How Many Years You Should Go Back on a Resume

Are you working on your resume and you are planning to apply for another job opportunity? So, you have worked for several decades and you want to know which jobs to keep on your resume. Then, you should think about it for more than two seconds. One of the most essential components that catch the eye of recruiters is the work history section. The work history section is the list of previous work experiences you have had over the years. Additionally, it defines your professional expertise in different companies and determines whether a resume is successful or not.

It is an important decision to choose which of your previous positions should be included in your resume. In order to decide on this matter, you should evaluate each previous work experience on a case by case basis. Each previous work experience is different and you should assess each experience as such. This article will inform you on how many years you should go back when you are listing your work history on a resume. Additionally, this article will inform you on the standard number of years that you should include. Also, you can find out the different factors you need to consider when you go back farther.

How Many Years You Should Go Back on a Resume

There are different factors that you need to consider when you plan on including how many years of work history on your resume. The factors include the industry you were working in, your experience level, and your qualifications. Each of these factors can influence how many years of work history you should include in your resume. One of the most important factors is considering whether your previous job positions are relevant to your current job search. If a previous job position provided you with relevant experience and skills to improve on a professional level, then you should include it on your resume. (Even if you have been working there over ten years ago, then you should add it).

On the other hand, if you went through a career shift over the years of your previous employment, then you should only list previous job experiences in the past five years. This article will define when you should go back five to ten years, ten to fifteen years, and even more than fifteen years on your resume. Simply put, no one has the time to look through so much work experience without getting bored. The most important thing is to keep potential recruiters interested in your resume.

When You Should Go Back 5-10 Years on Your Resume

One of the most common causes to include less than ten years of your work history in your resume is if you underwent a career change. Let’s say that you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business or Communications and you started working as an executive assistant. Despite the fact that you have great references and you are good at being an executive assistant, your heart was no longer in it. You realized that you were not meant to be an executive assistant and you found something else, instead. In this case, you should mention only relevant experience of your “something else”. If you found passion in law, then you should limit your resume to include only experience that is relevant to the legal industry.

As mentioned above, it would be best that you omit the irrelevant work experience from your resume. If you decide to exclude irrelevant work experience, then you should make sure that you fill out your resume with other forms of information. This could include your skills or previous awards. Additionally, if you reach the interview stage of the hiring process, then you should prepare yourself that there are interviewers who will ask you in-depth questions about your work experience.

When You Should Go Back 10-15 Years on Your Resume

According to experts, it is recommended that you include ten to fifteen years’ worth of work history on your resume. For most professionals, this will include about three to five different jobs. If you include ten to fifteen years of work experience, then you are allowing potential employers to look through a comprehensive overview of your previous work history. The ten to fifteen years’ worth of work experience can range from your graduation to your latest job. But, you might find that there are more experienced professionals who hold one or two job positions throughout the ten to fifteen years.

If you cannot decide whether you should add ten or fifteen years to your resume, then you should consider your professional goals and relevant work experience in the job positions you are actively looking for. There are some job positions that require candidates to have five or more years of practical experience. On the other hand, you might find that there are job positions that require ten to fifteen years of practical experience. This is why you should consider tailoring your resume to fit the job position you are applying for. That way, you can give yourself an advantage to highlight your skills and relevant work experience to potential employers.

When You Should Go Back More Than 15 Years on Your Resume

If you plan on including more than fifteen years of experience on your resume, then you should know that is very rare. In today’s job market, many potential employers are interested in mostly knowing fifteen years’ worth of your work history. Any work experience beyond might be considered as irrelevant. There is a possibility that you will not need to mention your previous experience beyond fifteen years of work. (Of course, you might find that there is an exception to this rule, but it is not often the case).

When you are updating your resume, you can limit your work history to fifteen years. You can also mention all relevant roles and responsibilities throughout your fifteen years of experience. Many potential employers and clients are more interested in what you have achieved, as opposed to irrelevant work experience. However, there is an exception to the rule. You might have worked for more than fifteen years in an ever-changing industry. In that case, you could find that your skills are outdated and out of touch. This is why it is up to you to show potential employers that you are willing to learn and that you are going to be a valuable asset to your potential job position.

Conclusion: What is the Right Time To Go Back on Your Resume?

Now that you know what is appropriate, you should consider what the best option for you is. The standard version of a resume includes work experience that goes back ten to fifteen years. However, if you went through a career change, then you should try to limit your work experience to the relevant industry. Additionally, you can always add different skills and awards that you obtained throughout the years. On the other hand, if you have not gone through a career change, then you should mention at least ten to fifteen years of previous experience. You can add ten to fifteen years of work history on your resume. That way, you will provide a comprehensive background to your potential employers. This will highlight your expertise and professional skills in the industry.

Finally, it is very rare for you to add more than fifteen years of your previous work experience. You should consider only adding more than fifteen years, if you are working in an ever-changing industry. This includes industries such as marketing and technology. You will need to prove to potential employers that you are good at your job. Also, you should show that you are willing to learn new skills in the industry that you are interested in. (So, make sure that you go back to your resume and find out what is your best option. When you apply for a position, you should better prepare yourself for in-depth questions on your work history).