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Normally on a CV I would list previous jobs in chronological order, for example if working as a widget builder I would list each position like so.

2009-Present Senior Widget Builder at Widget Ltd.
2005-2009 Widget Builder at Widget Inc.
2001-2005 Junior Builder Maker at Widget Co.

However if two jobs had been held at the same time and in the same field, for example working/volunteering at a non-profit/charity organization, how would such a job be listed?

Normally I would not list such a job in the same section as my employment history, however in this case the skills from the second job are directly relevant to my field.

By keeping things in chronological order, the more prestigious position is not the most visible.

2011-Present Widget Builder at Widgets4Kids.
2009-Present Senior Widget Builder at Widget Ltd.
2005-2009 Widget Builder at Widget Inc.
2001-2005 Junior Builder Maker at Widget Co.

However when not doing so the time line does not seem correct.

2009-Present Senior Widget Builder at Widget Ltd.
2011-Present Widget Builder at Widgets4Kids.
2005-2009 Widget Builder at Widget Inc.
2001-2005 Junior Builder Maker at Widget Co.

How should just a job be listed on a CV, if at all?

9

List it under another section called: Volunteer Work, Other Projects, etc. This should remove any concerns that you made a mistake in your CV concerning the dates. HR isn't going to ask about salary, benefits and other questions they may want to know about your full-time employment.

Depending on the type of companies you're applying for, this will help in drawing attention to the fact you volunteer.

An alternative would be to mention this experience next to the appropriate item(s) in a skill section, if this does not over-lap your other work experience.

The only other choice is to drastically change the format of your CV to be more of a functional CV and not chronological.

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4

Reading and evaluating dozens of resumes every day, I would suggest keeping everything in chronological order, and then just including the fact that the work is volunteer. Your goal should be to provide information that is accurate, clear and motivating (i.e., to select you for an interview). If you went with something like:

2011-Present (Part-time Volunteer) Widget Builder at Widgets4Kids.
2009-Present Senior Widget Builder at Widget Ltd.
2005-2009 Widget Builder at Widget Inc.
2001-2005 Junior Builder Maker at Widget Co. 

It is clear enough that

  • a) you did this on the side,
  • b) you took the time to volunteer which always looks good, and
  • c) you can add any additional technical experience you deem appropriate.

I would however make the time commitment clear. The only question that could come up is whether you switched to a part-time status or contract work at Widget Ltd. after you started as a volunteer. A reviewer might not necessarily think that, but better to remove any doubt. The most important thing to avoid is having a hiring manager or HR person be in a situation where they have to "fill in the blanks" on their own because the resume doesn't provide enough detail. People have a tendency to make negative assumptions and look for reasons not to interview.

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1

If both jobs are current, as you show here, I don't think you are violating any sort of chronological order by putting the one you want first. In either case, you have a continuous job history, which is what you want to demonstrate.

If you have to do a little bit of explaining during an interview, that's a good thing. I have a similar overlap and talking about it gives me a chance to elaborate on what I was doing in a manner I choose. Since you know you are going to be asked, prepare a good response in advance.

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My rule on resumes is that the first line of text has to tell the most important story. Therefore, the first position listed should be the one most persuasive to the employer. If that happens to be work you've done five years ago and you've had two jobs since, the five year old role goes to the top.

My normal first line runs something like this:

"Business System Design and Applications Development in C#, SQL Server, Winforms, ..."

The last time I did instrumentation work was in 1997. However, if I was applying for an instrumentation job, the first position would be:

"National Instruments LabView 5.0 for sounding rocket ion and electron sensors..."

You will need to customize your CV for each position you're applying for, ordering the responsibilities from most to least important for the role you wish to fill.

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