As a longtime fan and forums lurker, I'm finally posting and hoping for some feedback on a couple of questions. I'm updating my resume and have a couple of questions -

1- I believe the guidance is to list all jobs since you finished school on your resume. I took a break from school as a young adult, worked full time, then went back to school in my mid 20s while working full time and changed industries to my current line of work. Do I include the office jobs I had while "on break", or is this just a waste of real estate? They in no way relate to my current line of work.

2-I have promoted several times at my current company, most recently performing my new duties for a year before the formal promotion. What are duties for me now, I view as accomplishments in my old title - should I bullet these out as accomplishments on my resume?

Guidance is very much appreciated!

robin_s's picture
Training Badge

I also finished school later in life and had a couple jobs prior, although my main job prior to this career was raising my children.  I don't list those jobs now because they in no way relate to what I do.  I think they were on my first resume, but once I got into the industry I went to school for I didn't list them any more.

maestro's picture

As someone who does a lot of interviewing in my current role, I think the answer is probably somewhere in the middle.  Couple of rules of thumb...

  • Your resume should not create suspicion about employment gaps.  When I see a resume with large gaps unaccounted for, I can't help but wonder why-- what is the person trying to hide. 
  • On the other hand, if you had several jobs prior to the one you have now, it could also be detrimental to list them all on a resume.
  • I would suggest listing your college information in the Education section, of course list your current employer and all your accomplishments (including separate entries for different job titles within your current organization), then list the one or two most important/key jobs from earlier that you feel could best demonstrate skills you have learned that could help you in the role you are applying for. 
  • Be honest and candid, but without all the gory details.  If you didn't finish school until later in your 20's, it's OK to say that.  You could also state that you held a couple of different jobs prior to your current one, but you didn't feel they were relavent to list as they were positions you held during your school years.  List accomplishments and skills learned, not a list of responsibilities.  Employers want to know what you did, not what you were supposed to do.
  • If you are in your late 20's, you should feel no need to go back more than 5-7 years or so.  Most employers expect college students to have held multiple jobs, just be clear with the ones you do list, and do not leave gaps.

Hope this helps. BTW, there are a couple of great podcasts on building resumes in MT/CT.  You should listen to them.


Maestro -