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How to Handle Unrelated Work Experience on Your Resume
By Gina Watson
In order to secure an invitation for an interview, it is highly essential to have a resume which presents your skills, background, and experience. If you are changing careers or do not really have the experience you need, you will realize that putting together an effective resume is an overwhelming experience. Read on to find out which type of resume is best suited for this purpose and why.

Chronological resumes:

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.

Functional resumes:
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.
Fundamentally, should you have unrelated work experience, it is highly recommended to utilize the functional format instead of the chronological one. This format will allow you to facilitate the presentation of your caliber, abilities, and accomplishments over and above the companies you have worked in, training which you have received, and roles you have held which are not relevant to the field you wish to transition to.

Keep visiting our website and we will be back with informative articles every week. We would appreciate your feedback and any suggestions which you could provide on feedback@preferredresumes.com.


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