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Supacase's avatar

What do you suggest listing for my employment history?

Asked by Supacase (14563points) July 29th, 2011

I am beginning to search for a job after six years as being a stay-at-home mom and am working on updating my resume. I have four years of volunteer work on an Executive level during that period, so I am not too worried about that.

What I am concerned about is a lapse of three years between the last two paying jobs I held prior to staying at home. I worked at one company Feb 2002 – Feb 2005. Before that, I worked at another company Aug 1998 – Aug 1999.

Should I leave off the second company because it was so long ago? (Including it would also raise the question of why I moved across the country for a year and I really had no reason. It was an impulsive and unwise move.) I also have related experience for 2–3 years in the early 90s, but I doubt that is relevant at this point.

The break is because I went back to college and dedicated my time to completing my degree once and for all. I did hold part-time jobs, but nothing relevant to my career aspirations. (Am I require to list those?)

Also, do I need to differentiate between volunteer and paid positions? My intention is not to imply that I was paid when I wasn’t – it is just a formatting question.
Any advice?

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4 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

When I look at resumes, I only really care about the last 10 years unless you have 30 years experience at something. I would probably leave off the Aug 98–99 job and start with Feb 2002. I would really play up your tech skills (pretty much any job requires use of a computer in some way, shape or form).

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree with @Kayak8. Unless the job from the earlier period is very relevant to the jobs you are going for, just leave it off. I have had two very different career paths in my life and so leave my earlier work history off my resume. Nobody has ever even asked about it.

I would differentiate. I think the fact that you have done this voluntary work says something about you as a person. I have quite a bit of very relevant voluntary experience on my resume that adds strength to any job applications I put in. Perhaps just put the information in chronological order but specify which were paid and which were voluntary positions.

wundayatta's avatar

I assume you are going to put your educational history on the resume, too? Unless there are important skills learned in a prior job, I would leave it off. I want to see what your experience is that is relevant to this job. If I see you were getting an education, that’s a plus, since that indicates a good work ethic and knowledge.

You have no need to worry about this. In any case, you will be customizing your resume for each job, right? So wait until the jobs appear to see what you want to include or not.

Ron_C's avatar

I was told that a resume should be tailored to the type of company to which you applying. For instance if you are applying to a high tech company, emphasize your computer skills. If you are applying to an office emphasize your clerical skills. If you are applying for a management position, being a stay at home mom isn’t a draw back. I got excellent marks for leadership. When they asked how I got the guys to work so well, I told them that I treated them like my teenage children. Being a mother is probably about the same thing.

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