I've studied A for Bachelors and A_1 for Masters. Then I've had 1.5 years of experience in company related to A_1 . Then I've attempted a career pivot by doing a Masters (1 year) in A_2 and now I'm a few months into a PhD in the same field (it was a natural continuation of the Masters, without any additional applications and such). I want to drop out and return to my initial field of A_1.

In this case, my Education section is relevant to the job I'm applying for, but not the immediate degrees listed (the A_2). On the other hand, my relevant professional experience doesn't start with my current activity, which potentially makes the CV look confusing? Is it problematic if the course of the CV does not follow the chronology of my life development?

I'm probably overthinking this, but also the job I'm applying for is via an agency which takes the CV only so I have no chance to explain myself in a cover letter as I usually do.


2 Answers 2


The first thing to list are the things most relevant to the job you are applying for, for instance, skills that you have from Work-A_1/Study-A_1 that make you right for the job. You could call the section 'Technical Expertise' or something. Basically the relevant facts pertaining to your suitability for the post, right off the bat.

Then list the periods of study/work in reverse chronological order. A brief description in each would be useful too (job duties / subjects studied - again relevance to the post you are applying for is vital)

If they have 'must have' and 'nice to have' criteria, I would also recommend writing a personal statement that explains your experience and how it shows that you meet those criteria.


I agree with Smock -- put the relevant information at the top, even if it's from a few different "sections" of a classical resume.

I have teaching and technology experience, and if I'm applying for a teaching job, clearly the teaching parts are up top, and also education that was related ("relevant courses" listed, even with incomplete degrees). Below that I have other professional experience. But if I'm going for an instructional-design job that will care more about software skills, then before ANY other elements, I list my skills summary - lists of software & standards that I've worked with, so that they can quickly scan and see that I have worked with some screen-capture, a few LMSes, etc. If I had relevant certs, I'd put them there too. Then my jobs in chronological order, education last.

An important feature is to consider editing the ORDER of information within your bullet points -- always assume only 3-4 may be read, so the top ones in each job should indicate whatever is most relevant or most impressive. If part of a job from 2 years ago had you do a lot of XYZ, and you hope that you'll barely do any more XYZ, then there's no need to indicate it. (If you want to include it because you don't have a lot of content/experience yet, then place that as a bottom bullet that you can edit out later.)

If there's a job description, always match terminology as much as possible. Normally that would be a job of the cover letter, but since you don't have that choice, then you may need to really customize this CV more than usual to match what they want.

I hope this helps!

(Source - I used to teach Technical Writing at a local university, and I had a big section on writing resumes etc.)

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