Should I Include My Entire Work History In My CV?

Interviewer: It says here you graduated in 2011, but you didn’t start working until 2015. What were you doing in between?

Candidate: I was working in XYZ Company as an Analyst.

Interviewer: Why didn’t you include it here?

Candidate: …because my CV will then be over 3 pages.

There are several points of view on whether to include candidate’s entire work experience or otherwise.

Here are my thoughts. What do you think?

Include your entire work history.

There are roles that, even if from different industries and disciplines, make for a desirable background to the post applied for. For example, prior to joining HR, I was in Customer Service Operations. Though miles away from HR (figuratively of course), the skills that I gained from this experience have helped me and is still helping me in understanding and improving the HR processes and in partnering with the business.

On the legal front, some Companies ask for your SSS record and when found that an employee misrepresented him/herself by not declaring work history properly, it may warrant a disciplinary case which may lead to termination.

Highlight those that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

By highlight, I didn’t mean to boldface or underline. I meant to add more information, like your contributions in such capacity.

Make a resume version and a CV version of your work history.

What’s the difference? Here you go – Make Your Resume Stand Out

In gist: Resume vs CV

Résumé is French for summary or to sum up.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) is Latin for the course of life.

Note that recruiters, often, review several CVs, from tens to hundreds. Ryan Bailey captured it right in this comedy post. Finding a needle in the haystack. Recruiters can surely relate! 🙂

For yours to standout, it has to be easy to read – presentable and short. A one-pager will be great here and once interested, recruiter will ask for your CV. Be sure to have a ready file for submission.

And finally…

Do not cut your work history because of the number of pages.

Sadly, the exchange above actually happened in a few of the interviews I conducted, sometime ago.

In grade school, in one of our exams, we wrote our names on the line provided that says, “Full Name:____________________.” It was a rather short line and most of us have two, some even three first names. We were 2nd graders. The solution, we all dropped our last names so our names would fit on the line.

The sermon that followed almost lasted 15-minutes. The lesson: do not limit yourself with trivial things and focus more on what’s essential.

During interviews, recruiters and hiring managers also assess thought process. The way candidates think. This is very important.

Also, while there are guidelines there’s really no hard and fast rule on number of pages. Your work experience and contributions matter more. Do not blow up your contributions, either! Sometimes CVs get long because of entries that don’t reflect reality. Things like, “I lead this and that” when upon probing candidate was really in charge of documentation. I think, a bit of editing will help in keeping your CV succinct.

Here’s to a happy job hunt and best wishes in finding the perfect Company for you! 🙂

Also read: Make Your Resume Stand Out

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