Handling Long-Term Employment on a Resume
There are many articles online that provide decent recommendations on how to tackle most common resume problems. Some of them we have addressed on our blog while there are issues that were left without proper attention. One of the most frequent questions of job seekers are related to job hopping. It is obvious that hiring authorities don’t like candidates who have been changing jobs every year so many have questions how to reflect that on a resume. However today we want to tackle another problem that maybe is less common – long term employment. At first this doesn’t seem to be a problem for most of job seekers but as a matter of fact employers may view long-term stay with one company negatively. And if you are the one who had this kind of employment for over 10 or 15 years there are some things you should know when developing or updating your resume.
Leveraging Long-Term Employment
Employers are very reluctant to hire people who had stayed with one company for too long. And they have their own reasons for that which are basically assumptions. These assumptions may be wrong or they may be correct, but hiring managers prefer avoiding such risks. When they see 10-15 year employment with the same job title it leads them to wonder whether it is all you can achieve. The thing is that most employers are looking for people who have motivation and ambition to grow. The fact that you have worked for one company for so long in one role tells them about the opposite. It is also common for employers to assume that people with long term employments have stale skills; they assume you know just one way of doing things and don’t want to learn anything new since the old way has been working just fine. It is important to know this because you need that information in order to adjust your resume and address some of the most common assumptions in a resume and cover letter.
If you are one of those loyal employees who have stayed with one company for years you have to prove employers wrong in their assumptions. Go to business classes, seminars, training sessions and list them all on your resume. This way you will demonstrate that you are learning new things every day. There are so many opportunities today out there so go and explore all of them. You can even create a section in your resume called Professional Development or something like that where you can highlight your ongoing education. Remove skills that were considered accomplishments in 1990s. Make sure it doesn’t look dated so exclude things like your typing skills, references available upon request, and other things from your resume.
If you have worked in one company but in different roles then you should list different positions separately. It will help employers recognize your diverse talents or even track the progression, which is very important. So it is much better to have different descriptions with respective timeframes. Otherwise you will have to demonstrate your growth within one position. For this you can show how you have progressed and made the contribution to the company. Remember, how you duties were different when you just started and show how they changed as you developed your skills. Don’t forget about achievements – things you have accomplished in the company that could be measured and presented to a potential employer. This could be one of the strongest points in your resume.
Emphasize Relevant Skills
We are sure that people who worked for long periods of time for one employer have a lot to offer. You have to emphasize skills and qualifications that will be relevant to a potential employer both in your resume and cover letter. Use your dedication and commitment as selling points. Many companies are in need of people with such qualities. You can explain in a cover letter how it helped you achieve success in your previous work and how you will use it to accomplish new things at a new workplace.