Originally published at http://www.careersonline.com.au/Articles/leaveoff.html.
WHAT SKILLS I SHOULD LEAVE OFF MY RESUME?
I am currently working as a courtesy clerk at a large grocery store chain. The duties are quite menial and I have been there since May 2001.
I bag groceries for customers, take them to their car as needed, clean up spills when necessary, put merchandise back on shelves, and bring carts back to the central collection point. My wife says I should leave this position off my resume but if I do then it looks like I haven’t worked since the year 2000. What is your recommendation about this?
My advice: definitely do not leave jobs like this off your application. The benefit of having it on, though, will depend on how you frame it. Describing it as you saw above probably wouldn’t mean much to a company you’re applying to ? Unless it was another shop, maybe.
But let’s now re-state it in language that any employer will understand:
- Do you mean you were the public face of your company? The first-contact and initial perception of the company for all customers?
- Do you mean that you understand how important a customer’s first experience with a business can be? After all? If the customers are being turned off, then you have no business!
- Do you mean you’re an expert in giving customers what they want? Ie.. helping people with their groceries? Showing them to various parts of the store? Are you so good at anticipating customers’ needs that it may sometimes seem as if you have ESP?
- Do you mean you’re an expert in going the extra mile & making sure that the customers’ experience in your shop was as comfortable as possible… so that they’d come back more often and tell others about the store? (Hence ? more profit for the business.)
I could go on and on… but I hope you get the point. Absolutely any job or work experience can be turned into POWERFUL reasons to hire you. You just have to be able to speak in the employer’s language. Do THAT, and you’ll get the job!
Now? Let’s talk about WHY you were working in an unrelated field like the grocery store in the first place. It was to get some LIFE experience right? (If it wasn’t, it is now!)
Perhaps you wanted to see how other industries worked and discover if [insert industry you want to move into] was the RIGHT thing for YOU and… here’s the key… whether it was RIGHT FOR YOUR EMPLOYER, TOO!!!. You don’t want to be some “wet behind the ears” university or college graduate begging for a job in [insert industry you want to move into]…
Hope this gives you some food for thought!
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