Avoiding Repetitive Experience Descriptions on Resume


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Allison writes: I thought I’d take a chance and see if I could have a question answered that I didn’t find addressed on your Quintessential Careers Website. (Excellent site, by the way). I am required to turn in a resume for a school district with whom I am applying. I have been in the same type of position for 9 years, doing relatively the same type of work (counseling). Since each of the jobs I have held have virtually the same description, how do I address that under the work experience? I wondered if I should do a functional resume and bullet all the skills I have acquired through the years and then just list the schools (or districts) in which I have worked under the work experience.
The Career Doctor responds: Kudos first for planning in advance — and for doing the research — with regard to your resume. Resumes are extremely important documents, and I am always amazed at how many bad resumes I see — poor focus, too wordy, ugly/boring appearance, with typos and misspellings. Resumes are one of the main tools with which prospective employers judge you — and help them decide whether to call you for an interview. The key element of resumes you are missing is that a resume is not some statement of job duties or descriptions. A resume is about showing how you took a job and made it your own — and helped the employer in the process. A resume highlights your key accomplishments in every job. And even when you have held similar jobs over a long period, you should still have quantifiable accomplishments in every position. So, you certainly could make a chrono-functional resume, where the job-seeker chooses about three broad functional skills areas, but what would you list under the functional categories? Not job duties. But I think a standard chronological resume would work fine for you as long as you take the time to sit back and examine your accomplishments in each job. Here are some Quintessential Careers resume resources that you may find useful: