How far back should I go on my resume? I am an experienced nurse and have had a number of nursing positions in the last 37 years. It just seems like too much information to put on a resume. Do employers really need to know what I did 37 years ago?
Dear Resume Quandary,
You are right when you say that including all 37 years of work experience on your resume is too much. Less is more today. Prospective employers are on information overload and only need and want to know what is most current and relevant.
The rule of thumb, which is flexible rather than rigid, is to go back about 15-20 years maximum. Beyond that you can include a one-sentence statement such as “Prior to this had experience in several major medical centers” or whatever your previous experience is. This way you are letting others know you have additional experience but are not bogging them down with details they likely don’t care about.