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After some years in sales and sales management, I went back to school for computer science and after a couple of years in that program I left it for an software job that I've now been at for almost 5 years. Although I didn't finish the CS degree, I do have a bachelor's from years ago.

Now I'm curious how to proceed with my resume:

  • I can list everything even though only my most recent job/university experience will likely be relevant to prospective employers.
  • I can only list the most recent job/schooling.
  • I can take a middle way by mentioning previous career/degree without spelling everything out in detail.

I ask this question because everything I found while searching was geared towards people looking to make a career change (which I've already done). How should I write this?

  • The industry job is a different field than computer science and sales, correct? – TheRealLester Jul 10 '18 at 16:20
  • @TheRealLester no I'm a software engineer. And I love it, have no intention of changing careers again. I'm just trying to resurrect my personal website after a couple year hiatus and wondering how to write the resume portion. I edited the question to hopefully be clearer. – Jared Smith Jul 10 '18 at 16:23
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    @JaredSmith so why are you updating your CV? You plan to look for another job related to software? – DarkCygnus Jul 10 '18 at 16:27
  • Are you actually linking your resume on your website? This is much different to a resume that you would send to a company. – TheRealLester Jul 10 '18 at 16:29
  • @DarkCygnus looking? Not necessarily. But I've had a couple of friends at start-ups pitch their employers to me and I'd like to at least be able to point to "here's me". Besides, who knows? I got the job I'm in essentially by being available and it finding me :) – Jared Smith Jul 10 '18 at 16:31
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When you are transitioning, it is important to list your previous experience, even if it is not relevant, but you may want to abridge your irrelevant experience in those positions.

To bolster your resume, try to do some charity work in your new chosen profession, as charity work always looks good, and it also gives you additional experience.

It's better to have someone say "Oh, this person is changing careers" than "What has this person been doing"

Additionally, try to make your previous experience more relevant to your chosen field. Emphasize how your experience in sales management translates to problem solving in computer science. Retool your past experience to bring out problems you solved and how your analytical skills, problem solving, and trouble-shooting abilities translate.

I.E.

  • How you used your analytical skills to improve sales
  • How you fixed flagging sales
  • How you stayed on top of trends
  • Managing staff and any logistics.
  • I don't mind adding the relevant stuff from my prior career, but after 5 years in software do I need to pad out my employment history with charity work? I don't have any employment gaps other than the full-time CS studies at university which is pretty easy to explain. – Jared Smith Jul 10 '18 at 16:33
  • @JaredSmith I prefer to cover all bases. You know what is best for you. I'm just presenting you with everything I know to do. I went from being a road sign maker at the road department to becoming a computer programmer, BTW, so I know how to transition. – Richard U Jul 10 '18 at 16:37
  • If I knew what was best for me I wouldn't be asking for advice from strangers on the internet. I will take yours under advisement :) – Jared Smith Jul 10 '18 at 16:40
  • @JaredSmith Fair enough. If you can do charity work, it always looks good and may just up your chances a bit more. I like to use a scatter-shot approach, to do everything I can to up my chances. – Richard U Jul 10 '18 at 16:53
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I don't really see a reason to not put your previous experience in the workplace on your CV. At the very least it will show you are motivated and have experiences which may put you ahead of other potential candidates.

Depending on the company you apply to, they may need somebody with experience of sales. It could lead to faster promotion depending on the product you are building.

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