I am looking for work, having had my own business for 15 years. I am keen to put few companies I have worked for (20 years ago) as a graduate. I want to do this to prove I have experience working in large organisations, I have admin skills, and crucially I have worked for someone else and will not stroll into to their offices thinking I am the boss!

We are talking about positions held 2002-2004. I am literally just putting the name of the company and my job title.

Would they check references? My name has changed since then. I have more recent references that they could draw on.

  • Couple questions: First have you contacted these references to affirm that they will vouch for you? Second, can you expand on your reasoning why you are questioning using your more recent references; you indicate running your own business for 15 years, so I'm not sure why recent references in support of recent work aren't infinitely more valuable than whatever you did 15 years ago. – Pyrotechnical Dec 27 '18 at 19:38
  • Hi Pyrotechnical, in response 1. One of the companies has since dissolved and the other has restructured several times so I doubt the manage I worked for is still there. I have many references from my own business of 15 years who can vouch for me.... I still want to put the 1st 2 companies to prove I have experience of working for multinational firms in terms of culture etc. – user311438 Dec 28 '18 at 0:39

The simple but generic answer: as far as is necessary to convince the employer the employee won't be a serious problem. In practical terms, for permanent staff I've never gone back more than two employers covering a period of up to three years - but I'm not in a security critical field.

That all said, I think you're worrying about the wrong thing. My all means list your previous employers on your CV, but if you don't manage to convince your potential employer in the interview that you've got the right attitude for the job then it doesn't matter what your references say.

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