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How to state old work history that is relevant to industry on resume?

by Pamela

I am seeking a position in an industry that I worked in 17 years ago. While I know that industry has changed, the human resources department of this organization has told me my experience is outdated when I applied there for other positions.

However, I recently was one of the final candidates for a position in this industry at another company and the only reason I didn't get it was my experience wasn't as recent as the person who did get the position, but listing the experience on my resume got me the interview.

In this next position I am seeking, do I just not put any of the history of this industry on my resume or if so, should it just put it in the skill section stating I have eight years experience in the industry and not elaborate? And focus more upon my recent skills which I've targeted specifically to the job description?

Comments for How to state old work history that is relevant to industry on resume?

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May 19, 2009
Relevant Experience Is the Key
by: Kathi

Hi Pamela... Great question! And a bit thorny to answer. Experts generally recommend that you not go back more than 10 or 15 years on your resume. Partly this is to keep your resume as brief as possible and partly it is because the value of experience beyond that amount of time is generally limited.

But no one answer is right for everyone or every industry. I like your idea of putting the relevant skills in your skills section and then focusing on your more recent accomplishments. You might also highlight the past experience in your cover letter.

To your success,

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