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.
- Twenty-two years of experience in…
- Over twenty 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 scary potential mediocrity problem.
2. Your readers might ask themselves, “Hmm, I wonder if that is 17 years of progressively responsible experience or if it’s one year of experience 17 times?”
3. If your reader is more than ten years younger than you, they are going to de facto think you are old.
4. If you spell a number when you should have used numerals, or you use numerals when you should have spelled the number, you will put Grammar Nazis on alert.
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 a helpful formatting template here.
Show Your Progressively Responsible Experience
In addition, make it easy for recruiters to see that you have had progressively responsible experience. You’ll find a helpful sample resume here. Look at how each job entailed more responsibility than the previous job.
Recruiters and hiring managers read your resume looking for the answer to two basic questions: “Can this person do the job? Will this person do the job?” Put that way, their needs are pretty simple.
Image: Fotolia/Drobot Dean
Updated March 2019
© 2010 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, Smart Brief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.