I am hoping someone has some good advice on this. My situation is that for the past 5 years, I have had a very unstable employment history. This is because of needing to move several times and also for my last move, an overseas move. Due to problems getting approved for a working permit in my new country, I was unemployed for my first year here.

I now have all the permits needed and even have a job teaching. In addition, I have strong letters of recommendation from previous supervisors, including one company president.

My challenge is that my CV (I'm in Europe now) shows a series of short term positions and periods of unemployment. Consequently, I may not be generating the interest I feel I should be getting due to the past few years.

As a result, I am thinking that I should include all my letters of reference with my CV for applications so that my good results are documented and it may provide a way to overcome the employment instability. I realize this is not the norm, but I feel I need to do something to get past this barrier.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to present this on my CV in a better light? I wouldn't even think about putting any inaccurate info on my CV/resume, so that's not an option.

Thank you for your feedback!

jhack's picture

Your cover letter can address it, obliquely. "...Having now established myself in [country X], I am seeking to apply my sales skills...." or words to that effect.

You want to signal that your circumstances have changed, and that you're now in a stable situation.

This is also why having a good network and good recruiter relationships is helpful. They can make the case for you. "Take a look at Gator's resume, I think this would be a good fit..."


HMac's picture

John's advice is very good. I'll just add a couple of thoughts.

I think you might be in better shape than you fear. You're on track now, you've established yourself in your country, and you have multiple positive references.

Your resume "is what it is" - a factual record of your employment history. I think that trying to "finesse" it is a pretty much wasted effort (and I realize you're not looking to do anything underhanded or devious here..).

So you put it out there, factually - and most importantly, noting any quantifiable factual ACCOMPLISHMENT you can for every job. There are going to be employers who won't look at you just because you show "too many" jobs. You really can't do anything about that - except cast your net as wide as possible...

As you work on your resume, think about how you would answer the question about your employment history in a face-to-face interview. Listen to yourself as you try to knit together all the pieces, talk through the transitions.

Is there a larger "narrative" - and overall story you can tell, one which show overall progress along a particular line, even though you might have had a few "detours" along the way?

Without boring you with the details, I too have a period of relatively short jobs (some bad choices, some unlikely circumstances). With a lot of through and practice, I learned how to walk an employer through the question (with a lot of confidence as I'd tell the story).


gatorcellman's picture

Thanks John and Hugh. You both have good points and these are exactly the types of things I need to hear to keep in perspective.

I do focus on my accomplishments however one thing to note for the benefit of the group is that in some areas of Europe, they are much more interested in what you have DONE vs what you have ACCOMPLISHED. I know that sounds unlikely given how we measure things in the US, but I've experienced it many times here.

Any thoughts on sending reference letters along with CV/resume initially? Good idea or jumping the gun?

Thanks again for all the input.

HMac's picture

I understand there will always be cultural differences like you're talking about. My only advice to to make sure they're real, and not "made up" - urban myths. The best thing you can do is to get feedback on your resume directly from the marketplace you're trying to find work in. That may sound difficult, but it's not impossible. Just ask as many people as you can: "Hey, by the way, was my resume a helpful document? Did it provide enough detail? Too much? Now that you've met me, do you think it provided an actual picture? Would you suggest anything different?"

Two caveats (and they're probably obvious):

* Don't let any conversation about your resume interfere with your conversation about getting the job. You don't want to appear more interested in your resume than you are in talking to them about you, or about a specific opportunity. But when it's over (because they selected another candidate, because they chose not to move you into the interview stage, because they have put in a hiring freeze), it's worth asking for reactions to the document.

* Don't take any one person's observations as mandatory changes you have to make. Listen for insights from the market. Make chances that make sense to you, and that you believe will help represent you more accurately.

Now, about attaching the references. One question: culturally,in the markets you're applying would attaching your references be a positive, a negative, or neither? In your particular situation, it may make sense to include them. But I don't want to suggest something that would harm you because of the culture...Maybe that's a long-winded way of saying: "Use your best judgment"?????


rkunver's picture

i just got back from my extended vacation and one of my employee did such a wonderful job duing my absence. what is the best way to reward her beside giving her excellent PWP?

Pleae advise...