Job hopping from one position to another to another can be a giant red flag to employers and recruiters. If you have a history of several short-term jobs, you need to format your resume differently than the traditional set-up.
First Define Yourself With a Summary
Highlight the collective numbers of years in the industry, if you’re staying in the same field. This will minimize the fact that you haven’t stayed at one place. This is also a good time to include resume keywords that will get you past the applicant tracking system and in front of a person.
Next List Your Skills and Qualifications Related to Industry You’re Interested In
This format is best for both job seekers and hiring managers, since it will show why you think you’d be the best candidate for the position. List 4-6 core competencies that you possess that are important to your success in the jobs outlined above. They should be skills you currently possess and appropriate for the level you’re applying for. Ideally, you should not only have the skills but be able to include some specific example or specific numbers showing that you possess those skills.
Still Include a Brief Summary of Previous Employment
Keep this list at the bottom, and smaller than your section of skills and qualifications. This will keep the focus on what you can do, instead of what you’ve done. Unlike a traditional resume, don’t use a bullet list of jobs. Instead, flesh out the most recent three or four and create a small summary of previous employment section for prior jobs. Make sure to indicate any involuntary hops, such as the company closing or if you were part of a layoff. Don’t include everything – if you only worked somewhere for a few months or less, discussing that in an interview will be awkward. Consider removing positions that were held years ago.
If you were a contractor for a period of time, employed by one company for several different positions, than you can group those together. This strategy is helpful for freelancers or people working in fields that ebb and flow, such as creative fields.
Keep the Length Short
Having multiple jobs can create very long resumes, so make sure to keep an eye on the length. Your resume needs to be 2 pages total. If you have less than 10 years experience: 1 page only.
Intimidated? Don’t be. Plenty of people have changed careers! Consider the experience of Julia Child, arguably the most famous cook who would bring French cuisine to the American public. Julia’s resume before her first book came out would have looked something like this, when she was over fifty years old and newly moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Notice that we’ve combined where she had two jobs under one company and had a gap in employment):
Email: email@example.com Phone number: 1-234-567-8910
Determined chef who recently moves back to the United States who enjoys both teaching cooking and writing.
cooking, teaching cooking, typing, copywriting
RELEVANT WORK HISTORY
L’école des trois gourmandes (The School of the Three Food Lovers),1951-1963
Teacher and founder
LE CORDON BLEU COOKING SCHOOL,Graduated 1951
Studied with master gourmet chefs, including Max Bugnard
*1946 married and moved to Paris in 1948
OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES (Sri Lanka), 1941 – 1945
Top Secret Researcher
Worked directly for the Head of OSS, General William J. Donovan
- posted to Kunming, China, where I received the Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service as head of the Registry of the OSS Secretariat for experimental shark repellent
- Assistant to developers of a shark repellent needed to ensure that sharks would not explode ordinance targeting German U-boats
- Posted to Kandy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where responsibilities included registering, cataloging and channeling a great volume of highly classified communications for the OSS’s clandestine stations in Asia
- typed 10,000 names on white note cards to keep track of officers
Typist, promoted in 1942
W & J SLOANE New York City, NY 1934- 1941
Copywriter in Advertising
Left after war broke out and discovering too tall for the Women’s Army Corps (WAC)
Bachelor’s degree from Smith College Major: History, graduated 1934
(Feel free to look up more of Julia Child’s life here.) Do you read that and picture an author of seven best selling cookbooks, regular columnist, and TV star that changed the way people cooked during the 1960’s? Or do you see someone with a string of different careers who tried a few things? Your own version of success may be your very next application! Good luck!
Don’t forget to avoid these: Resume Mistakes That Could Cost You the Job
And also make sure you get your resume into the hands of the recruiter: How To Get Your Resume Past The ATS
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