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What past jobs should you show on a resume?

#resume-writing I am applying for a pharmacy position and I was wondering if I should include all job experiences such as a fast-food position in high school or only those that relate to the job I'm applying for in my resume. #pharmaceuticals #job-search

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Parixit’s Answer

The rule is that the resume should be only a page long. To better fit in a page, use only relevant experiences. When I say relevant, I don't mean the same profession or field. Even though from other fields, if the experience displays your skill that you require in the new job, please use it. You can have all your experiences in CV.
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Kim’s Answer

Laurel,


Is the position Pharmacy Aide, Pharmacy Tech, or Pharmacist? How much work experience do you have? Do your more recent positions since HS allow you to showcase your customer service and money handling skills?


Don't be too quick to say the HS fast food job does not relate. Sit back and time the average transaction at the pharmacist's counter. I just came from there! I think it was no longer than 90 seconds, probably less. You have to be quick, polite, and accurate. How does that differ from fast food? Sure, the consequences of a mistake are much more significant at the pharmacy. My pharmacy has twice given me meds that belong to someone else. Why? It's a very strange last name, small town, so they don't bother to check the first name.


Anyway, what I am talking about is transferable job skills. Depending on how old you are, how much other experience you have, etc, I'd list it all. BUT, focus the other jobs so the highlights are those things that relate to the job you are currently applying to. Creating Christmas decorations out of straws can probably be left off!


Also, please understand there is a difference between casting yourself in the best possible light and lying. Do not lie on a resume. Ever. For no reason. Period. So, for example, when I have an applicant who has not graduated HS, we will either leave education off the resume, or, list the name of the school and the years attended (1992-1996). It sort of implies he was there 4 years, but does not say he graduated.


And, if you have an internship, paid or unpaid, list it in the work experience section.


Let me know if you have other questions!

Kim

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Scott’s Answer

This is actually a very good, and controversial question because it addresses "Truth in Marketing." When you write a resume, you are marketing yourself, and like all marketing, you are NOT being entirely honest. You may omit some very relevant information (as the saying goes, "s*** happens"). You offer references that you have carefully screened and might even have coached. Believe me, most employers have a few skeletons in their closets that you won't find on their "About Us" webpage. For example, try to find the company that made the gas used German concentration camps (hint: They changed their name).


You might also omit a job or two, or three, (or more) whose short duration, and whose duties would be irrelevant and distracting from your primary experience. For example, one may omit 2 years experience working as an Organic Chemistry Lab tech in a resume designed for people wanting to hire a Business Development Engineer with 30 years experience as an Chemical Account Manager. One might also omit their experience wearing a rat costume as a team member at Chuck E. Cheese. One must use one's own good judgement.


Finally, what to do about resulting gaps in employment? Be ready to explain these simply as methods to maintain income while looking for better opportunities in your chosen career. You can do this during interviews, but it is not necessary to include this explanation on the resume any more than it is necessary for an automobile manufacturer to explain the financing details or engine specifications during a 30 second commercial!

Thank you comment icon You only need past college graduation. Andy Strain
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