Too Much Time on Hand

One of the most common questions we receive from job seekers is “How much time do I show on my resume?” While like everything else in job search, there is no hard and fast rule, there is a rule of thumb. When determining how much time to show on your resume, consider your audience. What is going to be relevant to the employer? Will your time in the Boy Scouts in high school matter to a prospective employer now that you are a senior manager? Probably not.

The “rule of thumb” for time span on a resume is go back to college graduation or back 12-15 years – whichever comes first. Employers are primarily interested in your most recent work experience because it relates to their current needs and the needs of the market today. You may have a 25 year career but it is the most recent decade or so that will matter most, especially considering how rapidly the world changes in terms of skills, technology, and processes.