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My work experience is structured as follows:

  • 2013-2014 Junior Business Manager, ABC Company (large)
  • 2012-2013 Business Associate, ABC Company
  • 2012-2012 Internship, DEF Company (major Fortune 500)
  • 2006-2009 Business Manager, XYZ Company (small)
  • 2004-2006 Business Assistant, KLM Organization (medium)
  • 2002-2004 Business Freelancer

* Let's imagine "Business" could mean any business unit, Marketing, Sales, Finance, IT... and my experience was always in the same or similar unit (e.g. Marketing and Sales).

I am applying for management-level job interviews as prior to university that was the role I held (from 2006-2009). However, I am finding it difficult to be called back for management-level positions, potentially because my most recent work experience includes an internship done right after university.

As someone who has had education and internships after my management-role, how should I structure my resume to emphasize my management skills and pre-university experience when applying to management-level positions?

  • 3
    Is your experience in the same industry, or did you go to school & do an internship in a different field/industry? – jcmeloni May 14 '14 at 20:50
  • Hey Darkwing, and welcome to The Workplace! I think you have the core of a great question here, but as phrased may be a bit in conflict with the guidelines in our help center. I'm going to make a pretty significant edit to your post which I think will get you better answers to solve your problem. If you think my edit was totally off or won't be helpful, please feel free to edit yourself and fix whatever mistakes you feel I've made. Thanks in advance! – jmac May 15 '14 at 0:40
  • Did you learn something new from your internship? In what ways if any did your internship expand your range of competence and ability as a manager? What new perspectives did you gain from having gone through your internship? Sometimes, experienced managers go through internships to learn new fundamentals and to look at things differently from the bottom up - What new fundamentals did you pick up? – Vietnhi Phuvan May 15 '14 at 1:17
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This makes me wonder whether the fact that I studied and did an internship (non-management role) makes recruiters think that I am not management material, or that my "true" experience is only what I gained after university.

I pretty much agree with this. But the thing is this all depends on age, when you were a manager & what field you were in.

And more glaringly, you claim so many management positions—assuming you are jumping from place to place—and then have an internship happen after that signals to me that while your title might have been “manager” that title was pretty much in name only.

This is not saying your experience is not important. I think it is. But if someone with the basic qualifications you outline were to apply for a job I had a role in reviewing, but first instance would be to ask, “Well, if this person claims to be a ‘manager’ at so many places, why are they cold applying for our gig? Wouldn’t the fact they have a degree now open up more opportunities at old companies?”

You see the thing is, employers are happy to re-hire a person who worked with them 10 years ago if they worked out well. Especially if they held a position prior to formal training. It saves them time & money on recruiting. And since you know their business you can pretty much hit the ground running.

But seeing a list of positions as you presented which ends with an internship makes me just think, “Who is this person? Why would I take a risk on them.”

Meaning the internship is only icing on the cake of jumping from company to company. It’s all a big red flag that you need to address right off the bat when applying for a position or even going on an interview.

  • Hey Jake, sorry to do this to you, but I've made a significant edit to the original question that may make your answer not fit as well as when you originally posted it. Just a heads up so that you can edit your answer given the change to the question. Thanks in advance! – jmac May 15 '14 at 0:45
  • @jmac Thanks for the heads up, but answer stays the same. – JakeGould May 15 '14 at 0:49
  • All good, just wanted to make sure I gave you a heads up so that you didn't get blindsided later if you read the question. Thanks for participating with The Workplace! Hope you stick around and keep contributing. – jmac May 15 '14 at 0:53

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