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How Many Years Of Work On A Resume

How To Summarise 2 To 30+ Experience In Your Resume

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

Whether youre new to the workforce or have decades of experience under your belt, writing your resume and updating your SEEK Profile to reflect your level of experience is a skill that needs frequent consideration.

While there are endless amounts of advice available to help you get ahead , there is no one-size-fits-all approach for your entire career.

Use this guide to learn what to include or exclude in your resume and SEEK Profile depending on how much experience you have:

Regardless of which stage of your career you’re in, its important to remember that its not how long you’ve been in the workforce but what skills you can bring to the role. Make this clear in your resume and SEEK Profile, and youll be better positioned to secure your next great role.

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 You Go On Your Resume

There are lots of different ways to write a resume and in this fierce market its important you stand out from the crowd. Your resume needs to represent who you are and why you are the best person for the job.

Whether youre new to the workforce or you have decades of experience, writing a resume can be intimidating. And youre probably asking yourself questions like, what should I include? What shouldnt I include?

Here are our tips to help you stand out from the crowd.

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Have You Been With One Employer For Many Years Here Are Seven Ways To Use Your Long Tenure As A Selling Point On Your Resume

Seven Tips to Leverage Long-Term Employment on Your Resume

Job seekers often worry how to handle job-hopping and long periods of unemployment on their resumes. But occasionally, someone asks the flip side: how to handle long-term employment with one company. With so much disruption in the labor force and many workers eager to jump at better jobs, employees who stay with one company for a significant amount of time may wonder, Am I a dinosaur? The answer, of course, is no. The key is to present your long-term work history as a positive attribute, proof youre in for the long haul. Recruiting a new employee is an expensive endeavorcompanies are always looking for ways to promote long-term tenureso demonstrate you are a worthwhile investment. If you would like to use your solid work history as a selling point, here are seven ways to enhance your resume:

Should You Give Yourself A Job Title

How Many Years Of Experience On Resume

Theres conflicting advice about whether to give yourself a job title and job description for your role as a parent. If your stay-at-home-mom resume lists homemaker activities that are related to your job target, it makes sense to draw attention to your parenting activities and accomplishments. For example, if youre looking for a job teaching or working for an organization serving children, you could emphasize the relevant experience of child care and incidental teaching as a stay-at-home parent. Examples of job titles parents have used include: household manager, managerJones family, and family CEO.

For most people, though, its best to avoid including parenting as an actual job on the resume. “We, personally, feel that there is no need to dress up time at home with silly titles like domestic engineer, says Sollmann. The important thing is to identify how you have continued to use your business skills in the time you have been out of the workforce. If you truly have had nothing but child care and household responsibilities, it would be a good idea to get involved in some volunteer activities that require business skillsmanaging committees, writing newsletters, handling budgets, etc.

Read Also: Honors On A Resume

Hard Skill Primer Questions

  • Did you administer medications? Which medications?
  • What type of patients did you care for? Renal? Cardiovascular? Neuro? Ortho? Rehab?
  • What was the age range of the patient population you cared for?
  • What specific equipment do you have experience with? Did you read strips? Work with vents? Trachs? Balloon pumps? Swan-Ganz? da Vinci Surgical System?
  • Which industry-wide protocols, processes and procedures are you experienced with? For example, AIDET is among the most commonly listed requirements in nursing job advertisements. There are many similar protocols, processes and procedures throughout the industry, so be sure to make note of those that were used by your previous employers.
  • For additional assistance, we recommend that you join BluePipes and complete one of our free nursing skills checklists.

    We have skills checklists for every major nursing specialty. You can download them as PDF documents and use them to apply for jobs or bring them to job interviews.

    How To Fill Out A Resume After Being At The Same Job For Over 20 Years


    Lasting at a job for 20 years ought to be a good thing. However, when it comes to your resume, this could be viewed as limited experience. Just how limited depends on what you did during those 20 years and how you market your accomplishments. Focus less on where you spent the past 20 years and more on what you did during that time that will get the recruiter’s attention.

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    How Far Back To Go On A Resume For Senior Positions

    If youre applying for a role as a departmental manager or even a C-suite officer, you dont need to list your entry-level jobs. Because your management skills are what count, list and flesh out the managerial roles youve held in the past 1015 years.

    No matter how many positions youve had in the past, its important to keep things recent even Elon Musks resume only includes the past 20 years of his experience.

    Other roles shouldnt be fully omitted though. Instead, keep those jobs on one line. Just indicate the dates and company location so that you dont have any questionable gaps on your resume.

    If you do have gaps in your work history, a functional resume format lets you focus on your transferable skills and accomplishments rather than your work history.

    How Many Years You Should Go Back On A Resume

    How Much Experience Do I Include on My Resume?

    One of the key elements of a successful resume is the work history section. Deciding which of your previous positions to include and how much information to write about each of them is an important part of the resume writing process, and should be evaluated on a case by case basis. In this article, we discuss how many years you should go back when constructing your work history for a resume, what is standard and what factors might require you to go back further.

    Read more:Listing Professional Experience on Your Resume

    Also Check: How To Write Volunteer In Resume

    What To Put 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.

    Choose The Best Type Of Resume

    Consider a Functional or Combination Resume. If youre currently using a chronological resume, which lists your experience in date order, it may be time to switch to a different format that doesnt focus on the years.

    Consider using a functional resume, which focuses on your skills and experience and lists your accomplishments at the top of your resume. Alternatively, you could use a combination resume, which features both skills and your work history .

    Also Check: How To Name A Resume

    So How Far Back Should You List Your Experience On Your Resume

    Though some people will hand out neat and tidy answers like 10 years or 3 jobs ago, thereâs really no true, definitive answer. It truly depends on your personal work history and whatâs most relevant to the job youâre looking for next. Below are some guidelines you can follow to determine if the experience is worth keeping on your resume or if it should be cut.

    consider age

    If youâve been a part of the workforce for 30 years, thereâs no way you can include absolutely everything in your work history in a 2-page resume. It just wonât be possible. A good rule of thumb: look at any experience older than 10 years with a critical eye. Thatâs not to say you canât include experience thatâs older than 10 years. However, if you do, it should showcase skills or experiences that your recent experience doesnât. Also, the older the job, the less detail you should include about it. For your 3 most recent jobs include a few bullet points about your responsibilities and achievements in the role. For older jobs, keep it to the bare minimum of your job title, the company and your start and end dates. If the hiring manager wants to know more, theyâll ask during your interview, but chances are theyâll place more emphasis on your more recent experience.

    get rid of experience that is not relevant

    use subheads to your advantage

    delete anything from high school

    How Many Years Of Experience Should Be On A Resume

    It doesn

    Up to 15 years of experience should be on a resume. Any jobs you did over 15 years ago probably arent good representations of your current skill set, and should be left off your resume.

    However, always look to the job listing before deciding how many years of experience should be on your resume. If the job listing states that you need 20 years of relevant work experience, then include 20+ years worth of work history in your resume experience section.

    Also, all the experience you include on your resume should be relevant to the job you want. A resume that lists five years of highly relevant experience is more likely to land you a job than one with 10 years of irrelevant experience.

    Also Check: What Can A Cover Letter Explain That A Résumé Cannot

    How Far Back Should My Experience Section Go

    Keeping your focus on relevant experience means you probably wont need to include all of your past jobsand thats a good thing. Recruiters and hiring managers are going to be most interested in your most relevant and recent experience. They also love a concise, single-page resume thats easy to scan . So its OK to keep your resume short and sweet.

    As a general rule, you dont need to include more than 10 to 15 years of experience on your resume . Check out this guide for a detailed breakdown on how far back your resume should go depending on where you are in your career and any special situations.

    Common Traits Of Worst

  • Cluttered layouts with multiple columns, long paragraphs and little white space.
  • Layouts that did not make use of clearly defined section headers to draw the viewers eyes down the page.
  • Keyword stuffing.
  • As you can see, the research strongly supports a traditional one-column layout for your nursing resume.

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    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.

    Sample Nursing Resume 1

    How To Write A Resume With Little or No Work Experience – Resume Template
  • I have been working out of the acute care setting in public health nursing for 7 years. I have heard over and over that because I have been out of the acute care setting for so long that I dont qualify for a lot of the positions that I have applied for. Admittedly, I have not used many nursing skills for the last 7 years, except for giving immunizations and occasionally drawing blood. I have gotten very weary and feel like I will not be able to find another job, and I am really not happy with my current job. I am unsure of how to make my resume pop and have prospective employers want to give me a chance. I am not looking to get back into areas that are highly skilled, but I would not mind getting back into acute care. Any ideas???

  • Katie

    Kurt, I am an RN at a VA hospital in cardiac telemetry. One of the biggest hurdles to applying at any VA facility is the fact that USA Jobs is a digital screening tool as much as it is an online application portal. Matching as many keywords in the functional statements for your desired role in your application can be the difference between getting an interview and being passed over. Hope this helps!

  • oksana peterson

    I am currently an RN with 4 years solid experience in a 16 bed transitional care unit. Now Im trying to move to a more challenging position. Prior to immigrating to America I was a medical doctor for 9 years in ER. Would it be wise to mention that experience? maybe describing my duties and medical college?

  • Elizabeth
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    When To Go Back 10

    Most experts recommend including 10-15 years of work history on your resume. For the majority of professionals, this includes between three and five different jobs. For instance, if you are a 30-year-old elementary school teacher, 10 years of work experience includes the four years it took to earn your bachelor’s degree, one year of assistant teaching, three years of work for your first employer and two years working in your current position.

    Ideally, including 10-15 years of experience allows you to show a comprehensive overview of where you started, how you have grown and where you are now. For many, 10-15 years can cover everything from their college graduation to their most recent promotion. However, some more experienced professionals might have only held one or two positions during the span of 10-15 years.

    Why Your Resume Should Be One Page

    Your resume can safely stick to one page if that is all you need to market yourself. One page resumes can be scanned over quickly by the human eye, so a one-page resume could appeal to in-person scenarios like job fairs and networking events.

    If you have a two-page resume with no work experience, it probably contains filler words and information that isnât relevant to your current job application. Cut your resume down to one page by tailoring your resume to your relevant experience.

    If youâre making a career change, your past experience is unlikely to be fully relevant to the new job target. Try to lead with your transferable skills and abilities if youâre in this position, rather than experience. A functional resume format may be better for you.

    The same goes for recent grads. Odds are that you donât have two pages of relevant experience. However, some graduates have multiple internships, volunteer work, on-campus activities, or publications that belong on a resume. If you just graduated, read more about how to search for a job as a recent graduate.

    Recommended Reading: Is It Ok For A Resume To Be 2 Pages

    Q: How Do I Articulate Additional Duties On A Resume

    A resume is not your transcript from school where every single detail of every job you’ve ever held is included. Instead, a resume is a marketing document. You get to curate the content you provide, which means determining what details you want to share and what details you want to downplay or omit because they aren’t relevant to your goals.

    While you may have had many responsibilities in your role, you want to focus on the responsibilities that are relevant to the role you are pursuing. When it comes to resume writing, we have soft guidelines about what this means. We can only work with the information we are given, so things get tweaked depending on what we have to work with.

    In an ideal world, assuming you’re not fresh out of school or entry-level, for each job role we like to provide:

    • The job title

    • The company name, and perhaps a little bit of information about the company to give the reader context, especially if many of the employers on your resume are not self-explanatory or well-known

    • How long have you worked there, start date to end date

    • A short paragraph, maybe three to five lines, to describe your relevant roles and responsibilities

    We then save your bullet points for your bragging points. How did you help the company? How did you contribute? How can you show you’re an achiever versus a doer?

    Some people say, Well I had a ‘doer’ job. Well then, ignore those words those are just labels. Instead, it’s about how you show that you were good at what you did.


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