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How Many Years Of Work History On A Resume

Use A Hybrid Resume Format

Tips for job seekers: How far back to go on a resume

A hybrid resume lets you focus on your skills, rather than going into a long chronology of your work history that can be difficult for applicant tracking systems and hiring managers to read. A hybrid resume begins with a section summarizing your qualifications, followed by professional accomplishments, key skills, and work history. Using measurable data and highlighting information and skills relevant to the current job makes your resume compelling and concise.

Including Additional Dates On Your Resume

If you’ve taken professional development courses or other educational classes, it’s not necessary to list dates. If you have certifications, you should list the dates because employers will want to know that your accreditations are current.

When leaving experience and dates off a resume, do it strategically.

A resume, for example, with only a few jobs when you’re an experienced candidate or a resume with no dates at all, can be a red flag for hiring managers. Be sure your resume provides a clear synopsis of your work history to employers.

If the positions you held earlier in your career are relevant to your current objectives, consider shortening the descriptions of your jobs to reduce the length of your resume rather than deleting the positions from your resume.

Work History On An Entry

Finding enough work experience to list on an entry-level resume is a headache.

Fill your entry-level resume with valuable information for employers. For example, adding volunteer work to your resume as well as internships youve completed can make it more compelling. You can also include relevant coursework on your resume just make sure your bullet points are related to the job opening.

You can also list things like internship experience if you have any. Simply having something relevant in your experience section will make your entry-level resume stronger, even if you have to go as far back as college to pinpoint it.

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What If You’ve Only Worked At One Company For Many Years

If you only worked at one company for many years then it could be difficult to leave the years off your resume. There is a way around this depending on the situation.

If you’ve held different positions at the company, you could split up your work experience depending on the years you’ve held the title. This allows you to list more relevant positions at the top of your resume and even remove some that aren’t really relevant.

For example, say Anna was looking for an accounting position and she worked at XYZ Corp. for the last 22 years.

Of those years she held the following positions:

  • Accountant: 6 Years

  • Bookkeeper: 6 Years

  • Customer Service Representative: 10 Years

  • Anna could list the relevant bookkeeping and accounting position separately with the years worked and leave off the customer service representative position from 12 years ago.

    Employers Can Quickly And Easily Scan Your Resume

    Resume Writing: Employment History

    Including many years of experience can make for a very cluttered resume: small font, no margins, too many words.

    The average recruiter spends less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume before deciding whether an applicant is worth further consideration a cluttered resume simply requires too much work for a hiring manager who has possibly hundreds of resumes to review.

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    People Coming Back To Work After A Large Gap

    If youve taken a break from your career that makes most or all of your experience fall outside of this 10- to 15-year windowto raise kids, for exampleyou likely have to go back a little further on your resume. This is OK, but you should explain up front why your most recent work experience is so far back. You can do this in a cover letter or in a resume summary at the top of the page.

    But you should still keep in mind how relevant your past experience is as you decide what to include and leave off. And if youve done anything in the meantime, whether thats a part-time job or a side hustle or something else to keep you up-to-date in your field, be sure to include that as well.

    So whats the takeaway here? Well, at the end of the day, your resume should tell the story of how your related experiences and accomplishments make you a great candidate for your next position not the number of work anniversaries youve celebrated. Because when its all said and done, thats whats going to get you hired.

    Option : Stacking The Two

    Stacking the positions into one description is the most common resume format for organizing more than one position at a single company. This method is used to draw attention to lateral moves or progressive responsibilities, achievements, and dedication to the company. There are a few simple rules to this resume format:

    • Include the overall date range at the top

    • List dates for each position next to the job title

    • Place job descriptions and bulleted key achievements directly below each position.

    The sample resume format looks like this:

    COMPANY NAME, City, State Company Start Date to Company End Date

    Position #2 Date to Date

    Job Description

    Position #1 Date to Date

    Job Description

    • Key Achievement 2

    • Key Achievement 3

    Place the most recent position at the top, and start each description with Promoted within from store manager to __ and describe your new position. Use action verbs to show your accomplishments, not just your job duties. Also be sure to include bullet points of achievements, which reflect your contributions.

    Here is an example of a description using action verbs and achieving language:

    Incorrect: Responsible for managing operations at 50 stores in the state.

    Correct: Coordinated team leadership for 50 stores statewide.

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    Provide Your Job Title

    List your exact job title. You can choose to include this below your company’s name and location or on the same line so that it receives as much attention as the company that you worked for. Alternately, if you feel that your job title is more impressive than the company, you can feature your title first with the company directly beneath.

    Lying Or Misleading Information

    How to Get a Good Job : Writing a Work History for Resumes

    Recruiters can spot information that does not stack up. For example, they are always on the lookout for inflated:

    • Qualifications
    • Job titles
    • Achievements

    Employers are conducting increasingly vigorous background checks on candidates. This can range from on you to employing a specialist candidate checking service. Something that you think is just bending the truth could really trip you up.

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    How Do I List 20 Years Of Experience On My Resume

    When it comes to the length of your resume, more isn’t always better even if you have a long and accomplished career history.

    Each week, TopResume’s career advice expert, Amanda Augustine, tackles your questions . We’ll be republishing those answers here. As a certified professional career coach and resume writer , Amanda has been helping professionals improve their careers for over 10 years.

    In this Q& A, Amanda helps make sense of how long is too long for a resume, and what you should keep and omit from your resume if you’re an older professional.

    She answers:

    • Can I use a one-page resume for networking, even though my regular resume is three pages long?

    • How do I put 20 years of experience on a resume?

    • How do I showcase additional duties on your resume?

    Get Rid Of Experience That Is Not Relevant

    If youâre currently looking for an accounting job, use your vital resume space to focus on jobs that are most likely to make you stand out as a potential hire. Your most recent jobs working in the accounting field are going to carry the most weight with hiring managers. However, you probably donât need to waste space listing all the babysitting and dog walking jobs you held in high school to make some pocket change. Those jobs, while they might have been great at the time, are probably not going to tip the scales when it comes to landing a great accounting job.

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    Rsum As One Part Of A Personal Branding Mix

    In some sectors, particularly in the startup community, use of traditional résumé has seen a consistent decline. While standalone résumés are still used to apply for jobs, job seekers may also view their résumés as one of a number of assets which form their personal brand and work together to strengthen their job application. In this scenario, résumés are generally used to provide a potential employer with factual information , while the social media platforms give insight into the job seekers motivations and personality in development.

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    Mistake #: Having Your Employment History Start Below The First Half Of Page 1

    How Many Years of Experience to List on Your Resume

    Youll notice in the work history samples earlier, this section starts early on the resume. Making a hiring manager or recruiter go digging in your resume to find this section is a big mistake.

    Put it front and center . You want your recent experience and achievements to be dead-easy to find for any company you send your resume to.

    Thats one of the best tips I can share in general: Dont make employers go digging for your recent responsibilities and achievements on your resume. It should jump out of the page at them because it should contain a lot of content compared to other sections, and it should appear high up.

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    Resume Sample And Tips For Older Job Seekers

    Age isn’t always an advantage when you’re job searching, especially in a competitive job market. Hiring managers can view older workers as more expensive to hire, as having outdated experience or too much experience, or as not being current with today’s technology and workplaces – even though it is illegal to discriminate based on age.

    One way to overcome the perception that your age is an issue is to “age proof” and carefully edit your resume. Your resume isnt your CV, so it doesnt need to include everything youve ever done.

    Resume Example And Template

    This is an example of a resume with earlier jobs listed as additional experience. or see the text version below.

    EXECUTIVE ASSISTANTProviding confidential and diversified administrative support to C-level executivesHighly organized and personable Executive Assistant well-versed in meeting and event coordination, calendaring and appointment scheduling, reception, correspondence drafting, and travel planning.

    Creative and skilled in using Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Cloud to develop dynamic corporate communications materials, newsletters, and presentations.


    ABC ENTERPRISES, Tampa, FloridaEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Meticulously perform executive administrative functions for C-level officers of global development group. Schedule and supervise team of five administrative assistants and receptionists make all arrangements for travel, public and stakeholder relations functions, conferences, and meetings. Notable accomplishments:

    • Spearheaded offices transition to cloud-based corporate communications technologies.
    • Successfully negotiated cost-effective contracts with vendors, caterers, resorts, and other service providers that reduced annual costs by more than $25K.
    • Orchestrated all details for major stockholder events including annual meetings, golf tournaments, and receptions.
    • Set up and administered CEOs social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


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    Dont Worry About Age Discrimination

    Im often told by clients that they do not feel comfortable including their full career history as it reveals their age and could put recruiters off. While I do understand this concern, I would argue that simple background checks and application forms will reveal your age anyway. In addition, if you reach the interview stage, youre not going to be able to lie.

    As I talk about on my article on CVs for the over 50s, there is also a lot to be said for experience and the reliability that more mature applicants bring.

    Unfortunately, theres no one answer to, how far should my CV go back? However, if you need further advice, do get in touch or leave a comment below.

    How To List Work Experience If Youre A Student Or Fresh Graduate

    Resume Work Experience: Writing Effective Work Experience on your Resume

    Naturally, you dont have tons of experience if youve just finished school. Yet, being young is no obstacle. It comes down to the perspective you take at the experience you have.

    As a student or fresh graduate, you should place your work experience after the education section. Its not like youve just spent years doing nothing. Sure, your work didnt take place in a proper workplace. But studying counts for something too.

    Okay, not try to think of any job-relevant experience that you could put on your resume. Any related experience at all. Have you done some volunteer work for a local charity? Attended a conference? Worked as an intern?

    All of these things belong on your resume. Treat your internships and extracurricular activities as regular jobs.

    These activities can showcase your soft skills and help recruiters gauge your professional aptitude. Each one of them should come with a few points that detail your responsibilities and accomplishments.

    Heres what you can include in your employment history section:

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    Mention The Information In The Resume Summary

    If you have important information related to your earlier experience, you can mention it in your resume summary. Adding notable experience to your summary makes it easy for the hiring manager to scan, making it more likely for them to read the rest of your resume.

    Read more: How to Write a Stellar Entry-Level Resume Summary

    How Far Back Should Your Resume Go

    Work experience clearly matters but how much of it should you include on your resume? Ultimately, it depends on your level of experience. Lets look at different scenarios for more and less-experienced job seekers:

    Work History for Experienced Job Seekers

    If youre established in your field and have a lot of experience, your resume might go back a decade or more. The rule of thumb is 10-12 years, notes George.

    For extremely experienced applicants, more isnt always better. Theres no hard and fast rule, but I typically go back 15 years for senior-level professionals, says Chase. If there are relevant roles or great brand names, I add an Additional Experience section without dates so this helps prevent unconscious age bias.

    Work History for Job Seekers With Little or No Experience

    What if youve been in the workforce for less than a decade or if youre a recent grad, changed careers, or have little to no work history in the field?

    In cases like this, your experience section might not speak for itself. Therefore, Chase advises bringing attention to your strengths in other areas of the resume, such as your professional summary statement. I recommend adding a profile section at the top that explains who you are including your key strengths, she says. You can include a statement about what youre pursuing and why to help bridge the gap between your experience and the role youre looking for.

    Changing Careers and Work History

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    Next Keep Some Information For The In

    If you are a more seasoned applicant who might have experience stretching beyond 10 to 15 years, you dont necessarily need to add that older work experience to your resume. Some industries view it as irrelevant for you to share information about job experience that dates back farther than 15 years.

    You should be careful how much information you share directly on your resume so that it doesnt seem like your skills might be outdated or that youd be a risk to hire. This information can be kept until an in-person interview when you can mention it as a bonus to your interviewer.

    Cut Down On Dated Information

    How much work history should I include on my resume? : jobs

    You’ll also want to give your current role or any roles you’ve held in the past five years the lengthiest descriptions. As you go back in time, the explanation under each title should get shorter.

    “If you’re devoting a lot of space to older jobs, it will look like you’re a resume hoarder or you’re holding on to a time in the past when you were more successful,” says Cohen.

    And finally, if you’ve been in the workplace for a while and the recency of your certification or academic degree is not a selling point, drop the date you earned it from the resume. Including it, says Suarez, may leave hiring managers wondering how old is this person or what did they do between graduation and the last job listed.

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    Colors And Design Of Your Work History On A Resume

    The first rule to follow when you write your employment history is to keep it simple in terms of style and formatting.

    If youre not a professional designer, your resume format should not have fancy graphics and colors.

    Thats true of every section of your resume.

    Pick one accent color at most , one or two fonts total, and one or two heading sizes.

    Youll notice all three resume employment history samples above keep colors to a minimum and focus on the content itself. Thats what you should do as well.

    You want the employers focus to be on your past work experience, not on the styling and colors of your resume, so dont distract them too much.

    What Should You Include In Your Resume

    There are several different types of resumes to consider. How far back your resume extends depends on where you are in your career and what type of job you are applying for. Consider the industry, the role, and the seniority of the position. Read over the job description to understand precisely what skills they are looking for, whether your experience matches and how to reflect that experience in a way that illustrates your credibility.

    All in all, it is up to you to include what feels intuitive when applying for a job, school, or any new experience. Some resumes, like those in academia, are more descriptive and may span more than two pages. For most jobs, it is best to stay as concise as possible. Most importantly, your resume should reflect the experiences that present you as the best possible candidate.

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