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Ask the Experts

Condensing Long-Term Experience on a Resume

Work job hunting

— Rebecca Erol/Alamy

Q. I spent 20 years in the U.S. Army and 14 years in corporate jobs. How do I pack 34 years of experience into a two-page résumé and make it effective?

A. First, tailor your résumé to the specific position for which you’re applying. Include your most relevant achievements, preferably within the last 10 to 15 years, and emphasize your skills and areas of expertise rather than just job duties.

Quantify your accomplishments by saying, for example, “managed 100 people” or “increased sales by 40 percent.” If you have training or certifications or did volunteer work that relates to the job you’re seeking, include those as well. You don’t need to list your education or previous jobs that have little to do with the position you’re currently seeking.

Source: AARP.org. Send your questions to: Ask the Experts, AARP Bulletin askourexperts@aarp.org. Check out www.aarp.org/bulletin for previously asked questions and answers.

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

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