Include Irrelevant Jobs on Resume?


Kevin writes:
I am a career HR manager (generalist benefits etc.) recently laid off by The Home Depot.
I spent many years at the local telephone company and left after 23 years (in 2009). After working at my hobby for a year I worked to get back into HR in 2010.
I worked at a courier company from August of 2011 until the offer from The Home Depot in December of 2011.
While at the courier company I was a driver and finally its HR manager. During this time I left the courier company twice once to work a graveyard shift for the local grocer as a supervisor and later to work at a competitor courier company thinking I might make more money (while I tried to get back into HR somewhere). The original courier company contacted me (after about six weeks) and hired me as HR manager
Should I reflect those other jobs in my resume (e.g. grocer and competitive courier job)? They don’t have anything to do with my HR career; I was just scrambling at the time to get to HR and make some more money.
Somewhere in my brain I am very concerned with reflecting the truth of the total minutiae of my employment but don’t really see it as relevant to my current search. Then I think about stories I’ve heard where a new employer may look down (or terminate) you for not disclosing all.
I don’t want to miss a chance at employment but I’m wanting to do the right thing.
Your advice?


The Career Doctor responds:
A few years ago I would have given an unqualified “no don’t include them” but that was before the days of routine background checks which I’m sure you know about in HR. However your instincts are also correct regarding the irrelevant work.
My advice would be to include a line covering the dates in question something to this
effect:
Positions not relevant to HR career path 2010-2012 (or whatever the dates were)
Then underneath add a couple of bullet points:

  • Details available upon request
  • A bullet or 2 about any skills or accomplishments transferable to HR

That way you’re covered but have also de-emphasized the irrelevant work.


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