How Many Years Of Experience To List On Your Resume
Do you have to include every job you’ve ever had on your resume? Not necessarily. When you have extensive experience, you don’t need to list your entire work history.
Your resume is a synopsis of your qualifications and experience that shows what you have accomplished that is relevant to the job. You don’t need to include everything you’ve ever done on your resume, especially if you’ve been in the workforce for many years or have shifted careers.
In fact, you may want to have several versions of your resume. One with all your experience so you can keep track of it, a targeted resume that you can customize for each job you apply to, and a shorter version for career networking and job fairs.
Providing Irrelevant Personal Information
The personal details you are expected to include on your CV will vary in different countries. It is important to consider what information you are sharing with employers. In the UK, avoid a CV with a photograph, date of birth, nationality and marital status. Similarly, if you have social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook for personal use, you do not need to share these. This is another opportunity to make a positive impression.
Think about the position you are applying for and how your interests and achievements relate to it. An interest in the exhibitions would be useful to mention if you want to work in the arts sector community engagement activities would be suitable if you want to work in the charity sector involvement in sport activities would be advantageous if you want a career in the sports sector. You can highlight other activities that demonstrate transferable skills and your values.
Mistake #: Having Your Employment History Start Below The First Half Of Page 1
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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Begin Each Bullet Point With Action Verbs
Begin your bullet points with descriptive resume action verbs that clearly show hiring managers how you handled work at previous companies. Using action verbs ensures the hiring manager sees you as an effective employee who can get work done.
Here are some examples of action verbs being used to effectively describe a job seekers work experience:
- Organized a work safety initiative that saved the company money on workers comp
- Developed new communications protocols that improved connectivity between the company and clients
- Optimized product delivery logistics that accelerated order fulfilment for customers
Where To Put Your Work Experience On A Resume
The role and importance of your employment history section depends on the type of the resume you choose to write.
Depending on where youre in your career, you can choose to write either a chronological, functional or combination resume.
- Chronological resume is built around the employment history section. Great for professionals with several years of work experience. Presents information in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent events being placed first. The most commonly used resume style. Order of sections: Contact Information > Professional Summary > Work Experience > Education > Skills > Others.
- Functional resume puts forward your your skills, accomplishments, job traits and personal characteristics. Great for fresh graduates, students, and people who are changing careers in other words, for those who might already have the skills but lack experience. Contact Information > Professional Summary / Resume Objective > Skills / Projects > Work History / Education > Others.
- Combination resume contains elements of both the chronological and functional formats by including your relevant skills and accomplishments first and then detailing your employment history and education. Great for students, fresh graduates or career changers who dont really fit elsewhere.
In most cases, your work experience section should come right after your contact info and professional summary.
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Teacher Work Experience Example
Teacher resumes can be more complicated because of the formality behind it and the necessary certificates required.
Lets take a look at the above example of a teacher resume applying and see what they did well:
In this example, everything under the teaching work experience is listed as responsibilities – which is fine, in this case.
Because, chances are, you wont have a lot of achievements as a teacher.
- Taught SO well that one of my students went on to become the president of the United States
Since the teachers only worked 1 job in this case, they also added a volunteering experience to the resume.
This is a great way to boost their chances and back up their qualifications.
Though volunteering is not the same thing as teaching, it can still help you stand out from the rest of the applicants?
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Examples Of Work Experience On A Resume
Here are a few examples of work experience on a resume to see the differences between a first draft and the final draft. How do you describe your experience in the most succinct way possible?
Example #1: Work Experience in CV for a Teacher.Lets say youre applying to be a middle school science teacher at a popular independent school. The new job description emphasizes the importance of involvement outside the classroom. They specified that theyre looking for teachers looking to grow through professional development throughout their time there.
- Developed and carried out a student-driven curriculum in three sections of Earth Science
- Annually advised 20 students to track growth and address individual challenges and strengths
- Invited to attend NAIS annual conference to develop modern social-emotional learning classroom tactics
Example #2: Work Experience in CV for Content Marketing Manager.Content Marketing Managers encompass a very wide range of responsibilities. The recruiter will have a general sense of your job experience no need to start from scratch but results-based, specific bullet points will thrive here.
- I manage a team of freelance copywriters at a major NYC marketing agency and ensure they got their work in on time
- I talked to clients and figured out what would be best for their brand
- Before everything was published, I proofreadit all
Tailor Your Nursing Resume To Your Target Job
You definitely would make 1 nurse resume and that’s it.
But you can not use it for every company and every job out there.
A formulaic nursing resume at best would get you a few interviews.
If you really want to stand out of the crowd, your nurse resume shall be tailor-made according to the company you are targeting.
And again as we said, you do not have to write many nursing resumes for this.
But just use the research done previously and twist the skills displayed and a summary section according to a particular job description.
And that is why we started this article with research. because it plays a major role in your nursing resume.
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Why Your Resume Should Be Two Pages
Your resume will most likely need two pages to show your career progression. If you have more than 10 years of experience, youâll also want to include a professional summary and possibly a career highlights section. These are both excellent opportunities to fit in more keywords.
Use Older Experience Only If Its Relevant
Job ads list most skills hiring managers are seeking in candidates. Refer to the job posting to see which particular skills are called for. If you notice a skill listed on the ad that you havent used since the 1990s, you can and should still fit that skill onto your resume.
For example, if the job ad calls for experience writing in the COBOL programming language, its fine to include a role from two decades ago:
PROGRAMMER, SFJ Software Inc., 19992003
As you can see from this example, such mentions can include just one bullet point that showcases the skill from the job ad. Theres no need to list other responsibilities linked to the old position unless they also directly relate to the job posting.
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To Prioritise Your Relevant Experience
Your career path to date is more than likely an upward trajectory . That means that, currently, you’re at the height of your career. In your most recent role, you’ve probably obtained some of your biggest achievements, procured the most valuable skills and held your most senior job title to date.
So if that’s the case, why would you draw attention to positions that you had over 10 years ago when you were less qualified? By chopping earlier positions, you give recruiters exactly what they want: your best, most relevant skills not a comprehensive history of your entire career.
Decide On A Resume Length
The length of your resume can determine how far you can go when describing work experience. If you’re an entry- to the mid-level candidate, you can usually fit all of your relevant experience on one page. Candidates with more experience or those applying for government or education roles might need a two-page resume. Keeping yourself to a one-page resume can help you limit how much experience you include.
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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.
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
Formatting Tips And 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 history not 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 .
If you worked at prestigious companies 15+ years ago, or want to have a full history on your resume, you can list job title, company name, and the year you worked there, and not include details on responsibilities. This will get the information on the page without taking up too much space.
Or you can list the positions as additional experience below your current work history :
~ Additional experience includes roles as an Executive Assistant for Techno Corporation and as Administrative Assistant for XZY Medical Group . ~
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Grammar Tips For Listing Job History On A Resume
Do you write sentences? Phrases? Declarations? Writing resumes for first job? Here are some nitty-gritty grammar rules for writing your work experience bullet points.
- Write in phrases, often beginning with a strong verb. No need to write I to start off the sentence that is implied and work experience in a CV is often conveyed in the third person as this is more professional.
- Tense: If you are still at your current position completing the work described, use present tense. For past positions or completed projects, choose past tense.
- Dont be afraid to break out the thesaurus especially for synonyms of lead, managed and trained but stick to words youd use yourself. No need to ace the SAT verbal section.
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.
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How Many Years Of Experience Should You Include
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. 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.
Advice For Age Proofing Your Resume
Limiting what you include on your resume, from a chronological perspective, can help job seekers avoid the stigma of being considered “too old” by a prospective employer.
Also, showing that you’re up to speed with the latest technology and skills needed for your profession will help maximize your chances of getting selected for an interview. The following resume writing tips for older job seekers will help market your candidacy and showcase your skills to employers without highlighting your age.
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The Ideal Resume Length Depends On You
Are you a student or new graduate with qualifications that dont quite fit on one page? Go to two. Are you a CEO with a penchant for getting to the point? Try a one-page resume. The rule is there is no rule.
Dagliano recommends removing resume length from the equation. Ask yourself:
- Is the content relevant?
- Is the theme consistent and clear?
- Is the information current?
- Does it distinguish you from the competition?
- Is it well written and grammatically correct?
Why Your Resume Should Be Three Pages
You could have more than two pages if youâre a high-level or senior-level executive or in a very complex, technical field. For example, a scientist may need more than two pages to showcase background, education, published work, and studies. An executive resume usually shows a clear progression of responsibility and job titles with many related experiences.
Your professional document can be three pages if you are actually writing a Curriculum Vitae . This is more common if youâre applying for jobs outside of the USAâread more about the difference between a resume and a CV here. In the US and Canada, there are some other industries that use CVs such as academia and medical.
Federal resumes also follow a different format and can easily be three pages or more.
For most job searches, you should focus on your most recent 10 to 15 years of experience.
âConsider utilizing your to fit the information that is important, but not strictly necessary on your resume,â suggests Caitlin.
âConsider utilizing your to fit the information that is important, but not strictly necessary on your resume,â suggests Caitlin, a ZipJob career expert and certified professional resume writer .
Read our article on for more information.
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