Resume Q&A: An Overwhelming Job History


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,


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

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