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How far back should your Resume go on Work History


I would call this discussion a matter of subjective concern.

I will tell you why, answering this question as to how far back your resume should date or how much work history should you put on your resume or what is the prime data that it will contain is something that an individual is at liberty to decide.

Hence, I call this discussion a subjective one. Because here are some things that we are going to understand that applies to most of us.

Nevertheless, information and data shared here are real life experiences and useful facts. Let us read through the article carefully and skillfully. That way, you could imbibe only those things that you feel appropriate in your resume.

How far back

Resumes need to be proficiently carved out keeping in mind the economic conditions, the market structure, work experience, qualifications and lastly your personal interests.

So in this topic, it is evident that the person here has a lot of experience and is looking forward to put to use some of the same.

Resumes are screened at greater levels in the market. To increase the visibility of your resume you need to:

1. Keep yourself updated in terms of market requirement.
2. Get to know those skills that has demand.
3. Know how to present your resume.
4. Ensure to script your resume in simple language.
5. Have the points in crisp notes.
6. Build titles for resumes using attractive jargons.
7. Keep yourself technically sound.
8. Know the business whereabouts and the company accomplishments.
9. Avoid information that seem to be unwanted/stale.
10. Include positive terms and statements where needed.

Many of us wonder what exactly need to be scripted on our resume while looking out for a job.

Well, it purely depends on every individuals choice of jobs looked for. Different fields of job require different facts and figures.

While considering this in general, we need to know if a resume really needs a long dated history showing information from beyond 10 yrs of the past.

To me it definitely looks to be a matter of individual concern. If there is a job requirement and the person has experience in the field which counts to more than 10 yrs, it depends on what kind of job requirement prevails; i.e.

If the job role demands every progress of the individual to decide if he/she suits the role or if only the subject matter experience is required to prove the suitability of the individual.

In any case it is always advisable not to mention anything that is stale, irrelevant, outdated etc. Same way let us look into a set of points that actually play an important role in creating a resume for an experienced working professional.

How Far Should You go Back on Your Resume:

1. Economic Condition and market demand:

Risk analysis You need to first know the economic condition with respect to job market and analyze the demand arising  there. This helps in redirecting you to create a demand for your resume depending on the skill sets you have.

Added to your knowledge and experience in a particular field, you need to include the latest trend setter functionalities to your skill set because this will help in creating demand for your resume and also making it more visible for the right opportunities or desired roles.

2. Presenting the resume:

Prepare your resume in such a way that it needs the following attention:

–          Written in simple language

–          Cover letter to prefix your resume, so that it enhances the professional outlook of a resume

–          Crisp in its notes so that the recruiter understands the content in less time

–          Technical terms appropriately used making sure not to hinder the actual meaning of the statements

–          Highlighting important points or sentences that may need concentrated attention

–          Ensuring to keep the dates and figures correctly to back your experience

–          Maintain bullet point system as recruiters fail to spend more time reading on paragraphs (this way it also helps in understanding the main content of the resume quickly)

–          Mentioned additional skill sets that may act as a supporting fact to the main role of the job

–          Have your titles, honors, certificates, clearly mentioned along with their respective company details.

3. Titles to upload your resume online:

Do not mention the no of yrs of experience in the title while uploading your resume in online portals. Always keep your titles attractive with jargons that may draw the attention of the employers.

4. What to include:

help in writing resume It is fact that one needs to mention about the experience of the work life before submitting the resume. This should include the important subject matter content relevant to the job requirement or role.

However, past experiences that adds weightage to your resume should not be ignored.

Having said this, if the past work experience is not relevant to the current requirement but you think it adds as a supporting fact then, ensure to put this in one sentence or two.

On the other hand if the past experience is irrelevant in all angles to be mentioned or does not relate to the current role, it is good to ignore rather than confuse the recruiter.

5. Do not draw emotions in your resume:

Many of us get into this business of showing our emotions in the resume thinking it would gain sympathy or rather create a special attention in the minds of the recruiters.

Well, this is not the case, writing sentences like –‘I promise to keep up my responsibilities as the first priority and …………’ should be avoided.

Instead take a grip and draw confident and positive statements that the recruiter should feel impressed.  Never state lines that give space for recruiters to think you are in-confident of what you portray.

6. To the point:

One of the important message to all resume builders is that never elaborate your content so much that the recruiters find no time to complete the document.

The matter should be to the point, with dates and time, location, certificates, subject matter specialties, responsibilities thereby, work tenure of the companies worked for, email address and contact details, projects handled and deliverables, details of promotion etc.

7. Expertise talk:

help in writing resume Experts excerpt that past experiences backing to 10 yrs, should be mentioned in bullet points with their company names, job titles, tenure, and roles.

Nothing beyond this should be mentioned as the essence of a resume lies with the current job handled and the previous one.

8. Outlining the resume:

Give a fresh look to your resume and keep your concentration on the length of the content and the presentation of the resume. Neatly sketching the outline and enriching the highlights of the resume is one way, a recruiter can select your resume to further scrutiny.

With all the above points’ one can definitely redo or re-look into their old resumes and make it look better, read better and understandable . Well further let’s look into a situation of an experienced candidate who is looking for a job change.

Example :

Samuel, is looking for a job change and is currently placed with a company X as an assistant administrator. He wants to apply for Administrative manager role. Now re-looking into his resume seems that it needs some work to be done before he could apply for new jobs.

Hence going through his old resume we come across contents and matter that have been stretched to show neatly how his steps towards his first job was gained and his experiences there after till the current position in a company.

Well, after gaining advises and suggestions from experts and online portals, he finally decides to change the resume outlook and make the content more applicable and approachable.

The actual process of amending the resume begins now. He first prepares the outline and an apt title to pose him to apply for the larger section of companies (online and offline).

Starting from his name, designation and company details along with his contact details (phone number and email address), he creates sub titles to segregate neatly and show his work experience, job responsibilities and personal accomplishments etc.

  1. Firstly his skill sets/ knowledge section
  2. Secondly the details of previous two companies worked for, work tenure and dates to be mentioned under this section for each company
  3. Thirdly compiling the job responsibilities and preparing bullet points to show abilities that have been appreciated in the past.
  4. Forthly, projects and assignments related to the job that have been initiated and appreciated for.

Promotions that have been honored, certificates that have been gained, a small gist of past experiences (he thinks this is necessary to upgrade his role at the same time feels not important to elaborate), personal details and special skills (which may add as a added quality).

With this information Samuel could easily apply for his dream job/role.

I am sure; you too are waiting to reinvent your resume with that fresh look and quality content to impress your recruiter or employer. Get your dream jobs by making these small yet powerful amendments to your resume and post it today to get flowing job calls.