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I've finally gotten around to reworking my resume after listening to the infamous cast a few months ago and I have a few questions. Like many, I don't have room to list all of the positions I have held on one page--not and do them justice.

1) Is it better to trim responsibilities and/or accomplishments in order to make room for more jobs? Or is it better to describe all of the key aspects of a job and leave off weaker position listings?

2) If I started for an organization at a low position but gradually got promoted to a higher level, is it alright to just list the high level positions I held or do I need to refer to the whole history?

3) Do I need to be sensitive to gaps in time--e.g. do I need to leave a job in the resume that is less substantive only to explain what happened in that 9 month period?

Thanks for the great work--I recommend this stuff to everyone who will listen!

Scott

Mark's picture

Scott-

Have you peeked at our sample? There's a 20 year career to which we did great justice on one page. What makes your situation different?

1) - see above before you make this decision.

2) Whole history, generally.

3) Generally, gaps are to be avoided.

GENERALLY.

Can you share more of your background?

Mark

scottwozniak's picture

I have looked at the sample resume and it has been very helpful. I don't imagine I have a radically unique situation, but I have had a lot of rapid growth/change in the last 8-9 years in my career: nearly a new position every year or so. Some of that has been within the same organization (e.g. promotions) but it usually has come with substantive changes in responsibilities. This may have something to do with the fact that I've worked mostly with smaller companies so the freedom (or demand) to work with other departments or skill sets has created variety in my resume. Certainly the fact that I have shifted industries during this time has added to that.

To give a brief summary: I began my career in the church world--as a youth pastor, then music minister, then small groups pastor, then associate pastor, teaching pastor...along the way my passion for leadership development led me to shift into church support organizations, then into general leadership development, along with a parallel track in the field of coaching and consulting, coach training, etc. Along the way I have become a Director in various departments and so have a much more typical "business" role.

So I just don't know if I can name all of the various positions I've held listing them separately--not without leaving off substantive responsibilities and/or accomplishments for those jobs.

Some of this, I know, just comes down to rigorous editing. As a journalist once told me, you cut until it hurts and then cut some more. But I was considering leaving off a position from some years ago and just having my job history start listing 8-9 years ago instead of tracking back to the beginning. Or perhaps just skipping the first job I had with an organization and beginning with the first pomotion I held with them.

So, while I am still looking to condense my writing, I thought it would be helpful to know if other options (e.g. omitting some jobs) were viable.

I agree that gaps are to be avoided. I guess I'm asking at what cost--do I leave off a more recent accomplishment at a higher level position (or two) to make room for the entry level job 11 years ago? Or can I make a resume that is industry specific and just leave off the work done in the similar, but clearly distinct field I previously worked in? The previous work demonstrates leadership ability and other valuable skills...

Playing with the pieces of the puzzle,

Scott

Mark's picture

Scott-

I can personally guarantee you that you have too many bullets for some of those jobs. I've seen it too many times.

NO GAPS.

Make it one page...but keep a longer version, maybe even 3 page, from which you can pull the RIGHT accomplishemnts for the RIGHT job - essentially, creating a tailored resume on the fly.

Mark

scottwozniak's picture

Will do. I'll take another hard look at it and do what I can to make it fit. Thanks for the advice. Know that you and Mike are making a difference.

Mark's picture

Our pleasure. Peace be with you sir.

Mark