My work history goes back some 25 years. The longest job I've held was 9 years in healthcare field followed by a job I held in banking for 2.5 years. I've been with my current company for 1 year. If I am with a company more than a year I try to change departments or roles just to give me some variety.

Most of these jobs were right after high school and I changed jobs a lot in college. I guess the red flag might be that I've only stayed months in these jobs not years. If I count everything I may have had close to 26 jobs since I started working at 16. I guess I really like change and do not stay in one place too long. I do not like to burn bridges and always give an in person notice or a letter of resignation.

I know this is a red flag on job applications. In the past 2 years I have had 5 jobs. Most of these jobs were call center "work from home" type jobs. I want to work from home but nothing has been working out or hasn't met my expectations I suppose?

My question is: Is it illegal to not list all your jobs on a job application? I certainly do not want to get in trouble for leaving something out? If listing every job is required how do I explain reasons for leaving? I just think that listing all these jobs will ruin my chances for employment? Also, there is no way to do this without raising red flags. In that case why even apply? I have no problem telling/discussing these positions or gaps in employment if it comes up in the interview. Most are irrelevant and I didn't stay long enough to gain any transferable skills. Thank you


3 Answers 3


Nobody cares about pre-college or college jobs after you have had a few years of professional experience, unless they demonstrate something exceptional about you that you can't demonstrate any other way... and even then it'll cause raised eyebrows.

Employers do like to see evidence of continuous employment after you started your career, so generally you want to list all those engagements -- with the possible exception of those you left after a few months, since that isn't meaningful experience and may raise more questions than a longer period of unemployment would. Be prepared to answer questions about that period either way.

You can certainly edit how much you say about each job to shift the emphasis appropriately.

Note that the old "edit your resume down to a single page" advice stops being true for us old farts with decades of experience. Keep it terse, but don't leave out significant bragging points.


The difference in the application and the resume, is that the person handing you the application sets the rules. Some say list the last x jobs, or cover the last Y years, or everything since you were 18. Or some combination of these.

Leaving gaps in this case is telling them you were unemployed, they will either ask why, or assume the worst.

But why do they want to know? Many times this is where they start the background investigation. They may contact the employers and get dates of employment, and the reason why you left. Some employers will give them even more information.

Other times it is just a formality, they are only going to contact the references you give them.


I would leave the jobs you had in high school and college off of your resume, especially if it's not pertinent to a job you are currently seeking. Another point I'd like to make is, why you would even consider putting those types of jobs on your resume if you already have 25 years of experience?

In general employers are only interested in the last 10 years of your employment.

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