Should I omit experience that is more than 10 years old?

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.


About CGC Coaches

The latest workplace news/trends/issues from global outplacement and business coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
This entry was posted in Interviewing, Job Search Strategy, Résumés, Special Issues and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Should I omit experience that is more than 10 years old?

  1. You should keep your resumé as current as possible. You also should keep in mind that your resumé should not be longer than one page, so if you need the older jobs to fill the page, then keep them in there, but if you already have a page, it is best to omit them and keep your resumé current.

  2. Shannon says:

    I agree that your resume should be as current as possible and should not run over one page. But hiring managers do want to have as much information as possible about your skills and experiences at their fingertips when considering your for their open positions. That’s why I recommend that job-seekers not rely solely on their resume. Instead, check out OneWire ( It is a Career Management Tool where candidates create highly detailed profiles and can include as much information about their work experience as they would like to include.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s