If you’ve spent a few years taking on temporary jobs for a few months or weeks at a time, documenting your recent job history in list form may result in a pretty long list. In a similar fashion, if you’ve held one full-time nine to five job at a time for the last few years, but you’ve worked side jobs along the way, this can present some challenges as you try to put together a simple, self-explanatory resume.
How can you format your past jobs in a way that’s easy for employers to read and understand? And most important, how can you make this information most useful for them…and for your own career? Here are a few tips.
Use clear titles.
Create a title or subheading for each section of your resume that clearly explains the content below. For example, title your section “Temporary positions held in 2019.” Separate this section from another called “Full-time positions.” Titles can tell a story and alleviate confusion before it happens.
No matter what you’ve done in the past or how you’ve worked to pay your bills and advance your career, always prioritize the positions and jobs that best reflect what you’re looking to do next. Place the most relevant and most helpful past roles at the top of the page and/or at the top of each subsection. These are the positions that best reflect what your current target employer is looking for, or what you’re looking for in terms of your next role. Put these jobs at the top, no matter how long you held them. Just be sure to include your employment dates clearly next to your job title.
Don’t be burdened by a long list.
If you’re seeking a marketing role and you’ve held five jobs this past year, you don’t have to list them all. List the ones relevant to your marketing goals. Leave the non-relevant jobs out of the equation. If you worked in manufacturing for a few months and don’t anticipate much interest from employers on that point, don’t dedicate page space to it. There are no rules that say you have to do this. If your
interviewers ask what you were doing during that unexplained period, you can tell them. Meanwhile, devote your resume to highlighting and showing off your marketing experience.
Be careful not to mislead.
If you held one highly relevant job during the past five years of temporary gigs, don’t intentionally lead your employers to believe you held this role longer than you did. Placing dates next to each role will help them greatly, and if you help them, they’re more likely to help you. For more help with your resume and job search process, turn to the experts at PSU.