Resume Tips 101: How Far Back Should A Resume Go

It’s usually confusing for many job applicants and professionals to decide how far back their resumes should go. Many of them go as much as five years, while others stick to ten or more.

Whatever number you have been choosing, it doesn’t matter at this moment as this article will give you clarity and offer you counsel on how far back your resume should truly go.

What is the Worst Mistake You Can Find on A Resume?

Your resume is one of the strongest ways for hiring managers to assess you as a candidate. Typos and grammatical errors can make you look unprofessional and unqualified for the role you seek.

Because hiring managers want to know a lot about your work history, they take a big look at your professional experience, considering the different sectors you have been in, positions you have worked for, and a lot more.

There are a lot of mistakes you can make on your resume today, but the worst mistake would be to fail to include your contact details. It is a frustrating mistake that can make you miss out on several opportunities, as hiring managers won’t be able to contact you.

What Does it Mean For A Resume to Go Far Back?

When someone says your resume should go far back, it can confuse many entry-level professionals who don’t understand these keywords. Surprisingly, many experienced professionals may not understand this because they hardly work on their resumes.

To define what it means for a resume to go far back is to know the number of years of working experience sufficient for a professional to put into this document. For example, Greg is a professional engineer with over 30 years of experience in automobile engineering, chemistry, and coaching.

In outlining his experiences on a resume, it’s incorrect for him to spell out all his work experience. It can make his resume too worded, which is a burden for hiring managers that will want to read. Instead, he must highlight the aspects important to the job he seeks and discusses them.

Further reading: Resume Sections: How to Organize your Resume

Resume Tips 101: How far back Should a Resume Go

For most industries, you can go back as far as 10 to 15 years on your resume in its work experience section. By limiting your experience and professional achievements to about 15 years, employers can easily relate to your most recent skills and work contributions.

Adding a career history spanning over 15 years reflects experience in a lower position, which doesn’t always reflect your present capabilities. Although you might include this information, recruiters focus on your most recent work experience. However, including earlier working years gives your credibility an enormous boost.

The job requirements for an open position usually affect the years of working experience you must have. It is vital to add basically the experiences relevant to the specific position you are applying for. Following this practice gives you a greater opportunity to list other achievements and responsibilities that present you as the perfect candidate.

Academic careers usually require that you outline all your work experience, but they don’t come often. In technology industries and other fields where skill sets change quickly, ensure your resume stays short. Conclusively, keep your work experience within 10-15 years.


In crafting your resume, you must use the right sequence or template acceptable in your industry.

Your resume needs to go back the right number of years so recruiters can easily contact you for any open position you apply for.


  • – Resumes 101: What to Put on Your Resume
  • – Resume Tips 101: how far back should a resume go?
  • – How Far Back Should Your Resume Go? Here’s How to Decide


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