While email and online resumes have somewhat outdated the one-page limit your guidance counselors once enforced, it's still in your best interests to keep your resume snappy. Recruiters spend all of six seconds scanning a CV before moving it to the yes pile — or the trash. You want to grab their attention and not let go.
One you've been in the workforce for a while, this becomes a challenge. When you have a slew of work experience, how do you edit the wheat from the chaff?
1. Jobs That Don't Apply
When you're looking at your whole body of work experience, be mindful of how your various gigs relate to the job for which you're applying. Even if you were the assistant manager of a profitable Dairy Queen in college, it might not be the most relevant job to share with a hiring manager at a Fortune-500 company 20 years after graduation.
On the other hand, if you're just starting out, you might have a lot of experience doing many different types of work. Summer jobs and the like have kept you busy, but won't necessarily tell a great story about your work skills.
You can prepare different resumes for different job goals.
Maybe you talk about your love of early childhood education for a potential job at a textbook publisher. Or you can use the same resume full of summer waiter jobs to get a job managing a catering team. One employer might not care about the other types of experiences.
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2. The Short(est) Gigs
Some schools of thought say that HR really won't care if you have a gap of a few months between jobs. If you're staying busy with temp gigs, great! But you don't have to include those four weeks behind the reception desk at the local car dealership on your resume. If you're filling more than a short amount of time with steady temp gigs, include them, but do so under one main resume entry that speaks to the skills you used and the industries in which you worked.
3. The Super Old Gigs
If you've been in the workforce for a few decades, you may have a stack of perfectly normal three-to-four year stints taking up a lot of space on your resume. Unless they're spectacular positions, you can trim or cut them altogether. Keep in mind that a recruiter (or an applicant tracking system) is only going to give your resume a cursory glance before deciding your fate. It's the cruel truth of finding a job. Keep things to the point, and you may just find yourself with a new gig in no time.
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