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Should I include unrelated employment on a resume targeted toward a specific job?

by Lisa

I have a background in one career field and changed to a completely different field. I am now back in my original career field and need to submit a resume targeted to a specific position in my original career field.

Should I include the employers from the 2nd career field on my resume? If not, how do I explain the gap in years of related employment on my resume? Thank you.

ANSWER: Lisa... Current wisdom is not to include unrelated experience on the resume, but I don't think it is always black & white. First off, as you say, you have to deal with those missing years in some way. You could refer to them in your cover letter, I guess.

But another issue is whether there were transferable skills gained in those "unrelated" jobs that might be valuable to highlight in some way, even in the new/resumed career?

I would probably include the unrelated jobs, but in a minimal way, perhaps just listing them, without any detail on responsibilities or achievements, and then mention any transferable skills in the cover letter. Something like, "Even though I worked in a different industry from 2006 to 2009, while in those jobs, I gained expertise in ______" or "...further strengthened my communication and leadership skills..."

To your success,

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