Help! I have too much experience!

Resume tips for experienced job seekers

Having very little experience makes it challenging to write a resume. On the other hand, having extensive experience and limited space to write it about it is just as challenging, if not harder to accomplish. What should I cut and what should I keep? How many positions should I include? Does my resume make me appear overqualified or susceptible to age discrimination? Is there a such thing as too much experience? As a job seeker with a comprehensive career, it is critical to find the perfect balance between providing excessive information and selling yourself short. It may take you some time to find that balance, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. After all, you deserve a resume that accurately reflects what you have to offer.

If you are struggling with creating a resume that effectively encapsulates 20+ years of experience, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always consider your audience. Only include what will excite and be relevant to them. With that being said, your resume should showcase the best of your career and nothing else.
  • Write as concisely as possible. Drop all filler words and limit paragraphs to 5 or 6 lines.
  • Limit your chronology to 15–20 years. If you wish to mention positions prior to that timeframe, drop the dates and include your position, the company name, and the company location only.
  • Only mention current credentials, present professional and community memberships, and recent training.
  • Use a “Select Achievements” section on the first page beneath your summary. Include your top 3–5 accomplishments and drop the dates, especially if you are highlighting an achievement from 15+ years ago.
  • Use the functional resume format. If you have had many similar or short-term positions and want to avoid being repetitive (or ending up with a 5-page resume), summarize those duties and combine them with key accomplishments for a well-rounded “Value Offered,” or “Professional Highlights” section.
  • If your resume is still spilling over 2 pages, create an addendum document with the not-as-important information and provide it at the interview (if appropriate).
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