You have finally decided to leave your current “dead-end” position and look for a more challenging and enjoyable career.
Where do you start?
Update and polish that resume of course! A key question you should be asking yourself at this juncture is how many jobs you should include on your resume. As a professional, you likely fall into one of two scenarios:
Tenured Professional: If you have been in the workforce for many years and have held several different positions, you may be wondering how many of your past jobs you should list on your resume.
Novice Professional: You may have just earned your college degree and are wondering what hiring managers want to see on your resume.
Most Hiring Managers are looking for a two to three job window, at least. This window should always include your most recent job as Hiring Managers like to know where people are coming from and what they have been doing leading up to the submission of their resume.
In a perfect world, we find that listing at least three jobs on your resume gives it depth and substance. By highlighting your last three positions, you are able to show your career progression, which is a critical message to relay when you are asking to be considered for a new opportunity.
We do understand listing three positions may be more challenging for those who haven’t been in the workforce for long or have held only one or two jobs in their career. If this is your situation, don’t worry! Since honesty is the best policy and creating fictitious jobs to add bulk to your resume will land you right back in the unemployment line, you may have to stray from the norm in order to add quality and showcase your experience and talents on your resume. Volunteer work is something that most people don’t considering adding to their resume, but in reality, listing your volunteer efforts not only says a lot about you personally, but also helps to add depth to your resume, explain your lack of employment, or speak to what you were doing during employment gaps.
Additionally, if you are a recent college grad struggling to add content to your resume, consider listing professional organizations you are or were affiliated with while in school such as business fraternities, participation in student government, etc.
Stay tuned for part 3 of our 5-part article series on Effective Resume Writing where we discuss the rule on listing relevant work in your resume.
Written by Katie Fidler
Investing in a Lifetime of Success,
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