How Many Years of Work Experience Should I Include in My Resume?

The temptation to list everything you've ever done is hard to avoid. While it can be difficult to project what’ll catch a hiring manager’s eye, it’s equally important to not include every last detail. Think of your resume as a movie trailer to your job history. Your aim is to inspire the potential employer to contact you to learn more, and everything in your resume should be aimed at landing that interview.

  • Stay Current: Try to focus on the past 10-15 years of your career history. Technology, policies, and procedures evolve in a blink of an eye and you want to show that you have kept up with the pace.
  • Previous Professional Experience: If you’re returning to a field you worked in more than 15 years ago, achieved marked success early on in your career, or worked somewhere really unique, we recommend including a Previous Professional Experience section. This lists only your employers’ general information to highlight your career trajectory.
  • LiveCareer Hint: Unless you have a very good reason, avoid rehashing any work history before the 90s. When in doubt, before the Internet is out!
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