Do I need to list all Work Experience?

Posted in Career Blog

Drafting a resume can be difficult, because so often we are unsure of what to include and what to leave out. Surely, we have been told, that some of the information that we might leave in could hurt our chances of getting the job; while others scores of information could be the very tidbits that get us the interview. So, what are you to include and what to omit-especially in the area of job experience?
The general rule of thumb with listing career background information in a resume is to list the last ten years of employment in reverse chronological order, with the details required-such as: dates employed, responsibilities given, achievements won, employer name, and location. This is, for the chronological format resume-which many people think is the only means of presenting their career history. This is just one way; and it best suits someone who has work experience that is positive, coherent, and long running.
If, on the other hand, a person has a career background that included a lot of inconsistencies such as employment gaps, changes of industry, or short lived stints in many different jobs-they would want to downplay these negatives with a functional format resume. A functional resume references the past ten years of an applicants’ employment history without detailing everything about it. It focuses its interests on the different skills and achievements won from a career history, rather than the parameters of the career history itself.
So, the overall answer to the question of whether you have to list all employment is yes…if you choose to use a standard chronological format resume; but if you have periods of time that you would rather not present, the best option-other than claiming that you were not employed-is to use a functional resume format.

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