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I've been in the IT industry since 1999 including several jobs in between. I was a Director with an organization for 7 years, and another 7 years at my current job as a Director as well.

This gives me 14 years as a Director in two different companies. Should I include other jobs (4-5 years) of experience on my resume or should I take those years off?

I'm thinking about taking them off because it made my resume 4 pages long.

  • 2
    why would you take them off? – Kilisi Aug 25 '18 at 1:23
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    Director company X from start to end is one line. – paparazzo Aug 25 '18 at 7:08
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    Start date, end date, company name, job role only takes a couple of lines. If you're hitting 4 pages then you're adding too much stuff. – Simon B Oct 9 '18 at 15:52
  • @SimonB Should really not take more than 1 line, at the most 2 if there's long words... – Summer Oct 10 '18 at 8:32
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My CV contains jobs of the last ten years, plus a single sentence: "I also did X, Y, Z, A, B and C". Just three or four words about each job. Some of X, Y, Z, A, B and C are quite interesting, so sometimes I have been asked about them in the interview just out of curiosity, and if you can talk about these things, then it can give you a very slight edge, but it's not really important.

Nobody employs you for things you did ten years ago. And a four-page CV hurts you. Some places get many CVs, if I have the choice between reading three CVs or your four-page CV at the same time, I'll read three CVs.

BTW. I only write down years. One former boss of mine has a six month gap between selling his company and getting a new job. Spent sailing through the mediterranean with his family. Imagine the recruiter saying "there is a very suspicious employment gap here".

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    "And a four page CV hurts you..." - +1, one to two pages with 12 point body font works best. It is small and easy on the eyes for older readers. – jww Oct 9 '18 at 7:41
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It depends.

Your resume should include the most relevant experience for the job you are applying to. If those 4-5 years jobs are relevant to some job that you are planning to apply to, then include. If not, then exclude.

You can always bring them up in the interview even if they are not relevant.

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You have an XY Problem here. Removing jobs from the resume to reduce its length is about the same as amputating an arm to lose weight.

You should instead reconsider how much detail about each job you include. Recruiters would certainly expect the name of the company and the start and end dates1. Depending on your local customs, your official designation may also be necessary.

You usually do not need to enlist every detail of your role and your achievements. For your jobs that are most relevant to the role you are applying for, describe your role in about a couple of sentences (or bullet points) and about 5 most important achievements, preferably quantifiable achievements.

For the jobs held several years ago and/or jobs not completely relevant to the role, you can trim it down even further and include only a one line description of the role and 1 or 2 most important achievements.

I wouldn't recommend dropping off old jobs entirely, especially if they span a fairly long duration, such as 4 to 5 years. That would show up as an unusually long career gap. While there's nothing inherently wrong with it, unfortunately a lot of recruiters look at career gaps with suspicion. ("Was this person unemployed for 5 years after his education, or has he left out an "undesirable" job he doesn't want us to know about?", etc.)

You could, of course, explain it in the interview, but that's not a useful strategy if they don't invite you to the interview. It is an unfortunate reality that shortlisting for interview usually focuses on excluding candidates and then inviting whoever is left standing, as against choosing candidates that match the criteria.


1 The month and year are adequate, and you can usually skip the month for long duration jobs and/or jobs you held long ago.

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I would consider the number of pages you think are optimal for your resume. Anything over two pages is probably longer than optimal. To achieve your chosen limit you need to carefully consider the relative importance of all the information you want to include and how much space that warrants. Your latest position probably warrants a whole paragraph, while your first may only warrant a line. You can also make a summary of skills and knowledge perhaps with years of experience and say less about individual positions. All in the interest of presenting the most pertinent information most clearly and in the most prominent position.

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I am a bit late to the party, but …

I have my CV down to four pages. I personally try to imagine I were the interviewer and ask myself how many years of experience I would consider relevant and have decided about 10 years should do it. That said, I currently have 12, as there is one job that I don’t want to “drop off the end”. I finish my CV with “details of previous positions available on request”.

But, what I haven’t seen addressed here is whether the skills are consistent or if there is some change. I have *cough* decades developing embedded software for the telcomms industry, which segued into satellite communications. There’s not much point in detailing all of those telcomms projects, although I do make the reader aware of the total length of time spent on them.

In the last ten years, I have spent a year in automotive, in avionics and in a satellite itself, rather than the ground side as normal. It’s all embed, so all relevant, but the question is what a potential interviewer will think of my avionics experience – to choose one at random – as the years go by. “hmmm, it’s been X years since he did any avionics. I wonder if he still groks the different Design Acceptance Levels. Never mind, we can soon bring him back up to speed on that. DO-178 is more important, though. And if has forgotten his ARINC protocols, we mat as well recruit someone with no avionics experience”.

So, with a mixed career, the question is which experience do you want not to “fall off the end” if you restrict your CV to 2 pages, and how much will an interviewer believe you still remember.

Whereas, with a long career in a single company, position or industry niche, you can probably use 2 pages plus “and X years similar experience – details upon request”.

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