11

I've been out of college and employed as a software engineer for about three years now, and in addition I've been doing a decent amount of freelance work at the same time. Now that I've started looking around at other positions, I'm wondering if I should reduce or entirely remove some of the internships and part-time jobs that I had in college in order to not distract from my more recent and relevant professional experience.

In my specific case, I have a few assistantships and internships that while I think they provide more depth and show the breadth of my experience, are just going to be far less important to potential employers.

So, what's the general rule on listing college work experience on a resume after 3-5 years of professional experience?

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  • In my experience you should only go into detail about positions you held in the last 5-10 years depending how long you had each position. Your college works, college jobs unless they were the company your applying to, offer very little insight to you as an employee. The space on the resume is better left to your contract work. – Donald Jul 31 '12 at 13:05
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Obviously internships and part time jobs wont count as much as full time positions and your CV should reflect that. If you have space by all means include them, a few will be good. However make sure the space that you devote is proportional to how significant they are. The last thing you want is for your ASDA summer job to take space away from your full time job at NASA :).

  • I agree here. I have accomplishments I have done in sports as a small section on mine that have had a huge positive in my first job as well as moving up and landing my second job. They like to see initiative, drive, and determination. If they show it, then add them. Proportionally of course. – Adam Jul 24 '12 at 22:15
  • +1 great answer. I just have the title of the job. However, if the work that you did in those summer jobs or internships is significant to you or to your job application, give it more emphasis and more detail description. – tehnyit Jul 25 '12 at 7:54
  • Thanks for the answer. I've decided to just cut those college jobs down to just a short two line description. Leaves plenty of space for more relevant stuff. – Chaser324 Jul 28 '12 at 0:32
5

The "general rule on listing college work experience on a resume after 3-5 years of professional experience" is "it depends".

The overall rule is that your resume includes everything that showcases your skills and experience but that also remains within the generally accepted and desired 1-2 page range.

As a hiring manager, if you held only that one position for those 3 to 5 years after college, I would still prefer to see those part-time jobs from college, because you're early enough in your career that I'm still using your resume to get a full picture of who you are and how you've grown as an employee, and if that starts early, I'm interested. However, if you've been there 5 to 7 years, I care considerably less about that, because who you are as an employee is clear: someone who stays in one place for some time.

If you held multiple jobs over those 3 to 5 years, then I want to see all of those listed as well -- same reasoning (I want to see how you've grown as an employee) but with more attention paid to the types of jobs you've hopped around to, to try to figure out why (bored, bad fit, moved to a new area, etc).

Now, in either of those situations, if the work you did in college was dramatically different (e.g. pizza delivery versus computer programming), then I would clearly classify those as "Miscellaneous" or something like that, and list them just for completeness (and in truth, many companies will ask you to complete a job application listing all your jobs for the last 10+ years, so you might very well have to do it anyway).

For example, you might have:

Some Job Title, Some Company, Some Location, 2009-2012

  • Description and list of skills used.

Past Positions Held

  • Pizza Delivery (part-time), Some Company College Town, 2009
  • Video Store Clerk (part-time), Some Company College Town, 2008

But, if the part-time stuff was relevant, I would be totally happy to see this no matter the space it takes:

Some Important Job Title, Some Company, Some Location, 2009-2012

  • Description and list of skills used.

Some Job Title (part-time), Some Company, Some Location, 2009

  • Description and list of skills used.

Some Job Title (part-time), Some Company, Some Location, 2008

  • Description and list of skills used.

...until I see this:

Some Really Important Job Title, Some Company, Some Location, 2016-2020

  • Description and list of skills used.

Some Moderately More Important Job Title, Some Company, Some Location, 2012-2016

  • Description and list of skills used.

Some Important Job Title, Some Company, Some Location, 2009-2012

  • Description and list of skills used.

Probably somewhere in 2013 or 2014 the imaginary person in this example could knock the college off the list, and certainly by the completion of that second position listed.

Again, the goal is to give the best (and most accurate) picture of you that you can give, in the space you have to give it. That may include 9 entries for 9 years (5 years plus college), 2 entries for nine years, or anywhere in between.

2

Leave them as is, if you find that assistantships and internships to be very challenging project that you have accomplished. This is your accomplishments !

Another option would be writing these experience in detail as an independent project(s) that you have completed !

2

One solution I've used in the past was to summarize all part-time jobs as a single entry at the bottom of the list. This de-emphasizes them, but you can still refer to them if the hiring manager is interested. E.g.

  1. Project Z, company B
    • Skills needed, responsibilities held, etc
  2. Project Y, company B
    • Skills needed, responsibilities held, etc
  3. Project X, company A
    • Skills needed, responsibilities held, etc
  4. Part-time jobs while in college
    • Company C, "jobtitle", three word summary
    • Company D, internship, three word summary
    • Company E, "jobtitle", three word summary
0

I'd keep all the relevant jobs. If you worked as a pizza delivery, a tech support and a webmaster during college, mention about pizza delivery, describe the tech support in a one or two lines and write more about webmaster stuff.

I had the same problem with my education. I finished two universities. I was studying computer science in one and management in the other. When I applied for an IT job I focused on the computer science studies and only mentioned the other faculty.

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