How to Customize Your Resume Based on Your Past Experience

It has been a while since you put your resume out there, and you want your professional experience to be what hiring managers see—not your age. There are a few methods you can use to create a resume that highlights your experience and takes the emphasis off of how long you’ve been in the work force. When you create an effective resume that puts the spotlight on your experience, your age no longer matters.

1. Avoid mentioning time in your qualifications or career summaries.

It’s tempting to put the fact that you’ve been a quality assurance manager for 30 years in your qualifications summary, but you shouldn’t do it. If you want your qualifications to stand out, then you cannot try to impress hiring managers with how long you’ve been doing your job.

For one thing, including the fact that you have 30 years of experience will automatically trigger the red flag for age in the hiring manager’s mind. It’s not a conscious thing the hiring manager does—it just happens. You’ll find it easier to emphasize your skills when you take the focus off of how long you took to develop those skills. 

2. Avoid reaching way back in your professional experience.

It may be pertinent to say that you took a training class 20 years ago that has helped your career, but it’s best to not mention it. When you list your professional experience, focus on the jobs you have held in the past 15 to 20 years. Any job older than that should just be a quick entry at the bottom of your experience list.

Instead of mentioning things you learned 25 years ago, it would be better to just talk about the ongoing tasks you were able to do as a result of that training. That will put the spotlight back on your experience and take it off your age. 

3. List your educational experience, but avoid putting any dates.

You can list the fact that you have a industry-relevant degree from a well-known college, but avoid listing your graduation date. You can also mention that you graduated from high school with honors, but leave your actual graduation date off your resume.

You’ve spent the last several years gathering practical experience that would impress any hiring manager. There’s no need to put any emphasis on educational accomplishments that happened decades ago. 

4. Let your resume tell a story as opposed to being a boring list of the things you’ve done.

Your resume should open with a strong summary statement that explains your accomplishments and gives you credit for any awards or honors you’ve won in your field. After you’ve told your story in a summary, then you can create a paragraph or two of your qualifications. This is where you discuss your professional experience and add in any job-related accomplishments that you have to your credit.

In a resume that’s designed to highlight your experience, it needs to be more of a narrative than a standard resume. It needs to grab the hiring manager’s undivided attention and allow that manager to develop a sense of respect for what you’ve accomplished. When you write an effective summary statement and give a strong accounting of your qualifications, you put the emphasis squarely on your experience and take it off of your age. 

Let Your Experience Tell Your Story

You’ve spent a long time putting together a career that you’re proud of, and now you want to move that career to its next challenge. There are plenty of resources on LiveCareer that will help you to put together a resume based on your experience. Utilize the resume builder and resume writing tools to determine the best way to showcase your experience. The salary calculator will help you to understand just how much your skills are worth in today’s market.

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