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I have held several positions with the same company.  In an earlier version of a resume I submitted to a recruiter, they said they were not interested because I had changed jobs too many times.  How can I clarify this?

AskTheRecruiter_v3_200x200This is a fairly common problem.  Keep in mind that most contingency recruiters and search firm researchers spend only 15 to 20 seconds looking at a resume on first review, according to research, so it is easy to understand how this could happen.  On the contingency firm side of the recruiting business, time is very much about money.  They do not get paid unless they place a candidate. If a competitor submits your resume, or a better qualified candidate first, they get the fee so speed reading is a necessity in busy placement agencies.

On the retained side, and this applies to corporate recruiters as well, the inflow of resumes for almost any vacant position can be overwhelming, so much so that a researcher’s first objective is to reduce the size of the candidate pool as quickly as possible so as to have a manageable number.  Moreover, I have seen the “too many job changes”  misunderstanding persist even after a more thorough review of the document. Moreover, I have seen the too many job changes misunderstanding persist even after more thorough review of the document.

The end result is that occasionally otherwise nicely qualified candidates find themselves on the cutting room floor, out of the search before the process actually moves forward.  The key is to design your resume format to avoid creating a mistaken impression that may get you eliminated.

When you have had multiple jobs for the same company, there is a little trick in formatting that helps avoid that fate.  It involves one word: indent.

I will use myself as the example. Throughout my career, I have been asked to take on multiple assignments, or received promotions, during my various employment tenures.  When I list that employment tenure on my resume,  I indent all the positions/titles I held during that time.  You begin with your most recent or last position. This example is more to illustrate the formatting style, not necessarily content.

Hermann Hospital
The Texas Medical Center, Houston          1980 to 1988

Hermann hospital, the flagship of the Texas Medical Center, is a 908-bed not-for-profit tertiary care referral and Level I trauma center as well as  the primary teaching hospital for the University of Texas Medical School a Houston.

VICE PRESIDENT, AFFILIATED HOSPITAL SYSTEMS          1985  to 1988
Responsible for business development for this network of  44 managed and affiliated hospitals in Texas and Louisiana.  Scope of responsibility included identifying and signing  management contracts and share services affiliation agreements. Led due diligence teams in reviewing operations of targeted hospitals, prepared comprehensive operational reports, devised a selling strategy, made presentations and closed transactions.  Reported to the division’s Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

–  Then I listed three or four of my top accomplishments.
–  I might reorder those or add others, depending on then needs of a future employer

ASSOCIATE HOSPITAL DIRECTOR, AFFILIATED HOSPITAL SYSTEMS          1982 to 1985
Responsible for developing shared services products and was the company’s primary business development officer for those services as well as hospital management operating agreements for this network of more than 25 rural and community hospitals in Texas.

–  I would list the best, relevant accomplishments while I held this position
–  I might adjust the accomplishments to fit the needs of a potential future employer

ASSISTANT HOSPITAL DIRECTOR, AFFILIATED HOSPITAL SYSTEMS          1980 to 1982
Reporting to the Associate Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the hospital, was responsible for overall network management, including product development and business development of 17 rural and community hospitals

–  List accomplishments

 

By boldfacing the parent organization under which these jobs were held, you minimize the potential for confusion by a researcher or recruiter.

If you have questions, email us at asktherecruiter@johngself.com.