If you’re searching for employment, you have probably already discovered one thing about today’s job market: It’s extremely challenging. Professionals from all walks of life are finding it difficult to stand above the crowd.
The best tool for doing so is a well-crafted resume. But what if you have an employment gap? Or have changed jobs frequently in the past?
Fret not! The following tips can help you solve common resume mistakes and tricky situations so you can put together a document that positions you as a strong contender for the job.
1. A Significant Gap in Your Work History
This is a common problem, as numerous professionals throughout the U.S. have found themselves in the job market through no fault of their own. If you are facing this challenge, consider transitioning away from the traditional chronological resume format toward one that is centered on your skills.
Begin with a summary of your work experience at the top of your resume. You want to be brief, but make sure you highlight your most important professional accomplishments and assets.
Secondly, detail your relevant skills for the specific type of position you seek. You may break your skills up into categories such as “Accounting Skills”, “Software Skills,” “Writing Skills,” or whatever is most applicable to your expertise.
Finally, briefly list your work history in reverse chronological order. Don’t go into great detail, but make it clear which company you worked for, when you worked there, and the specific position you held.
2. Many Jobs Over a Short Time Frame
Yes, it’s true, holding several short-term jobs can raise a red flag for hiring managers. Despite this, it is best to list your complete work history unless a past position is irrelevant to your current pursuits — such as that food-service gig you held in college.
Use your cover letter to explain why you’ve moved from position to position. For instance, you may have worked for several start-ups that failed or were quickly offered higher positions with new organizations. Otherwise, be prepared to be asked about your work history during the interview.
3. Only Worked at One Company
Your main goal in this scenario is to reveal your path of growth within the organization. List each position on your resume and make sure you include details about promotions, ongoing education, and key accomplishments in each role. Also remember that staying with one organization for a long period of time shows loyalty; many hiring manager consider this an asset in potential hires.
4. Several Temporary Positions, Only a Couple Full-Time Roles
Solving this resume situation is easy. According to a Robert Half poll, 56 percent of executives consider a long period of consistent temporary as comparable to full-time employment. If you utilized a staffing firm to obtain your positions, list the placement firm as your employer and group all your assignments under that heaidng. If you didn’t use a staffing firm, simply list all your temporary positions in reverse chronological order.
5. Just Graduated from College
Use your resume to highlight part-time work, internships, and volunteer experiences in the past. This can even include writing for your college newspaper or working as a teacher’s aide. The main objective is to showcase what you learned and how your knowledge can benefit your future employer.
Robert Half International is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 400 staffing and consulting locations worldwide. For more information about our professional services, visit . For additional career advice, view our career bloopers video series at www.roberthalf.com/bloopers or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/roberthalf.