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How many years of employment history should you put in a resume?

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You should include at least the last ten years, and don't leave any gaps, even if you were unemployed for certain periods within those ten years. Account for what you were doing during each of the ten years that makes you job worthy - even if it was just going to school or doing volunteer work, etc. If it has been less than ten years since you started working, include a complete work history.

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While it is good to include school and volunteer work, that sort of stuff does not get included in employment history. "Education" sections allow applicants to include their education history, which will fill gaps. So while yes its good to include those, they should not be used in Employment History. Its like, instead of showing Employment History and Education History, the applicant is saying "Yeah I know I have a gap here BUT LOOK WHAT I DID SO ITS OK!?!?" Plus its just sloppy.
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3 to 5 if u have it

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i would do 3-4 years. as long as it fits on one page. the employers do get bored when reading tons of resumes. so put the most "important" jobs you've held to spark their interest, it shows you've done some big things. as said earlier, employers lose interest FAST, so put interesting things at the top ex. why you'd be a good candidate for the job.

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anyone w/ yrs of unemployment hasn't looked for work. looking for work IS a FULL TIME JOB. If treated as such my first statement stands.
Everyone has a obligation to provide for their family and themselves. Anything less is a criminal act.

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I wonder what advice you'd have for someone like me, who was a stay at home mom for some years. I'm working now, but I certainly don't feel criminal for not working (or looking) for those years.
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There is no exact timeline unless an employer asks for it directly. More time at one job with promotions, or especially when hiring within, you would want to keep that time to speak on your behalf since resumes don't always guarantee an interview. The more the better and don't ever leave out special trades and skills.

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in my personal opinion i think it is best to include all years of employment so your hopeful employer has an idea of how long you can be expected to keep a job

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My rule of thumb is to include all work history...from high school on...after the most recent 10 years or 3 jobs, you can drop the description to just where you worked, the years you worked there and your job title....at some point if you are a professional, it is okay to drop the burger flopper type job of High School years, but if you are looking for a job with the Government, they want a complete history.

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I think you should include any jobs of importance or relation to the job of which you are applying for

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Depends.
If you are in high school, include all "real" jobs (as in, don't include chores your parents assigned, etc.)
If you have graduated high school, only jobs you have held since high school.
If you are in college, only include jobs from high school senior year to present.
If you have recently graduated college, only jobs from college freshman year to present.
If you graduated college and have held a job since, only jobs from AFTER college unless your resume looks weak.

Basically, the guy hiring you to your first job after college doesn't need to know about the fast food job you had back in high school. While its important to have an accurate account in your resume, jobs you held way-back-when are usually not relevant to what you are applying for. Plus, most interviewers DON'T WANT a resume more than one page, so its good to exclude those irrelevant jobs in order to make your resume look cleaner and more professional.

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I've always gotten compliments on my resumes. Depends on job, but as a Legal Assistant, i now put 10 years since I am older. Nothing over 10 usually. Only use one page unless you are in an executive position. Heading with cell phone and email address. Start with the most recent employer 1st(include years, hilights of job, promos if any). Try not to leave gaps in dates. After employers, put Education(include major and if Honor roll), then Organizations(if you have an interesting volunteer position. Don't be too wordy. I always do a cover letter if appropriate saying how interested I am in the position, how it matches my skills and experience, and that I can start immediately (if true). Good luck! P.S. always have someone else proof read it (we tend to overlook our own mistakes).

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At the very minimum you should add 3, but that's really based on your age. Do your best to include 10+ if you have it!

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include all the years that would be useful

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Remember to include "extra" skills such as exp. with job-specific software, fluency in foreign languages and sign language, etc.

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