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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.

Chris

Answer
Dear Chris:

Sorry for the delay, but this landed in spam.

A resume only has to go back 10 years.  So, the fact that you have been at the same position for 8 out of 10 years, should work out well.

I would try to only list 2 other jobs before that time, taking you back ten years, and yes, only include the substantial jobs.

Font should be Times Roman 12, and I would list the most important aspects of your education.

On an interview, if your job hopping comes up or if you think they may do a background check, you can simply say that you have had a stable position for the last 8 years, but have no real opportunity for advancement.  That is why you are seeking a new position that you plan on staying in.

Warmly, R. Butler

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Ruth Butler

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I will answer questions about resumes and how to do well on an interview. I am a former employment counselor and I have owned my own resume and career counseling business since 1982.

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