There’s nothing like staring at a blank white screen when you sit down and start to piece together your resume. It can be challenging to figure out how to best tell the story of your employment history, quantify your achievements, use the right keywords and show your potential.
It can become even more complicated if you’ve held several different positions at one company. How do you layout all that information on a piece of paper so that it’s succinct, yet grabs the attention and will impress a potential employer? Expert resume writer and career coach, Don Goodman says that some employers may see your long-term employment as dedication, but to other employers, it may raise red flags on whether you can adjust to a new job and if you’ve made progress in your career by staying with one employer.
Goodman offers these tips to help ease the resume writing process where you have held several jobs with one employer:
- Only list one period of employment with each employer.
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) looks for a certain pattern of information to tell it where one section of your work experience begins and where it ends. It usually looks for dates on the resume to locate job titles and employers, so you should avoid listing more than one period of employment with each employer if you don’t want to confuse the ATS. There are several ways in which you can format your information:
- Company Name, List Your Job Titles (start with the most recent first) (Date of Employment) – It’ll read like XYZ Company, Office Manager / Executive Assistant / Administrative Assistant (2012 – Present). Make note to also put a space before and after each “/.” The ATS may not know to search for keywords in combination of a “/.”
- Company name, Present Job Title (Date of Employment) – It’ll read like XYZ Company, Office Manager (2012 – Present). Include information on other positions held under the heading along with the rest of the content you highlight for the work period. For example, Earlier positions include….then include highlights from the positions. There’s no need to break down the period of employment for each of the prior positions.
- Highlight your promotions.
When you’ve been with an employer long, potential employers fear you may have fallen too comfortable with them and your skills and progression for advancement has remained stagnant. To alleviate these negative perceptions, draw attention to any changes you’ve made in positions held. It can be a move you made to work in a different department or highlighting your successes and promotions on the job. For example, using a bullet point, indicate: Promoted within 9 months for exceptional client relations skills that resulted in the win of pharma client’s global marketing business.
- Prioritize your information.
When you have several jobs under one employer grouped together on the resume, it’s important to prioritize the information you have under it. While describing your roles and responsibilities and highlighting achievements and success, think about the order of importance and relevance. You want to lead with what’s most impressive to the potential employer first.
Goodman says by utilizing these tips, you’ll have a resume that demonstrates you’re a candidate with great potential – you’re not only dedicated, but you can also perform and achieve outstanding results.