Many job applicants struggle with the question, “How far back should a
After all, the established standard is that a
Not to mention that it is strongly recommended to craft a different
How far back should a
At MatchBuilt, we’ve counseled thousands of job seekers and have supported hundreds of clients as they progress through the hiring process. We know the importance of getting all the details right when submitting a solid
How do you write a
- Highlight only relevant skills and experience
- Organize it chronologically
- Be concise
- Showcase education
- Tailor it to each job
- Use action-oriented words
- Double-check for accuracy
- Seek assistance
- Be proud of accomplishments
In this post, we’ll explore how many years of experience you should add, why older experience may be unnecessary, if you should include your college and high school in the education section, what bullet points for previous roles are the most appropriate, and how to avoid age discrimination. Even if you are a recent graduate with a short work history or seeking an entry-level position or part or full-time job, you may find many of these tips helpful.
Why You Should Not Include Your Full Work History In Your R
When writing a
It’s More Difficult to Scan
First, including too much information in a single document makes it difficult for recruiters and employers to assess your qualifications quickly. Further, adding more content, such as every single job title, than necessary can make the
Allows Less Room to Showcase Other Skills
Secondly, including your entire work history may take up more space than necessary, leaving less room to showcase other essential qualifications, such as certifications or awards. Thus, it is wise only to include jobs relevant to the position you are applying for and omit those that are not.
It’s More Difficult to Provide Relevant Information to the Job
Finally, listing out all of your previous jobs can make it harder to focus on where you want to go with your career. If a hiring manager sees that you’ve held various positions, they may doubt your commitment and ability to stay in one place for an extended period. It is much more effective to tailor your
Which jobs should you include on your
It’s essential to consider several factors when deciding how far back your CV should go and which jobs to include. Your experience level, specific industry, and whether you are applying for a similar position could influence the information contained in the
Regarding workers with long careers, experts recommend limiting the work history to the past 10-15 years and a maximum of 5 or 6 positions within that time frame. Doing so will ensure that recruiters can immediately see the most relevant qualifications of the candidate without having to pick them out from an extensive list of less essential past jobs.
However, as is typically the case, some exceptions might apply. For example, job candidates who wish to start a career in a drastically different field may need more recent work experiences that match the chosen position. Instead, including previous jobs might be a better choice if they match the requirements of the new field.
The same applies when the candidate returns to an industry where they have previously held job positions, even if it exceeds the mentioned 15 years limit. The level of the job position also matters as applicants for a senior or a higher management position may have to provide a longer list of past experiences and successes. Some government or civil service roles may also require entire work history from candidates, including all held positions since they finished their full-time education.
Ways To Include Older Career Experience
If you wish to include the entirety of your professional experience, there are several ways to do so while highlighting the more recent and relevant ones. One potential option is to create two separate sections in the CV.
The first and main one should be for the jobs that match the position you are applying for, while all other previous jobs should be listed in another section. Doing so allows employers to still easily find the experiences containing the skills essential for the position and then have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the candidate’s earlier employment.
You can also use different colors, fonts, text sizes, and other visual elements to distinguish between job experiences that relate to the new role while still listing all of your past jobs in reverse chronological order.
Jobs You May Exclude On Your
In general, the
Trimming down the included job positions could be easy if you have had several short-term jobs in the past. After all, recruiters may only need to see some of the part-time jobs you held while going through college and those that simply helped you pay the bills.
On the other hand, even positions that you had for less than three months could be added to the
Leaving long-term jobs off the
Keep in mind that it may be wise to leave out positions that you feel you could have been more successful at instead of leaving them in and potentially getting questioned about them. However, skipping long-term employment could create gaps in your work history that recruiters may notice and inquire about. If you do not wish to be asked such questions, it is best to include the job in your
Explaining Job Gaps On Your CV
Even if you leave a previous job, the recruiter or potential employer might still find out about it. In these cases, prepare an answer about why you decided to skip over it while compiling your work history on the CV.
Naturally, a perfect answer is that the specific job is not relevant to your current career path and the position you are applying for. You may also explain that the position was just a means to generate cash flow while you were looking for a more appropriate job opening that suited your professional aspirations.
To make short gaps less noticeable, you can scale back the provided details, such as simply stating the years of each employment rather than the exact months.
At the same time, be bold in giving the real reasons for taking some time off, such as raising a family, looking after a relative, or going back to university, everyone’s life is different, and each reason is valid. However, do mention how you’ve managed to be proactive within the time off work by taking up any volunteer work, finishing courses, or taking up new hobbies.
CVs are supposed to give a complete picture of the candidate’s professional skills and why they would be the perfect choice for the role. While it may be tempting, overstuffing the CV with information could be counterproductive. Carefully consider how far back you wish to go with the included details and ensure that the most relevant ones stand out enough to attract the recruiter’s attention immediately.
How Far Back Your
Resume Goes Depends On Your Level Of Experience
The length of your
On the other hand, if you are an experienced professional with many years of work experience, then it’s best to focus on only the most relevant roles and leave out any short-term or irrelevant positions that could distract from what you can bring to the organization.
No matter your level of experience, ensuring that your
10 Steps to Writing a
Resume With a Long Work History
1. Highlight Only Relevant Skills and Experience
Start by emphasizing the skills, experience, and accomplishments most relevant to the job. Ensure to include soft skills, such as communication or problem-solving abilities, and technical/industry-specific qualifications.
2. Organize It Chronologically
As you list your experience, start from the most recent jobs and then go back in time. Starting there will help recruiters quickly see your career progression and the accomplishments you achieved in each position.
3. Be Concise
Be concise and focus on quantifiable results demonstrating how you contributed positively to each job. Avoid simply stating your duties and responsibilities, and instead, focus on emphasizing how you positively impacted the organization.
4. Showcase Your Education
If you’re a recent college graduate, have attended professional development classes, or completed advanced degrees, include this information, as it demonstrates your commitment to learning new skills.
5. Customize Your
Resume For Each Job
6. Use Action-Oriented Language
Use powerful and active words throughout your
7. Double-Check the Accuracy
Before submitting your
8. Seek Assistance
Consider asking a trusted colleague or mentor to review your
9. Follow Up
After sending your
10. Be Proud of Your Accomplishments
Lastly, don’t forget to be proud of your experience! A long work history is a testament to your hard work and dedication. Take the time to reflect on your achievements throughout your career, and remember that you have a lot to offer any organization.
Following these steps and keeping your
How far back should a
resume go? Summary
If you struggle to condense your work history into this limited space, consider focusing on recent experience and leaving off less relevant older jobs. With a well-crafted