Resume Q&A: An Overwhelming Job History

Question:

Carole, what is the best style and number of pages for a resume when you have 25 years of incredible job history? My resume is overwhelming to me and anyone else (including a General who was very threatened by me). Do you have any guidance that could help? 

Thank you,
Pat

Answer:

Hi Pat,

It is difficult when you have so much experience and knowledge that it is overwhelming - even to you. The rule of thumb is nobody is looking past 10 years ago. Think of all that has changed in the last 10-15 years with the Internet and technology. No matter what your field, things are done differently than they were 10 or more years ago.

I am not an expert on resumes but I will tell you that most people will spend about 2 minutes - or less - reading your resume. Sad isn't it? There are many professionals (some who charge a good amount of money) to try to make your resume more attractive and one that will draw interest.

The only way I know that makes a resume more interesting to me is to have a summary of what you have to offer at the top of the resume. Then start with the most recent experience and work backwards - summarizing anything past ten years old - "Additional Experience." Be careful about giving numbers and dates as it allows them to figure out just how old you are. And, let's face it - there is "age discrimination" out there. "I have 25 years of experience." would be better said: "Extensive experience".

The best way to use your resume is through your network. Companies tend to hire "knowns" over "unknowns." If someone can put in a good word on your behalf or connect you with the right people - you will have a better chance of landing an interview and a possible job opportunity.

There are resume experts out there - and each will give you his or her opinion - no two the same.

I wish you well in your endeavor. Thanks for posting.

Best wishes,
Carole Martin
www.interviewcoach.com

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