How much of your Career History Should You List on Your Resume?

September 15, 2023

If your career history goes back 10 years or more, a common question is “How much of my career history should I, or do I need to, include in my resume?” It can be a challenge to decide what is relevant, what to include, and what to leave out.

First and foremost – when listing job history always use a reverse chronology format: List the most recent job experience first and then go backwards from there. List the months and years for start dates and end dates.

Second, when you detail your education, training, and certifications, make it short, sweet and to the point. Include finish dates of completed academic degrees and certifications so your interviewer doesn’t have to guess or ask.

Next, if you have had years of early career jobs that aren’t relevant to the job you are currently applying for, briefly describe them in a grouping and include just a time block of the years that were included. Since this information will probably not be relevant to the interviewer, only a brief description is needed.

Finally, don’t hide your career longevity. It is always best to be transparent about your experience so that your prospective employer knows what to expect. Emphasize your strong points relevant to the job description including team experience, leadership roles and responsibilities, software knowledge and certifications, or special skills that would place you ahead of other applicants.

Your career history should accurately reflect your work experience, but should focus more on recent job history rather than less relevant jobs in your past. This allows your interviewer to focus on the current work you have been involved in and how it relates to the job they are looking to fill. Having this information easily accessible on your resume will allow the interviewer to quickly see the qualifications you have for their position. 

If you’d like some help streamlining your resume to maximize results in your job searches, please get in touch.

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