I have to revamp my resume for a supervisor position I'm applying for, and purchased the resume workbook.  I'm over 40, and have had a lot of jobs in my past due to my career choice and the fact I was a wacko when I was younger.  I went to trade school for automotive technology, and had a very unsuccessful stint as an auto mechanic.  I worked at 4 or 5 different shops.  I don't remember some of the names of the shops and they are long closed.  During that time I'd work 2 jobs, one time I was working 3 different jobs.  All these jobs were counted in months rather than years.  I think I lasted just over a year at a muffler shop, but worked in three different locations.  There was a warehouse job in there somewhere, and a huge reception hall job.  I was a mess.  I was never out of work more than a couple weeks, but I had a lot of jobs.

I got my first real long term job in '98, when I was 22.  That's typically when I start my resume.  I leave off the trade school as well.  Every single job I worked at from 18-22, except one, is out of business, even the tech school is closed.

I looked into getting my complete work history from the Social Security Administration, but that's a lot of money for something I may not need.  Also, if they need to do a credit check, I'll need to unlock my credit.  I had my ID stolen last year and everything's on lockdown.

Any advice would be appreciated!


tabitharizzio's picture


MTs have lots of podcasts and show notes with even resume templates that I think will help.

I think some folks think they need to start at the dawn of time w/their resume, think like MTs says you want to focus on relevant information.

I personally started working when I was 15 (when there existed working papers) but I don't put on my resume the bakery job I started with nor the deli clerk job I did while in college.

I start my resume w/the relevant professional experience I want to focus on, which actually doesn't include my first full time job in a major insurance carrier.

Theoretically if you focus on relevant experience w/the job responsibilities and accountabilities someone will see your vast experience.


Hope that helps

jrb3's picture

I expect someone before mid-twenties to try several things out, if they can.  I'd not look at you funny for not saying anything about the exposures from before that 1998 "first real job".

I'm a decade older than you, and have had many 1-2 year contracts to place on the page.  My base one-pager, presently doing great work at finding me possibilities, reaches back eight positions / 17 years.  My two-pager adds one more (20 years).  The "first real job" had long ago rolled off.  Even if I had the room, the short jobs from elementary school (newspaper route) through college (summer research) have long been supplanted by more mature professional postings.

I give a passing mention in the cover letter for anything relevant from before my "first real job".  For instance, I noted in one cover letter, for a media company position, that I'd learned how to run a camera and a broadcast production booth while in high school.  That's a relevant conversation-starter for that company, but not for any of the others I've looked at recently.