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Eliminate disqualifiers from your résumé

BY SAMANTHA NOLAN Published: February 3, 2012
The reason being is it seems that you have had ample other experiences that you can use to showcase your organization, project coordination, and administrative skills.

When this is the case, I’d rather you be able to remain private with your personal life.

Second, one of the best ways to minimize frequent job hops, lackluster titles, and what I imagine are some other employment gaps, is through a combination or functional résumé format.

Depending on the severity of this situation, the combination approach would be my first choice.

In the combination format, you would open with a qualifications summary selling all of the related skills and experiences you possess — these could be from any phase of your career or volunteer work — that position you as aptly qualified for the jobs of interest.

Next, and key to this format, would be a Highlights section where you would introduce more explanatory statements as to your strengths in select related areas. I’d recommend introducing these bullet points with some sort of functional keyword, and to illustrate this format I have presented a combination résumé in this column (if not shown, view at

What this allows you to do is to focus the reader’s attention on the most important and related aspects of your candidacy.

You’ll notice in the combination format that the first time dates and titles appear is in the Professional Experience section which, if you are careful about it, may not even begin until page two.

Whether falling on page two or toward the end of page one, it minimizes the potential impact from your frequent job changes, lesser related titles, and employment gaps.

Third, you will pull forward your related skills gained and refined during your volunteer work with the nonprofit(s) to the Highlights section, exploring further in a Community Involvement section toward the end of your résumé.

The thing you need to remember about volunteer work is that it will only be seen with the strength in which you deliver it — in other words, if you want it to be seen as value-added, then make sure it is presented in full and in the same manner as you would a professional, paid position.

I hope you can now see how to overcome what seemed like insurmountable obstacles and place your job search on the right path.


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