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I have a long list of companies I worked in. I would like to only mention and describe the ones that are relevant for a specific job. Mentioning all of them, even just the latest, without describing them, would be too messy and not useful.

I would like to know how I could state and describe only an experience I had in 2011 (6 months), in 2014(6 months) and in 2016 ( 6 months) - as they are the most impactful and relevant.

The problem is that there would be huge gaps between them, and I am not sure how to explain that I just provide 3 examples - in a clear and succinct manner.

This is for a job as a business trainer.

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    6 month jobs are hardly meaningful at all, especially with big gaps. – Kilisi Nov 9 '16 at 13:38
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    The fact that you worked in other positions and learned something from working in these positions may have a positive impact on your effectiveness as a business trainer. Right? Can you think about anything you did in those positions that is transferable to the position you are seeking? – Vietnhi Phuvan Nov 9 '16 at 15:20
  • That is totally correct. I will think on each job experience I had in this specific way. – Cedric Nov 9 '16 at 16:00
  • Your resume is for your work history - your cover letter is for explaining how your experience is relevant to the position. Highlight these three positions in the cover letter, not the resume. – Roger Nov 10 '16 at 16:46
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You may shorten the irrelevant jobs to only show up their time and name of position. The reader will get the picture that it is not relevant, but still can ask if interested in details. Maybe s/he will find useful things that you would not think of.

Still, 3x6 months may seem to be considerable time, but carries doubtful value in a CV. You need to present very well, if they were experience heavy!

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    +1 No job is truly irrelevant. Being mainly employed for the last few years demonstrates ability to get and hold jobs, which implies showing up on time, appropriately dressed and equipped for work. – Patricia Shanahan Nov 9 '16 at 14:41
  • Great answer. However, mentioning all of them, even just the latests, without describing them, would be too messy and not useful - so I wish to mention only the jobs that are strictly relevant and whose experiences bring real value to the employer. Is there a way to do that ? – Cedric Nov 9 '16 at 16:03
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    @Cedric Being employed for most of the last few years brings real value to an employer that would be completely missing if you only listed three short jobs in the last 5 years. – Patricia Shanahan Nov 10 '16 at 18:57
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Just listing a few short-term jobs (6 months is comparatively short) leaves large gaps that might cause your application to be rejected outright. If you ever held any job for a significant length of time (more than a year, ideally) you should absolutely include it, even if it doesn't match the job you're applying for.

At the same time, listing a large amount of short-time jobs might make you look unreliable. See How will a history of job-hopping affect my career or job search? and related questions. This means that you'll probably want to leave out any irrelevant jobs that, if taken out, leave small enough gaps to be negligible. Sometimes, listing start and termination time in months (or even years) can cover brief stints of unemployment or irrelevant short-time jobs.

If you've been working in a lot of similar jobs, maybe you can combine the less important ones, e.g.

July 2011 - Aug 2013 Customer Service at [list of companies]

Even if you decide to list only some of your jobs, make sure to also include those that involved skills (e.g. business analysis, teaching, customer relations) that might be be relevant for your new job, even if you worked in a different industry at the time.

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I'm speculating based on your assertion that you've had so many jobs over the last few years that just listing them all by name of employer and time worked would be too messy, but were you working as a contractor/consultant/freelancer over that period instead of traditional jobs?

If so, the solution is that you don't list every customer you did work for, you just list either the company who was handling your contracts for you or yourself as an independent and then only describe a handful of the most relevant projects you worked on underneath.

2010-Present Cederic Freelancing Services

  • Interesting project #1, description...

2013-2015 Rent a Geek

  • Interesting project #3, long description...

2014 Boring Stuff Contracting

  • Provided services to clients. (No further description needed)

2011-2012 Linux Administrators on Demand

  • Interesting project #2, long description....

If the agencies you worked for had names that are sufficiently generic a single opening sentence phase like: "Worked on numerous projects including [transition into the one that's interesting enough to be worth writing up]." May be helpful for clarification, especially if you interleaved work from multiple entities.

PS If I'm completely off base, and you've instead repeatedly started new jobs but quit after a few months because you decided you didn't like your job, that's a completely different question. (Search on this site about job hopping.)

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