How to Include Unrelated Experiences on your Resume

As a resume writer, you might have faced the dilemma of whether or not to include unrelated experience on you resume. Including unrelated experience might work against you, because it would show the employer that you are not as decided on your chosen career. On the other hand, your employer might see you as having a dynamic personality, evidenced by the string of activities you have engaged in over time. It is important to remember that the interpretation of your resume is really subjective on the part of the employer.

Reach a compromise

Assess yourself in terms of experience vis-à-vis the job you are applying for. If you have long, solid experience in that field, then there might be no need to list down other unrelated experience. This is because an employer would most usually look for people who know how to do the job, and this is already achieved just by looking at your chronological listing of jobs done in relation to the work at hand.

Resume Writing

Consider however, interweaving the skills you have learned in your other jobs into resume. For instance, when you list down related experience, note certain traits that show initiative or are indicative of leadership. Chances are, your interviewer will ask you to expound on these, and you will thus have a chance to talk about your work experience in another field.

But what if you do not have much experience in the field you are applying for? If this is the case, then you are left with no choice but to include in your resume your unrelated work experience. This is because if you won’t, your employer might think that you have been bumming around, and a bum is the last person any employer would want to hire.

Tickle the mind of your employer

If you list down a cool hobby, or a unique job, there is a huge possibility that your employer will remember your resume. In fact, you might even be granted an interview, just so that he could ask you to narrate your experiences.

It would be good to remember though, that you would only make this impression if you do it subtly. If you were a martial arts teacher prior to applying as IT personnel, your employer might be interested in your previous job, just because it is so different from information technology. But if your resume contains all the martial law belts that you have earned, then that is tantamount to overkill. Expect that your employer would be annoyed beyond compare, and you will not be getting that job.

Although you can never please every single employer, just remember that your resume is a snapshot of yourself. Put yourself in the shoes of your employer and ask which particular parts of yourself you would like to showcase. If you are really proud of your performance in a job that is totally unrelated to the job you are applying now, go ahead and list it down. Do not be scared of your resume. Your resume is a part of yourself; it would look its best if you have poured a part of you in there.

Filed Under: Work & Careers


About the Author: Vanessa Page works a career counselor in one of the leading firms in Los Angeles. She is also a blogger and gives tips on how people can tackle their work and career issues. She has 8 years of experience in this field.

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