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Are You Sure Your Resume Is Not A Journal?

The longer you're in the workforce, the more there's a chance that your resume starts to look like a diary of minutiae, interesting to no one but you. You know it's time to go to a reputable resume writing service when you can't see the direct relevance between your first job and the position you're now applying for.

Or you could figure out the plot of your resume on your own.

Let's face it. When you've been an art director for twenty years, no employer is really interested in your early years as a graphic designer.

When you update your resume, you have to do it with a narrative in mind.

And like every good story, your resume must have an end goal, plenty of action and a limit on the backstory.

What's your end goal, and what should you include from your backstory? Let's take a look at how far you need to go back in years on the work history in your resume.

How Far Back Is Too Far On A Resume?

It depends. You have to consider things like your industry, how many years of experience you have under your belt, and your qualifications. Each of these heads influences the number of years of work history that employers want to see on your resume.

Of course, the key is to weed out previous positions that aren't relevant to your job search in the present. It's something you have to figure out for yourself or consult with a top resume writer. Did your job from a decade ago teach you skills or give you experience that is valuable for the new position you're seeking? Then you may want to include that position on your resume.

But if you've gone from being a car salesman to a graphic designer in the past two decades, including your stint at Car Trade on your resume is not going to help you clinch the interview for the position of Creative Director.

When Is More Than A Decade Too Far Back?

Usually, people who've had a major career change somewhere down the road don't include more than five to ten years of their work history on their resume. Suppose you joined Car Trade straight out of college and worked all your charisma on selling cars for a decade. Then you decided you were aging like fine wine, but all the negotiations involved in your job were wearing you down. So you decided to switch careers in your mid-thirties. Maybe you decided to study to become a graphic designer.

You made it as a graphic designer with inherent talent and hard work and went on to work at a design agency for another decade.

When you update your resume at the end of two decades with such a work history, applying for a job as a creative director, you can cut out your car salesman years off your resume. It's just not relevant.

The point of your resume is to paint the best picture of you, and there's no shame in it. So you must craft your resume to the first impression you want to make.

Do you want the employer to see you as someone who switched careers too late? Or who is too old to compete with the young talent coming out of graphic design schools and agencies?

If your early years aren't relevant to your current job search in your mind, then you can simply not talk about them. Instead, you can talk about your achievements and awards.

When Is It Okay To Go Back More Than 10 Years On A Resume?

The most common narrative on resumes is to go back up to 10 years. If you're like most people, you'd have held 3 to 5 different jobs during this time. For instance, if you're a chemistry teacher in your thirties, your decade of work experience would include the four years it may have taken for you to get your Bachler's degree. Then you may have worked a year as a Teaching Assistant, two years in your first school and three years in your second.

Over your fifteen years of education, you will be able to showcase your growth from a college graduate to the professional that you are now.

You also don't want to ignore the job description. Read through it to see if there's any mention of the practical experience requirements. Some employers may ask to see your practical experience in the last five years. Others may want to see what you've been doing for the past decade and more.

At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide if your past experience is relevant to your current job search.

Should You Include Work History From Beyond 15 Years Ago?

If you've spent over 15 years in your career field, you'll come to a fork in the road when writing your resume. Should you or should you not include your earliest jobs?

Suppose you're applying for a job as a personal trainer after fifteen years of working at a fitness club as a trainer. It's unlikely that you'll have the space on your resume to fit in all your accomplishments over ten years as an athlete prior to that. In such a case, you may want to dedicate a couple of lines to your history as an athlete, not much more.

If you've worked at one job for over fifteen years, then it's worthwhile including that on your resume. It says something about your commitment and endurance. But it can also make you look like you've not taken too many creative risks, or maybe you're out of touch.

In that case, it's your job to convince interviewers that you're adaptable and that your years of experience don't make you a stubborn mule, unwilling to be flexible or open to learning.

Final Thoughts

A well-crafted resume has a clear plot. You want this job, and you've been working towards it over a certain number of years. Anything that doesn't fit in this narrative is extraneous. Fillers won't help your resume. If you're not sure what you should mention on it, you could talk to a professional resume writer at

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