  For those just out of school, the same thing applies for your address.

Either sign up for a gmail address or get your own domain, i.e.

Your email address says something about your professional brand.  I see too many “cutesie” email addresses that don’t “ring” professional actor out there or long, complicated, hard to remember/read/spell addresses unrelated to YOUR NAME.  If possible I recommend using a separate e-mail address for your acting related business.

Home Phone Number

Who under a “certain age” still has a home phone? I ditched my home phone about 10 years ago, and I am a bit older than you may think! If you still have a home phone and do not want to give out your cell phone number, get a Google Voice number. Put it on your resume as your cell number. You can set it up so that it will ring on multiple phones (both home and cell). It can be configured to transcribe the message, and then e-mail and text you the transcription. Sometimes the speech to text function of the transcriptions can be really funny. When I was at the agency, I had a separate Google Voice number and one actor left me a message and her name was transcribed as stressed out waters.

Double Space After Period

I am going to go out a limb and declare that putting two spaces after a period is obsolete. It is how most of us were taught to type on a typewriter like I was in the 7th grade!  I’m super grateful for that education and definitely still guilty of the automaticity of two spaces but am working on it. This shows up mainly on the web where formatting in blog posts like this one and other forms and profiles have certain templates making two spaces after the period have it look “off”.  Therefore, most of us who do this are over 50 years of age.

Special Skills

Limit the skills you list on your resume to current and relevant skills. I have seen many actor resumes that list every sport they’ve every played but would no longer get cast doing. This also applies to the younger actor listing what “older” actors would be doing or tasks they’d be performing.  Anything regarding technology systems, like “proficient in MS-DOS” is obsolete.  By the way, putting any skill on your resume that anyone can be filmed as if they are doing it (working at a computer, painting, cooking) is not needed in the first place.  That’s the magic of the movies!

Look at your resume—what does it say about your age? Show it to others and ask them what it says about you.  And please forgive any and all double spacing after the periods!

I welcome, as usual, any and all comments below…

7 replies
    • Lisa Gold
      Lisa Gold says:

      Hi Andree, yes Yahoo is almost as “telling” as AOL but for some reason doesn’t seem to carry the same stigma at present. I think you’re fine keeping the address especially if it’s all over your marketing materials etc. Looking toward the future, you may want to do the same thing I’ve done and get a gmail account or your own dotcom (.com) and “pull” your Yahoo address into the new mailbox, then slowly changeover to the new address. Great question!

  1. Spike Christie
    Spike Christie says:

    What if your birth date is listed on your IMBD profile? I have tried to remove it, but the site does not allow it. Have you heard of a way to change it?

    • Lisa Gold
      Lisa Gold says:

      Hi Spike, I know of this issue and in fact there have been lawsuits filed against IMDB and IMDBpro because of the inability for the user to take off their birthday. This is an ongoing court case and against not only IMDB but other paid services. In SoCal the litigation continues with no end in site. However, in the case that someone is actually going to your IMDB profile in the first place, that means you’re on their radar and they are examining you further…which is a good thing. It’s the resume that’s the first stop, with personal websites, profiles and IMDB looked at after there is interest.

  2. LB
    LB says:

    Hi Lisa, my apologies but I actually wasn’t clear about if we should actually list an age range or not.

    I do understand though how certain things are quite “telling” of our age.

    In the recent past, I was taught the importance of “knowing” our “range” and to list the range, not necessarily the exact age, which may differ slightly.

    Separately, I got called for an audition from a photo not containing my age or a range and I was asked my age during the pre-screening process and during the skype audition by a different person, I was told to state my age. Was that appropriate since I am well above 18 & 21 and 25 for that matter? Just wondering.

    Thank You! Awesome article! You always have such great topics!

    • Lisa Gold
      Lisa Gold says:

      Hey LB, great question and my answer is to put NO age range or reference any years at all on your resume. As an example I’ve seen some recent college grads put the year they earned their diploma and others put the dates they studied at certain places. The industry out there is only really wanting for you to be the right one for the job, so if they need a 30 year old and that is within your age range then great, even if you’re only 25 or even 35 in real life. In my experience when asked in person (or on Skype) for an age, it’s at that point where I would say “I usually play 25 to 30 give or take”. If they press you for your real age, then ask them why they are asking! Most agents need to know if they are managing your online profiles as that is usually a requirement, though it’s only seen by the profile companies and your rep and not casting so I think it’s cool if they are the ones asking. But casting shouldn’t need to know at all unless it’s a legal issue as you stated…for example, the law that states you must be 25 to be in a commercial that features alcohol. But in the end, it’s up to you to reveal but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker if you don’t. Hope that helps!


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