Resume Tip: How Far Back Should My Resume Go?

Resume Tip: How Far Back Should My Resume Go?


Ryan asked, “How far back should professional
experience go? Is it acceptable to drop older positions to
stay within a two-page limit?” Ryan, I’m not sure how many years of experience
that you’ve been working, but let’s just say that it’s quite a bit. Let’s say it’s 20 to 30 or something of that
nature. Number one, keep the resume to two pages no
matter what, no matter how long that you’ve been working. What I also look at is in your early years,
if it’s 20 years ago or 30 years ago or something of that nature, to me I would rather see all
of your years of work experience, but as you go back to the beginning, perhaps as you got
out of high school or college or whenever you started your job, start to condense the
amount of text that you’re spending on those early years. For example, I spent 10 years in my first
job at a consulting company. It was Anderson Consulting. It’s now Accenture. My resume today would read between 1988 and
1989 spent 10 years selling and managing large information technology projects ranging from
$250,000 to $2 million managing teams of five to 50 people. Boom! One sentence and it takes up that much real
estate, and it’s at the bottom. Now, that’s a luxury because I had a 10-year
first run. If you have three years and two years and
three years and maybe this is your first decade of working, you can drop those down if you
want or you can also, depending on how long you’ve been working, you can actually group
the companies and you can say other work experience, held various positions between whatever the
years were, 1980 to 1990, including such and such at so and so company and so on and so
forth. At least what that does is it gives the person
a sense of where you were early on in your work life. It also shows that you’re showing your complete
history. It prevents you from getting into dialogue
around, because I always ask this whenever I see a resume, it doesn’t matter to me how
young or how old you are, I always ask is this your first work experience because I
want to know perhaps you worked at some other great companies, perhaps you held a position
that might have some transferrable skills even if it was 20 years ago. I want to know those things. Most people say it only matters for the last
10 or 15 years, but I don’t think so. I think that a lot of things that you learned
early on can be transferrable and should be noted and should be included on the resume. Somebody summed it up nicely in yesterday’s
session, when you get down to the early years it’s better to condense it than eliminate
it all together. That’s my recommendation, so I hope that really
helps.

8 Comments

  • Mohammed Noor says:

    I'm currently 22 years old and your videos make me so much more optimistic Andrew! Thank you so much for all the advice and keep going at it! 🙂

  • Andrew LaCivita says:

    Hi Everyone! I know there are so many tough issues when it comes to resume writing. Tell me yours so I can help you!!!

  • Rafael Matoso says:

    Hi Andrew! First of all thanks for your videos, they are fantastic. In this video specific you say about a company who had changed the name, can I write on my resume both names for example "A company/ B company" and the year I´ve worked?
    And also I´ve been working for a big company but as outsourced employee, 2 years in 3 different outsource companies and the 4th year I became employee of this big company, do I have to write the name of all these companies with the same description?
    Thank you very much.

  • Jessevprince says:

    2 pages? Unless you're a scientist or applying to a university Professor position I always heard you were supposed to keep your resume to one page?

  • Melba Terrell says:

    Hi, love all you videos. Just wanted to know if you have a written out resume so I can visualize what you're asking for in the template. I have 20 years of work experience with one company and I feel as if I am repeating myself when using your template…….looking to change career. Please help!

  • BaconHairBoi says:

    What if I have additional experience in other places where I have worked seasonal jobs/ side jobs etc especially if they lasted a while… in addition to relevant experience for the real jobs/ careers I’m applying to? For instance my field is healthcare, but I also worked retail, warehouse, sales jobs etc for extra money/ benefits/ whatever. Should those be included at all, or does it just raise eyebrows?

  • Jeff C says:

    I think it would be so much more helpful if you would show an example on screen as you are talking.

  • Carrie Pruitt says:

    I've held more than 1 job at a time on a couple instances. How would you list this on your resume ?

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