If you are a recent graduate or have only recently started working, the question of dates on your CV will not be a problem for you. However, if you have 30 years of professional experience – and although any experience is interesting – all of it may not be contained on a page and may seem too long to read.
As a general rule
In general, professionals advise you not to go back more than 10 or 15 years, unless you have been on one or more posts for a long time. In this case, you will have fewer positions to list, which will allow you to integrate all your jobs, even the oldest ones.
It also depends on the offer you are responding to; try to select the jobs and skills that best match the employer’s needs.
Particularities related to the sector of activity
Depending on the position, you may go back more than a decade, which is why you should always personalize your resume. This is particularly applicable in technical or executive areas.
If you work in technology, an experience dating back a few years is already obsolete. However, this will not be the case for a job in customer service that requires timeless knowledge.
If, between two experiences, you have completed refresher, advanced or apprenticeship training with a new tool, do not hesitate to cite them to show your passion for your profession and your ability to evolve with it.
If you are applying for a job that does not specifically use your recent skills, do not hesitate to go back further in your curriculum to look for matching elements. If, for example, you are applying for a sales job while you have recently worked in IT, cite your summer jobs when you were a student as a waiter to promote your social skills. Do not describe this experience in the same way as the others, but quote it briefly, indicating the time you spent there, the year and some relevant details (size of the company, number of customers, etc.).
Finding the right balance
Depending on the skills you acquire, going back in time can testify to your mastery and practice but also respond to what the employer is looking for.
If you do not add to your CV, not quoting all your experiences may also reveal periods of gaps in your CV, which could be negative in the eyes of the employer. However, you can choose to describe your most recent experiences, and simply name the rest of your experiences, without detailing them.
Therefore, keep in mind that the most recent experiences will be most appreciated.
In order to find the right balance, it is best not to visualize your resume as a summary of your life, but rather to write it according to what the employer is looking for.