How Far Back Should a Resume Go?

If you are writing a resume straight from college or you are new to the job market, then the answer for this is far easier than a person who has been working for half of their life.

With limited work experience, there is only so far back you can go in your resume, but if you have been working 15 years plus, then it can be harder to cram all the right information into the experience section.

One of the key factors is, how long should a resume be? In the majority of cases, a resume should be no longer than two pages in length, so you are limited in space.

Writing a Better Resume

Here, you can find out all you need to know and how much work experience you should add to satisfy any potential employer.

How Many Years of Work Experience Should I Put on My Resume?

There is a temptation to add every job you have ever held to try and impress your potential employer. There is no way to know what a hiring manager will be looking for, so omitting some information may mean your resume doesn’t get noticed.

You need to grab a reader’s attention, and all you include should highlight all the relevant experience. Here are a few employment history resume tips for what you need to know.

  • Remain Current: Two pages on your resume means you can squeeze in around 10 years of experience. Begin with the most current and work your way back. It is vital to make sure your job descriptions are strong and well-worded. Also, use active rather than passive voice in descriptions.
  • Remain Educated: Job seekers need to keep up with the times in their industry. Even if you don’t have a full work history, showing you have studied or taken extra classes to learn skills shows you are up to date. At the same time, rip out any skills that are out of date in your Skills and Abilities section.
  • Don’t Go Back to the ’90s: Going back this far makes little sense that is unless there is a specific thing that relates to the position and is conducted at these times. If you need to add several bits, then consider leaving off the dates.

Should You Go Back More than 10 Years on A Resume?

Knowing what is too much of work history can be hard to determine. However, once you begin to understand all the tips and tricks for writing a great resume, you see what hiring managers want to see for applicants in their job search.

Your resume needs to be industry-specific. It also has to relate to the job in hand with a work history for the past ten years. You may be tempted to go back 15 years, yet this isn’t required.

In this, you can include college graduations, internships, or any volunteer experiences if they relate to the position you are applying for.

If you need to begin going back to the 15 years mark, then only include relevant work history, and with rights reserved, rip out anything that doesn’t fit, and isn’t relevant experience.

  • Use chronological order
  • Only give a brief description of work experience
  • If history is around 15 years, then only use what is relevant
  • Don’t go over two pages

Resume Checklist

Should I List all My Jobs on My Resume?

It is not a prerequisite to listing every job you have ever had. Many industry experts now advise only list the most recent and the most relevant employers or even only listing the position held. If you have had a varied career, you can omit situations that are not related.

If you need to list older jobs, you can shift focus to roles that have dates associated with them. A separate section called previous experience can hold these older jobs. Here though, without a description, add job title, company, and location.

Anyone coming out of education in the past couple of years can have limited work experience, It is better to include gained experience from campuses such as an internship, on-campus employment you held or other work experience, even if it isn’t related to the position in your job search.

As you progress, you can begin removing the earlier things from campus and high school and replacing these with your latest experiences and professional achievements.

Is it OK Not to Include Dates On Your Resume?

When you begin writing a resume, you quickly see that it can appear messy once you add in the dates of your previous employment.

Besides this, there may be times when you were between jobs due to illness, or you were busy with being a mother.

For women, there is no issue with leaving a gap in a CV because of raising a family. Resumes are not a way to point a finger and should be complete. The main thing is if you can justify these gaps.

You can add a year for your work to show when it was, or you can use the other method and don’t bother with dates, even if it is a professional resume.

Hiring managers don’t spend too long reading a resume, so many experts ask if they ever notice these gaps. As a result, it is possible to write a very different resume.

You can structure your resume by function or skills-based, and show your skills rather than a work history in chronological order. It is these which are, after all, more important than when you worked in a particular place.

By listing detailed descriptions of your skills and qualifications, and then followed by experience, then the eye of the employer is drawn to your accomplishments which support your application.

You may need to explain why some jobs are not listed, yet this will be in the interview you manage to obtain from your excellent resume.

How Far Back Should a Resume Go

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