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On Resume: Handling Frequent Changes in Job Titles and Assignments at Same Employer


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Mark writes: I have been with a company for 6 years, in which time the owner has made frequent changes to the direction of the company. I have had 4 job/titles and assignments during this time. I would like to leave this company, but I am concerned that a potential employer will negatively look upon the frequent changes in job assignments/title. My title has always included the word “manager” of such-and-such program, but my assignments were very different. I have wrestled with how to best portray this “busy” work history with this company on my resume. Can you offer any advice? As a side note, I was with another company for over 20 years prior to taking a job with this company. In those 20 years, I held 3 positions.
The Career Doctor responds: I would not worry at all that prospective employers might think twice about your different job titles. Over the last couple of years, many organizations have reorganized at least once, and numerous workers have had new or multiple titles to compensate for employees who were fired and not replaced. I think your resume will show two strengths: the first that you are someone whom management at your two employers greatly respects, and the second that you are a loyal, long-term employee. The only problem I see with your situation is that your resume might look a little cluttered if you are not too careful. You have two options. You can have separate bullet points for each of the four job titles you have held with your current employer, or, you can simply show the different job titles and do one set of bullet points for your entire tenure there. The method you choose will depend on how different the jobs are — and how different the work and accomplishments are. You can also showcase your versatility in a qualifications summary section that goes at the top of your resume (after your contact information). The qualifications summary includes the three or four things that make you a better candidate than anyone else — your competitive advantage. I like to think of the qualifications summary as the “executive summary” of your resume; another way is to think of it as your key selling points. Finally, remember that someone with your experience can obviously have a two-page resume. And remember to leave off the dates from your education, and do not include any other job or employer other than these two — because they are already dating you. For more resume advice and tools, go to this section of Quintessential Careers: Resume and CV Resources for Job-Seekers.