When one has accumulated a number of previous positions, and writes a CV for a new one, there will likely be some positions held, often entry-level jobs, that are nothing at all like the sought position.

Should one simple leave such positions out from the CV all together?


It depends on quite a lot of factors,

First is career stage. You've indicated a fair bit of experience so, yes as the previous positions become older (in time) or longer ago (if there's a lot more jobs recently in sheer numbers), then you'll eventually stop listing the oldest ones - which can be a little difficult sometimes, as you may still have a fair amount of emotional attachment to them.

Second is Industry. Some industries may more interested in all previous positions, for example those in security or government, when compared to new tech where it's really the recent relevant technology experience that's important. Technology skills over 10 years old (at the coding level) can be too old to be worth listing or list in much detail.

Third is the position level. If this is for quite a senior management position, you'll likely not want to show many low level jobs - other than for character purposes and in that case having janitor listed may actually be a bonus! (No offense to Janitors though, key folks!)

Third is career change. If you have switched careers and have many positions/employers in the previous career you may want to sum them all up under a broad heading that is not employer specific. Or perhaps mention one the the larger/longer (employment) ones as an example (one that you can talk about well and perhaps provide references for).

Forth is the brevity required. Some positions and applications don't have much space for listing stuff. Also if your resume is reaching 5 pages instead of the standard 1-2 (as mine was) then it's time for some pruning!

Fifth is just how many jobs you are actually talking about. There are many positions where, if you have more then say 10 jobs you probably want to avoid listing them all, particularly if you can just prune the oldest.

Sixth is nature of the work, e.g. if this was for seasonal jobs within a community where it's usually a different employer from year to year, it may be more ok.

Finally, you can also address this as I did by basically turning previous long descriptions into 1 or 2 line summaries.


You only get 30 seconds to make an impression with your resume. Leave everything off the resume that isn't relevant to the specific position you are applying to.


You only need the last ten years. If you have those postions in that time, it is best to leave them in the chronological list of your jobs and not really have more than a one liner about the job. It is better to be seen as employed than not employed. However, you don't need to say you are a qualified Access programmer if you don't want to be considered for jobs in that area! Just keep the stuff that is irrelevant to the job you are applying for out of the accomplishments and technical qualifications sections.

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