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Resume Help/Resume / jobs history issue.....


Hello and thank you for helping so many people with your expert advice.

I am 33 years old and have been a police officer for a medium-sized agency for the last 8 years.  

I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth so I did not get a degree.  Through my current job as a police officer, I have attended three community colleges and have many hours of continuing education training and multiple certifications.  

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, so I have had numerous jobs in my history.  In fact, my current job is my 23rd job.  The explanation for this is very simple: I just didn't know what I wanted to do.  I tried some things that didn't work out.  I tried some things that were not fulfilling.  And of course, I had to work to make money.  Some of them very short term and some of them a few months long.

So, after serving as a police officer for one agency, I am looking to move to another agency or possibly into another field altogether.  As I said, I work for a medium-sized agency, so the prospects for advancement and opportunity here are limited.  I want to seek out opportunities that exist elsewhere to better myself and my family.  

My specific question is how do I create a proper and attractive resume?  Some agencies and employer obviously want a resume in lieu of an application.  Surely I don't need to include every single employer, right?  

Which jobs do I include?

Should I only include the substantial jobs that I have had and omit the ones I had to take just to keep myself afloat?

How far chronologically do I go back?

Is there a resume software or font that you would recommend, or is Microsoft's program sufficient?

Given these circumstances, should I use a resume format different than a chronological style resume?  

What would you do in my situation?

Thanks again, and all my best.


Hi Chris,

It is impossible to address all of your concerns in this brief response, but I can touch base on some of the most things to consider. The larger companies that can provide you with the advancement, upward mobility, and the stability you hope to provide for your family will for the most part, incorporate talent management into their application process. This is because the competition is tough for obtaining some of these types of assignments, so the focus should be on the data you use to pursue opportunity through any online application program.

For now, forget about the traditional snapshot of a resume, put aside those early career endeavors, and seriously consider where you want to go next in your career. Once you have an idea of the target occupation or career field, then you can focus on twisting your skill set around it. As you move forward, the strategic development process of your resume content may then include some of those previous jobs.

For some of your other questions, consider that formats other than chronological are strictly for the paper version of the resume, used only for networking and interviews. When you submit data through an online system, your previous job descriptions and quantifiable contributions must be placed under a data-time frame to generate proper credit for experience in concepts. Once you have the viable data for cutting and pasting into online application programs, you can have anything you like on paper, or live without it. This is especially true for government assignments, as the resume is generated through their application program.

If you would like to learn more, please give me a call or contact me through my website at!


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Lisa Parker, CPRW


As a Certified Executive Résumé Master (CERM), Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist, Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Facilitator, and retired service member; I can answer your questions on a variety of subjects. Ask me about résumé and cover letter preparation, military transition, federal or government résumé resources and other career development topics.


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