Monday, February 04, 2008

Job on Resume: Childhood to Present

A student presented a question to me recently concerning resumes. I would like your opinion.

He has worked on the family farm since he was a young child of 6 or 7. What is the appropriate way to put the experience on his resume? If he puts “1994-present”, the reader might have the impression that he is much older than he actually is. My suggestion was to put “childhood to present.” He does not have any other experience, so he needs to list the item on his resume.
-- Patsy

Hello Patsy,
I like your suggestion of putting "childhood to present". It makes age a non-issue.

Another possibility is to refer to a specific job the student did on the farm more recently, using a shorter span of time. Something like this:
2005 - present, Dairy Assistant, Oaks Family Farm

This approach doesn't deny that he worked on the farm since childhood but gives the job a little more focus.

If farming is not his job objective (for example, if he's studying accounting in school and is looking for an internship in an accounting firm), he might add a line after the job heading like this:
2005 - present, Dairy Assistant, Oaks Family Farm
(mostly concurrent with education in Accounting)

This approach shows that he's a hard worker who's probably working his way through school. That could be very appealing to a potential employer.

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