A full resume or one with gaps?
May 29, 2014 6:16 PM   Subscribe

Resume question time. I am working on a full CV, with more or less everything, but want to know just how full it should really be...

Of course, it won't be everything; I'll leave off the part-time work and the like when I was young. The thing is that in the past decade especially, I have worked at a number of places. Not really job-hopped, but more contract by contract, in a freelance basis. Listing all of these jobs is too long for a one-page resume, so I'm making a CV, which is expected to be longer anyway, and I've seen a few prospective employers ask for a CV instead of a resume.

But as for listing all those jobs...should I leave some out to shorten the CV? As of now it's gonna be three pages, and I want to get that down to two. Or should this be a formatting problem, as in I should fiddle with the fonts and maybe shrink them down to size so more fits on a page?

If there are gaps, isn't that the kiss of death? I've heard how HR departments will just pitch resumes that have employment gaps. But they'll also not bother with resumes that are too long...hence my dilemma.
posted by zardoz to Work & Money (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It's far from unusual to group together a series of freelancing stints as one entry:

Freelance Goat Expert: Various companies
* Goat Cuddling
* Goat Herding
* Goat Feeding
* Goat-Sheep Friendship Integration
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:19 PM on May 29, 2014 [9 favorites]

Best answer: If you were doing freelance or contract work, I greatly prefer for you to group that under a single title heading, and then list clients, dates, and description of the work under that heading. I don't think you need to list every contract, but try to cover most of the time, and all of the skills that matter.

My first question upon seeing a "job-hopper" resume is "was this person a contractor?" but if I'm not 100% certain of the answer, I pass on the candidate.
posted by grudgebgon at 6:59 PM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Great, thanks for the feedback. Another followup: if I put the full-time positions first, and then list the contract positions below, the chronology will be off. As in, some previous work listed first and then current work below that. Is that alright, or with the person reading it get confused/frustrated by the time frame jumping?
posted by zardoz at 7:21 PM on May 29, 2014

I'd keep it reverse chronological (i.e. most recent job first), treating each contracting stint as a single job as others have suggested above. The point is to make it easy for the reader to see what you've been doing, and for how long.
posted by mr vino at 7:51 PM on May 29, 2014

I think as long as you group all of *this* by *last time I did this* you'll be fine.

Ie. If the last time you did Freelance Goat Expert was 2013 then you'd list all of your Freelance Goat experience under that, regardless of when it happened.

Then if you last did Freelance Sheep Expert in 2010... group all of your Freelance Sheep experience as 2010. Regardless of when it happened.

If full-time position is current or ended post 2013, then it deserves to be above Freelance Goat. If it ended in 2012 then it should appear below Goat but after Sheep.

That's what I would expect, at least. Unless you both freelance goat currently and are currently employed, in which case I would put my current employment above freelance if it was more primary to my field of interest.
posted by one4themoment at 8:07 PM on May 29, 2014

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