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How Much History to Include in Resume?

Since we're talking about resumes, I have a tough question... I've been a business applications programmer for ten years, and, in April, I'll be getting my second BS - this time in CS.  With the new degree, I'd like to get into something more technical.  Maybe some scientific programming with, perhaps, a company like Raytheon, or maybe a small engineering software company.

Should I give away my age by including my mostly irrelevant business programming work experience, or eliminate most of that and hunt for an entry level position?  If I don't include my history, is it unethical?  Will it cause a prospective employer to red-flag me - wondering about my past?  Maybe I should include the past; will any prospective employer feel that business programming is relevant experience?


Monday, January 26, 2004

Definitely put the work history in. Getting the degree while working fulltime shows a lot of initiative and energy.

Tom H
Monday, January 26, 2004

Give away your work history that is relevant to the job you are applying for.

Monday, January 26, 2004

It depends on whether it has the potential to hurt you or not. Now suppose I list all my work experience on a full time job app. Mine goes back to 1964, so right off the bat most managers, no I'll correct that, ALL managers will reject it based on age alone.

As a consultant however they want to see tons of experience, the more the better. They won't reject it because they are only looking for short-term help not a career-long relationship and an older worker has an advantage in terms of dependability.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I would suggest that you limit your resume to one page.  Go back in time only to 10 years or whatever you have room for.  Keep each position description short and sweet, highlights only.

Be sure to put a line that says More Professional Background Provided Upon Request.

List your technical skills and number of years up at the top.  Abbreviate and do not include version numbers.  You should be able to get in at least 3 columns this way.

In your objective, state that you are looking for a highly technical or scientific software development position.

For your education section, state your CS degree only, but put in that you have other college degrees.

Bryan Shaw
Monday, January 26, 2004

just put a one-liner that says something like "I put my self through school programming business systems."  the thing about 10 year old stuff is nobody gives a shit unless it was something amazing. "I wrote the doom engine" is amazing and should be left in.  "I created reports using clipper 3.4.2 for the local dentist" is not amazing and should be left out.

Monday, January 26, 2004

The only time I left position out of my CV (it was for my first job, 20 years ago), the interviewer spotted the gap and wanted to know if I'd been to jail!

Breandán Dalton
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Thanks for the responses.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Talk to somebody at the company before submitting a resume.  Should be easy to do if there are a lot of developers there.  888

Adam N
Monday, February 2, 2004

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