HOW TO WRITE A RESUME WITH ONLY ONE LONG-TERM JOB | SAME JOB FOR 10, 15, 20+ YEARS

When you first stepped into your job, you probably weren’t expecting to be in it as long as you may have been.

But lately, you’ve been feeling like:

…and you’re ready for a change.

But how do you write your resume if you’ve only held one job for a really long time. Like 10, 15, or 20 years long?

In this video, I’ll show you how.

First of all, if you’re feeling regret for staying at the same job for as long as you have, I want to tell you that it’s OK. There are a number of reasons we might stay in the same job for a long time, and if it’s because you have enjoyed your work, have felt challenged and given opportunities to grow, and have a great employer, why wouldn’t you stay?

There are challenges when it comes to having 1 job “on paper.” 

Not long ago, I covered how to write your resume if you’ve been with the same company for an extended period of time. The challenges in that case are similar to the challenges you face with having only had one job for a really long time.

When we’re with the same company for a looooong time, whether we’ve held one or multiple roles, our main goal is showing progress, development, and growth.

Usually on resumes, we’d show progress with multiple different roles. But that’s not an option here. So we work with what we’ve got.

So let’s get into the details.

You’ll Probably Have a 1 Page Resume

If you have over 5 years of work experience, you may feel like you need to be on a 2 page resume, but your situation is unique.

Please don’t feel forced to create a 2 page resume. In fact, I’d recommend a 1 page resume in this case. 

If you go onto 2 pages, you’ll probably have way too much whitespace or end up taking up the 2 pages with filler. We don’t want that.

We want our resume to always be targeted, and 1 page should suffice for you.

I’ve written several resumes for professionals with long-term tenure in singular roles, and I aim for a 1 page resume in these situations.

Just a note about 1 page resumes for experienced professionals: you’ll want to make sure that you include your education at the bottom of your resume after professional experience, not the other way around. Leading with education is a resume strategy for students and new grads.

Resist the Temptation To Tell The Reader EVERYTHING

If you’ve been in a role for 10, 15, 20 or more years, you’ve done A LOT.

But you need to resist the temptation to tell the reader literally everything.

Instead, we always want to make sure that what we’re sharing in our resume is targeted towards our target role and employer.

When you’re sharing accomplishments, you’re sharing the BEST stuff as it relates to your target role.

And as a refresher, always make sure your accomplishments work with the 5R framework:

Reframe

Relevant

Relates

Reinforces

Resonates

Use Categories of Accomplishments

Because we can’t show progression over time with stepping into new roles, we need to illustrate the expansion and breadth of our skills and strengths, gained under a singular role.

The way to do this is to share more accomplishments than you might if you had multiple roles, but to give the reader’s eye a break, and to emphasize the breadth of your skills, we’re going to split these up into categories.

These categories are going to be reflective of the core skills or strengths required in your target job.

Let’s take a look at Pam Beesly’s resume

While we used Pam’s resume as example in the multiple jobs video, if we go a little further back, we know there is a time where Pam had only had one job – receptionist

Let’s say she is gunning for the role of Office Administrator, which she would later, um, earn.

As Office Administrator, Pam’s job would have been to keep the office running like a well-oiled machine.

She’d of course be managing operations so category 1 of accomplishments would be Operations Management.

She’d need to be giving the sales teams the tools they need to make sales. So category 2 of accomplishments might be Sales Enablement.

And finally, Office Administrator might have a component of customer-facing work, so we’d give her a 3rd category of Customer Service.

Then what Pam needs to do is simply choose her absolute best accomplishments over the entire tenure of her time as receptionist, for each of the 3 categories. My recommendation would be to aim for 3 bullets or 3 separate accomplishments for each of the categories, for a total of 9 bullets.

And really, it’s that easy to show progression and growth, where you may have only held 1 job.

You are not alone in having one job for a long time. And it’s not a bad thing! While loyalty isn’t valued the same way it once was, your ongoing commitment to your employer’s mission, and showing that you have deep expertise in your areas of specialization are very much appreciated. 

If you’ve been in a long-term role, how long has it been? How will you change your resume based on this video? Anything you’re struggling with? Tell me everything in the comments below!

Kamara Toffolo

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