Would You Botox Your Resume?

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Too much experience can be a career-killer, especially in today's hyper-competitive job market. So is it legitimate to delete your first job or three, in hopes of erasing some telltale age-lines from your resume?

The signals from career experts appear mixed. We've heard a couple of headhunters call it a no-no. They say that ethical questions would arise once the omitted jobs are revealed by a background check. (Headhunters also point out that a necessary corollary of the "botox" strategy - omitting university graduation dates - is pointless, since a Wall Street employer will invariably demand that information before deciding to interview a candidate.)

On the other hand, a recent Wall Street Journal "On Style" column showcases a succcessful resume makeover that empowered a 49-year old woman to land two jobs in a short time, after a period of rejections that experts agreed were solely due to her age. (Although not in finance, she worked in another youth-obsessed business: entertainment.) The story cites career consultant Wendy Enelow's opinion that removing early jobs and dates is ethical, and her suggestion that anything before the latest 10 to 15 years of experience is deletion-bait.

Do you think this is legitimate, or deceptive? Have you ever tried it (or know someone who did)? If so, did it work?

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