How Many Years of Experience to List on Your Resume

A professional reviews a resume during an interview.

Steve Debenport / Getty Images 

Do you have to include every job you've ever had on your resume? Not necessarily. When you have extensive experience, you don't need to list your entire work history.

Your resume is a synopsis of your qualifications and experience showing what you have accomplished that is relevant to the job for which you're applying. So, you don't need to include everything you've ever done on your resume, especially if you've been in the workforce for many years or have shifted careers.

In fact, you may want to have several versions of your resume. One with all your experience so you can keep track of it, a targeted resume that you can customize for each job you apply to, and a shorter version for career networking and job fairs.

Key Takeaways

  • Including 10 - 15 years of experience is a good guideline, but you may need to include more depending on the job requirements.
  • Too many years of experience can tag you as an older job seeker.
  • When you leave off employment information, it's important to be consistent and provide a timeline of your work history to employers.
  • Leaving out the date of your college graduation can shield your age as well if you're concerned about age discrimination.

How Many Years of Experience Should You Include? 

How should you decide what to include? If you are uncertain how many years of experience to include on your resume, let the job posting be your guide. In general, 10 - 15 years of experience is standard, but you may need to include more depending on the employer's requirements and how your qualifications fit those requirements.

If a job requires 20 years of experience, for example, you'll want to include more than 10 - 15 years of work history.


You can include positions from earlier in your career that are relevant to the role you are applying for. 

In many industries, sharing experience that dates back more than 15 years just isn't very helpful for hiring managers. It doesn't support your candidacy to share an experience with tools and technology that are no longer in use. 

Plus, when you have many years of experience, listing it all can flag you as an older job seeker to employers. 

Experience To Leave Off Your Resume 

Listing 20 or 30 years of experience can clutter your resume and make it much too long. Unless you are a senior executive, the ideal resume length is one to two pages. The key to a winning resume is providing relevant details on your work history—not every detail. 

When you leave off employment information, you need to be consistent and still provide a timeline of your work history to employers.

Leave off your oldest jobs when editing your resume, not random positions. For example, if you worked in a relevant position 17 years ago, you will need to include all the jobs you've held for the past 17 years (skipping over years 10 - 16 could make it look like you were unemployed during that period).

When To Include Relevant Experience

If you worked at prestigious companies 15+ years ago, or want to have a full history on your resume, you can list your job title, company name, and the year you worked there, and not include details on responsibilities. This will get the information on the page without taking up too much space. 

Or you can list the positions as additional experience below your current work history:

~ Additional experience includes roles as an Executive Assistant for Techno Corporation (Houston, Texas) and as an Administrative Assistant for XZY Medical Group (Abilene, Texas). ~

How To List Dates on a Resume

Option 1: Month and Year

The dates you worked at each position should be listed next to the job title on your resume:

Front Desk & Guest Services OperatorSeptember 2020 - Present

  • Maintain an upscale environment for all hotel guests and conference patrons

Customer Service Representative, April 2020 - August 2020

  • Performed administrative and customer service work in multiple departments including operations, sales, and customer call center.

Option 2: Just the Year

Your specific dates of employment such as the month of the year don't have to be included on a resume. Just the years you worked at each position can be included:

Editorial Assistant, 2020 - 2022
ABC Communications, New York, New York

Your College Graduation Date

There's no need to include your college graduation date unless you're a recent college graduate. Here's an example of a college listed on a resume without dates:

Bachelor of Arts in English
University of New York

Here's an example of a college graduation date listed on a resume:

Bachelor of Arts in English, 2022
University of New York

Many people choose to drop their graduation date from their resume when the degree was earned 10 years ago or more. Leaving off this information is a good way to shield your age if you are worried about age discrimination.

Including Additional Dates on Your Resume

It's not necessary to list dates if you've taken professional development courses or other educational classes. But you should list the dates because employers will want to know that your accreditations are current if you have certifications.


Do it strategically when you're leaving experience and dates off a resume.

A resume with only a few jobs can be a reg flag for hiring managers when you're an experienced candidate, as can a resume with no dates at all. Be sure your resume provides a clear synopsis of your work history to employers.

Consider shortening the descriptions of your jobs to reduce the length of your resume rather than deleting the positions if the positions you held earlier in your career are relevant to your current objectives.

Resume Example with Additional Experience

This is an example of a resume with earlier jobs listed as additional experience. You can download the resume template or see the example resume below. The template is compatible with Google Docs and Word Online.

Sample resume with additional experience section

Sample Resume (Text Version)

Annabel Elder
123 Shady Rest Lane
Tampa, FL 33605
(123) 456-7890

Providing confidential and diversified administrative support to C-level executives
Highly organized and personable Executive Assistant well versed in meeting and event coordination, calendaring and appointment scheduling, reception, correspondence drafting, and travel planning.

Creative and skilled in using Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Cloud to develop dynamic corporate communications materials, newsletters, and presentations.


EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT (February 2018 – Present)
Meticulously perform executive administrative functions for C-level officers of global development group. Schedule and supervise team of five administrative assistants and receptionists; make all arrangements for travel, public and stakeholder relations functions, conferences, and meetings. Notable accomplishments:

  • Spearheaded office’s transition to cloud-based corporate communications technologies.
  • Successfully negotiated cost-effective contracts with vendors, caterers, resorts, and other service providers that reduced annual costs by more than $25K.

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT (November 2014 – January 2017)
Provided comprehensive administrative support to CEO of established real estate investment firm. Scope of responsibility included meeting and appointment scheduling, minutes compilation, travel arrangements, and correspondence administration. Notable Accomplishments:

  • Orchestrated all details for major stockholder events including annual meetings, golf tournaments, and receptions.
  • Set up and administered CEO’s social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

~ Additional experience includes roles as an Executive Assistant for Techno Corporation (Houston, Texas) and as an Administrative Assistant for XZY Medical Group (Abilene, Texas). ~


HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Houston, TX AAS in General Office Administration

Information Technology Skills: Microsoft Office Suite • Adobe Creative Cloud • QuickBooks

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there a limit as to how long a resume can be?

The ideal resume length is one to two pages unless you're a senior executive.

Should you include jobs you didn't stay at for very long?

It can sometimes be a helpful way to downplay short stints at certain jobs if you were a frequent job hopper. Only include the year and leave out the month in this case.

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  1. CareerOneStop. "The Basic Elements."

  2. CareerOneStop. "Applicant Tracking Systems."

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