When you are putting together your resume, one of the tasks that can take the longest is determine which professional parts of your past are relevant work experience and which parts you can leave out. The danger in leaving out work experience is that you have to then account for the gaps in time on your resume. That means that you have to decide if there is a benefit to deciding that certain portions of your career are not relevant work experience and then make the decision to keep them off your resume.
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To help answer one of the more common resume questions, there is such a thing as professional experience that is not relevant work experience. So how to decide which is relevant work experience and which is not? The process is not quite as involved as you may think.
Relevant Work Experience Includes Any Tasks That Enhance Your Resume
If you are sending in your resume to be a community organizer, then your days as a crew chief when you worked fast food in high school can be considered relevant work experience. The key to establishing a strong professional foundation is showing that you have a long history of developing and working on your craft. The farther back you can go in your work history to find relevant work experience, the better your resume will look.
What Should You Keep Off Your Resume?
In reality, you should not leave any job off your resume because you will have to account for the gaps in time if you do leave something off. The best approach is to include detailed information on your relevant work experience and then just make the non-relevant portions of your career simple line item entries. Here is an example of the difference:
July 1996 - August 2004
Bread Incorporated - Quality Control Inspector
Responsible for maintaining the quality in each manufacturing process and reporting any issues back to management.
Sideline Markets - Inventory Clerk
As you can see, the details are left out of the non-relevant entry which allows the relevant work experience to stand out more. This also answers the inevitable question of whether or not you were employed from June 1995 to July 1996.
Customize Every Resume
If you really want to get the job, then you should customize the presentation of your relevant work experience in each resume. For example, you may be applying for a project manager job to two different companies, but company A may be looking for someone with a technical background while company B is more interested in field experience. You have both, but you will need to present your relevant work experience differently to capture the attention of each hiring manager.
In order to put together a flawless resume, you need to utilize the professional resources at LiveCareer. There have been experts in a variety of fields who have contributed the information you need at the LiveCareer website. With the resources found at LiveCareer, you can create a listing of relevant work experience that will make your qualifications stand out and get you the interview that you need. If you really want to advance your career, then use the professional resources found at LiveCareer.