Updated: Aug 23
How far back should a resume go?
This is a question that plagues jobseekers of all ages, but especially those who have been in the workforce for years. The conventional wisdom is that you should only show the last 10 years of your employment history on your resume. This is because showing more than 10 years can "date" you in terms of your industry, or ageism in the workplace.
However, there are instances where you may want to add more than 10 years’ experience to your resume. For example, if you have held various positions with the same company over a long period of time, it may be beneficial to include that information. Or, if you have taken a significant amount of time off from the workforce, you may want to add your prior employment history to show that you have a solid work history.
In these cases, it is best to add this information to a separate section titled "Previous Work History". Be sure to keep this section brief, and only include the essential information such as company name, location, your title, and dates of employment.
If you're targeting a specific job and want to show that you have the required experience, then list all your employment history. But if you're sending out a general resume and aren't as concerned with specific job requirements, then limit yourself to the last 10-15 years of work experience. No matter what decision you make, be sure to tailor your resume to each individual job application.
When you're a recent graduate or have little work experience, should you include your employment history on your resume at all?
Yes, you should include your employment history on your resume, even if it's limited. This will show potential employers that you have experience in the workforce. If you have little to no work experience, you can also list relevant internships, volunteer positions, or extracurricular activities in this section.
How much of your work history should you list on your resume?
If you've been working over a decade or more, you should include your last 10-15 years of employment history on your resume. This will give potential employers a good overview of your work experience. If you have a longer work history, you can include your most relevant positions and leave off any older jobs.
The decision of what number of years of employment history to include on your resume is up to you. Just be sure that the information you do include is relevant and paints you in the best light possible.
Soar Career Services can help you put your best foot forward with a resume that showcases your skills and experience in the most positive light, regardless of your work history. We can also help you polish your LinkedIn profile to boost this powerful networking tool and give you knowledge on how to use all of LinkedIn's features to find job opportunities.
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