How to reflect on my resume that my job was unexpectedly "agile?"
October 13, 2015 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I've officially had 2 job titles at my workplace of almost 7 years, but much of my day-to-day has been handling special projects and the stuff that no one else knows how to do. I'm having some trouble cramming all my duties underneath those job titles without my resume feeling clunky and bloated.

My official job titles have been the same as anyone else in my office, but my actual work duties have been fairly unique among my colleagues with the same title. While still handling some of the day-to-day work as the rest of my co-workers, I also increasingly took on the tasks that were not so day-to-day. Some of this was just consolidating weekly/monthly/infrequent/etc. tasks that were previously handled haphazardly into one person, me. I also ended up being (unofficially) known as the "Special Projects Team" because I had the flexibility to divert my time to side projects.

As a result of this though, I have 2 job titles with what feels like dozens of different duties under them. I've tried focusing in on just those projects which are more broadly transferable (website management, content creation/standardization, generating performance metrics, etc.), but I still feel like I'm over-stuffing my resume.

I have a two-fold question about this problem:

1) Is there a particular format I could use to make these duties feel more streamlined and organized in the resume document itself?

2) Is there a particular approach I'm missing in selecting what to include? (I'm very much out of practice in resume writing.)

Other factors: This is my first "real" (e.g., suit, tie, cubicle) job, so I'm going to be leaning heavily on it to show experience. I am, however, leaving my current field, so certain aspects of that experience will be moot. I am leaving the field, though because I am finishing an unrelated degree, so I have education experience/practice to include in the resume as well.

posted by Panjandrum to Work & Money (11 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Google functional resume. I think it might be a better format for presenting your experience than the standard resume style.
posted by phunniemee at 10:11 AM on October 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

The functional resume is your best bet, but you should also be tailoring your resume to each job, so use the most applicable portions of your duties to each position you're applying for.
posted by Etrigan at 10:15 AM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: A lot of employers have a bias against functional resumes. I would structure everything as a traditional resume except for details of the work experience for this job so it looks like this

Job title 2 dates
Job title 1 dates
Responsible for x,yz plus a wide range of special projects (1 line summary) including:
Website Management: describe
Content Creation: describe
Creating Performance Metrics for xyz

This makes it super easy for someone to see the connection between this particular job and your skills while not making them jump all over to see where you worked when.
If this is your longest and most important job, it is OK if it takes up a reasonable amount of space on your resume.
posted by metahawk at 10:21 AM on October 13, 2015 [5 favorites]

Thirding that some employers hate functional resumes to the point that they will discard them without reading them.

I've officially had 2 job titles at my workplace of almost 7 years ... I am, however, leaving my current field, so certain aspects of that experience will be moot. I am leaving the field, though because I am finishing an unrelated degree

If you're switching fields, my view is that you don't need all that much detail about your old field. I'm going to expect a pretty good amount of "other duties as assigned" in any office position that lasted for seven years with two job titles. The work history is great - it shows dedication and the ability to get work done and that the quality of work and your personality was good enough that the company not only kept you around but promoted you. But as a potential hiring manager, I don't care what the details are unless it relates to the new field.

Your resume is your opportunity to show how you can solve the problems that the employer has; things that don't relate to that are noise that distract from your big message. Your degree is presumably what's given you the skills and knowledge to solve the new career's problems? Put that front and center and make the old job the smaller portion of the resume to show professionalism and general work experience.
posted by Candleman at 10:56 AM on October 13, 2015

So many people HAAAAAAAATE functional resumes. Don't do it.

You don't have to list every duty on your resume, and in fact you should focus more on accomplishments and less on duties. Think about what you accomplished at your place of work, select out the things that are relevant to the jobs your applying for, and put those on. Also check out Ask a Manager on resumes.
posted by mskyle at 11:14 AM on October 13, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Address it in your cover letter.
posted by porpoise at 11:48 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Cut it down to the part of your past jobs that accurately reflect what you want to do now, don't worry about microscopic details. A resume in 2015 isn't really meant to be a detailed index of everything you've ever done, it's just a starting point to having a conversation about your work life.
posted by deathpanels at 4:32 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not to thread sit, but I've also had some success with tailoring my resume to what business objectives were met through my work. So instead of saying "Worked with Tool A and Tool B" I would say "Increased marketing revenue through implementing campaigns (using Tools A and B)". In other words, try to see it from the employer's perspective. Your resume should say "You've got business problems, I've got skills!"
posted by deathpanels at 4:35 PM on October 13, 2015

Functional resumes are problematic for me when I'm hiring. I can't tell when you did something or at what level of work you did it. Lets say your functional resume says that you were a project manager. If you did that 10 years ago when you were fresh out of college, then you were likely more of a project coordinator. Are your skills fresh or dated? Is it something you did once or a skill you've been honing for years?

In all likelihood the recruiter wouldn't even bother to forward a functional resume to the hiring manager. It's too vague and recruiters are culling the wheat from the chaff. Recruiters take a lot of guff when they forward dud candidates. If it's unclear, then they are on to the next candidate in the pile.

Have someone read and edit and regroup your resume. It probably is too full. (I'm happy to do that if you need someone.)
posted by 26.2 at 7:07 PM on October 13, 2015

Best answer: Dear god, do not use a functional resume. It makes it look like you're hiding something.

You want to highlight what you accomplished, not what you did - as deathpanel recommended.
posted by radioamy at 9:03 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you're having trouble fitting all your stuff on your CV, don't. Tailor your CV to the requirements of the new jobs you are applying for.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:44 PM on October 13, 2015

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