We get a lot of questions on the Resume Tips Forum from job seekers asking how to handle job-hopping and long periods of unemployment on their resumes. But occasionally, someone asks the flip side: how to handle long-term employment with one company. With so much disruption in the labor force and many workers eager to jump at better jobs, employees who stay with one company for a significant amount of time may wonder, “Am I a dinosaur?”
The answer, of course, is no. The key is to present your long-term work history as a positive attribute, proof you’re in for the long haul. Recruiting a new employee is an expensive endeavor — companies are always looking for ways to promote long-term tenure — so demonstrate you are a worthwhile investment. If you would like to use your solid work history as a selling point, here are seven ways to enhance your resume:
1. Keep Learning
Some employers might view your long-term employment as an indication that your skills have stagnated. Prove them wrong by constantly refreshing your skills through formal education and self-study. Participate in professional-development courses sponsored by your employer or paid for out-of-pocket. Create a Professional Development section on your resume to list your ongoing education.
2. Remove Outdated Skills and Credentials
Obsolete skills are a sure sign of a dinosaur, so omit them. If you aren’t sure, ask a trusted colleague or potential hiring manager whether a particular skill is still current. You can also glean this information by scouring job ads; if the skill isn’t included in job postings, you should probably take it out.
3. List Different Positions Separately
Promotions illustrate that your company realized your worth and offered you more responsibility. Even lateral moves indicate your employer recognized your diverse talents. Instead of grouping all of your positions under one heading, give your positions individual descriptions along with distinct time periods. Reinforce your internal mobility with terms such as “promoted to” or “selected by CEO to assist with a new department startup.”
If you’ve been in the same position for your entire tenure, show how you’ve grown in this position and made a difference to the organization. To jog your memory, think about how your current job duties differ from when you first started.
4. Display Accomplishments
Your employment description should go beyond merely listing job duties. To get noticed in a competitive job market, your resume should feature a track record of accomplishments. If you feel stifled in your current position, volunteer for a project outside your core competency to experience new challenges and develop new skills.
5. Use Your Employment History to Your Advantage
Use longevity, dedication, commitment, loyalty and perseverance as selling points, both on your resume and in interviews. You also have the advantage of having seen your accomplishments through from beginning to end.
6. Highlight Experiences Related to Your Goal
If you’ve been with a company for many years, chances are that you boast a long list of achievements. However, your resume should present only the experience, skills and training related to your current goal. Since a resume is a marketing piece rather than a career history, don’t feel that your resume must cover every detail of your career. Edit your experience so your resume is tailored to your current job target.
7. Create a Career Summary Section
A well-written qualifications summary at the beginning of your resume will present your career in a positive light. The summary provides an initial hard sell, demonstrating you are highly qualified for your stated goal.
Conducting a job search after a long period with one company can seem daunting, but realize that your experience provides you with skills that your next employer will value.