To Consolidate or Not To Consolidate is the Question

DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,753 ■■■■■■■■■■

Employee X has 9 years of total service. He has 3 years of service desk, 3 years of system administration and 3 years of system architecture. Does employee X list 9 years of system architecture or the breakout?

I've seen it go both ways, with both ways being successful.

Here are the pros and cons from my perspective

Less clutter consolidated approach much easier to read
Draws focus to your most current position (Which in most situations it the idea)
Gives you additional room to provide other information, such as a skills section or certifications
From my understanding HR will only validate the last title you assumed, in this case architect.

Doesn't show progression, which IMO can be a bad thing.
Sometimes you can go from dish washer to data architect losing all that history (potentially several roles you assumed being lost). This can look bizarre
Can be construed as being dishonest

There are others but I just wanted to throw a couple out there to fire off the topic.

2 scenarios that could potentially cause you to go with different strategies

Employee A held 2 positions, analyst and senior analyst. Prior to analyst or senior analyst he held multiple contracts, (Kind of like a lot of us have done). Let's say Employee A held the analyst position for 3 years and the senior analyst position for 7 months. In this case I would think rolling them up would be the best move...... This way it's one less job on your resume and it deflects the appearance of being a hopper. And regardless of what we want and say, MOST HR folks view hopping as a BAD thing even if it's labeled out as a short termed contract.

Employee B came to Company Z straight out of college, (lucky bastage). They first came in as a intern, went to help desk, then desktop, then system, then networking (I think you get the idea)? Finishes with 13 years with the same company as a Director of IT Systems. Listing Computer Science degree to Director of IT Systems could look strange especially with 13 years. You could mention somewhere in the discription that you held N amount of positions prior to taking the Director role for 5 years, that could explain the years of service or you could list them all out.

I'm a consolidation guy personally, my main reason is my previous managerial stints. I'm not the most prepared and having a small amount of bandwidth to interview I prefer the less is more approach on resumes. I personally would rather see consolidation, even if it meant a little fabrication. But others may not like that approach.



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    LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    I think it's disingenuous to only have the highest accomplishment show as if you were doing it 9 years. Sure it might get you more phone calls and interviews but the moment they find out you only did it for 3 (albeit 3 is a good number) they may pass simply bc of the fact you made it seem like you had more experience.

    I've been at the same company 5 years, 3 different positions at this company and I break it out on my resume . Obviously the higher up I've moved the more complicated my projects have become, as such I have far more bullet points under my current position compared to my service desk role.

    I've also learned to tailor my resume for what I want to move into. IE I've done some networking and exchange work but I only have one line on the resume saying I supported those systems. Reason being is to save space and those roles aren't where I want to move into - so why put them on my resume in great detail bc all its going to do is attract people wanting to fill those specific roles.
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    thomas_thomas_ Member Posts: 1,012 ■■■■■■■■□□
    In your example I would probably list the entire time I was at the organization and then do a summary saying that I spent 3 years at service desk, 3 years as a sysadmin, and then 3 year as an architect. I would then focus on what I did as an architect and then list my accomplishments as an architect. If I felt that some of the things I did in those other positions were applicable to the job I was applying then I might include a sentence about how I did those things when I was a lower position at the service desk or a sysadmin.

    When I was at one organization I did job as a Junior, Senior, and then a Lead. The job involved the same thing, but what changed was the responsibility I had and who I received my tasking from. Ever since I left that organization I have only listed my Lead job title on the resume. I put the years I was in next to it. Then I summarize what I did and specifically call out that I held the lead position for 3 years. It looks something like this:

    Organization Mon YYYY - MonYYYY
    Lead Job Title

    One sentence summary of the total time I spent at the organization. One sentence summary talking about how long I was in the Lead role and broad overview of what I did. One sentence summary giving a broad overview of the core things I did while I was at that organization.

    *Significant bullet point from my lead position
    *Significant bullet point from my lead position
    *Significant bullet point from my lead position

    End Resume Example

    My rationale:

    Ultimately, I opted for this format because the only things that really changed from the different positions was whether I was being told to do specific things(Junior), whether I was given leeway in accomplishments of tasks(mid), and whether I was directing other people in those tasks(lead). I felt this format allowed me to list my entire time at that organization and yet only focus on what I accomplished as a lead without making it seem that I was a lead for the entire time I was at that organization.

    I didn't want to list the positions individually which would eat up too much space on my resume as it's already at 3 pages. Once I get more networking experience I think I'll end up just dropping everything but the organization, last job title, and dates of employment. I might keep a one sentence overview, but the position is becoming less and less relevant to the future positions I want to hold except for the fact that I was responsible for directing the efforts of a few people for temporary projects.

    I held another position at a different organization where again the job tasks were the same. I only list my last title because the title change was more a reflection of a change in pay rather than a change in responsibilities. Also, I was only at the lower position for a few months, so I don't feel like I gain much by listing that lower position and I don't feel like I'm being deceptive by not listing it.
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