Do I Have to Include All My Employment History in My Resume?

by R.L. Cultrona; Updated September 26, 2017
Businesswoman holding document

When searching for a job, you need to make sure your resume is the best it can possibly be. The resume is a one to two page document that quickly and easily lists your experience and education so potential employers can see what you are all about. Knowing what to place on your resume and what not to place is going to help you tremendously.

What Not to Put on A Resume

When putting together a resume you should not put down all of the job experience you ever had. First of all, not all of it will be relevant to the position at hand. There is no way that a person looking to hire you as a bank manager cares about the stint you did at McDonald’s when you were 16 years old. The two are simply not related to each other. Some people try to write these types of jobs in such a way that sounds as though what they were doing is somehow applicable to the position they are applying for. Secondly, all this does is clutter up your resume or make it unnecessarily long. If you place every job you ever had on your resume, a potential employer will have no idea where to look when trying to decide if you are the right candidate. Also, this can add unnecessary volume to the resume, which might make a hiring manager skip over it completely. It’s better to give more room on the paper to the positions that show your qualifications.

What to Put on a Resume

There are certain jobs you should put on your resume. You should always have your most recent employment. This shows potential new companies what you have been recently doing with your time, and they can see how your most recent position relates to the job you are applying for. Also, you should go through your work history and pick the best jobs you have had that qualify your for the job you want. Once that is done, then go through and write the descriptions of each so they focus on the job aspects you want to highlight. (For example, if you were a retail store manager and are applying for a job in accounting, focus on any accounting duties you had in the course of your store management.) Make sure you only pick the jobs that have the most to do with the job you want. A relevant volunteer experience that is more applicable to a position than your salaried position should go on the resume.

About the Author

R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.

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