How to Handle Unrelated Work Experience on Your Resume
By Gina Watson
From a recruiting point of view, this traditional type of resume is more widely accepted because they are simple and easy to follow since they place work experience and accomplishments in order of dates - in the reverse chronological order. This works well for those who have had a consistent flow in their careers and the positions held by them are relevant to their current job search. No matter how extensively used and acknowledged, if you have unrelated work experience, the chronological format will be ineffectual in highlighting your skills.
In comparison to the traditional chronological resume, the functional type is generally considered confusing in design, unorganized, and recruiters associate their use with those applicants who attempt at being deceptive. This is so because instead of systematically arranging jobs and title dates, the functional resume emphasizes on specific skills and accomplishments in areas such as leadership, communication, and project management. However, for those candidates with a range of unrelated work experience or those with little or no real experience in the desired field, this format is greatly effective.
The advantages of a functional resume:
- This format is useful while changing careers; for recent graduates; for senor professionals who wish to downplay their age; as well as for those with unrelated work experience.
- It highlights skills, strengths, and achievements that are difficult to decipher in a chronological resume. (List them in order of their importance for the current job search).
- It demonstrates your competency acquired from academic qualifications and work experience.
- It reflects experience, knowledge and abilities that are more relevant to the targeted position.
- It eliminates repetition of responsibilities in similar positions.
- It has flexibility in displaying content to the best advantage of the candidate.
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