I have a storied history. I'm a 44 yr old female that returned to college in 2012 to finish a BS degree in Biotechnology. Prior to my return to school, I worked mostly in the retail sector and unconventionally, horse farm management. My most recent job was managing a horse farm for 4 years, but prior to that, my work history bounces around quite a bit. Most of the retail in during the late 90s and 2000s was in the design industry (Lowes Home Improvement (2 years) and a couple of cabinet companies). I have worked for a LOT of different companies over the years... and have quite a few short term jobs and gaps in my resume. Additionally, I was terminated from Lowe's in 2002, but was rehired at a different location in 2004. I also have an arrest record (2002) that was ultimately dropped (not prosecuted) for driving a suspended license.

I am scared to death that now that I have racked up 25k in student loans that no one will give me a second look based on my previous work history. I've read where you can leave some work history off your resume, but you MUST included EVERYWHERE you've ever worked in you life on the job application.

1st question:
Do you really have to include every job you've ever held on an application that states it must be true and complete history? Frankly, I'm not sure I even remember absolutely everywhere I have worked over my lifetime. How does one make sure all the dates are correct when I don't have older employment records on hand?

2nd question:
Since returning to college, I have found my passion (genetics) and have kept a 4.0 adjusted gpa. I am currently taking a directed methods class (2 semesters now) to gain lab experience while in school and am also working as a student assistant an my college (small paycheck) to set up labs for my professor. I will finish my degree with 2 semesters of clinical internship in genetics. Does this commitment to my education in anyway make up for the checkered work history of my past?

Please help!