Key Resume Content: How to Let the Old Stuff Go

Key Resume Content: How to Let the Old Stuff Go

When crafting new resume content, letting go of early career experiences proves to be challenging for many of my clients.  They feel compelled to retain job details and accomplishments dating back fifteen years—or more—and can’t quite seem to delete some segments of bulleted text.

For many, understandably, the early part of their careers was a pivotal time and helped to shape where they are today. Some may feel particularly connected to their early career days due to their employer’s brand prestige, unique work environment, exceptional colleagues, or the work itself. Others are emotionally tied to the first part of their career when being recognized by their employer and career advancement may have felt transcendent.

The reality is that hiring managers will rarely ask specifics about—or expect you to remember—the results you delivered in 2001. They want to see resume content reflecting your career progression and the successes that are most relevant to their business needs—and those that you have achieved in your most senior role.

For instance, if you are a Sales Director and are looking to land the same (or an elevated) role and you started your career as a Sales Representative, there is no need to include the details of your cold calling and closing ratio successes in your resume content.

While hiring managers want to understand what you have learned in your career and who you are today—your “career evolution”—they are not particularly interested in the minutia. In other words, they’re looking for a snapshot of your previous experience and not a comprehensive, play-by-play narrative.

When reviewing older resume content, consider the following:

  • What job aspects are different from what you have been doing most recently—and are still relevant?
  • What key technical/business skills or knowledge did you develop?
  • Why was the experience so significant?
  • What’s your single greatest accomplishment during that time period?
  • What’s the high-level summary you want to convey?

Contact top San Francisco-based resume writer, Robin Kelley If you need a partner to help determine your resume content and how to best express your career evolution. If you’re a senior executive and are seeking to capture and convey your value in the marketplace—and achieve the next level of career success—contact Leadership Career Consultant Amy Phillip.