How Many Jobs Should You List on a Resume?

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May 17, 2024
Edited by
Camille Trent
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min read

3 key takeaways

  • How many jobs you list on your resume will depend on factors like experience, relevance, tenure, and more.
  • Speaking generally, your job history should go back no more than 15 years.
  • Teal’s AI Resume Builder makes it easy to add or remove previous positions from your resume with a single click.

When recruiters only look at your resume for roughly seven to nine seconds before making a decision, your resume needs to be short. So exactly how long should a resume be? Ideally, you’ll fit your key skills, work history, and career achievements on a one or two-page resume.

Think that means opting for a tiny font and nonexistent margins to save space? Not exactly. A smarter strategy for hitting the right length is to remove irrelevant content.

Not everything deserves real estate on your resume—and sometimes that means omitting some of your previous positions, especially if they’re older jobs unrelated to the open role 

So how many jobs should you list on a resume? And how can you determine which ones to list and which ones to skip? This guide has the information you need, including:

  • How many jobs should you list on your resume?
  • What’s the ideal number of jobs to include on a resume?
  • 5 must-know tips for listing jobs on a resume
  • How to list jobs on a resume with Teal

Struggling to land interviews with your resume? Get started with Teal’s AI Resume Builder for free.

How many jobs should you list on your resume?

The question is less about how many jobs to list and more about how far back in your employment history to go. In general, you want to focus on your most recent positions and experiences—meaning your resume shouldn’t go back more than 10 to 15 years.

For some job seekers, that might mean including one or two jobs while others might have had upwards of five jobs in that same period. 

Factors that influence how many jobs you should have on your resume

While that provides a general framework, there are a few other criteria to keep in mind when determining how many jobs to list on a resume.

When listing your jobs, consider:

  • Relevance: The point of your resume isn’t just to show that you’re skilled and qualified. It’s to show that you’re qualified for that specific job. That’s why relevance should be your first and most important filter when thinking about how many jobs to include. For example, if one of your older jobs is closely related to the role you’re applying for, it’s worth including—even if it’s further back in your history. 
  • Tenure: Were you laid off after only a few months? Or did you leave quickly because a position was a bad fit? Your resume is a sales document and not a detailed breakdown of your work history. You have full control over what to include (and not include). So, if there’s a position you’re not proud of, triggers more questions than answers, makes you look like a job hopper, or adds no relevant skills or context, you can skip it. Doing so can create gaps in your history, so be prepared to address those if you’re asked about them.
  • Application instructions: Check the job description for instructions about resume length. If the job ad says resumes need to stick with one page, do that.
  • Career progression: The perfect resume goes beyond showing what you’ve done and also shows how you’ve grown, especially if you’ve climbed the ladder with a single employer (for example, starting as an intern and landing numerous promotions). Including all the jobs you held with a particular employer shows the hiring manager where you started before moving through multiple roles at the same company. That clear progression presents you as a motivated, qualified, and strong candidate.

What’s the ideal number of jobs to include on a resume?

You probably don’t need to list every job you’ve held since high school on your resume. There’s a lot of nuance in resume writing and no one “ideal” number of jobs. It hinges on a variety of factors including:

  • Total professional experience
  •  Frequency of job changes
  • Relevant work experience

For example, a more experienced job seeker with decades of professional history will likely have more to include than a recent graduate who’s worked one entry-level job. Similarly, a candidate with several relevant jobs will likely include more roles than someone making a career change.

So, keep in mind that the below numbers are a general recommendation and not a hard and fast rule. It’s up to you to review the job description carefully and make a judgment call about how many older positions to include in your document.

If you have more than 15 years of experience

Number of jobs to include: 4+ jobs

Even if you’ve stayed with the same employer for the past 15 years, you’ve probably climbed the ranks and potentially achieved a senior position. Displaying the jobs you’ve held over the past 15 years not only shows your relevant experience but also your career progression.

If you have less than 15 years of experience

Number of jobs to include: 2-4 jobs

You’re in the sweet spot where you have enough work history to showcase your skills but not so many jobs that you need to narrow down. You’ll include all relevant positions you’ve held in your career so far. Considering the average tenure with any one employer is a little over four years, you’ll probably have somewhere in the range of two to four jobs to showcase. List all of them but include more detail with your most recent jobs.

If you have little or no experience

Number of jobs to include: As many relevant professional experiences as you have

Your problem isn’t that you have too many jobs—it’s that you feel like you don’t have enough to fill out one page (let alone a second page). Keep in mind that your work history can include less traditional opportunities like internships, freelance work, contract work, short term jobs, and seasonal or temporary employment.

5 tips for listing jobs on a resume

Ready to pull your resume together? Start by getting all of your employment history down on paper—your past employers, job titles, and responsibilities. Here’s a guide on how to find your work history to get you rolling.

When you write everything down in a “base resume,” it becomes a reliable resource to return to as you create a tailored resume for each position. You can select relevant pieces rather than starting from scratch every time.

Once you have your base resume ready, here are five more tips to keep in mind when listing your work experience.

1. Use a reverse-chronological format

There are a variety of resume formats you can use. But a reverse-chronological resume is the most widely accepted and understood format among hiring managers, with 75% saying they prefer this format.

Using this approach, list your past positions in reverse chronological order—with your most recent job at the top. While a functional resume format might give you the wiggle room to list more, using a chronological order is more intuitive and can help your resume stand out for the right reasons.

2. Analyze the job description

Any resume writer will tell you that relevance is the name of the game. So, as you weed through your past positions and refine your bullet points, use the job posting as your guide.

What skills does the position demand? What experience level does the employer want? What duties is this role responsible for? All of those are clues you can use to determine whether an old job should be included, emphasized, or removed.

Ultimately, Teal CEO and Founder Dave Fano puts it best:

"The job of your resume is to showcase the top 10% of your experience that's directly relevant to the role you're applying for. It's about strategically aligning that 10% with the job's requirements to make a case for why you're the ideal candidate. Think of it as a sales document, not a history lesson. Details that aren't relevant or that don't align with a job's requirements probably don't belong on your resume."

3. Emphasize your job title

Don’t let your position title get lost or buried in your document. Give it a prominent placement and write it in bold or bigger font to ensure the hiring manager can’t miss it. That’s especially important if you’re listing multiple roles under a single employer.

example of listing professional experience on a resume
Teal's AI Resume Builder offers ATS-friendly templates to standardize your resume formatting

4. Include more detail with relevant or recent jobs

This process isn’t just about determining which jobs to include—it’s also about which jobs to highlight by including additional resume bullet points.

Include more detail for jobs that are: 

  • Recent: In general, the more recent a job is, the more detail it warrants. It’s the most accurate representation of your current skills and capabilities.
  • Relevant: That doesn’t mean all of your older jobs should be deprioritized. If they’re directly related to the role you want, they deserve attention.

Wondering how many bullet points per job? For recent and relevant roles, you can list up to seven bullet points. But you might only need three bullet points for older or less-related roles. 

5. Double-check your verb tense

Verb tense is a small detail that can slip through the cracks when writing and editing your resume, but getting it right improves clarity and adds polish to your document.

If you are currently working in a particular role, use the present tense to start each of your bullets. 


  • Assist with 15+ job fairs and recruiting events, successfully recruiting 200 potential candidates each year

For jobs you no longer work, update all of your bullet points to past tense.


  • Assisted with 15+ job fairs and recruiting events, successfully recruiting 200 potential candidates each year

How to list jobs on a resume with Teal

When you’re ready to list your experience and other accomplishments on your resume, starting from scratch is daunting.

Teal’s Resume Builder can help you streamline the process of choosing and showcasing the right jobs. Here’s how to get started:

1. Build your base resume

Your base resume is an exhaustive list that includes absolutely everything from your professional history—all of your past jobs, skills, relevant coursework, and impressive accomplishments.

It takes a bit of work, but you’re creating your starting point. When it’s time to write a new resume to apply for a job, you can simply select what information to include or remove. 

If you have some of your work history saved in an old resume or LinkedIn portfolio, you can upload it to Teal to better manage your work experience.

3. Create a new resume

With your base resume ready to go, click “new resume” in Teal. That will create a new resume that auto-fills with all of your content. 

Now, it’s easy to go through and check or uncheck boxes to select what information should be included in this version of your resume.

For example, don’t want to include a specific role? Uncheck the box and it’s immediately removed from your document. Want to remove certain responsibilities or add new ones? You can do that too.

View of how to list work experience in the Teal AI Resume Builder using check boxes
Teal allows job seekers to exclude certain work experiences from some resumes while keeping them on others

4. Refine and polish your document

When you’ve determined what content you want to include, you’re ready to brush up the appearance of your document.

Head to the “design” tab where you can select from an assortment of professional resume templates, adjust your alignment and layout, and tweak your font and colors.

And of course, before you export your document, remember to take your time to proofread and edit your resume carefully and thoroughly.

How many jobs to include on a resume depends on you

How many jobs to list is yet another aspect of the job search without a tried and true answer. 

In general, most people list somewhere between two and four jobs on a resume. But exactly how many jobs you’ll include depends on a variety of factors, including your experience level, relevance, and tenure.

Rather than defaulting to firm restrictions and recommendations, keep your focus on creating a resume that presents you as the most skilled, relevant, and qualified fit. That’s when you’ll stand the best chance of snagging the hiring manager’s eye—whether you list one job or 10 of them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to list every job on my resume?

No. Your resume is a sales document intended to present you as the most relevant candidate. You have full control over which jobs you want to list and which ones you want to skip, provided you’re ready and willing to explain any perceived employment gaps when asked.

Is five jobs too many on a resume?

There isn’t a specific number of jobs that qualifies as “too many jobs” on a resume. Provided all five positions are within the past 10 to 15 years and are somewhat related to the position you’re applying to, it’s perfectly fine to include all five positions.

Is it okay to omit jobs on a resume?

Absolutely! It’s smart to remove jobs that are more than 15 years old, as that experience is likely outdated. You can also omit irrelevant jobs or ones you only worked for a short period. It’s your resume, which means you have full control over the jobs you include and the jobs you exclude. 

Kat Boogaard

Kat is a freelance writer focused on the world of work. When she's not at her computer, you'll find her with her family—which includes two adorable sons and two rebellious rescue mutts.

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