I am applying for a teachers aid position, I was told I should by a current teachers aid, I currently am work for a student transport company and transport Special Needs students. I have been working for this company for only a 1 1/2 years however 10 years ago I worked for another Bus company for 8 years again working with special needs children (short bus) as well as working with children with special needs as a volunteer for vacation bible school.

My problem is 10 years ago I left the Bus company to get my BS in Interior Design. The last 10 years I have held various jobs that were basically Sales jobs or administrative potions many of the store were hit hard by the economic crunch and I either closed or down sized their staff and I ended up working for 5 different companies in 10 years the last before my current job.

The owner had a heart attack and I was out of work again so I went back to busing kids again I really enjoy the job (much better then being a sales person). I am now applying for a government job (teacher aid) and need to know if I need to list all the irrelevant jobs I had or can I just jump back 10 years to when I worked with children with disabilities for 8 years?

How would I outline my resume? I will be listing all job history on my application but want to streamline my resume.


I'd imagine for the background check process they would want to know all employment history so they can check you out.

As far as resume though, I would list relevant experiences because 10 years is a long time and would require a LOT of pages of useless things. Remember a resume is to say you are attempting to apply for a particular position and here's what sort of skills you have related to that. I would only list positions where you were a teacher aids or working with children on your resume and list a more comprehensive job listing when you are asked to.


You really only have three options

  • list all the jobs (possibly clumping together jobs to make your resume shorter)
  • leave some off so it looks like you were unemployed
  • lie about when various things happened

If you get caught in a lie (saying your previous bussing job lasted longer to cover some of the time you were in nonbussing jobs) you won't be hired. In some cases when resume lies are discovered after you've been hired, they are firable offenses. So that's out. And where I live, jobs interacting with children have very strict background checks including confirming all dates, so if you lie you will be caught in it.

Having a gap where you didn't work at all is surely worse than having a gap where you worked at something that's not relevant to this job.

List them. If need be, you could say 2003-2013 Various Firms, sales and admin jobs with duties such as x, y, and z. But list them.

In your cover letter, say what you said here - you went back to school and studied Interior Design, but ended up going back to what you really love doing. This is a great explanation for why you are applying for this specific position.

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