Put a Positive Spin on Your Long Employment Stint

Susan Hall
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Five Tips for a Well-Done Tech Resume

A tech pro's resume has to match the speed of this fast-changing industry.

For years, the advice was to show employers that you are a stable employee, not a job hopper who would leave in mere months or years. Now that advice has been turned on its head, with career experts saying that if you stay with a company more than two or three years, that could reflect negatively on you. But what if you have been with your current employer for a long time?


In a post at Secrets of the Job Hunt, writer Don Goodman explains that staying with the same employer long term raises questions about your ambition and your marketable skills. Are you still striving to progress and keeping your skills up to date? This lack of movement might indicate that you resist stepping out of your comfort zone.


He proposes these ways to address those concerns:


  • Show advancement: Perhaps you held different roles within the company or worked in different departments. Note the dates to show you assumed increasing levels of responsibility or stretched to learn new skills.
  • Detail your achievements: Remember that accomplishments are not the same as your job duties. Nix the words "responsible for" on your resume and instead write about the outcome of your efforts. The device known as SAR-situation, action, result is a good way to show the challenges you've taken on at each level for this employer and the benefits of your work.
  • Training and education: In IT especially, you've probably been taking classes, attended workshops or conferences to update your skills. All that counts.
  • Provide a good reason for leaving: Obviously, it's a good one to prompt you to leave after so long, but never couch it in negative terms. You might have been in a job you really liked, working for an employer you really liked, but something changed. Don't say you're bailing; say you're looking for new opportunities and growth. Show appreciation for the experience and skills you've gained there and indicate that you have good intentions, ambition and up-to-date skills to help solve the problems of this new employer.


And, by the way, if you have changed jobs often, Goodman also has a post on how to avoid looking like a job hopper.

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