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Old 07-20-2013, 10:42 AM
 
13 posts, read 17,626 times
Reputation: 46

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My resume sucks, mostly because my work background sucks. My wife is an attorney and helped me put it together, but I get the feeling that I've got way too many different jobs on it.

Quick background, I graduated from college in 2005 with a BA in history. since then, I have not been able to find any career track positions at all where a history degree is believed to be useful. So, I have been working lots of different jobs, everything from a 3 month stint as a Hollywood Video manager, to a 1 month stint as an Applebee's Manager, various server/hospitality jobs, a job as a snowboard instructor, lots of huge gaps, and lots of employers I don't even include.

I don't even remember everyone I have worked for, and I definitely don't remember even close to accurate dates for employment. Since I don't remember them, and I have huge gaps to fill, I just stretch the dates to fit (not a good idea I know).

It also didn't help I was in CA right at the beginning of the recession in 2008, and stayed there until 2012. I couldn't find a job to save my life. Was on unemployment off and on for years.

I helped to take care of some family members when they were sick, and I used to keep that on my resume to explain what I was doing during periods of unemployment, but I was told it was hurting me so I took it off.

I have also moved A LOT. At least 4 or 5 times. My wife went to law school, deaths in the family etc. Even if I had wanted to stay with one company I would not have been able to.

My longest legitimate (provable, lots of places I have worked aren't even around anymore) period of employment is 1 year.

I'm trying to find a decent job, preferably with a salary and benefits. This part-time, $8/hour garbage since I was 15 is crap. I'm finally in an area I don't need to move away from, but now I can't get a job worth a ****. I can't even get interviews.

I've read all the online job hunting advice and it has not once, ever helped me in my entire life. I think 99% of the resume advice out there must only apply to people with solid professional careers.

Anyway, all help is appreciated. I'll post a redacted version of my resume as an example.

Last edited by MountainCouple; 07-20-2013 at 11:20 AM..
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:58 AM
 
13 posts, read 17,626 times
Reputation: 46
Here is my resume. Ignore the format as it didn't paste over correctly.

This version was directed at finding some kind of restaurant position, just to get some cash flowing in. It's the closest I have to a "general" resume so it is what I'm posting. It fits on 2 pages perfectly. I was hoping with the decent Colorado economy I'd be able to find work quickly, but that is not the case. I'm thinking a new resume might help.


EDUCATION
XYZ University
Bachelor’s of Arts in History with a Minor in music, May 2005
 3.6 Major GPA
 Dean’s List, 2004-2005
 Conducted interviews with WWII veterans for an oral history project, archived at the Smithsonian
 Studied abroad at ABC University in London, 2005
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE
XYZ Restaurant Crappy town, somewhere in the south
Bartender, Waiter and Steward February 2013 – June 2013
 Provided excellent service in a fine-dining setting
 Restaurant bartender, with full bar and menus.
 Maintained building once a week and as needed
Another restaurant Another really crappy town, in the south
Server and Expediter July 2006 – July 2007
 Maintained an exceptional sales record, was in top 5% of sales
 Provided customized service for VIP dinners, wedding parties, and business dinners
 Trained new employees in a range of duties and positions

A restaurant Craptown, USA
Server, Bartender and Front House Manager May 2003 – April 2005
 Promoted from server to bartender to management within 1 year
 Responsible for the day-to-day operations of dining room.
 Helped design and build downstairs blues bar.

OTHER EXPERIENCE
Self-Employed (this not included in resume: technically not employed at all - was building a cabin for my mother-in-law after her husband and son were killed in a wreck, but I couldn't find any work during this time so I listed what I was doing) Garbage city, USA
General Construction August 2012 – June 2013
 Painting and other finishing work
 Basic framing
 Plumbing

Handyman company Some city, CA
Labor March 2011 – February 2012
 Basic framing
 Plumbing
 Flooring
 Painting and other finishing work
Tech-based company somewhere, CA
Game Moderator January 2010 – May 2011
 Moderated children’s games according to Federal regulations under COPPA
 Provided technical support and customer service


Tahoe area ski resort near Tahoe, CA
Snowboard Instructor November 2010 – February 2011
 Instructed children and beginners in snowboarding
 Assisted race team in course setup and maintenance
 Provided outstanding levels of service and hospitality to resort guests

Hollywood Video (store closed Oct. 2009) somewhere, CA
Assistant Store Manager July 2009 – October 2009
 Managed daily store operations
 Improved store performance approximately 20% in first three months.
 Provided high levels of customer service and support
Macy’s same place, CA
Fine Jewelry Sales Seasonal - 2002, 2007, 2008
 Regularly beat expected sales figures
 Provided excellent customer service and support
 Maintained security of fine jewelry department
 Performed opening/closing duties including inventory management
Self-Employed somewheresville, CA
Family Caregiver August 2007 – December 2009
 Assisted in the care of disabled family members
 Provided assistance for duties such as shopping.
Big retailer of ski and snowboard stuff, now defunct a place in, CA
Seasonal Snowboard Sales December 2007 – March 2008
 Consistently met or exceeded all goals
 Advised customers in selecting appropriate gear for ability and use
 Performed ski and snowboard maintenance
Random Toyota Dealership Losertown, US
Sales and Leasing Consultant June 2005 – July 2006
 Import salesman of the month for three consecutive months
 Consistently in top 5% of sales
 Negotiated majority of deals
COMMUNITY SERVICE
Habitat for Humanity Somewhere
Vice President 2003 – 2004
 Co-founder of the XYZ University chapter of Habitat for Humanity
 Arranged and supervised two housing projects
Benefit for victims of Hurricane Ivan A town near nowhere
Co-Chair October 2004
 Assisted with planning and direction
 Acted as liaison with local restaurant where benefit was hosted
 Raised over $1500 for seven families
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:05 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,639,902 times
Reputation: 26533
I hired workers for my restaurant for the 16 years I owned and operated it and I would be glazed-eyed reading all that information. I don't need to know initially what you did at every place you were employed. Just list the name of the place, its basic location (town and state), your position there, the dates you were employed and the reason you left. If your basic information interests me I'll get whatever other information I need from you during an interview. Same goes for your community work. Love to see that, don't need all the information up front.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:13 AM
 
13 posts, read 17,626 times
Reputation: 46
I also have a lot of skills I have developed in my years of unemployment. How would I include this on my resume?

As an example, I am a very good woodworker and very mechanically inclined. I used to build RC planes from scratch, rebuild the engines for them, work on the electronics, set up the mechanical controls etc. I've fabricated with fiberglass and carbon fiber while doing this. I can literally do anything mechanical you ask me to do. I've never touched a diesel engine from a semi-truck, but I could be willing to bet you my life if you gave me the instructions and tools, I rebuild it as well (if not as quickly) as any mechanic with 50 years experience. I have never failed at anything I've set out to do or learn. No exaggeration. If I want to build a coffee table, I can go out and build one right now, even though I've never built one before (though I have built other things out of wood), and I am certain it would be considered fine furniture. I've literally taught myself the vast majority of everything I know, including academically.

I have a lot of skills like this (lotta time for hobbies due to inability to find a job lol), that I have never used while employed, or have never been paid for. I've tried to include this on resumes or cover letters in the past, but have never had any luck. I actually believe my unpaid skills and experience are more valuable than my employment history.

I'm pretty desperate for some income, so all advice is welcome. Thanks!

Last edited by MountainCouple; 07-20-2013 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:16 AM
 
13 posts, read 17,626 times
Reputation: 46
So just put up jobs that are relevant to the position? Won't that leave HUGE gaps in my employment, as well as make it look like I'm trying to hide something? I had a version of my resume like that at one point but was told by two HR people who interviewed me that my resume lacked a thorough and complete employment history and that if I hadn't known someone at the company I would never have even been called back, so I have not bothered with doing that.

Thanks for the reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
I hired workers for my restaurant for the 16 years I owned and operated it and I would be glazed-eyed reading all that information. I don't need to know initially what you did at every place you were employed. Just list the name of the place, its basic location (town and state), your position there, the dates you were employed and the reason you left. If your basic information interests me I'll get whatever other information I need from you during an interview. Same goes for your community work. Love to see that, don't need all the information up front.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:35 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,639,902 times
Reputation: 26533
What you have listed is not the issue. That's fine. Just eliminate all the "I did this and that" details which follow the basic information. I know what a salesman does, I know what a laborer does, I know what a server does, etc. As I said, if your basics interest me I'll scope out any details if necessary when I see you in person. Just the facts!
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:50 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,474,048 times
Reputation: 19655
Here's how I'd write it for a restaurant position:

Quote:

SKILLS

- [skills, accomplishments related to restaurant operations]
- [softskills, sales, etc.]


EXPERIENCE

Bartender, Waiter, and Steward -- XYZ Restaurant Crappy town, somewhere in the south ( Feb 2013 – Jun 2013)
 Provided excellent service in a fine-dining setting
 Restaurant bartender, with full bar and menus.
 Maintained building once a week and as needed

Server and Expediter - Another restaurant Another really crappy town, in the south (Jul 2006 – Jul 2007)
 Maintained an exceptional sales record, was in top 5% of sales
 Provided customized service for VIP dinners, wedding parties, and business dinners
 Trained new employees in a range of duties and positions

Server, Bartender and Front House Manager - A restaurant Craptown, USA (May 2003 – April 2005)
 Promoted from server to bartender to management within 1 year
 Responsible for the day-to-day operations of dining room.
 Helped design and build downstairs blues bar.

OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE

General Construction - Self-employed (Aug 2012 – Jun 2013)

Handyman - company Some city, CA (Mar 2011 – Feb 2012)

Game Moderator - Tech-based company somewhere, CA (Jan 2010 – May 2011)

Snowboard Instructor - Tahoe area ski resort near Tahoe, CA (Nov 2010 – Feb 2011)

Assistant Store Manager - Hollywood Video, CA (Jul 2009 – Oct 2009)

Family Caregiver - Self-Employed somewheresville, CA ( Aug 2007 – Dec 2009)

Sales and Leasing Consultant - Random Toyota Dealership Losertown, US (Jun 2005 – Jul 2006)

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Vice President - Habitat for Humanity Somewhere (2003 – 2004)

Co-Chair - Benefit for victims of Hurricane Ivan A town near nowhere (2004)

EDUCATION

BA History - XYZ University, 2005
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:55 AM
 
13 posts, read 17,626 times
Reputation: 46
jaypee, thank you for taking the time to write out your recommendations. I think combining yours and STT's ideas will net me a completely new resume that I can try out. What I was doing was obviously not working and I didn't know what else to try. The advice is most appreciated! At the very least a new resume keeps the job hunt feeling "fresh" and just a tiny bit less demoralizing.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:01 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 17,069,799 times
Reputation: 18504
If you are applying for a restaurant job you can leave off all of the non-related work. If you feel you need to list it, follow the format posted above.

Nobody cares about your GPA or that you were on the dean's list 9 years ago, etc., etc. List your degree and graduation date and leave it at that. There are also those who advocate leaving degrees off resumes when searching for crappy jobs because they make you "over qualified" for the position.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:07 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,639,902 times
Reputation: 26533
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
If you are applying for a restaurant job you can leave off all of the non-related work. If you feel you need to list it, follow the format posted above.

Nobody cares about your GPA or that you were on the dean's list 9 years ago, etc., etc. List your degree and graduation date and leave it at that. There are also those who advocate leaving degrees off resumes when searching for crappy jobs because they make you "over qualified" for the position.
Restaurant jobs aren't necessarily "crappy jobs" at all. A good restaurateur IS interested in work history whether it's related to the open position or not. I liked to get a feel for (and it benefited me) what the applicant is generally capable of and has experience in particularly if you're in a front of the house position dealing with a rich diversity of customers from all walks of life.

OP, don't worry about employment gaps. You may be asked about them but, if you have a logical reason for them and haven't spent your time out just sitting on your arse playing video games, you've not a lot to fret about.
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