Ask Asa: Highlight Your Past When Crafting A Resume
If you are unemployed, you know it's a jobless jungle out there. To help you navigate the unemployment terrain, NY1's Employment reporter Asa Aarons has answers to some viewers' questions.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Hi there, Asa,
I have 12 years of experience in executive/administrative assisting but over the span of my career I had to take jobs in inconsistent fields, as well as jobs that have been a step, or sometimes even several steps, down the ladder, due to the economy. This has created a problem gaining the interest of employers. How would you suggest I market my experience and skills on a resume.
New York City
Monica, you are not alone. It's a common problem. Experts in the employment field remind all of us that a resume is not a job history, it is a sales document. The product being sold, of course, is you.
Instead of doing a reverse chronological resume listing all your positions -- good, bad and in between -- switch to what's called a functional resume format. Open it by introducing your skills, high points and high positions in your career, as well as awards and recommendations.
After that, list your various employers in a more truncated, matter of fact way. Gaps in a resume stick out and invite curiosity and negative labeling. If there's a period where you were unemployed do not treat it as a time when you did nothing. Even without a job many people are busy volunteering for organizations or even doing freelance projects that may be quite impressive to an employer.
In the end, many people combine the chronological resume with the functional one to create a unique document that works well. Just decide what portion of skills and what portion of experience you want to emphasize. And do keep in mind what I said early -- it's not a history, it's a sales document.
If you have an employment story, a job, a new interview technique, or something you want to share with those looking for work or those doing the hiring, contact Asa Aarons at email@example.com.