I have a CV including the topics (among others) 'Academia' and 'Work Experience', which is a standard approach. This order makes perfect sense, if you finish school/university and start on your first job afterwards.

But due to military training, a job between two university programs and other jobs during these programs, there are gaps and redundancies in the timelines in both topics. Is it a valid approach to merge those topics 'Academia' and 'Work Experience' to - lets say 'Career' - and have one straight timeline, including both, academic and on-the-job experience?

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    Which is the way its agreed to be, is it not? Is there a reason for you to ask this? – Raoul Mensink May 9 '16 at 12:50
  • The standard approach in all the CVs, I saw is having two different topics for academia and work experience. But by just looking at one of the topics at a time, there are gaps, looking like I did nothing in the meantime. After reading the whole CV carefully, it becomes clear that there are none but it is a first impression, I want to avoid. (And of course, I think it is annoying to look for a timeline at two different places in the CV) – nous.calc May 9 '16 at 12:56
  • Well a recruiter is probeply more likely to be triggered to go okay he did something else. as long as your Format is not jumping from one spot to the other it should be fine. I mean if you got a gap which is not filled in either sections look at what you did and fill it in. – Raoul Mensink May 9 '16 at 13:13
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    Possible duplicate of When should I use a functional CV/resume? – gnat Aug 27 '17 at 21:03

Although you're afraid of there appearing to be gaps in your experience I personally think that it might be more annoying (and thus dangerous for you) for someone reading your resume if you mix education and experience.

Most employers don't actually care too much about your education other than you've completed it. Once they've established that they don't really want to keep reading about it. It's important that this information is easily located and processed:


Amazing University (2002 - 2008)
Completed a bachelor's degree in X with a 3.5 GPA. My education experience is fragmented due to military service and full-time employment.

Done. If the employer requires more information they'll ask you about it in person.

Next, not a full list of your employment, but rather a list of relevant experience:

Relevant Experience

Great Company Inc. - Gadget Maker (2004 - 2005)
-This is my amazing experience here.
Another Company - Another Position (Part-Time) (2007 - 2008)
-This is my amazing experience here.

As long as the recruiter/HR employee are reading all the key terms they're interested in nothing else matters. Worst case scenario - aka if you're looking like a good fit for the position, but they have some questions about your employment timeline - they will call you and clarify anything they don't understand.

Depending on your area of expertise creating a strong LinkedIn profile may help you more easily find a job.

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  • If they ask about the gap you can point them to the education section... Though they will probably be clueful enough to think of that for themselves. – keshlam May 9 '16 at 13:17
  • (I gave up on LinkedIn when it started asking folks to provide reviews/references for skills I never claimed to have, and when I started getting positive responses to those because folks trusted me not to have listed them if I wasn't decent. That "helpful" behavior makes everything on LinkedIn suspect; as far as I'm concerned, they poisoned the well and are off my radar.) – keshlam May 9 '16 at 13:21
  • @keshlam - to each their own. I absolutely adore LinkedIn. I get contacted by recruiters at least biweekly, and I find it a great way to keep track of what the market is interested in, and where the better paying jobs are located. Basically, I don't have to do any work. All this information comes to me. – AndreiROM May 9 '16 at 13:22
  • I'd like to like them. I just don't trust them worth a damn, and don't want to have to fight to explain that what they claim on my behalf isn't what I wrote. – keshlam May 9 '16 at 14:03

Don't change up the order of your resume. It's standard for a good reason and you'll look like you're trying to hide something if you deviate from it.

A chronological work history comes first. Your bachelor or master degrees go after that. People with long work histories can drop the academic section but in most cases it's standard to still include it and leaving it out can do more harm than good (though both are very unlikely).

If you're worried that your resume will show too many gaps and interviewers might not take the time to check the full timeline, then you should consider dropping a mention of your past experience in your cover letter, provided you can give it a positive spin.

If you're a recent graduate however, this really isn't an issue. Hiring manager expect to see very sporadic and temporary jobs on your resume: most students have internships or short-term jobs over the summer or do short-term part-time work between years/trimesters/courses.

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