Resume Builders Tips for Employment History

5 04 2009

If you’re using one the many resume builders available to craft a great resume, you may find yourself running into some trouble because of your employment history.

If you’ve had gaps between jobs for whatever reason, or if you’ve worked a string of jobs that don’t relate to the position you’re applying for, it may seem harder to make your resume as interesting as those of your competitors.

Just as all jobs are not created equal, neither are all resumes, and not every resume’s experience section is going to entice a prospective employer. However, there are some creative things you can do to make your resume more interesting and more competitive.

Here are some common – but eye-catching – statements you can use in your resume, as compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle:

  • I work well with others – Traditionally, this statement gives employers the assurance that you’ll be able to adapt to their work environments and will be able to succeed during the hardest situations. Even if you’ve had a lag in employment, you can turn a negative or lackluster situation into a positive. Instead of degrading or disregarding your latest experience, note the positives that came from it.
  • I learn quickly – Employers want proof that you’ll be able to quickly learn the skills needed for the job. If you’ve worked as a cook in a fast food restaurant, for instance, state what you learned instead of exactly what you did.
  • I made a difference – It’s more important to focus on the impact you’ve had on a company or community than to show off your job titles and duties. For example, it’s more interesting to say that you changed the way people think than to say you filed all of your reports on time.
  • I expanded my network – Employers want to know that you can make use of the resources you have and can use your environment to better your situation. Nearly any life experience can be used to demonstrate this, because you can spin your experience, be it unemployment or hitchhiking across the country, into a life lesson.

“Like panning through the sand for gold, sift through the mud that is at the bottom of your resume to find the valuable nugget in your work history,” the article notes. “The resume spin is not to be used as a distraction or a lie – after all, there’s a great chance your interviewer will want you to go into further detail regarding the duties you’re dancing around on paper.

“But in learning how to deliver the information your potential employer really wants to see,” the article adds, “you may just realize that you learned something during that summer you cut grass in your neighborhood – environmental care!”

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