When it comes to creating a resume as a seasoned professional, one of the most common questions job seekers ask is, "How many jobs should I list in my resume?"
Should you include every job you've ever had, or should you only highlight your most recent and relevant positions?
While there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some factors to consider that can help guide your decision.
The key is to strike the right balance between highlighting your relevant experience and avoiding overwhelming your potential employer with a laundry list of every job you've ever had.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the factors that go into determining how many jobs to list on your resume. We'll break down the pros and cons of including multiple jobs versus a select few, and provide tips for highlighting your most relevant experience.
Let's dive in.
- How to know how many jobs to list on a resume?
- How many jobs should you list on a resume?
- How many jobs to list on a resume as a seasoned professional?
What are Some Factors to Consider Before Deciding “How Many Jobs to List on a Resume?
Many people believe that a longer resume with more job listings is always better, while others assume that listing too many jobs can hurt your chances of landing an interview.
But before you decide on how many jobs to list on your resume, it's important to consider a variety of factors. Given below are some factors to consider:
Relevancy of Your Work Experiences
The most important factor to consider when listing jobs on your resume is whether the experience is relevant to the job you're applying for. Ask yourself:
- Does this experience directly relate to the job I'm applying for?
- Does this experience highlight skills that are necessary for the job?
- Will this experience make me stand out as a candidate?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you should definitely include the job on your resume.
Your Level of Experience
Another factor to consider is the number of years of experience you have.
If you're a recent graduate or have less than 5 years of experience, it's okay to include all of your jobs on your resume. This will show potential employers that you have a wide range of experiences and skills.
However, if you have more than 5 years of experience, you may want to consider only listing your most recent and relevant jobs.
This will help you avoid cluttering your resume with irrelevant experience and focus on your most impressive accomplishments.
Have You Been Job Hopping?
Job hopping is the practice of changing jobs frequently, typically every 1-2 years. If you've been job hopping, you may be wondering how many jobs to list on your resume.
It's generally recommended that you only include jobs that are relevant to the job you're applying for, regardless of how many jobs you've had.
However, if you've had a lot of jobs in a short period of time, you may want to consider grouping similar jobs together under one heading.
For example, if you've had 3 different marketing jobs in the past year, you could list them all under one heading as "Marketing Experience" and include bullet points highlighting your achievements in each position.
Doing so will help you make your frequent career changes not so evident to the recruiters.
If you've worked in multiple industries, you should only list jobs that are relevant to the industry you're applying to.
However, if you've worked in a related industry or have transferable skills, you should definitely include that experience on your resume.
For example, if you're applying for a marketing job and you've previously worked in sales, you could include that experience on your resume as it demonstrates your knowledge of customer behavior and persuasion.
Length of Your Resume
Another factor to consider when deciding how many jobs to list on your resume is the length of your resume.
A general rule of thumb is that your resume should be one page for every ten years of experience, but there are exceptions to this guideline.
For instance, if you have a lengthy work history with numerous roles that are all relevant to the job you’re applying for, it may be acceptable to include more than one page.
Additionally, if you have multiple advanced degrees or certifications that are all relevant to the job, it may be appropriate to have a longer resume.
Also Read: How long should your resume be in 2023?
Tips for How Many Jobs to List on a Resume
Here are some additional tips that will help you decide how many jobs you should list in your resume:
Consider the Relevance of Each Job
If you have a long work history, it may be tempting to list every job you’ve ever had, but this can actually work against you.
Listing too many jobs can make your resume cluttered and lengthy, and may dilute the impact of your most relevant experiences.
Instead, focus on including the jobs that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. This includes jobs that have given you the skills and experience necessary to excel in the role you’re seeking.
If you have multiple jobs that fit this criteria, you may want to consider including a brief summary of your experience and accomplishments in each role, rather than listing out every detail.
Use Your Resume Real Estate Wisely
Your resume real estate is valuable, so it’s important to use it wisely. This means focusing on the most important and relevant information and avoiding unnecessary details.
When deciding how many jobs to include on your resume, consider the amount of space you have available and use it to your advantage.
If you have limited space, focus on including the jobs that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you have more space available, you may be able to include additional jobs or provide more details about your experience in each role.
Remember that your resume should be easy to read and understand, so avoid cluttering it with too much information.
Use bullet points and concise language to convey your experience and accomplishments, and make sure the most important details stand out.
Highlight Your Most Recent Experience
One strategy for deciding how many jobs to include on your resume is to focus on your most recent experience.
This can be especially effective if you’ve had a long career with multiple roles that are somehow related to the job you’re applying for.
Use the reverse chronological resume format that puts your most recent experience at the top, followed by the older ones.
Consider listing your most recent 3-4 jobs (if you have the space in your resume and provide brief yet impactful information about each one of your experiences.
Also Read: How to write a resume with no experience?
Customize Your Resume for Each Job
While it may be tempting to create a one-size-fits-all resume, the reality is that different jobs require different skills and experiences.
This means that you may need to customize your resume for each job you apply to.
When doing so, consider the relevance of each job to the job you’re applying for, and focus on highlighting the most relevant skills and experience.
Also Read: How to make a resume for your first job?
How Many Jobs to List on a Resume - Based on Your Level of Experience
Here are some guidelines to help you decide how many jobs to list on your resume for candidates with varying levels of experience:
If you are an entry-level candidate with limited work experience, you should aim to include all of your relevant jobs on your resume. This will likely include any internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work that you have done in your field.
Listing all of your relevant jobs (which can include 1-2 jobs) can also show that you have been proactive in gaining experience in your field, which can be a big plus for entry-level candidates.
If you are a mid-career professional with several years of experience, you may want to consider listing only the most relevant jobs on your resume.
In general, you should aim to include the past 5-6 years of work experience on your resume.
Listing too many jobs from earlier in your career can make your resume look cluttered and may not be relevant to the job you are applying for.
If you are a senior-level executive with a long and successful career, you may want to limit the number of jobs you list on your resume even further.
In general, you should aim to include the past 10 years of work experience on your resume.
This can help you avoid listing jobs that are no longer relevant to your current career goals and can help you focus on the most impressive and impactful roles you’ve had in recent years.
You may also want to consider including a separate section for board positions, speaking engagements, or other relevant leadership roles that don’t fit neatly into a traditional job listing.
FAQs About How Many Jobs To List on a Resume
- Do I need to list all my jobs on a resume?
It is not necessary to list all your jobs on a resume, especially if they are not relevant to the position you are applying for. Focus on including the most recent and relevant positions that showcase your skills and experience.
- How do you list multiple jobs on a resume?
To list multiple jobs on a resume, start by creating a master list of all your work experiences, including the job titles, dates of employment, and company names. Then, group similar job titles together under one heading, using bullet points to highlight your achievements and responsibilities for each role. Finally, prioritize the most relevant experiences to the job you are applying for, and limit the overall number of jobs listed to the most recent 5-10 years.
- Can I list one job on my resume?
Yes, you can list one job on your resume if it accurately reflects your work history and qualifications for the position you are applying for. However, it's generally recommended to include at least two to three jobs to showcase your experience and skills.
- What jobs should I not put on my resume?
Generally, jobs that are not relevant to the position you are applying for or jobs that you were only at for a very short period of time (less than six months) should not be included on your resume. It is also not necessary to list very old or outdated jobs, as they may not be as relevant to your current career goals.
Do you want to make an excellent resume that showcases your work experiences in a compelling way? Use Hiration’s ChatGPT-powered resume builder with 24x7 chat support and write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.