A reader with over 25 years of work history recently wrote in to ask whether experience from more than 10 years ago should be de-emphasized or omitted from the resume. Or, is it best to have different resumes to emphasize the skills required in different positions?
Firstly, it is important to understand that the resume is basically a marketing brochure about the skills and experience you bring to the table. It should be all-encompassing and nothing should be omitted. The most emphasis and detail should be given to your most recent position, but this does not mean that other positions should get shortchanged, even if it requires extending your resume to a second or third page.
Some job seekers feel that including experience from more than 10 years ago “ages” them. However, one should not look at 25-years worth of experience as “aging” himself or herself. Instead, you are selling your vast experience, which tells employers you can hit the ground running.
Regarding the question about having more than one resume; a good resume that is all-encompassing does not have to be tailored for specific employers or positions. The problem with trying to customize one’s resume is that the job seeker will develop the resume from his or her own perspective about what is important to the employer or for the position. However, this may or may not match up with what’s important to the prospective employer. It is better to include everything that is relevant and demonstrates the skills you offer, and let the employer sort through the information to decide what is important.