Gone are the days where you signed on for a job with a major corporation and then spent the next 40 years loyally toiling away before retiring with a gold watch and nice pension. Today, the average person will hold 5 and 15 jobs in his lifetime, maybe even more! Many factors contribute to this more transient nature of employment, from women entering and then leaving the workplace multiple times for family obligations to corporate policies that don’t value lifelong employment to the accepted norm of jumping from place to place and switching careers at will. However, with a trail of past jobs, many jobseekers worry that listing every position held might make them look flighty, unstable or incompetent.
One way to manage a good deal of jobs held is to limit your resume to one or two pages. Unless you are right out of school or the experience is still very relevant, it is safe to say that non-career related jobs held in high school and college can be eliminated – no one really cares if you how well you delivered pizza! A person with an excessive work history, very far along in his career (perhaps 20 years or more), and freelancers may still find that they have a too-long list of jobs to report. Some experts say it is best to limit your resume to the last five jobs that you have held. This may work for some, but not for others. For example, what is your most impressive, most productive job occurred 6 jobs ago yet you still gained a great deal of professional experience from it?
Perhaps the best way to organize a resume if you fall into one of these three categories (excessive job holders, mid-to-late stage job seekers and freelancers) is to create a functional, skill-based resume rather than a chronologically-ordered resume. The functional resume format gives you the opportunity to separate your various skills into groups under which you may list achievements from any of your past jobs. For example, one section might be called “Presentation Skills” and could list highlights with measurable objectives from each of the relevant positions. Additionally, in the executive summary at the beginning your resume, note the total number of years you have spent working and acquiring specific skills.
They say quality is better than quantity, and this is also true for creating your resume. If your resume looks littered with past jobs, creating a functional resume will help you keep the recruiter’s attention on your strengths rather than the number of jobs you’ve held. Keep the job resume brief, to-the-point and polished to perfection, this will help sell yourself as the best candidate for the new job at hand.
By Todd Denning at the Resume Locker, your career home page. Create, improve, and store your reusme online. Free recruiter blast to thousands of recruiters and free resume upload to over 10 leading job boards at Resume Locker http://www.resumelocker.com