A resume is not a legal document; there’s no law saying you must list every single job you’ve ever had. But how do you know when to leave a job off your CV?
The answer in a nutshell is there's no one-size-fits-all solution for each person or every job application. What we do know is that it’s important you tailor your CV to the role you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for an Account Manager role in the Insurance Industry, you may want to leave off the House Keeping role you had before you started your career in Sales, as it doesn’t necessarily add anything to your application and is not relevant to the position you are applying for. Remember, your CV is your first sales pitch to a Recruiter or Employer as to why they should hire you.
But some seemingly “unrelated” roles you may think you should leave off can actualy have great benefits for your CV - if you gained and developed transferable skills. We all have transferable skills that can be incredibly valuable to employers. Identifying and harnessing your transferable skills can help you stand out in your job search. Transferable skills are a key set of skills and abilities that can be useful, regardless of the organisation or role:
• Organisational skills; such as time management or research skills
• Communication skills; such as listening and writing
• Interpersonal skills; like empathy and flexibility
• Analytical skills; such as critical thinking and problem solving
However, leaving a job off your resume can also have a negative effect on your chances of getting an interview, by raising questions in the Employers or Recruiters mind. If leaving a job off your resume creates a large gap in your employment history, its best to ask yourself if it is really worth leaving off; and be prepared to be asked about unexplained gaps. Some Recruiters and Employers see large gaps and assume the Candidate has something to hide, so it's best to try and avoid large gaps if possible.
When you could leave a job off your resume:
• It was a short-term position
• The company is well known (for all the wrong reasons) and has a toxic reputation
• The role does not add any weight to your resume
• It was a very long time ago (10-15+ years) and is no longer relevant
I was fired from a job; should I leave it off my resume?
On your resume you do not need to include why you left a job, so if it was a long-term position with valuable experience that adds weight to your CV then we recommend to list it on your resume. Just be prepared to answer the question "Why did you leave?" honestly and calmly.