Your resume is your primary tool for showcasing your talents and experience to potential employers. As such, you want the resume to offer a detailed overview of the skills you’ve developed throughout your professional career and any certifications or qualifications demonstrating your commitment.
However, as much as you want your potential employer to be aware of all your impressive accomplishments, there has to be a limit on how far back you should go with your resume.
So, how many years of experience should you include on your resume to make it effective? Read on for insights into how to organize the content of your resume.
Why Should You Limit How Far Back You Go On Your Resume?
Employers often look at hundreds of resumes, so they only have time to review the most critical points you want to make. Therefore, the longer your resume gets, the less likely that recruiters will have time to read through it all and get a complete understanding of who you are and what you can do.
When you limit the years you go back on your resume; you can only provide the most relevant and impactful information about what makes you a great candidate. Also, you create room for the most exciting and impressive qualifications so recruiters can get a full sense of who you are.
Think of age discrimination when you organize your resume. For example, many employers are looking for candidates who are up-to-date on current technology and trends. Conversely, employers may be hesitant to hire someone with a lot of experience in an outdated field.
You can avoid age discrimination issues by omitting old positions and certifications that don’t reflect where you currently stand.
How Far Exactly Should You Go Back On Your Resume?
The best answer is 10-15 years at most. This period will allow you to provide enough detail about your career trajectory and the most relevant skills you’ve developed over time.
Include any positions related to your current field, and make sure to showcase jobs that demonstrate how you can apply yourself in the role you’re applying for.
For example, suppose you’re applying for a job at a warehouse. List relevant positions that show you have experience handling inventory, working with customers, or any other duties that would benefit you in this new role. In the same way, if you want a job in a construction company, highlight positions that involve working with heavy machinery.
What Are Exceptions to the 10-15 Year Rule?
Suppose you are a highly experienced professional and have held key positions for over 15 years. In that case, it may be beneficial to include more years on your resume as long as you can demonstrate that the experience is relevant. Also, if you have had a successful career in the same field with only one employer, include more years of experience on your resume.
How Long Should A Resume Be?
Your resume should be no longer than two pages. This length is good enough to include the most important qualifications and highlight your successes without getting into too much detail. Nonetheless, if you have an extensive background in your field, and your resume must be longer than two pages to include all relevant positions, that’s fine.
Your resume should be an accurate reflection of who you are and what you can do. But the resume should also be scannable and easy for recruiters to absorb quickly. When deciding how far back your resume should go, consider what is relevant and helpful for recruiters to see.
If you are unsure or need more help, Tulsa’s Green Country Staffing can help you make sense of your resume and ensure that it meets the criteria for the type of job you’re applying for. Contact us today for further assistance.