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How far back do you go?

Deciding on how much career history to include on your CV can be challenging. On one hand, you’re keen to showcase your array of work experience, but you also want to keep to the recommended two page limit to avoid your CV becoming too lengthy, which may put-off some employers.

Whilst some recommend that you only need to go back as far as 10 years, others suggest employers only want to see the most recent job history.

Finding the balance is important; you will need to ensure that you completely understand the job description and the experience they are looking for. If the job description doesn’t give you enough to go on, then research the type of skills that are needed for the role – try looking at similar vacancies with other employers for example. See where you have already used them in your work history and make sure you highlight them.

Quality is better than quantity, so don’t include lots of detail about work history that’s less relevant. Try to highlight the most relevant experiences and skills from your current and previous jobs. There are no real hard rules in how to do this, but put yourself in the shoes of the employer; what previous skills and experiences would impress you?

Visit the National Careers Service website for a walkthrough on each stage of compiling a CV.

If you want further help with writing a CV, LifeSkills, created with Barclays, has a CV builder. Visit the LifeSkills website to find out more.

Ola, a Jobcentre Plus Work Coach, explains the key information to include in your CV, from relevant key skills to work experience and qualifications.