Resume Makeovers

IT Resume Makeover: How your older experience can get you hired

You've probably heard about the rules of resume writing and why you should throw out years of experience to keep your resume short. Take a note from this resume makeover and leverage even older work history to sell your professional brand and land a job in a new industry.

Donald Burns has been editing and rewriting resumes long enough to know that one size does not fit all. Sometimes you need to break a few rules to get your best resume. According to Burns, founder of Executive Promotions LLC, when he saw George Brown's resume, he knew he would have to break the rule that says you should delete experience older than 10-15 years. Rather than erase Brown's experience, Burns went back 35 years to show how his career path from structural engineer to ERP manufacturing would tell an appealing story to hiring managers.

But in order to get Brown's resume to this point, Burns had to wade through a sea of long and confusing work experience. The overall message of Brown's resume was cluttered and distracted, and it took Burns a while to figure out why an employer looking for an ERP expert would want to hire him. Burns' first impression of Brown's resume was that it was filled with "dense verbiage," which made the resume difficult to follow, let alone one a recruiter or hiring manager could quickly scan. He knew that his main goal was to connect the dots between Brown's early career in structural design and engineering and his current career in ERP.

This came as no surprise to Brown, who understood that his resume was somewhat choppy and difficult to follow. "I felt that my resume was getting weighed down with bulleted lists of past accomplishments making it difficult to catch the reader's attention quickly."

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