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So What

Wondering what to include on your resume?

➔ Among the conundrums facing older job seekers is what to include on their resumes and what to talk about during job interviews. Because our work histories are so long and rich, we have a lot to talk about. But where do you draw the line?

There are a lot of theories. Some people say you should only include jobs you’ve held during the past 10 years; some say 15 years. Some say that anything beyond 15 years is irrelevant. But we have so much to talk about. I’m dying to tell you.


Can we talk?

One solution that we espouse enjoys the beauty of simplicity. If you’re wondering whether or not to include something on your resume or to share something with an interviewer, ask yourself one, simple question: Does it pass the So What test?

If someone is reviewing your resume and they come across that item, will they ask themselves, “So what?” If you’re in an interview and you’re sharing something about your past work life, is the interviewer asking, “So what?” In other words, how is this relevant to anything; to the job; to the organization; etc. Why should anyone care?

Don’t delude yourself by thinking about how important it is to you. In this situation, what you think takes a back seat to what they think. If they’re not impressed, you lose. It’s as simple as that.

If you’re struggling over your resume, or if you’re confronted with whether or not to share some experience, some project, some accomplishment with an interviewer, ask yourself, “So what?” Will they, or should they care? Then again, it might be better to ask someone else. A colleague. A trusted friend. A spouse. Someone who will give you the unvarnished truth.

Therein lies the answer.



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