1

I graduated from a university 2 months ago with a BS in Computer Science and I made my resume for an Entry Level position in software developer. I did include other jobs I did in the past(retail). Should I include my retail jobs in my resume or just replace them with my projects I did while I was attending school?

  • 1
    I could not find a direct duplicate of your question, but there are many questions on this site about what to include on a resume. Search for include in resume to get ideas. – user8036 Jul 25 '14 at 19:22
3

It depends.

If the projects you did while attending school were part of the general curriculum and weren't particularly outstanding, I wouldn't list them. Virtually everyone that gets an undergraduate computer science degree builds a compiler, for example. Unless your compiler won particular praise or you did something unexpected for an undergraduate like taking a couple graduate classes in compiler design, I wouldn't bother putting that on your resume. Of course, you'll want to be able to talk about the compiler you built in an interview or in a cover letter if you happen to be applying for a job where that would be particularly relevant. On the other hand, if you were doing freelance software development while you were going to school or you made some interesting open source contributions, by all means include that.

At the same time, I would probably still list your prior employment experience on a resume. Your prior retail experience almost certainly gives you skills that transfer over to the jobs you're after. You demonstrated an ability to show up on time for an extended period of time. You probably learned to work with people you might not have particularly liked. You learned how to deal with a boss that might not always have been particularly concerned about your feelings. You learned how to do work that was less than fun when it needed to be done. Those are all things that future employers value. As time goes on, you'll want to remove those older jobs as you accumulate more software development experience but right out of school, they're very useful.

5
  1. If you want to indicate that you worked your way through uni rather than twiddling your thumbs or partying nonstop after hours, then you include your retail experience.

  2. If you want to indicate that you acquired customer facing experience and that your learned store operations from the bottom up, then you include your retail experience

  3. If you want to convey that you are not afraid to work your way from the bottom up and to take your lumps from the mistakes you make, then you include your retail experience

  4. You always wanted to work in IT. Your retail experience is proof that nobody gets what they want every single time. It should take a lot more than that to discourage you, so proudly include your retail experience :)

  5. You never know - some day, you may be an IT consultant for a retailer, or your high tech consulting outfit has clients in the retail sector. At which point, your experience with retail becomes an asset to your employer

  6. Nothing like working in the retail sector at near slave wages to teach you the value of a dollar, so include the retail experience :)

  7. Your retail experience indicates a level of familiarity with the world of work, including such basics as showing up on time. So include your retail experience.

As your career advances in IT, you may consider glomming your retail experience with various employers into one blob, but you'll cross that bridge when you get to it.

3

Should I include my retail jobs in my resume or just replace them with my projects I did while I was attending school?

If you are right out of school, and have little to no experience in software development, then it would be best to include your prior, non-software, full-time jobs.

That way, you can show you have basic work experience - something that not all new graduates can say.

If you only have part-time positions in your background, you should probably be more selective, as they would add less value.

0

Yes, you should put your other jobs on your resume. If you feel you learned anything distinctive in those jobs, you should mention that.

If these jobs contributed significantly to paying the cost of your education, you should mention that. It shows commitment and diligence.

This is a resume. Its purpose is to get you an interview and help guide the conversation during the interview. Don't mention anything you're not prepared to speak intelligently about. Also, don't say anything that isn't true, duh.

For example,

2011-2014 Stock clerk and cashier at [[retailer]]
          Learned to use [[retailers]] point-of-sale and inventory systems,
            and helped train newer employees.
          Chosen to work the express checkout because of my speed and accuracy
          Given two merit raises during my time.
          Financed 35% of my university education with this pay

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.