I recently received this question and wanted to share a few thoughts. My overall experience is that no, you should not leave jobs off your resume because it often creates more questions than it eliminates. However, like so many things in life and work, this question is not black and white.

Reasons to List the Job(s)

By listing all of your past jobs you can feel confident that you provided an accurate job history, you show that you are versatile and can transfer skills from any industry/job to a new one, and listing the jobs shows your areas of interest or passion in the past which can lead to rich conversations in an interview.  

Reasons to Skip the Job(s)

There are few instances where it might not hurt to leave off a job on a resume that will not raise red flags to the hiring manager. 

  1. It was a side hustle or part-time gig that does not have any skills transferable to what you are applying for (however, I challenge you to find the skills you learned in those and apply them forward)
  2. It was a job that was more than 20-30 years ago
  3. Your resume is getting ridiculously long and you do not want to bore the hiring manager with mundane jobs that do not show you at your best

Honesty Without Drama

Gaps in employment on a resume without explanation never send a good message to a hiring manager.  Employers are looking for honesty in an applicant.  If a prior job ended poorly, let them know that without drama and provide other references that do not include that workplace. 

Demonstrating that you have learned from prior workplaces and are excited to put these learnings, skills, and values into your new workplace is what will resonate with the hiring manager.

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