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The sample resume here does indeed spell out a 20 year career on one page. My resume has traditionally been two pages long and I'm currently working on making it more concise - paring it down to the coveted single page.

I have been with my current employer for nearly four years, during which time, I've had four positions:
[list][*]Peon[*]Senior Peon[*]Lead Peon[*]Peon in a slightly different (but coveted & esteemed) area[/list:u]It seems like a waste of space trying to individually define the VERY subtle differences between the four positions.

That said, I've also got a (relatively) bad track record. Here's what we're looking at (along with reasons for leaving, which aren't on the resume) and relevance to my chosen/desired field:
[list][*][b]4 yrs [/b](looking now) - related but not hands-on[*][b]1 yr, 4 mos[/b] (HQ relo) - perfect/best job in field ever[*][b]1 yr, 2 mos [/b](got better job) - "consulting"/barely related[*][b]8 mos [/b](out of business) - the job itself[*][b]1 yr [/b](got settled in new area) - "consulting"/barely related[*][b]2 yrs [/b](moved to new state) - only partly related[*][b]3 yrs [/b](self-employed) - not related at all[*][b]1 yr, 5 mos [/b](become an entreprenuer) - impressive & higher job than seeking now[*][b]3 yrs [/b](hostile work environment) - direct to sought job[/list:u]I suppose I could leave the last three off since they're beyond the 10 yr window but they relate to my chosen field whereas three others in between do not.

While I know I would not be a "flight risk" to a new employer given that I'm more self-aware, disciplined and corporate/politics savvy than I was in my younger days, I can certainly understand how prospective employers would get squeamish just looking at these timeframes. That's 9 in 17 yrs and even at that, I did consolidate some of my jobs. (Two bullet points are listed as "Consultant" when I was really being a huge flake and working temp jobs or just accepting jobs I ended up hating. All told, I've probably had more jobs than I have years in the workforce.)

Using the MT guidelines (one entry for each job, even w/in the same org and a complete history), my 9 employers would become 12 "jobs" for a 16 yr period which, honestly, screams FLAKE (doesn't it?!)

This leaves me with: wouldn't I be better with a functional resume which showcases my accomplishments rather than highlighting the spotty record?

Also ... I haven't completed college. My current (two-pager) lists "currently enrolled at ___, anticipating graduation ___" along with my certifications. In the MT format, there's no room for both. Is it acceptable to include my (completed) certifications instead of my (incomplete) education?

Btw, I'm preparing for my third & final interview with a prospective employer on Thursday. It's too late to change my resume for these folks but I will certainly practice my close - thanks to MT!

RichRuh's picture

I've done a lot of hiring in the past few years, and nothing says "trash can" like a functional resume.

When I see that format (very rarely, btw), I immediately assume they have a spotty work history that they are trying to cover up. If I'm interested at all, the first thing I'm going to do on the phone interview is dig into their work history until... well, until I've reconstructed a traditional resume. And, you know, that's a lot of work. I might do it, if it looked really good, but if it's on one of the days when 50 resumes land on my desk, forget it.

A resume with a lot of position and companies raises flags, but, by itself, that's not a showstopper. And 4 years for your last job isn't bad.

Good luck!

XOLegato's picture

Perhaps if you label your work history as "RELEVANT experience" or "RELATED experence" you can get away with cutting out a few of the unimportant filler positions. You could fill in the gaps during the interview, but if you make it clear that the experience is unrelated, the interviewer may ignore it. Taking out unrelated work would decrease the "scare factor" of so many positions on paper, and the extra space would leave room for your education and certifications.

Just a thought.

ashdenver's picture

Rich, you're absolutely right about the functional resume. I have been away from that side of the table for so long that I'd forgotten that piece. Thanks for the reminder.

XO, thanks for the tip on Relevant/Related. I may just try that. (Would it be horrible form to leave off years completely?)

XOLegato's picture

"Would it be horrible form to leave off years completely?"

I don't think so, as long as you make it clear that you are doing it for the purposes of simplification. Again, if they ask you can detail what you were up to. If I'm hiring for an accounting position, I'd rather see just your years with PWC and KPMG, instead of having them buried beneath 15 years of off-broadway credits (as interesting as that would be).

Mark's picture

Ashdenver-

Never NEVER leave out timeframes.

Please send me a private message and I will be able to help more.

Mark