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Question

Should I remove dates from my resume so that my approximate age cannot be determined? Should I include previous work experience that does not apply to the field I am currently looking to work in?

 

Answer

As far as dates on your resume, if you want to go with a chronological resume (i.e., one that shows your job history in chronological order), don't remove the dates—just include the last 10–15 years of experience. Chronological resumes are good when you want to show how your experience has been building progressively within one or two fields that directly relate to the jobs you're applying for. However, if you are making a career change or jumping into an adjacent field, you may want to consider a functional resume instead. A functional resume allows you to organize your experience around skills and job functions, rather than dates and employers. AARP's resume kit has a section that explains the differences between these options and provides examples.

 

Regardless of which resume option you go with, I would omit work experience that is not relevant to the job you are applying for. Also, don't include a mission statement at the top of your resume—these are considered outdated unless there is something specific you need to convey that isn't covered in your resume. The best place for a mission statement (or, a paragraph that communicates your personal brand) is on LinkedIn at the top of your profile, and/or woven throughout your cover letter. Whatever you write, make sure it showcases the unique combination of strengths and skills you bring to the table, rather than your mission (what you are seeking—recruiters don't care what you are seeking). Here's a good all-purpose article on resume writing, and another on tips for updating your resume for the digital age. 

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