Many of us continue to update our resume with our new jobs and accomplishments as we acquire them, not giving much thought to the older content. Having a running document of your jobs is a good idea because it can help you prepare for interviewing but does this older information really add value when you go to apply for a job? Are we putting out the best resume possible or the worst? How much of that information should you include and in what situations?
Resume writing experts keep their finger on the pulse of employer and executive recruiter expectations and behaviors. The resume writing best practice is to only include job details and accomplishments of your work experience in the last ten years. This ten year limit is just a guideline. Details of older work experience should be included if it is relevant to your career goals, if it shows progression and if 10+ years of experience is required in the jobs you target. Also, including details of older work experience might be necessary if there has been an employment gap of more than a year in the last ten years.
Keeping your resume to two pages is a hard and fast rule, unless you are a scientist, doctor or academic. When you consider this rule, it makes sense to reduce the amount of details in your older work experience. For my clients, I create an “Additional Experience” or “Previous Experience ” section and only include the company name, location and job title. How about adding the years you held those positions? The answer is “it depends”. Generally speaking, to minimize age bias that could occur, I recommend not including years.
Overall, use the job postings as your guide on how far back to go when including job details and accomplishments of work experience that is older than ten years. Job postings always hold the answers of how far back to go on your resume, what kind of details to include and not to include and keywords. Generally, including details of older work experience is not recommended but including at least company name, location and job title is in order to demonstrate career progression and field expertise.
Do you have questions about your specific situation? Careerluxe offers free resume critiques, so give us a call. Resume writing can be a daunting task and we are experts in making you look good. ‘Reword’ yourself. You deserve it.