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I'm updating my resume to include my first job out of college. What I went to school for, and the job I ended up in, are different enough that previous experience counts for little more than proving that I wasn't a useless lay-about.

How far back in my pre-job experience should I be listing, given that it's not really topical? Is it better to leave it in to show that I have done things before this job, which I've held for three years, or is it too irrelevant to be worth listing?

For reference my degree is in web design and most of my volunteer and entrepreneurial experience is similarly inclined. However, my (first, and only) professional job is DevOps in a bio-clinical sphere, which bears only passing resemblance at best. I have plenty to talk about skill and achievement wise in my job, so filling space isn't much of a problem. It's more about what will look better to an employer.

Without any other experience, my resume will only be my current job and my degree. I do plan to continue in the industry I'm in, not in my degree's industry.

  • So you are seeking a new Dev Ops job? What do you currently list on your resume (that is, what did your resume say without updating this actual job) – DarkCygnus Aug 30 '19 at 19:35
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    @DarkCygnus when I decide to move jobs, yes. (Not actively looking right now, just prepping for the future) – Alex Aug 30 '19 at 19:36
  • Okey, thanks for clarifying, as it is relevant info. Working on an answer – DarkCygnus Aug 30 '19 at 19:36
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    @DarkCygnus My resume right now is just my pre-job stuff. I have an internship at a magazine and a web development side business I ran. – Alex Aug 30 '19 at 19:37
  • When I was selecting candidates to interview, any formal work experience was a plus. – Patricia Shanahan Aug 31 '19 at 7:18
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How far back in my pre-job experience should I be listing, given that it's not really topical? Is it better to leave it in to show that I have done things before this job, which I've held for three years, or is it too irrelevant to be worth listing?

It is recommended that you tailor your resume according to the job you are applying to.

That means that if you are applying for, say a DevOps job, you want to focus and highlight your past experience, knowledge, etc., that is related to the field, and perhaps not include other strongly unrelated experience (say, in this case, a Music Degree).

As you have not so many previous jobs and experience, it is recommended you do mention your Education somewhere in your resume, along with any other skill, course, certification, etc., that could relate or be useful to some degree on a DevOps job.

And about that, seems to me that your Web design background is relevant to the DevOps field, so make sure you mention it (if I were to bet, I'd say that such background was a relevant factor that made you land your current DevOps job).

You also mention in comments an internship at a Magazine, which I would consider also something that could help your application if mentioned.

Without any other experience, my resume will only be my current job and my degree. I do plan to continue in the industry I'm in, not in my degree's industry.

You say you plan to continue on this industry (DevOps), so your current job will be a good thing to include on your resume when you eventually start seeking for new DevOps jobs.

As you already held a job in the same field it's easier for you to land new related jobs.

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Working around computers is, at its core, all the same.

Some of my earliest paid programming was on programmable calculators because they were faster than the PCes which didn't exist at the time. For my first few jobs (very early '80s) I would mention my background in detail. As the '80s wore on I was less explicit. Eventually that work just aged out.

Working around computers is about teaching a chunk of rock to act like it's smart. That applies to web design as well as DevOps. Web design may require something look nice, but it's the logical process of decomposing and recomposing things.

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