Wednesday, June 22, 2022
HomeMust ReadHow Far Back Should You Go On A Resume

How Far Back Should You Go On A Resume

How To Address Gaps In Your Work History

How Far Back Should You Go on Your Resume? – Virginia Franco Resumes

Gaps in work history are actually pretty common.

If you were on maternity leave, its best to point it out. After all, parenting is a full-time job, moreover, its one that requires you to be very organized.

Also, make sure you fill that gap period with volunteer work or courses youve attended that are relevant to the position youre applying for.

Exceptions To The Two

The exceptions to the two-page resume rule are limited, and include:

  • Entry-level resumes: These are acceptable at one page.

  • Federal resumes: They can sometimes be three to seven pages.

  • Academic or scientific CVs and resumes: These types of resumes can often be up to 15 pages long.

Whether you choose to take on the challenge of eliminating your past experiences yourself or need the guidance of a professional, you should now have a better understanding of what to keep and what to eliminate from your past work experience and why it’s important.

Looking to cut back at some of the fluff on your resume, but don’t know where to start? Our free resume review can help.

This article was updated in June 2020. It was originally written by Amanda Augustine.

Infographic Video And Website Rsums

As the Internet becomes more driven by multimedia, job-seekers have sought to take advantage of the trend by moving their résumés away from the traditional paper and email media to website résumés or e-résumés.

Video, infographic, and even Vine résumés have gained popularity recently, though mainly in the creative and media industries.

This trend has attracted criticism from human resources management professionals, who warn that this may be a passing fad and point out that multimedia-based résumés may be overlooked by recruiters whose workflow is designed only to accommodate a traditional résumé format.

Recommended Reading: How Big Should Font Be On Resume

The Quick Answer: It Depends

Your resume is the first thing hiring managers and recruiters look at when deciding whether you’re a viable candidate for an open position — so it’s important to get that document just right. But while you probably know to avoid grammatical errors and the like, one thing you may be unclear on is how far back on your resume to go. This especially holds true if you’re a seasoned worker with years of experience under your belt.

So how many years of work history should your resume include? As a general rule, you’re safe listing your last 10 years of experience. But that’s not the whole story.

Resume Tips That Get You Noticed

How Far Back Should You Go on Your Resume?

There is no right or wrong way to write a resume. But competition for jobs is fierce right now. You need to develop a resume that sets you apart from the masses. It cant be a passive piece of paper. It must be a passionate representation of who you are and why you are the best person for the job.

In todays competitive job market, its important that you help employers see the benefits of hiring you over someone else. Organizations need to know that you will help them attain their corporate objectives. Your resume is the first step in expressing that message to them. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Don’t Miss: How To State Language Proficiency On Resume

Delete Anything From High School

Unless youâre currently in university or college, or under the age of 20, do not include your high school education or achievements on your resume. Focusing on your high school achievements, especially if theyâre more than a few years old can seem desperate and make it seem like you have nothing more recent to share. Even if you were an outstanding high school student who racked up all kinds of awards and achievements, it’s almost always underwhelming to discuss your high school achievements in the context of employment. Thereâs one exception: if high school is your highest level of education, you can include the name of your high school and your graduation date under your education section. However, avoid including a list of extra-curricular activities or other achievements.

looking for your next job now?

At the end of the day, your resume is a marketing document. Its purpose is to showcase why you’re the best possible candidate for the job youâve applied to. Itâs not a legally binding document that has to list the minutia of your work history down to your high school record and part-time jobs. Sometimes, making cuts is essential to create the best possible narrative!

Select The Type Of Resume That Works For You

There are three types of resumes: chronological, functional and combination. The chronological resume lists job and education history in a reverse chronological order. The functional resume concentrates on skills and abilities. In this approach, names of employers, dates and education history details are omitted and the information is not presented chronologically.

Most employers prefer chronological resumes because the format makes it much easier to see the applicants career progression. The majority of the advice included here relates most closely with the chronological format. While a functional resume may work better for someone who is changing fields and wants to use a more skills-oriented format, it may be better to try a combination resume instead. This style combines the primary elements of the chronological and functional resume formats by presenting relevant skills and abilities but doing so in chronological order.

Read Also: Where Can I Print Something In Nyc

It Combats Age Discrimination

We may not like to admit it, but the fact remains: Age discrimination is a reality in today’s job market. By eliminating your earlier work history or minimizing the details, you shift recruiters’ attention away from your age and toward what really matters, which is the value you have to offer a prospective employer through your skills and experience.

Work Experience Section For Top Professional

How Far Back Should You Go on Your Resume

How many years of work experience on resume should mention top professionals? A great experience can be a significant advantage. The main thing is to assess its benefits for the modern market adequately. Fifteen years ago, there was a different market and different tasks. Therefore, better not go into the details of your work in the distant past. So, how to reduce many years experience in your paper?

  • Choose the right direction. A long professional path can contain careers in several industries at once. If you managed to try yourself both in sales and in copywriting, decide how you want to continue your career. Therefore, indicate only relevant and fresh experience.
  • Mention the most prestigious jobs. Select for resume only those companies and works that are most beneficial for a new position.
  • Describe more responsibilities. The name of the company speaks for itself only if it is an industry leader. In other cases, you should focus more on your responsibilities and achievements. Replace the standard expressions with a description of real accomplishments. Measurable results will describe you better than dozens of unfamiliar companies and 20 years of professional experience.

You May Like: How To Save Your Resume File Name

How Far Back Should Your Employment History Go

Generally, its okay to include up to 15 years of experience but not more than that. Most industries change a lot in 15 years, which renders any experience thats older than that obsolete.

If you have been working less than 8-10 years, go back to the beginning of your work history and try to tailor your resume to be relevant for the job youre applying now.

Avoid writing about every single job youve held. This overwhelms employers and makes them lose interest. Instead, only use previous work experience at least a bit related to the opportunity you want.

If youve worked more than 10 years as an executive, consider starting your work history at the point you became a manager. Most hiring managers dont care what your first job was. They want to see how you progressed since you started as a manager.

Of course, if a job requires 20 years of experience, then definitely should include more than 10 – 15 years of experience on your resume.

Address Employment Gaps Appropriately

With all of the resume trimming youll be doing, its possible that you may decide to omit a past job that is irrelevant to the field that you are job seeking for. If your trimming results in significant gaps between relevant jobs, make sure youre addressing those properly.

You can do this by simply listing the job where it fits in chronologically in your work experience. List it only as the company, job title, and dates employed, and dont add any description of duties. This will make it clear to a recruiter that you were employed during this time but that your other listed positions are more relevant to the position youre applying for.

Also Check: Acting Resume No Experience

Determine The Relevance For Each Job

Relevance is one of the most important factors when deciding how far back to go on a resume. Your recent experience and achievements are the most valuable details hiring managers look for. Before writing your resume, study the job description to identify the key skills and experiences the employer wants. Include as much of your work history if the information increases your chances of getting the position.

What To Put On A Resume

How Far Back Should You Go on a Resume?

Resumes are essentially an elevator pitch of your work history and education, but paper edition.

Employers dont look long at resumes, so it needs to be easy to read while displaying the most important information you want to convey to the employer.

You should not submit generic resumes they should be uniquely tailored for each and every job you apply for. Make sure to include the most relevant keywords your industry is looking for sometimes resumes are read by applicant tracking systems before they reach a human reader.

Dont let a computer throw you out of the race just because your resume is generic.

Also, avoid putting everything youve ever done on a resume. Employers dont have time to be reading a detailed account of everything youve done since high school. Keep experiences relevant and make your resume showcase you as the best possible candidate for the job.

For example, if you want to work in an education field and you have five work experiences, but you can only fit four on the resume, include the four that are most relevant to teaching.

If you have been out of work, as you chose to stay home to parent, for example, and have a gap in employment, you can highlight translational skills you acquired during that gap period.

Your resume is unique to you. Think about what makes you different than the hundreds of other people applying for the position and have your resume showcase that.

Don’t Miss: What To Write In An Email When Sending A Resume Sample

How To Write A Work Experience Section If Youre An Artist

Artists are, well, different. Because of that, it probably comes as a no surprise that their work experience is different too.

In short, as an artist you should say goodbye to wordy descriptions and focus almost entirely on your portfolio. But you already know that, dont you?

There are several options available and its only up to you which one will suit you the best. Polish up your social media profiles, create your own website, make sure to upload your portfolio to Behance or Dribble.

How Far Back Should My Resume Go For Education

Achieving a grade, passing an exam, gaining an industry qualification, in many ways these appear as greater achievements than those accomplished through work experience. It feels like a crime to omit any education from a resume! But there are things you can do to keep your education history on your resume concise without detracting from your achievements.

With school grades, as you become older and more experienced these become less important and relevant. However, you should always include your degree education and grades. Graduating is no mean feet and something that should always remain as a constant on your resume.

With regards to professional qualifications, and other types of education, my advice is to include as much of it that is relevant for the roles you are applying for. For example, there is no point featuring a bricklaying course you did in 2003 if you are applying to marketing jobs.

It is less important when you achieved your qualifications than it is to how relevant they are for the professions and jobs you are applying for. Relevancy is key.

You May Like: Headshots Printing Nyc

How To Include Older Experience

Listing 20 or 30 years of experience can clutter up your resume and make it much too long. Unless you are a senior executive, the ideal resume length is one to two pages. The key to a winning resume is providing relevant details on your work historynot every detail.

When you leave off employment information, you need to be consistent and still provide a timeline of your work history to employers.

Leave off your oldest jobs when editing your resume, not random positions.

If you worked in a relevant position 17 years ago, you will need to include all the jobs you’ve held for the past 17 years .

How Many Years Of Experience Should You Include

Resume Tip: How Far Back Should My Resume Go?

How should you decide what to include? If you are uncertain how many years of experience to include on your resume, let the job posting be your guide. In general, 10 years of experience is standard, but you may need to include more depending on the employer’s requirements and how your qualifications fit those requirements.

If a job requires 20 years of experience, for example, you’ll want to include more than 10 – 15 years of work history.

Include positions from earlier in your career that are relevant to the role you are applying for.

It’s acceptable to include 10 – 15 years of experience on your resume. In many industries, sharing experience that dates back more than 15 years just isn’t very helpful for hiring managers. It doesn’t support your candidacy to share an experience with tools and technology that are no longer in use.

Plus, when you have many years of experience, listing it all can flag you as an older job seeker to employers.

Also Check: How To List Promotion On Resume

How Many Years Should You Go Back On A Resume

How many years of work history you should include on your resume depends on several factors. You will need to consider your industry, experience level and qualifications. Each of these elements can affect whether or not including certain years of experience will be beneficial. The most important thing to keep in mind when making this decision is whether or not a previous position is relevant to your current job search.

If a particular position provided you with valuable experience, relevant skills and opportunities to improve professionally, it may be useful for you to include it on your resume, even if it has been over ten years since you held the job. If you have changed career fields over the course of your employment history, you may decide to only list jobs from the last five years.

Read more:How to Write Work History on Your Resume

How To Show More Than 15 Years Experience On A Resume

For many the idea of not including earlier experience, particularly when they perceive it as critical to who they are today, is a tough pill to swallow.

In addition, there are times when earlier roles lend additional credibility to a candidates skills or showcase some additional skill diversity that otherwise wouldnt have been known.

Recommended Reading: How To Put Bls On Resume

How To Be The Perfect Fit

Figuring out how far back your resume should go isnt just a matter of cutting off your work experience at a specific date. Rather than playing a game of how far back can you go, make sure your experience section focuses on what really matters: demonstrating to potential employers that your past experiences have adequately prepared you for the job at hand.

Lynn George

Related Articles

How Do I Abbreviate My Masters Degree

How Far Back Should You Go On Your Resume?

How do I abbreviate my masters degree? The most common academic masters degrees are the Master of Arts and Master of Science .

Hereof, How do you denote a masters degree?

The correct way to spell masters degree is with the apostrophe. The s in masters indicates a possessive , not a plural. If youre speaking of a specific degree, you should capitalize master and avoid creating a possessive: Master of Science.

Similarly How do you write masters degree on resume? Write a masters degree on a resume in the education section . Pro Tip: List your degrees on a resume in reverse-chronological order. Masters Degree on a Resume

  • A.M., M.A., MA
  • M.B.A., MBA
  • M.E., ME, MEng, M.
  • M.S., MS, M.Sc., MSc
  • Don’t Miss: How To List Two Positions At Same Company On Resume

    Academic Positionsthe Exception To The Rules

    Academic positions are the exception to the resume rules. Some academic positions call for years of work experience, such as proven research, teaching skills, and published works. This will typically require a history of more than 10 years. Applicants in this sector should go back as far back as 15 to 20 years if the experience includes teaching, instruction, training, and other relevant educational-related information.

    How To Make Your Resume Experience Section Valuable

    The majority of hiring managers prefer valuable experience rather than a lengthy list of job experiences that are not important for the job at hand. Therefore, for your resume to earn you an interview, it needs to sum up the relevant experience. It should not be too vague and neither too lengthy. The resume should essentially tell the hiring manager what you have done recently and what you bring to the table now.

    How can you make your resume relevant to the job?

    • Ensure the job description and resume match
    • Identify what the employers needs are and make sure your experience addresses them
    • Focus on quantifiable achievements to show that you fit the requirements of the job

    So, rather than worry about how many jobs you list on your resume, concentrate on highlighting the most appropriate ones. If, for example, you are applying for a job as a marketing specialist, focus on marketing-related work experience on a resume. Some of these include public relations, retail or sales representatives, advertising experts, etc. Other posts you have held in the past, such as a waiter or gym instructor, should be left out as it wont be relevant to the position.

    You can use the job description to describe each job you intend to list in your work experience part. Start by reading the job offer to identify the companys needs. Then, list duties and responsibilities youve held in past positions making sure you highlight the skills they are searching for.

    Don’t Miss: Resume Present Tense

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Most Popular