Which jobs should I include on my resume?

All of your full-time, part-time and casual jobs can be highly relevant to the jobs you apply for when you graduate.

Your employment history shows how you have developed skills, especially generic or ‘soft skills’ like:

  • communication
  • teamwork
  • problem-solving
  • customer service.

Having a history of employment also demonstrates that you are reliable, can work with people, and can manage study and work commitments simultaneously.

I’ve had a lot of similar jobs, how should I present these?

If you have had a number of jobs with similar responsibilities, you could  group them under one sub-heading. For example, if you have had multiple jobs as a waiter, list your job title as ‘Waiter’ and below that list the dates and places where you worked as a waiter with the most recent role first and the least recent position last. Then, list the responsibilities of those waiting jobs as though it was one position.

EXAMPLE

Waiter
2009 – 2013

Restaurant 123: May 2013 – December 2013
A List Celebrity Restaurant: September 2011 – April 2013
Two Hatters Restaurant: January 2009 – August 2011

  • worked as a waiter for a number of leading restaurants in Melbourne during my university studies
  • developed a reputation as an outgoing, welcoming, and customer-focussed waiter
  • appointed to fill in for the Maitre’d during her two month absence from Restaurant 123 due to my professionalism and knowledge of the menu, systems and staff.

I’ve had some course related jobs and some non-related casual jobs, how should I organise those?

You can use sub headings to highlight the most relevant information (e.g. ‘Industry Related Employment’ for course-related employment, and an appropriate heading for the other jobs, such as ‘Hospitality experience’ or ‘Casual jobs’).

I have returned to study after having a family and haven’t worked for some time. How do I hide my gaps in employment?

You could structure your resume using a functional format where you focus on describing your skills. Think about the skills you have used and developed away from the paid workforce and list these up-front with examples. Perhaps you have been volunteering at your children’s school, such as assisting in the classroom,  organising excursions or being part of a fundraising committee? Maybe you’ve been involved in the community in other ways, as a volunteer, or contributed to a family business. Highlight that you have returned to study to enhance your skills and to get up to date experience with technology.

Your employment section would list where you’ve worked  and the roles and duties each job involved – position this after the skills section of your resume.

Be sure to highlight your  motivation and commitment to your new career, in  your cover letter and at interviews.