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12-09-2012, 11:43   #1
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CV - long list of irrelevant work experience

I worked for about years in mundane office type work, nothing was ever permanent and I was unemployed for periods at a time.
I'm going in a different direction with college and had a look at my CV.
I don't want to include this work, as it is irrelevant and takes up half my first page but it will leave a massive gap out of my CV.
I learned a lot from these jobs and I will try and put that forward but previously I was getting interviewed and was asked why I had so many jobs I just think it looks bad but it explains what I've done for the past few years so should probably be left in?
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12-09-2012, 13:29   #2
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Maybe a short summary nothing too detailed as you need to fill that gap on your CV you will be asked in an interview the reason for the gap and they be a bit concerned why you didn't add it in, makes sense to put a few lines on it.

You still gained transferable skills from the job even if it not relevant to the jobs you want to apply for. You can tailor your CV and Cover Letter to suit the positions you wish to apply for. Go with what information you have based on your education/work history/extra curricular activities/groups joined/awards achieved/achievements/voluntary work if any and projects/results is all you can work.

Its how you present the information and how it be readable by employers. Of course go into more detail with the relevant work experience. I say just add a line or two of the irrelevant ones. The only time you need to skip the irrelevant ones if its more than 5 years ago you worked in that area. Mainly concentrate on the previous 5 years experience. The parts where you weren't working add in what did you do to up-skill or fill that gap e.g. voluntary work, travel, courses, activities/hobbies, learning something new, what did you do to keep yourself occupied and anything that help you gain further work.

Not always necessary to add in work experience you had while in secondary school/college but probably better add in the college ones than the secondary school/part time jobs. If you went to college and did a placement add that in very important, any work after school/college be more important I'd say and any job after your first major office job be more relevant I suppose. Add in a line of irrelevant ones if you have room or just add in you worked there and such duties to fill the gap.

If you haven't room just nominate the significant one(s). Go into more detail of the more relevant ones or anything related to what jobs you want to apply for. No need to add in every job you had even if temporary. Short-list your work history and focus on the ones that you gained the most transferable skills whether the jobs were relevant or irrelevant to the jobs your are applying for might be the best way to assess your CV.

If you are any bit unsure maybe ask for advice from someone who can help you with your CV or a professional job coach. Is there career guidance counsellor of some sort in the college you in at the moment you could go to?

Having too many jobs can stick out like a sore thumb unless its relevant.

What college course are you doing at the moment/done? Target graduate/low entry jobs for now until you get something definite. Or try a jobbridge to get a head start or a graduate programme.
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12-09-2012, 13:34   #3
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Reduce it to a few lines, and focus on the transferable skills. Negotiation? Management? Leadership? Working with money? Front face of the company? etc.
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12-09-2012, 14:21   #4
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I have 10 years of irrelevant work on my CV for my current career path. I recently trimmed my CV and grouped them as a single employment type "Private Contractor Sept 1988 > Apr 2000 " and listed key skills that I gained and also a couple of interesting projects which had good results.
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12-09-2012, 14:24   #5
Chazz Michael Michaels
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I have the same history. Just add it in, but don't say too much. For example:

Apple Computers Ireland, Cork – General Operative - August 2002 to March 2003

I was the member of a team which produced Apple products for distribution in Europe.
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