When people ask me how long I have been recruiting, I usually respond with “Long enough to know what I am doing”.
I don’t answer that way to be smarmy (well, maybe sometimes..) but because once you get past the novice stage, does it really matter?
If I have been using a skill for eight years or ten years or 15 years, then clearly I have developed some mastery of it. What is really important is what I have achieved with the skill not how long I have been doing it.
What’s more powerful?
20 years of experience in blah, blah and blah.
High performing blah with specific expertise in blah.
To utilize my 15 years of experience in blah.
To help a team achieve blah with my skills in blah and blah.
See the difference? In each case, the second statement conveys a much better sense of what you actually can do.
Can you spot another difference? The first statement is all about you and contrary to popular belief, a resume is not really about you but about how your experience can help an employer fix a problem or fill a gap.
Your resume should be a billboard for your top skills and what you been able to achieve using them.