Do my past diverse roles matter on my CV?

Jack of all trades

The average advertised vacancies recently reached a 19-month high in June 2017, the highest number recorded since October 2015. Jobs do exist, but there’s plenty of competition too – are you equipped to fill these vacancies? How is your CV looking? Do you know what to include and what not to include?

Those job hunters who have a diverse career history are faced with a particularly tough challenge. Can all your accolades go into your CV? Will it be deemed too much info or unnecessary?

If you try to fill up your CV with every information from your college, professional experience and more, you will end up with a voluminous CV with a lot of unnecessary details. After all, hiring managers do not have all the time in this world to peruse through all the details you have included. They are only interested in people with relevant skills. Then, it is incumbent upon you to join all the dots and prove to them you are the best candidate for the job.

So, how do you present your CV if you have held several different jobs, changed careers, or you are resuming to a sector you had previously worked in? Well, this can be quite tricky compared to someone who is applying for a similar role. Nonetheless, it is upon you to persuade to the hiring manager that you are qualified for the position. To do this, you can tailor your CV by applying the following:

Modify your CV to suit the role

Your CV should not be a repository of every task you have ever done. It is only meant to position you for the advertised role. So, what is important in your CV for the advertised position? Determine it and delete any details that are irrelevant.

Refocus your work history and make it relevant and appropriate. If, for example, you have previously worked as an administrator with some financial responsibilities, and you intend to move into finance, then include “admin with responsibilities in finance” in the experience section. Moreover, ensure that you have highlighted your finance work and any related achievements over the administrative duties you performed.

Emphasise on the broader aspects of your career history

What have you reliably done during your career history? Focus on that. Don’t be so engrossed on job titles. Instead, let those aspects of your career history that you have excelled in come out in the resume. If you have excelled in leading teams, promoting brands, or increasing customer satisfaction, then that is what needs to be disclosed. These details can be used to build your brand.

Look at those roles within your career in which you have excelled or made a substantial impact. These aspects can help you to clarify your brand. They ensure that your career strengths are vividly differentiated and prove that you can bring value to the organisation. You could include a short branding statement in your CV to communicate your brand and appeal to the employer.

Do not forget to include skills such as leadership, organisation and communication which are useful in whatever roles. If you have a sketchy experience portfolio, these skills can be highlighted.

Rearrange your work history

Instead of sticking to the normative reverse chronological approach of listing your experience from the recent to the oldest, one option is to group your experience under different headings. For instance, you can decide to group it by functions or by industry depending on what you consider to be your most formidable selling point. This is a great way to tackle a diverse set of experience.

The bottom line

It is clear that most employers do not base a lot of emphasis on the specific responsibilities of your previous unrelated job roles/positions unless you are seeking an entry-level job. So, to save yourself and the employer time, focus on listing only the responsibilities that are relevant to the position you are applying for, and strive to tell the HR Manager what you accomplished in your role.

Happy job hunting!

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