Sunday, January 3, 2010

Years of Experience: Do You Tell it All in Your Resume?

By Ramsey Penegar, Executive Resume and Recruiting Consultant

Your resume is a marketing tool – not a complete autobiography.
An effective resume is focused on your future and what benefits you can bring to the next position, not just a historical summary of your career or what you want to achieve with it. It is best not to list more experience on your resume than is required for the job to which you are applying, as this can be one way recruiters use to eliminate potential candidates from the running. And quite frankly, hiring managers don’t care that you worked for Freddy’s Frankfurters in high school!

Age discrimination is illegal and most employers may not intentionally discriminate on the basis of age, but are more likely to do so if they are given information that makes it easier to do. Many hiring managers have an ideal perceived age for a position and if, based on the information in your resume, they perceive you to be older or younger than this ideal range – you’re out. Recruiters, human resources personnel, and hiring managers are simply overwhelmed with the volume of resumes received for advertised open positions. They are systematic in how they narrow down that stack of resumes.

If you have 32 years of experience and apply to a position that is requesting “a minimum of 5 – 10 years”, you could very easily been labeled as overqualified for the position. More experience usually denotes more age, which equates to a higher salary and higher costs in the minds of recruiters. Furthermore, employers want employees that will stick around for a while and in many minds, an older associate may retire soon or leave due to health reasons.
You must be honest on your resume, but you certainly do not have to list every job you ever held.
 Provide approximately 10 years of experience for management level positions and 15 for executive level positions, but also be cognizant of what the job requires as mentioned previously. This will increase your chances of being called for an interview and that is where you have the opportunity to sell the hiring manager on your overall experience, ability, and knowledge with your enthusiasm and professional demeanor.

Ramsey Penegar is an executive resume consultant and is certified as a professional resume writer by the Professional Association of Resume Writers. She has developed more than 575 resumes for executives all over the United States and for international clients as well. With more than 10 years experience in marketing and sales, she has the skills to build effective job search marketing campaigns and attention-getting resumes.


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