Re: How to mention distant-past experience on a resume?

Subject: Re: How to mention distant-past experience on a resume?
From: Helen OBoyle <hoboyle -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Keith Hood <bus -dot- write -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:30:19 +1100

Keith,

This year's magic silver bullet process often looks laughably like 15 years
ago's. Cloud computing = today's timesharing. Web services = today's
remote procedure calls. And so on. A lot of the same thought processes
and perspectives relevant to the earlier implementation of a paradigm also
apply to the current implementation of it.

Plus, there's the idea that certain types of experience are uncommon and
that if you're looking for someone with it, you might be very glad to see
that someone did a lot of work with a particular technology 20 years ago.
Although IBM 370 Assembler is last "officially" on my resume in the mid
1980's, it's come in handy a few times since then. Unless you're dealing
with a startup just launched by a couple recent grads, there's no telling
what legacy technology lurks behind the curtains in a company. Plus,
there's the "curiosity" factor. I've had good conversations with hiring
managers about programming Vectrex games and now-ancient UNIX internals.

My resume is 3 pages long, and the first half of the first page is the
"TL;DR" summary for those who don't want to flip pages.

On Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM, Keith Hood <bus -dot- write -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> Geology is not a good comparison. They don't change the way rock hammers
> work every 2 years. When working with computers, software tool knowledge is
> very important, and is also very mutable. So are procedures. Seems like
> someone comes out with a new magic silver bullet process that cures all
> development cycle ills (except for the ones it creates) every 9 months or
> so. Rocks are stable. High tech isn't.
>
> On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 4:16 AM, Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
> wrote:
>
> > I just don't agree that 20-year-old experience is automatically
> > irrelevant. If someone worked for a few years as a geologist or
> > industrial chemist or in the military that could be highly useful and
> > applicable to certain TW roles.
> >
> > If anything some employers are swayed too much by past job titles. Bob
> > used to work as an X, and everyone can write, so Bob can write our X
> > manual.
> >
> > --- Stuart
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Gene Kim-Eng"
> > To:"Stuart Burnfield" , "Techwr-l" ,
> > Sent:Sun, 30 Nov 2014 18:20:14 -0800
> > Subject:Re: How to mention distant-past experience on a resume?
> >
> > Look at that long past "relevant" experience and tear it down to its
> > component functions, then look for the more recent jobs you've had in
> >
> > which you used those. The only person who's likely to be pulled in by
> >
> > the fact that you "used to be" a programmer, lab tech or telecom
> > developer 20 years ago is the recruiter or HR drone who's skimming
> > your
> > resume for key words (not that you don't have to attract that person,
> >
> > but don't make the pandering too obvious). The real hiring manager is
> >
> > going to be looking for something that shows you have skills that are
> >
> > relevant to what's going to be in the contract now.
> >
> > Gene Kim-Eng
> >
> > On 11/30/2014 5:32 PM, Stuart Burnfield wrote:
> > >
> > > Instead, I'd mention the relevant-but-old experience in the cover
> > > letter or intro paragraph ("... experienced technical writer and
> > > former XXX") and list only the recent and relevant gigs in the body
> > of
> > > the rÃsumÃ. If they're curious about when you got the XXX
> > experience
> > > they can ask at the interview.
> >
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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> >
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: How to mention distant-past experience on a resume?: From: Stuart Burnfield
Re: How to mention distant-past experience on a resume?: From: Keith Hood

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