A resume is one of the best marketing tools for a professional. It represents who you are, your accomplishments, and the value that you provide in your role and industry. However, it can be hard to know how far back your resume should go, especially if you are a seasoned professional with many years in the workforce.
In short, hiring managers are most interested in the last five years of your career, and then they will consider up to the last 10 years of your career. Hiring managers are less interested in what you have done 10+ years ago. However, there may be some exceptions, depending on your experience level.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when working on your resume.
One important thing to keep in mind that you want to keep your resume relevant to the position that you are interviewing for. Whether you are applying for a promotion or transferring to a different organization, think about the skills and experience that are needed for the role you hope to take on. Resist the urge to include all of the details of all of your accomplishments over your entire career.
Instead, focus on your measurable results with the skills and experience that you have that are relevant. To do this effectively, determine the keywords the job listing has used. Then determine what specific events, tasks, or experiences show that you have used that keyword successfully. The key is to find the link between your skills and what the job position calls for. If you feel that you have an important skill needed for the job position that your early work history will show better than your more recent history, you can include that as well.
Keep your resume short. In most cases, we recommend that our clients keep their resumes to one or two pages in length. Most hiring managers will not read through a resume longer than that. This will also help you to ensure that you are focusing on your biggest accomplishments and qualifications. Keep your resume short and precise and avoid using general statements and phrases.
Be specific and give the hiring manager enough information to peak their interest and then provide the details at the job interview.
Remember, your resume is not a record of everything you ever did in your career. It is a marketing document with the objective of getting you in front of a hiring manager! Keeping this perspective in mind will help you write a better resume.