I posted this in the show area before I discovered the forum. I would certainly appreciate any input. :oops:

My question about my stinky resume is regarding the fact that I have held technical positions and have been promoted several times with very little change in the actual job description. (e.g. Associate Technician, Tech. I, Tech.II, Sr. Tech.). The official job description reads "in addition to the responsibilities of the former title, new responsibility"

How should those promotions be listed? I have found that most people in my position only post the most recent title but that seems dishonest to me. I also don’t want to waste space regurgitating the same info on each line. Should I write it as the job description lists it?



jhack's picture

I assume from the title of your post that you've listened to the podcast.

You have a few choices here.

1. List each separately. This would work if you're still early in your career and filling up one page with accomplishments, along with your four positions, would work fine.
2. Did any of the promotions result in your becoming responsible for managing people, or more than the previous role? Those could be broken out separately.
3. For technical positions that went from Technician to Senior Technician (or whatever) reflecting a greater level of individual contribution, you could meld them. In the reponsibility section, mention that you had a series of increasing responsibilities, and let the accomplishments tell your story.

Accomplishments should be the cornerstone of your resume. As a hiring manager, when I see accomplishments, they jump out and trump everything else.


juliahhavener's picture

Somewhere on this forum there is another question just like this.

I think John has done a good job of summarizing it.

You can either have those promotions be bullet points or line items, depending on the content of your resume.

bflynn's picture

If the titles imply a growing confidence in you, list out the titles that show this. My memory is weak, but I think the "Resume Stinks" podcast tells you how to do it - basically, make the title a subheader under the company

Company, date-date
Master title name, date-date
- bullet
- bullet
- bullet
Senior title name, date-date
- bullet
- bullet
- bullet
Junior title name, date-date
- bullet
- bullet
- bullet

For the description, you should find that your tasks accomplished during the time frames fall into different categories and correspond to increasing levels of responsibility. If they don't then you've only had a title change and you haven't changed roles. If only the name changed, then use the last title, no dishonesty involved.


ramiska's picture

Thanks for the opinions. I am building my resume the MT way now.

I am taking a hybridized (is that a word?) approach and I am breaking the Senior level away from the rest as there is the leadership responsibility. The others will stay in a bulleted format under a single heading. That should work.

juliahhavener's picture

I think that sounds good! My best advice would be to be very critical of your bullet points. It may sound redundant, but that is where the biggest bang for your resume buck will come from.

Results, results, results!

Mark's picture

I think some of this advice may be a little off base.

[b]Each of those job title changes are promotions, indicate separate jobs, and must be listed separately. MUST. PERIOD.[/b]

Don't rely exclusively on your job descriptions for the responsibilities paragraphs. Do your best to describe the increased scope, scale, or impact of your work and resonsibilities.

For technical resumes, we've GOT to see advancement. Otherwise, you're a difficult (and perhaps smart) geek. Not a good place.

Email me your resume if you need more guidance.


ramiska's picture

I cannot thank you enough, Mark. The podcast alone is a fantastic resource. Add in the forum and now [i]personal[/i] service. You have a definite follower and evangelist. I just can't wait to put the new resume to use and get that promotion to management. I'll PM it to you right away.


ramiska's picture

Thanks to you, Mark for taking the time to read through my resume. I see where I have a bit more thinking and tweaking to do.

To your points about listing more accomplishments, especially in the earlier jobs in my career I am having the most trouble. I was always good at what I did but early on I mostly did my job and did it well. That's not much of an accomplishment. I have a couple ideas of improvements I may have spear-headed but they would be seen as having little value now. It's like saying that I was the first kid in the playground to use a catcher's mitt when attempting to join MLB. (I admit it's not the best analogy but it's late.) They are just things that are taken for granted in the big leagues.

I will try to make my accomplishments more measurable. I have a hard time coming up with metrics for what I do. I'd never really given that much thought until recently. I don't spend the dollars so I don't immediately see the savings potential.

I'm not looking for work right now so if it wasn't for Manager-Tools, I would not likely be looking at my resume. The biggest lesson learned here: REVIEW YOUR RESUME REGULARLY. Remembering accomplishments from long ago is tough.

vxl119's picture

Would something like this work as a job description?

Took on global design tasks and coached/mentored less experienced staff in addition to previous responsibilities.

Mark's picture


I think I'd have to have more context, but at this point my answer is: barely.


vxl119's picture


I work at a semiconductor company, where I held 4 titles over the past 5 years. My work has been mostly the same, with slight increases in scope.

I'm glad I ran across this discussion. Previously, I had all my accomplishments lumped under the latest title, and I wasn't getting much response from the job market.

Here's what I currently have for job descriptions:

[b]MTS Design Engineer/Section Manager[/b] - Involved in all aspects of back-end microprocessor design, taking on complex non-recurring projects and frequent leadership tasks in addition to previous responsibilities.

[b]Principal Design Engineer[/b] - Perform chip-level design tasks and coach/mentor less experienced staff in addition to previous responsibilities.

[b]Senior Design Engineer[/b] - Work on a larger portion of design and initiate relationships outside department in addition to previous responsibilities.

[b]Design Engineer 2[/b] - Perform gate level circuit design and analysis for high-performance low-power microprocessors. Responsible for circuit implementation of RTL and for providing feedback to the architecture team regarding design’s physical constraints. Specific duties involve schematic entry; logic design/reduction; static timing analysis; placement and floorplanning; routing and route edits; logic verification; power optimizations; and electrical verification -- signal coupling (noise), hold, electromigration, IR analysis, and local heating.

Do these look reasonable? I'm worried that I'm repeating the phrase "in addition to previous responsibilities" too much, which could make the resume confusing.

ramiska's picture


Mark and I discussed this off-line regarding my resume that started this thread. I pulled the "... in addition to ..." from my official job description and kept it in my resume. He warned against directing the reader to another place in my resume and suggested stating all the responsibilities on each title.

On a side note, it doesn't work too well as an official job description, either. Often, the company posts openings by the job description. If a level 2 job is posted, the original responsibilities don't show up. It leaves the job posting very vague and is not very attractive to potential candidates.


yahtzee's picture

In an effort to keep my resume to one page do I reduce the font (it is at 10) or combine experiences (from technical consultant to sales manager - promotion)?

juliahhavener's picture

I would leave the font at 10 - 9 gets a bit small for comfort for some folks. Make sure your margins are out, as well.

If that doesn't leave enough room, you may need to cull some of your bullet points out for this specific job. My current resume is 1 1/2 pages. From that main resume, I will review my resume with an eye to removing bullet points that aren't as powerful for the job I'm apply for. For instance, if I were applying for a sales position, I would seek all the bullets that itemize items related to sales or that demonstrate sales to keep. The others I would remove in order of least-relevance.

pmoriarty's picture

Speaking as one who now needs reading glasses, I wouldn't go below 10 point. Push all your margins as far as you can go. Mark has specifics in the "Your Resume Stinks" cast that I used.

Best of luck with your search!

kimberlygehl's picture

In reading this post for one job, I realized my resume needed a complete overhaul. I think it now does a way better job of showing my advancements and accomplishments over the course of the past 5 years.