Do you want to know how to turn off a recruiter or hiring manager just as they start to read your resume? Good. I can help. Here’s one of my favorites:
Lead by telling them how many years of experience you have.
Years of Experience
- Over 20 years of experience in…
- 22 years of experience in…
- More than 17 years of experience in…
Why is This a Fail?
1. If the most compelling thing you can say about your work is how long you have done it, there’s a problem. A mediocrity problem.
2. Your readers might ask, “Was that 17 years of progressively responsible experience? Or one year of quiet quitting 17 times?”
3. If your reader is more than 10 years younger than you, they’ll de facto think you are old. As in, “25 years of experience? Wow, he’s as old as my dad. That’s old.”
What if the Posting Specified Years of Experience?
Format your employment dates well enough that your readers can easily do the math. You can see helpful formatting templates here.
Show Your Progressively Responsible Experience
Also, make it easy for recruiters to see your progressively responsible experience. You’ll find helpful sample resumes here.
What is Progressive Experience?
If you wonder what I mean by “progressive experience,” note the jobs in the sample. Each change entailed more responsibility than the previous job.
Todd started as a usability architect. Then, he was promoted to a vice president role. Finally, he built and ran a consulting practice.
Showing growth in responsibilities proves progressive experience.
In the end, recruiters and hiring managers want answers to 2 basic questions:
- Can this person do the job?
- Will this person do the job?
Put it that way, and you can see their needs are pretty simple.
Differentiate yourself. Don’t talk about “years of experience.” Instead, show them you did the job and the impact you had.
When you do, your resume will go from thumbs-down to 2-thumbs-up!
You Might Like
Updated January 2023
© 2010 – 2023, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
Let her expertise inform your job search strategy and decision-making.
Contact Donna here to learn more about her resume and LinkedIn profile services and fee structure.