1

I have been employed with two employers, and am now looking for a third one. My employment with the first employer was fairly long-term (>5 years) and rather short with the second one (<1 year).

Naturally, I have more achievements to show off from my first employment than with the second. This creates a problem due to the unofficial "requirement" to list employments in reverse chronological order, because it makes my resume look like this:

Initech Corporation (Jan 2014 - present)

Achievements:

  • meh 1
  • meh 2
  • meh 3

Acme Corporation (Jan 2007 - Dec 2013)

Achievements:

  • awesome 1
  • awesome 2
  • awesome 3

On the other hand, not listing it in reverse chronological order creates other problems. Since recruiters have come to expect the reverse chronological order, seeing an end date to my employment with Acme Corporation makes them think that I have been unemployed since Jan 2014. It gets quickly cleared up when they look further down, but by then, the damage has been done.

What is the best way to deal with this?

This somewhat related question (Reverse chronological order - how important is consistency?) doesn't help me much, since I obviously cannot list Initech Corporation under "Other Employments". :)

  • You've had two jobs, order doesn't matter. You'll always have to answer why you're leaving your current job. One out of two short-term jobs isn't a trend. The key will be if you have the relevant experience that the third job requires. – user8365 Nov 24 '14 at 18:02
  • @JeffO I am afraid order does matter. Recruiters typically look at the resume for only about 10 seconds, and if they find it interesting then they look further. Starting off your resume with a bunch of meh points and putting the awesome points later on is less likely to get you an interview call than doing the opposite. – Masked Man Nov 24 '14 at 18:05
  • 1
    @Happy - I think if they see a 5+ year stay followed by a 1-year stay, they're more likely to ask "why the short stay?" than "why less amazing accomplishments?" (In fact, "no amazing accomplishments" can be explained by the short stay.) – Adam V Nov 24 '14 at 18:12
  • @AdamV I think I may not have made my point clear. We get to whether they will ask this or ask that, and how you would explain only if you are called for interview. If the resume doesn't impress them, none of that would materialize. Let's face it, in an ideal world, the recruiter would read every word of your resume to assess your suitability, but in reality things don't work that way. – Masked Man Nov 24 '14 at 18:17
  • @Happy That's why you put a summary section at the top that hits all the high points and achievements you want to stress elsewhere in the resume. – Roger Nov 24 '14 at 18:24
7

I would do this:

Initech Corporation (Jan 2014 - present)

  • best achievement
  • maybe 2

Acme Corporation (Jan 2007 - Dec 2013)

  • awesome 1
  • awesome 2
  • awesome 3
  • awesome 4

That way:

1) You're putting the resume in the expected order.

2) You're including relevant accomplishments from each position.

3) You're not having to include lesser accomplishments just to fill the space.

4) Yes, you've got more accomplishments from your older position, but you were there longer, so that's expected.

1

An alternative is to have an achievements section where you can put the achievements in order of awesomeness (and make it the first section!) and then put just basic deatils of the job duties in a later section where you list employment.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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