I Have Over XX Years Of Experience! Deal Killer.

Throw that phrase out!! Deep six it! Can it! Shred it! Delete it! Burn it! Take it off your resume! Take it off our LinkedIn profile! Take it off your bio! If I read another resume with that phrase, I think I will be sick. Which means, probably this afternoon, I will be sick. UGH.

If you want to make certain that your resume looks just like everyone else, then begin with the phrase (or some variation thereof): "I Have Over XX Years of Experience." While my evidence is not definitive, over 75% of all resumes begin with that trite, worn-out cliché. (Note: I probably have over a 1000 resumes scattered around my office and thousands more on my computer. In a quick review, well over 75% use a variation of that phrase. It is actually closer to 90%.)

While there may be a few circumstances where you can use that phrase, in most cases, particularly for executives, it means nothing, and in fact may get you rejected for an interview. If you are a senior exec, they know that you are not a kid any longer. Of course you have years of experience! By mentioning years of experience, the only thing you are doing is bringing age into the equation. What is relevant is how you have driven revenue, cut costs, maximized profitability and EBITA, improved productivity, streamlined operations, generated funding, directed mergers and acquisitions, and implemented exit strategies for your organization.

If you want to make certain that your resume looks just like everyone else, then begin with the phrase: I Have Over XX Years of Experience.

Number of years is typically only relevant when a company is seeking well defined experience in a specialized discipline: i.e. three years as an HTML5 programmer, five years in network engineering, four years as a geothermal chemist et.al. You get the idea. 

Here is an example of a more powerful introduction for your resume portfolio. Instead of saying "I have over 22 years of experience in leading sales teams." you might try something like this: "At XYZ organization, drove over $18 million dollars in personal sales revenue (35% over quota) and $68 million through my sales team (lead the nation) as illustrated by the following graph." Now, you have accomplished several goals in that one statement:

  1. demonstrated your personal performance capabilities;
  2. highlighted your leadership ability to drive a peak performance team; and
  3. visually demonstrated your performance through a contemporary graphic presentation and maybe even an infographic. Remember, visuals are worth a thousand words.

You have set yourself apart from others and you are becoming the standard by which all others are measured.

So turn your search around by focusing on your track record of performance, leadership talent and vision instead of being a Dilbert clone talking about years of experience.

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Have an awesome day!