Be the Boss Over Cancer

I know that it is recommended that you show at least 10 years of experience on your resume. For the last 6 years I have worked in the oil and gas industry. Fourteen years before that I worked in the commercial real estate industry. Do I really need to include the 14 years in real estate? I don't want to because it shows that I maybe older than my competition and employers may think I'm expensive. I do not have on my resume or my LinkedIn profile when I graduated college which was in the early 80s.  It isn't easy finding a job when you are in your 50s.


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  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on Apr 14, 2014

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Merle,

    Apologies for the delayed response, but I wanted to let you know that your question has been sent off to one of our career coaches who will be in touch soon.

    In the meantime, I would recommend checking out our free Resume Review Service ( and our Job Search Toolkit (


    Sarah, Cancer and Career Associate Manager of Programs

  • Merle L.

    Merle L. on Apr 15, 2014

    Thanks, I already talked to several people on the subject. I was told if I want to earn my current salary I need to include everything.

  • Margot Larson

    Margot Larson on Apr 16, 2014

    Career Coach Comment:


    You do not have to list your old experience.  Employers are interested in what you have been doing in recent years, your skills, expertise,competencies and most important, your accomplishments. I recommend listing no more than 20 years experience. However, if you are 50, list more than 6 years experience; otherwise it will look as though you are hiding something.

    You should  focus your resume to demonstrate your skills in the areas where you want to work at this stage of your life. Why mention a career track that you have no interest in pursuing? Once you have outlined your most recent accomplishments, you could create a heading entitled:  Additional Experience and list such things as Residential Real Estate Agent and other career track.  No dates

    You are correct.  Never list the dates of graduation or education.

    Also, don't forget to list items such as Community, Volunteer and Professional affiliations.  These often demonstrate additional skills. 

    The most important part of your resume is your Summary of Qualifications.  That first paragraph will cause the employer to read further (or not).


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