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Resume - Employment History & Education


Shane Snyder Fallbrook, CA

As you can see from the title this is a two part question and I'll try to make it quick:

Employment History - everything I've read says a resume should go back 10-15 years and nothing says anything about going beyond 15 years. My civilian work history doesn't extend to 10 years and when I include my military work history it extends way beyond the 15 year mark. Do I cut my military work history to keep my resume at that 15 year mark? I have essentially 7 years of civilian work history and 17 years of military work history.

I definitely get the point of limiting work history to negate age discrimination.

Education - I am looking to complete my second bachelors in construction management by this summer and trying to transition to working in construction industry. Herein lies the problem; this past summer I completed a Masters in Project Management from a very reputable school. My first bachelors is in Management and isn't particularly relevant to a lot of jobs I'm interested in within the construction industry

When starting to apply to jobs I'm interested in what education should I list? All of it? I don't want to be labeled "over qualified" for a job because I have too much education. Yet, I don't want to leave my graduate degree off as I think it will hold some weight when being considered for a position as it is relevant. If I were to add my masters with my expected bachelors it will obviously catch some people's attention and let them know that I have more education than what I'm not listing (I hope that makes sense).

I appreciate any insight or recommendations that you all may have.

Thank you,

2 February 2021 11 replies Resumes & Cover Letters



Joseph Mack Garland, TX

Save yourself some time brother. Find the position that you want to apply for via LinkedIn, job boards, etc. Register with Hire Heroes USA on their webpage and request mentoring services, it’s free. They will assist you in developing a shell (format) that is tailored to the position you're attempting to fill. Do not go back more than ten years on your resume. Do not pay for resume help. Communicating your relevant military experience in a resume tailored to a specific job posting is an art that can learned through Hire Heroes USA for free . I hope this helps.

4 February 2021 Helpful answer


Demetrio Yanez Houston, TX

Shane, if you're still looking for an opportunity I work in construction management (Corporate), please briefly describe the position you're looking for and I can help tailor your resume to that specific role.


Michael Davis Princeton, WV

Hi Shane. I see resumes for project managers and site managers all the time, so hopefully my insight can help you a little. There’s a lot of good advice in the other responses that I would fully endorse. In addition, here is some advice I would offer.

In my opinion, your military experience is the biggest thing that is going to separate you from your peers, so not only would I leave it in there, I would make sure it’s prominent (possibly the very first thing that the recruiter sees after your name). Unless the nature of the work is directly relevant to the position, I would keep it short and to the point… branch, rank, years, MOS, maybe one or two bullet points that highlight skills that demonstrate your intangible skills, but that’s it. But you do want to make absolutely sure that they notice it immediately. I understand your concern with regard to age discrimination, but for multiple reasons, I would definitely include that. Many companies, including my own, will give special consideration to veterans. As I said, it’s the biggest thing that sets you apart from the other resumes they’ll be looking at.

I would always include all of your degrees and certifications. The only exception is if you’re desperate and only wanting to find something to fill the gap until you find something better. Again, if it’s not directly relevant to the specific position, just keep it short. But I’d always include them. Most of the one’s that come across my desk that immediately catch my eye have either a graduate degree or PMP certification or both. The hiring manager should be able to quickly determine that you’re not overqualified from your work history. Additionally, to list the degree you’re currently pursuing might show that you’re committed to this career path, not just something that you’re stumbling into.

And I agree with some of the others who mentioned tailoring your resume for the position. I would always keep several different versions of it prepared, depending on who you’re talking to. If you’re sending cover letters, those should always be unique to the prospective company (to the individual recipient if possible).

Good luck to you. Hope this helps a little bit. Please let me know if I can help further.


Joseph M. Chuffa Clayton, NC

As each company/hiring person has their own requirements and job titles differ from place to place so even with the necessary knowledge or experience you may miss the mark more times than not.

Rewrite your resume as a toolbox full
of skills, abilities and accomplishments in terms that are more universal so you may be applicable enough so that someone will consider talking to you for a job.

Do not limit your experiences, you earned those and it proves you worked hard but it may be better expressed as a bullet list, years, location, company/activities or title without lots of individual details.

As an employer I may need someone more experienced and hard working than a person who only has book learning and not been in the real world. Success is about dealing with, overcoming challenges and finding solutions that are not always recorded in a book or from history.

Don’t short change yourself or a possible employer of your wealth of real-world knowledge to adapt and succeed, you made it this far, tomorrow is just another battle.



Kathy Weaver Troy, MI

You want to be specific, straightforward and concise. Your goal with the resume is to make it easy for people reviewing your resume to find the experience, education, achievements and skills that are relevant to the position you are seeking.

When it makes sense use the same words in your resume that are in the job description.
For this reason you should plan to adjust your resume for each role you apply for. I’d also suggest you consider finding a search firm that specializes in filling roles in the construction/project managment field. The hiring company pays any associated costs so there is no down side to you and allows you to have a recruiter working on your behalf.


Lacey Jones Katy, TX

Hello Shane,

I too have thought about pursuing a degree in construction management. I just completed my MBA and have not been able to find anything here in Houston. Construction Project Management jobs are everywhere here in this area but hard to break into that industry because they want you to have experience. Please keep me updated on your endeavors.



Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!


Sam Hoffman Roslyn Heights, NY

See how a resume draft looks with a sub-header for "work experience" and another for "military experience."
Keep your military total military years, but keep experience to final grade/position held, and 3 or 4 bullets of your most exceptional achievements.
I've seen a lot of vets use that format and it looks good


Mary Hunt San Francisco, CA

Hi Shane,

Based on what you have told us, I can envision a great resume that would help you both capitalize on your educational achievements and your military experience, without becoming a history of everything you have done. I am not a professional resume writer, but I am a marketing and communications professional, with a lot of corporate experience, and I would be happy to help you accomplish these objectives (for free). If you would like my help, please send me your current resume, and I'll work on it after work and show you what I mean.



Joe Engle Indianapolis, IN

Hello Shane:
Think of a resume as your advertising flyer, or glossy, about yourself. It is not your life/work, history, but rather a summary of your skills and achievements. The goal is to get an interview, and it should help get you to that point.

You do not need to mention any years on your resume. Suppose you developed skills 18 years ago, that are still relevant to the position you are interested in. Then those skills are not obsoleted!

Regarding your education concerns, if you have a Bachelors degree, then you should leave off your high school info. If you have a Masters degree, you should include at least one Bachelors degree. Generally, you should list all degrees, that you have, but if you have concerns of being 'over qualified', then you can certainly leave off degrees.

You mentioned that you are transitioning to "working in construction industry", but you feel that your degrees in Project Management are not relevant. With all due respect, I beg to differ. The builder that built my house had guys that managed the various construction teams. Those guys were really project managers! They had to schedule contractor teams, prioritize tasks, deal with logistics, customers, etc. All project management. Then the contractor teams they dealt with, all were headed by a 'project manager', that made sure their teams were at the various sites, scheduling their work, meeting deadlines, etc. Not certain, but you might reconsider that your intended construction position is not really a form of project management.

I put together a document about resumes, targeted at military personnel transitioning to civilian positions, but the general ideas about resumes and job hunting apply to everyone. The document has been used by civilians and people from this board. I will message it to you, as I think it will be helpful.

Good Luck Shane,


Charles Bowles New York, NY

Hi Shane,

Thanks for your questions and how to best update your resume. I would suggest going over to our "Community" tab and clicking on "Advisors" to find people who can assist you with your resume.

Since you are looking in "Construction Management", I would filter the subject area to "Manufacturing & Construction," and then you can filter further by Zip Code to find people in your area. From there, you can directly message an advisor who you think can best help you. I hope this helps!



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