Which Title(s) Do I List?
October 8, 2010 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Resumè-filter: One of my jobs included a number of title changes. This is complicating my attempts at an efficient, informative resumè. Your help vastly appreciated.

Job before last was a Big Deal Job and represents half my employment of the past decade. I held many roles, learned many things, and each one required a different set of skills and abilities. It seems I should leverage that...or at least pick the one that best exemplifies my time there.

Added difficulty: the last one had very little to do with my actual skills/talents/responsibilities and was mostly a final stop before being speed-bumped out due to disability/organizational politics.

Here's my progression & how long I spent in each role:
- Operations Manager - 8 months
- Project Manager (no certificate) - 1 year (overlaps with above for entirety)
- Product Planner - 3 years
- Product Operations Coordinator - 1 year
- Escalation Response Coordinator - 2 months

I'm using a resumè template that breaks things down as Summary of Qualifications/Core Competencies/Professional Experience/Employment History (name of company, title, location, years goes here).

So, how do I reflect what I did while there? Pick the one I did the longest? List them all? Something else? Admittedly, I'm hoping you won't say I need to stick to last role performed, as it had so little to do with my time there and who I am as an employee.

If you'd like to comment outside of this thread, please email askmeresumehelp2010@gmail.com. Thank you!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I would probably list them as distinct jobs rather than trying to find some catch-all description.
posted by janell at 12:01 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Did your duties change each time your title changed? If so, list them as separate jobs even if you still reported to the same supervisor. If not, then I would pick the title that best suits the position you're applying for and maybe in the description add a bit about the other titles if you feel it's necessary.
posted by rhapsodie at 12:06 PM on October 8, 2010

If some titles have significant overlap, I would fold them into one for the sake of brevity and omit the most recent one. While not an exact representation of everything you did there, it captures the gist. Besides if the final role doesn't reflect your desired career trajectory there is no reason to create confusion by listing it.
posted by dgran at 12:09 PM on October 8, 2010

I do it like this:

Office of Underwater Basketweaving February 2005-present

Basketweaving Marketing Specialist: September 2009-present
Write basketmaker profiles, news releases and speeches for CEO. Coordinate production of television infomercials, including guest relations and solicitation of customer testimonies. Continue all activities of graduate position described below.

Graduate Assistant: August 2007-August 2009
Wrote and edited marketing pieces for industry-leading supplier of fine baskets. Compile event forecast for basket-marketing conventions. Continued all inventory management activities listed below.

Administrative Assistant: February 2005-August 2007
Managed all inventory of baskets. Delivered mail. Coordinated room reservations for meetings. Procured office supplies and fixed copiers.

Law Offices of Smith, Smith and Smith: Legal secretary February 2003-January 2005
Performed typing, legal paperwork and client relations activity for busy law firm of three attorneys.
posted by Madamina at 12:19 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would leave the last one out, since it was only two months.

On the resume I would use the previous title that you had, and then roll the descriptions of your previous duties into the narrative below, such as:

Acme Widget Company, Product Operations Coordinator, January 2005 to June 2010

Performed roles of increasing responsibility within Acme Widget Company, including product planning (June 2006 to June 2009), project management (June 2005 to June 2006) and Operations Management (October 2005 to October 2006).

posted by contessa at 12:25 PM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'd structure it like this:

Company A StartDate-EndDate
Distinct Job 1 StartDate-EndDate
Job Similar To Job 1 StartDate-EndDate

Distinct Job 2 StartDate-EndDate
Job Similar To Job 2 StartDate-EndDate

Company A StartDate-EndDate

Leave out the last position, unless you earned some kind of certification while doing it.
posted by mkultra at 12:43 PM on October 8, 2010

I have taken a different approach when the jobs build upon each other in a progression and will say something like:

XYZ Corporation, June 2001 - Present
Started as Jr. Gal Friday--earned increasing responsibilities and promotions to current position of Chief Kahuna.
Responsibilities include: And then I would list the work/responsibilities etc. that most reflect the skills I want to highlight for the new company.

I think this demonstrates simply and clearly that you are a go-getter that the XYZ corporation saw fit to promote multiple times, but doesn't clutter up the page with Jr. stuff like "fetched boss coffee, etc."
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:08 PM on October 8, 2010

This is what I tell my candidates to do:

COMPANY NAME San Francisco, CA Oct. 1990-Present
Most Recent Title (Dec. 2008-Present)
*Description of responsibilities
*Description of responsibilities
Prior Job Title (Jan. 2007 - Dec. 2008)
*Description of responsibilities
*Description of responsibilities
Previous Job Title (Oct. 1990 - Jan. 2007)
*Description of responsibilities
*Description of responsibilities

That way you highlight your longevity with the company and the fact that you were promoted regularly. If you list each title as a separate job, someone who's just glancing at your resume might think you're really hoppy, which you're not. And note that most people reviewing resumes are right now looking at hundreds of them so you want to make these points as visually clear as possible.

Good luck!
posted by ohyouknow at 1:20 PM on October 8, 2010

Sorry, there should be quite a few tabs between "CA" and the duration of your time with the company. I like to make sure the total amount of time is as close to the right margin of the page as possible so it really stands out.
posted by ohyouknow at 1:22 PM on October 8, 2010

What ohyouknow says is what I was told to do by a headhunter (financial services). Including the bit about the align-right of the dates. She hires people; I have a job (not through her), I guess things went okay. For added fun I have this in the education AND in the job sections.

Make sure your job descriptions are constructed in parallel (ex one of the ones above says Wrote... and Compile... but it should be Compiled...). The bullet points are better than either a run-on sentence or a list of sentences.
posted by whatzit at 1:49 PM on October 8, 2010

Could I just point out that it should be résumé with e acute not e grave? (Alt+0233 on a Windows keyboard; Option+e e on a Mac keyboard).
posted by ceri richard at 3:18 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hey, I once asked a very similar question and got some great answers.
posted by tristeza at 8:04 PM on October 8, 2010

This does not directly answer your question, but I hope it is helpful to point out that the accent on resumè is wrong here. Just leave it out if you are in the US.
posted by vincele at 9:24 AM on October 9, 2010

résumé or resumé is correct in US English, I think resume is best.
posted by vincele at 9:25 AM on October 9, 2010

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