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How Far Back Should I Go on a Resume?








Sometimes, when crafting a resume, we’re tempted to add all our experience, in fear of leaving something out that gets us noticed. But that four-page resume that lists every job you’ve had since you were 18? That isn’t doing you any favors… Unless you’re applying for a federal job, but we’ll go into that below. While there isn’t a single answer to this question, it is easier to gauge when you break it down by job type.

Traditional Roles

If you’re an individual looking to apply for a professional job opportunity, it’s standard to include the last 10-15 years of your work experience on your resume. Hiring managers like to see related experience, skills, and qualifications for the role you’re applying for, and if you possess the hard and soft skills to be successful at the job. To increase your chances, make sure to list language from the job description to highlight similar work that you’ve already done, this will improve the overall ATS scoring of the resume.

Executive Roles

Executive resumes require additional work experience, metrics, and achievements compared to a standard resume, as executive resumes are designed to demonstrate how a candidate has had long-term experience of having large-scale impacts on a business. Executive resumes need to capture how revenue-impacting accomplishments were made, and how the candidate has been able to maintain this track record over time. Executive resumes will also show a gradual increase in responsibilities and titles over time, and how they have continued to improve their education, experience, and the companies they work for.

Federal Roles

If you are applying for a job with the Federal Government, a traditional resume won’t cut it. Due to the nature of federal positions, a Federal Resume must have all of your experience listed. Federal roles require a level of security checks that aren’t relevant for a traditional role, and a complete work history helps them complete the required checks. While federal hiring can feel somewhat like an enigma, making sure your full work history is carefully documented on your resume is a great place to start.

If you’re confused about what does and doesn’t belong on your resume, a session with the certified resume-writing experts at Creative Resumes will do the trick. They even offer a free 30-minute resume and LinkedIn profile review to start. Make sure your resume contains exactly the right information for your next role.

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