How Far Back Should Resume Go?

June 19, 2017

Once you have been a part of the workforce for a while, it may be more difficult to fit all of your past experience on your resume. A resume should be one or two pages maximum length.


You may recognize the photo to the right if you started working decades ago. If so, you may need to drop-off the oldest or least relevant jobs. If you want to say anything about those jobs, your job title is plenty. In general, your most recent jobs are more important. How far should you actually go back in your job history?  As far back as one or two page resume length limit will allow you to go.


Do not worry that vital information about your career will be unknown to prospective employers. If needed, let it be seen on your LinkedIn profile and include your LinkedIn profile URL in your contact section at the top of your resume. More than likely, your prospective employer will be looking at your social media profile anyways. 


That being said, every detail of your job does not need to be revealed on your resume unless you are applying for an entry-level job. Filler words that do not give specifics should also be removed. For example, "Supported the team with initiatives." Instead, list accomplishments and what you left in your wake. Your story will come across more powerfully and as a real person.  


Focus on what the hiring manager wants to see, not on how much information you can cram into your resume. Just remember there is such a thing as "too much".

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