It’s time to crack the code for crafting the perfect resumes and make your resumes top-notch. On this journey of words to job offers, perhaps the biggest and most important question of them all tends to be: how many previous jobs are on resume is the perfect number?
Since your resume is all about jobs, it all really comes down to just how many jobs on a resume for a particular job offering will look good. Resumes are pretty much the reflection of your accomplishments, skillsets, and capabilities in written text and, at times, the only thing recruiters base their ultimate decision on.
So, while reflecting on all things you, it answers important questions such as who you are, what sets you apart from the crowd, what your accomplishments are, why you’re exactly what the company is looking for, and what you are capable of.
And this is precisely why it’s safe to say they’re your one and only shot at becoming a part of the company of your dreams. So, for a remarkable career, it only seems fair to make sure you have a remarkable resume.
Now, you’re probably wondering, you have a list of jobs, internships, and courses you’ve done over the years, which don’t really change despite your career switches, so how do you know what’s relevant? And an even bigger question: how do you know how many previous jobs on your resume end up being the right call when you’re applying to a few openings in a number of fields?
So, how do you know? Well, lucky for you, we’re here to help you figure out the right number and give you some expert tips on crafting an unbeatable resume. But first, let’s catch you up to speed with some basics.
The Different Types of Resumes
Before you dive deeper into your resume and its nitty-gritty, such as what it should have and what it shouldn’t make sure you have a clear idea of what type of resume you want to build and, more importantly, what type of a resume does the job offer require.
So, essentially, there are two standard resume formats in the intricate world of resumes. These two formats include the chronological one and the functional one. The two standard formats have one major difference that sets them apart, which is that one focuses on employment history, and the other emphasizes your skills.
The third type of resume format is called a combination format. This format is a mixture of the two formats and leans towards a good balance. It essentially conveys the best of your achievements and qualities while also summing up your employment history in the finest way possible.
Now, let’s dive into some more details.
· The Chronological Resume Format
First up, the chronological resume format focuses on your employment history. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but you’ll more or less be detailing your experiences in order. This is the type of format for you if you’ve got some good experience in the industry and have a long and well-established work history that you’d like your employers to see.
It is also ideal if you want the recruiters to think you’re a good fit for this position, with a long list of similar working experiences to support your application.
· The Functional Resume Format
The functional format is one that shines the spotlight on your skill. So, essentially, it’s more about your skills than it is about your past job experiences and such. It’s the perfect way to showcase to your employers what you’re capable of and provides a good glimpse of your talents and expertise.
It’s also unique in the sense that it gives you a space to shine and make your mark, apart from just past work experiences. This is because it’s all up to you when it comes to what skills to include. They don’t have to be work-related or previous jobs at all.
With the emphasis on you as an individual and showcasing your talents, this type of resume format ends up opening a lot more opportunities and doors for you so that you’re able to secure a career you like based on your numerous talents and skills.
· The Combination Format
We like to call this resume format the perfect balance. With just the right blend of both things, whether it’s past experiences or skills, this format makes you available to a much wider variety of opportunities that you could end up exploring solely because you’ve got both work experience and talent.
The combination resume format communicates essentially the best of your accomplishments with the relevant work experience that could help you outshine the crowd. At times, jobs require a certain amount of experience, as usual, but the job descriptions emphasize how possessing some skills will give you an edge as it’s preferred. So, think about the numerous doors you can unlock and open yourself to with this resume format.
This is also an indication of how skills can always be of good use and can be complete life changes in the corporate world.
So, now that you’re all up to speed with the different resume formats, it becomes clear that there’s one thing in particular that you should really focus on always do your research when you’re applying for a job. And even more research on what the job descriptions entail.
This brings us to our next very valid and useful point before we get to the internal parts of the resume itself, such as how many previous jobs on a resume are the right number; always tailor your resume to the job in question.
Tailoring Your Resumes to the Job Offer
Well, folks, here is another insider secret on perfecting your resume. It’s a good idea to always tailor your resume according to the job offer and opening at hand. You see, we’re sure you’re aware of the research you should do when you’re job hunting, and there are a lot of offers at the table.
So, just as that research gives you an idea about the company and its purpose, while the job description tells you all about the specific job role, there’s also something else you should zone into: which experiences and skills of yours make you the perfect candidate?
Once you’ve highlighted all that makes you a good fit, the secret is to choose the resume format that matches the job offer at hand and make sure that these past work experiences and skillsets are the highlight of your resume.
You can also leave out the ones that seem irrelevant to the job opening and might steer your recruiter in a different direction. By narrowing it down to the specifics, you’ll present yourself as the perfect candidate with the ideal skillsets and experiences.
And now, all that’s left to do is wait and watch as you get the call for the job offer.
So, it just takes a little bit of practice and a good eye. Think of it as displaying a batch of cookies on the main counter. While all cookies taste just as good, you’ll still make sure the best ones are up for display. That’s precisely what you’re doing here with your resume: making sure that only the best of skills and experiences make it to the front, presenting you as the perfect fit for the job.
Now that you’re all aware of the dos and don’ts of resumes let’s get to answering the big, mind-boggling question at hand, shall we?
To begin with, let’s talk about why it’s important to know how many previous jobs on your resume are supposed to be, anyway.
Why Is It Important To Know How Many Previous Jobs Are On Your Resume? Is The Ideal Amount?
Switching from one job to the other is a hassle in and of itself. And so, just as knowing your cards right sets the mode for the game, knowing which job experiences and how many of them to put on your resume sets your career path.
Often, it also ends up being the make-or-break.
There are two main things that are vital to your resume, especially in determining just how good it is and just how much of a fit you are for the company: clarity and relevance.
When recruiters and employers are on the hunt for the right employees to join their teams and organizations, they’re skimming through a thousand resumes with not too much time on their hands. So, it makes you wonder:
What are they looking for? What narrows down options with a single glance?
So, it’s plain and simple, really. Recruiters and employers want easily readable, to-the-point, and organized resumes that perfectly sum up your relevant and best work experiences and skills. Now, that is a tricky feat to accomplish, isn’t it?
This also ends up being the deciding factor in your make-or-break moment because, with just a single glance and a quick skim, your resume is either in the pile of candidates narrowed down for interviews or candidates who didn’t make the cut.
So, why take risks and mess up your career and trajectory to success? It’s better to know all the tips and tricks from the get-go.
By making sure that your resume is clear, to the point, and very relevant to the job offer at hand, you are increasing your chances of getting the job tenfold. You’re also making it a lot easier for the employer or recruiter to gauge that you’re the perfect fit for the job.
A lot of the time, professionals such as recruiters and employers in charge of the hiring and interviewing process have a number of available positions in the company that they’re hoping to fill out in just one recruitment drive or hiring spree. And so, by listing your best skills and experiences in the right manner, you might even score in other positions that better fit you.
And, if you’re an experienced professional yourself with a hefty two-pager resume, on the journey to explore different career paths or making a switch, it’s also time for you to manipulate those skills and experiences to craft a concise and to-the-point resume shining the light on just what’s relevant.
This also requires you to dig deep and know just how a certain experience brought improvement to you as an industry professional, what additional experiences it gave you, what expertise you developed, what skills you now possess as a result, and how it all ties in to give you an edge over everyone else, for this specific job opening.
So, with some focus and research, you’ll know just what does the trick and makes you the right fit.
And finally, let’s get to what you’ve been waiting for.
Deciding How Many Previous Jobs on A Resume Should You Include
So, as promised, here is the complete and industry-approved checklist for knowing well how many past jobs on a resume make it an ideal resume.
1. Treat the Job Listing as a Guide
So, first up, you need to try the job listing that you’re looking at as a guide. And just as we’ve mentioned before, tailoring your resume to perfectly align with and fit the job role and its requirements is your one-way ticket to a guaranteed offer.
So, a good idea is to have all job experiences and relevant as well as additional skills written down separately just so you can quickly gauge what you need and what you don’t for a certain opening. This saves both your time and brain power, so you can divert them more towards crafting the right phrases and sentences to highlight your expertise.
So, for instance, if the recruiter or employer has stated that they’re looking for somebody with five to seven years of experience and proficiency in MS Excel because you’ve got that separate list of skills and experiences right in front of you, all you’ll need to do is pick the most relevant ones and write away the perfect resume.
Simple as that.
In fact, if you’ve got a few more years of experience, then you can use that to your benefit and add it in as a bonus that sets you apart from the crowd. If you’re lacking a few months or possibly a year but have the right skills and experience for the job offer, you can make use of some volunteer opportunities, training courses, internship programs, or freelance work that you may have done in between, from time to time in the field, that potentially aid to your overall work experience.
You can also cut down on some years of experience and skills that you think may not be of any value to your resume and think of it as clearing up the chaos, perhaps so the recruiter only has what’s important right in front of him.
This could include perhaps cutting out the entry-level job that you did at the start of your career or a volunteer position that is perhaps in social work, which is completely irrelevant to the position you’re applying for.
However, keep in mind that these types of things do come in handy when you’re new and early in your career, and the main thing at the moment might be having a number of different experiences and a somewhat hefty resume.
2. Creating a Good Timeline
Mapping your experiences and skills in a well-organized and nicely flowing timeline leaves a very good impression on the employer and recruiters. It may be your one-way ticket to the job right away, and your interview will then be all about detailing your process and journey, which is not too difficult a feat to conquer.
The key to a successful resume is making sure that by just a single read, your recruiter gets a comprehensive and perfect understanding of your experience in the industry as a working professional, right from when you started all the way to the present moment in time.
It should show how your career has processed and changed over the course of time and led you to apply for the job role in question. It also becomes crucial to make sure that there aren’t any long gaps that stick out in your resume like a sore thumb, leaving a dubious impression on your recruiter.
But if that is the case, then it’s always a good idea to explain the reasons behind them in your cover letter or interview so the recruiter or employer is well-informed and not too taken aback.
And the same rules about cutting and keeping what’s relevant apply here, too. It all ties in nicely to make the perfect timeline, too.
3. Formatting your Job Entries The Right Way
Now, don’t ever write your resume in a hurry. In fact, take your time. Clear out an afternoon and get it done in one flow with all your attention and effort centered on this.
So, as you’re listing down your past experiences, make sure to do them in reverse chronological order, with your most recent experience at the start. You should also mention the years you’ve been employed so that it’s easy for the employer to understand.
Now, as you’re listing, it’s crucial for you to make sure that the formatting is consistent throughout. This includes everything from font sizes to styles, colors, and even identical bullet points if included just so your resume seems consistent and in sync overall.
This is why it’s always a good idea to refer to some verified job templates online, so you’ve got a clear idea of what your resume should look like beforehand.
4. Avoid Including Work Experience of More Than 15 Years
This tip is for long-time industry professionals but also a good heads up for all the newbies for a time later on in their lives.
When you’re writing your resume, it’s absolutely crucial that you don’t include any experience of more than 15 years in your resume. This is because a lot of the time, the experience of your employers and recruiters is completely satisfied within just ten to fifteen years.
In fact, with anything more than that, you’re more or less giving your employers a reason to somewhat question your competency and proficiency when it comes to the latest technology that’s trending in the market. This might make them a bit dubious of the thought of taking you on.
Rule number one of resume writing is: don’t leave any room for doubts, which leads to more questions. So, it’s always a good idea to cut down on some irrelevant experiences or years and leave the relevant ones behind, with just the right number of years to give away a good and reassuring impression.
In this case, instances such as those where you’re working or, more rightly said, experimenting in a field that is completely different from the direction you’re currently in, you can easily leave that out and make sure you get all the main things in without any doubts.
There you have it, folks; with this complete and comprehensive checklist, you now know just what to do when it comes to how many previous jobs are on your resume you should include. And more importantly, how to know which jobs are relevant enough to be a part of your resume.
So, to sum things up, here’s what you should take away from this checklist and our tips and tricks to craft the perfect resume in just one go: quick, easy, and results-guaranteed.
- Make sure you stay relevant at all times:
Relevancy is key. The more you include jobs and experiences that are relevant to your current job application, the better your chances of securing the job.
- Keep your responses short:
It’s ideal to limit your overall resume and its responses to just a page or two so it’s easily readable and understandable.
- Provide a complete work history:
Make sure to give a complete work history, with no long gaps, related to the job you’re applying for so that there aren’t any doubts or confusion.
And now you’re all set to craft a resume that’ll help you stand out on paper and shine in person. But, if you still seem to be confused, you can always look into hiring professional resume writers who’ve got years of experience and expertise to write the perfect resumes for the fields of your dreams, no matter what they may be. You’ll be avoiding the risks and questions, such as how many previous jobs on your resume are a good number, and getting your perfect resume hassle-free.
How much previous experience should be on a resume?
A good amount of previous job experience to include is 10-15 years of work experience only.
Are too many jobs on the resume good?
It’s always recommended to limit your jobs and relevant experience to under 15 years because anything exceeding that makes your recruiters or employers a bit dubious.
Should a CV include all work history?
Some job applications end up specifying that you must include your complete work experience history from start to finish, in which case, yes, you have to provide them with full information. Otherwise, you have the liberty to cut out and keep what is relevant.
Should I put a 2-week job on my resume?
Any job experience of less than 6 months is usually something that you should consider leaving off of your resume.