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How to Combine Early Job Experience on a Resume

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Writing out and updating your resume is not one of those activities you often look forward to, but it is something that has to be done from time to time, especially when changing jobs or if you change jobs often. If you have worked many different jobs, it may result in a resume that makes it seem like you can't hold down a job. With a little editing, you can combine your early job experience and create a more attractive resume.

Write out a list of the key skills that you have acquired as a result of your early job experience. Use this list as a reference as you develop your resume. The key to revamping your resume and cleaning it up is to take the focus away from the number of jobs you may have had and emphasize the skills you bring to the table for your next prospective employer.

Examine the different types of job resumes you can utilize when applying for a job. Some resumes combine the chronological format with one that focuses on skills. The functional resume is a useful type of resume that makes skills the primary category headings rather than your employment. This type is probably the most useful for someone trying to update his resume and combine early job experience.

Write the main heading for your entire resume. Include all of your contact information -- address, phone number and email address. This is typically placed at the top-center part of your resume.

Create the subheadings for your functional resume. Examining each of the skills on the list you created and place each of them into a larger and broader category. For instance, if you learned how to use Microsoft Word and Excel in one of your first jobs and then later learned how to use accounting software like Intuit QuickBooks or Sage Peachtree software at another job, combine your knowledge of all four programs under the category of "Computer Skills."

Repeat the step of categorizing and classifying each set of skills and place them in your resume in terms of importance. The most relevant job skills should be placed toward the top of your resume and the least relevant toward the bottom. Within each description of your skills in these areas, include the job experience. Each category may have two or three jobs listed, along with the year when you worked those jobs, but because of the way the resume is written most employers will not pick up on the fact that you are combining your early job experience. Instead, it will simply appear that you have put your skills to good use multiple times.


Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.