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5 Ways to Explain a Spotty Work History

5 Ways to Explain a Spotty Work History

Liz Ryan for Monster

May 17, 2011

2. Use Your Resume Bullets as Segues

Most of us use dusty resume bullets like “Supervised a staff of six” and “Prepared reports for our controller.” For each job you’ve held, use your last bullet to tell why you left, so the reader can stop wondering. “I was recruited to join a startup software firm” is a lot more appealing to employers (“they went after this guy!”) than an abrupt jump from one job to the next.

3. Tell Your Story in Your ‘Frames’

When you describe each job you’ve held in the body of your resume, don’t begin with the company name — for instance, Acme Explosives — and then simply list the dates and your title. That’s too vague. Lots of people won’t know what Acme Explosives is. You want to share more of your story than that, and your employer’s business description and a quick summary of your role are part of that story.

Just under the name of the employer, add something like this:

“Acme Explosives is a $100M supplier of dynamite sticks to the coyote market. As Channels Manager, I was brought in to create an ecommerce capability and to double our sales through local dynamite resellers.”

This sort of “framing statement” tells the reader what the job was about — not just the day-to-day duties in it. It’ll help employers follow your storyline, no matter how many chapters it has.



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