Remember, your resume is not an obituary that lists every job you’ve ever held. Instead, it’s a marketing document whose content should support the job target you’re seeking.
Consequently, you may choose to only include the most recent 10-15 years of work experience on your resume. Not only can this help reduce the likelihood of age discrimination, but in a world where things change at a rapid pace, your older experience may no longer be relevant. You likely have newer skills, experience, and projects that better reflect where you are going, not where you have been.
However, you should not leave a job off your resume that you held for six months or more just because you were fired, and you don’t want to talk about it. Instead, be prepared to address the reason for your departure, including taking responsibility for performance shortcomings, being able to describe how you took corrective action to ensure the situation doesn’t happen again.
For example, if you are sales professional who was let go because you missed two consecutive quarters of sales quotas, you might include the role on your resume, especially if you were selling a desirable product or working with high-profile clients, but be ready to explain that you didn’t have the depth of product knowledge that you should have had in order to be successful in that position. This is a particularly effective strategy if you have been successful in previous sales roles, but just not in this one.
Determining what to include — and what to exclude — on your resume to maximize your chances of getting an interview is one of the important functions a professional resume writer can assist you with. Having the guidance and experience of a professional to help you navigate your job search can save you time and money, landing you that dream job faster, and potentially even at a higher salary than you were expecting.
One important thing to note: If you are asked to complete a job application that requires you to list all positions you’ve held, you should include each and every role — no matter how short — particularly if you’re required to sign the application, and, therefore, attest to the truthfulness of the information included.