Resume Food for Thought
The Resume Debates 2: Experience
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to this marketing document. I am giving you mine.
Last week, I brought up the dilemma on titles. We can either use our actual titles that our employers have given us or choose more accurate titles that best reflect the tasks done. Legitimate reasons exist on both sides, and it is up to us as individuals to decide which works better.
This week, I want to bring up experience. How much of it should we include?
All Experiences vs. The Last 15 Years
When it comes to listing experiences, there are two schools of thinking.
Most modernists believe in including only the last 10 to 15 years of experience because we remember what we have accomplished during more recent years than the ones we did earlier in our careers. This makes later experiences more relevant.
However, people on the other end of the spectrum would say, “Hold on. I want to see how you have progressed in your career from the every beginning. For all I know, you could have gotten the director position because your boss simply liked you at happy hour and not because you really have credentials.”
As job seekers, there is no way for us to determine which end of the spectrum the hiring managers land, so what do we do?
My philosophy lands right in the middle.
List all positions we had after graduating from school.
But for experiences completed over 15 years ago, descriptions are unnecessary unless the accomplishments from those early years are relevant to your current stature and/or target position.
Also, if we have overlapping jobs that happened at the same time, keep the ones that are more significant and eliminate side hustles that really do not help at all.
If we do have over 15 years of experience and decide to exclude anything older than that, stating your graduating year from school is optional. Many older candidates use to compete with the youngsters. Keep in mind, though, that when we do get interviewed, the interviewers will finally put a face to the words.
At that point, it’s our interview skills that come into play, so make sure to brush those up.
You Are Who You Are
No one denies our experiences, for our experiences create our lives. Each individual live his or her own colorful life.
Be proud of it.
Nonetheless, our resumes only have so much space, so be strategic.
I am all for including all positions on resumes. However, it does not mean we need to describe every single one, especially if they are unrelated to more current and targeted roles.
For the ones that end up on the editing room floor, save them for happy hour story time.
Come back next week as I explore the confusing concept of resume length.