ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Too Many Jobs On Your Resume?

Updated on January 24, 2010

I see your resume is... WHOA!

Get this the reaction often? Then you've got too many jobs on your resume!
Get this the reaction often? Then you've got too many jobs on your resume!

Think you might have too many jobs on your resume? Does it take two grown men to carry it? Not every past job is a plus on a resume. Here's something to think about...
_____

If you need a two-wheel dolly to transport a single copy of your resume, maybe it's time to reconsider the number of jobs on that document. Baby Boomers especially who have been out in the work force for 30-40 years have likely accumulated a pile of jobs. Government stats tell us that on average, people change jobs about every 3-5 years. That doesn't sound extreme until you do the math on a 50-year-old with resume in hand. All of a sudden, six to ten jobs lined up on a resume becomes an albatross. And you needn't be a Boomer. I've seen kids in their 20's with ten jobs. That's a potential problem – on paper.

Lighten The Load

Understand first that a resume is not a biography. Rather, it's a summary of relevant qualifications for employment. And companies are going to be primarily interested in your most recent 10-15 years, assuming those years are relevant to the position you seek. What to do with those earlier jobs, or jobs that simply aren't relevant to your current goals? Here are three suggestions:

  1. Drop kick ‘em. That's right, boot extraneous jobs plumb off the resume, especially if they were jobs of short duration or they were part-time positions. And especially if their absence does no harm to your qualifications.
  2. Aggregate ‘em. Some jobs cry out to be merged or combined. For example, multiple jobs with the same employer, especially if the duties were relatively similar and those jobs don't show a progression of responsibility (if they do show a progression of responsibility, that is an asset and I would probably leave them alone).
  3. Hide ‘em. OK, don't hide them too well. Here's an example: did any of your jobs take place during school years? If so, consider "hiding" them as bullet points under the "Education" section. You still get the benefit of that work history on your resume, but you reduce the crowding under the "Experience" section and you leave the reader with a more visually-appealing document.

In keeping with that latter trick, setting up two slightly different headings for your work history can gently hide jobs that have worn out their welcome. For example, put the jobs you want to focus on in a section called "Relevant Experience" (or say, "Retail Management Experience," if that is the direction you wish to take your job search). Jobs from the distant past, or those irrelevant to your goals, could be pushed down into a lower section such as "Other Experience" or "Previous Positions." Job information here would be minimal: company names and locations, job titles, dates.

Two Caveats To Keep In Mind When Reducing The Number Of Jobs On A Resume

Go ahead and think out of the box when looking to reduce the number of jobs on your resume, but keep two caveats in the back of your mind.

1) Be honest, and
2) Don't replace a problem with another problem.

Regarding the latter, for example, think twice before drop kicking an irrelevant job if by doing so creates a noticeable gap in employment. A big gap in employment will send up a red flag to prospective employers just as surely as too many jobs.

And you'd think they'd be grateful that it didn't take a wheelbarrow to get your resume in the door.
__________

Thinking about using a professional resume service? "Make sure the writers are certified and they offer a guarantee," says former recruiter David Alan Carter. Carter compares the Web's most popular resume writing services at the website TopResumeServices.com, reviewing quality of workmanship, spelling out pricing, and giving each a star ranking.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      6 years ago

      MY dlilemma is that I am cross-trained. I have always tried to go beyond my responsibilities to learn additional...and in between job (5 co. restructurings /project endings) I have taken contractual / temporary assignments...

      So my problem is that, for example, I have Human Resources experience and Oil & Gas Credit & Collections but it is over 10 years old.. although it is more RELEVANT to what I am looking for...So the more current is Not Relevant... Sales industries, Office Management etc...

      So how does one put the older MORE RELEVANT info. in the Current section without throwing off dates, showing gaps AND Aging oneself.

      If I list the older work experience in ADDED SKILLS-- and the more current in the current- I am not TARGETING the Job....

    • David Alan Carter profile imageAUTHOR

      David Alan Carter 

      8 years ago

      Eileen,

      I'm also an advocate of targeted resumes. In this economy, one "general" resume will only get you so far. Better to adapt and customize that resume to fit the opportunities that present themselves in a job search.

      Thanks for stopping by. --David

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Good advice, I found that the best way to have a resume was by having two. I kept one for like a casual job. And then one for the real job. As if you say you were a secretary you will not get a casual shop assistant job.

      You would be over qualified. Also I left clients ages off of resumes that I did. Once at the interview that was when they told them their age. Just another way of looking at a resume.

    • David Alan Carter profile imageAUTHOR

      David Alan Carter 

      8 years ago

      Ladies,

      A long-delayed "thanks" for your kind comments. Makes a fella smile and keeps him plugging along. --David

    • Army Infantry Mom profile image

      Army Infantry Mom 

      8 years ago

      This is Great advice,..I used to make money on the side for resume writing for people, knowing tips like this is dire, its these tips hat makes one stand out from the crowd and in these days and times, you gotta stand out. High 5 on the hub !!!!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Good advice for job hunters. Am going to forward this to some people that I know who are currently looking for jobs. Thanks!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub with a humorous turn. Thumbs up!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)