A common question job seekers have is how many years of experience to list on a resume. Many include decades of experience on a resume and it could be the reason why their resume isn’t getting any callbacks. You don’t need to list every position you’ve ever held on your resume. We’ll show you exactly how far back your resume should go.
Your resume should go back a maximum of 10 – 15 years in terms of work experience.
What if you really need those years of experience on your resume?
If you really need to show the experience, which is sometimes the case for higher level positions, you could include it. Always do the “who cares” test on your resume. Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager looking at your resume. Look over the information and see whether it’s something the hiring manager will care about or be impressed by.
Here are the reasons for including only 10 – 15 years of work experience on a resume:
(We wrote a good post here on 7 resume tips for older workers)
If you only worked at one company for many years then it could be difficult to leave the years off your resume. There is a way around this depending on the situation.
If you’ve held different positions at the company you could split up your work experience depending on the years you’ve held the title. This allows you to list more relevant positions at the top of your resume and even remove some that aren’t really relevant.
For example, say Anna was looking for an accounting position and she worked at XYZ corp for the last 22 years.
Of those years she held the following positions:
Anna could list the relevant bookkeeping and accounting position separately with the years worked and leave off the customer service representative position.
Hiring managers really care more about your recent work history and not what you did a decade ago. Keep your resume relevant, concise and avoid cluttering it with irrelevant information.
Good luck with your job search!