Career Q+A: Job changes, Resume updates


Questions from our Readers
Answered by Michael Pollock

Q: How many jobs changes can one have before a red flag goes up?

A: No given number if otherwise your story makes sense. But too many changes could make the reader’s head spin as she tries to figure you out. As a hirer I would want to see that you have progressed. I would want to see the relevance, the narrative, in your choices. If it just looks like a lot of lateral, random or desperate moving I would probably reach for that red flag. If I am hiring for the long haul, and you do seem to be the right choice for me, I will want to know why all the moves, and your story had better be good. Not just from you but from references from your previous managers.

Q: I haven’t had to update my resume in 10 years. What has changed?

A: A lot has changed there’s lots to learn. It is not just the resumes that have changed, but the job titles, channels and systems. If you are in the media and entertainment sector, then almost everything has changed in the business, so you will probably have to describe your results, skills and experience in a different way from your 2001 resume.

The experience that was relevant 10 years ago may not be so today so revisit all those old job descriptions and successes and reframe them to address the current conditions. If they are about buggy whips or carbon paper, consider dropping them.

Put your resume on LinkedIn. Investigate and understand the way search engines have changed the recruiting and resume field before you update. They will be searching for key words and titles and brands, so make sure they are in there.