As a resume writer in Vancouver, this is a common question that I get asked, so I thought I’d address it in my blog. As you probably guessed, it’s not always necessary to state every job that you’ve had since the beginning of time! While your resume should set forth a fair and accurate biography of your work history, there are some exceptions. Here are some exceptions that you can apply:
Summer and part-time work.
These are seasonal or part-time jobs that you took during your university and college years to help you pay for tuition. These might include working as a barista at a coffee shop, a server at a restaurant, or a sales clerk at a clothing store. You can leave them out unless you utilized and developed certain skills that are relevant to your future career.
For example, if you are aiming to start a career in sales, your summer job as a sales clerk at the Gap will be important. The job shows that you have learned how to provide customer service, how to handle customer complaints, and how to talk to customers about a company’s products.
Jobs that you’ve worked in before a career change.
Let’s say you worked as an accountant for 10 years before deciding to re-train to become a computer programmer. In that case, I would say that your previous employment record as an accountant wouldn’t be of interest to a future employer, and therefore can be either be deleted or significantly abridged.
As a computer programmer, you may also remove mentions of your accounting education, training and certifications; this won’t be relevant to an employer looking to hire a programmer.
If you’ve recently re-trained as a computer programmer, and you’re out looking for your first job, you won’t have any work history in your resume, other than your previous accounting jobs. In that case, do mention your accounting jobs in your resume, but pare back on the description of your job responsibilities.
Your prospective employer won’t be interested in reading in great detail about what you did as an accountant. But if you’ve ever been promoted, then you’ll definitely want to include that information because it demonstrates your potential to outperform your peers and handle greater responsibility. If you’ve ever hired, managed and trained subordinates, then, again, your employer will want to hear about that.
Jobs that have lasted for a short duration.
This will happen to most people at least once in their career: starting a job, and then later finding out it’s not the right fit. If you’ve left the job during the probationary period, or after a few weeks, I believe it’s fair game to leave that information out. Everyone deserves to make an honest job mistake at least once in their career.
The question I ask myself, in deciding whether certain information can be excluded, is this: “If I was the employer, what would I want to know about this employee in order to make an informed hiring decision?”
Temp jobs unrelated to your primary occupation.
In today’s world of retrenchments and mass staff layoffs in order to shore up the corporate bottom-line, it’s not uncommon to see even the most loyal and dedicated worker out of a job. We all have bills to pay and we sometimes need to take temp jobs at Home Depot or Starbucks until we find our next “real job”.
I believe it’s fair game to omit those jobs since they’re not related to your main occupation, provided that those jobs are temporary (i.e. less than one year). If asked by a prospective employer what you did during that period, you can be honest and say that you held a part-time or temp job while searching for work in your field.
There are probably other situations where, as a professional resume writer, I would say it’s fair to leave out certain job information. The question I ask myself, in deciding whether certain information can be excluded, is this: “If I was the employer, what would I want to know about this employee in order to make an informed hiring decision?”
Obviously, not everything about an employee would be of interest to an employer. As mentioned above, it’s up to an employee to use her discretion, and to give a fair and accurate picture of her work and education history, while keeping her resume on-point, succinct, and relevant.
Do you have a resume that’s out of date?
It can be a daunting task to re-write your resume, trying to record everything that you’ve done during the last 10 or 20 years. As a professional resume writer, I can help you capture that information on paper in a way that underscores your strongest skill sets and talents and would impress a future employer. I can also help you with your LinkedIn profile, since more and more employers use social media to find new talent.
Call me today at 604 838 1222 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how I can make this process much easier.