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Is Loyalty a Hindrance?

Monster Resume Expert

Monster's career experts often receive questions about how to handle job-hopping and long periods of unemployment on the resume. But occasionally we are asked how to handle long-term employment -- jobs lasting 10 years or longer with one company. Increased job opportunities have contributed to a more mobile workforce, where employees often jump at better job offers without feeling they owe their current employers anything. Gone are the days when employees stayed with one employer for an entire career. This leaves long-term wondering, "Am I a dinosaur?"

The answer, of course, is no. The key is to present your long-term work history as a positive attribute, proof you're in for the long haul. Recruiting a new employee is an expensive endeavor -- companies are always looking for ways to promote long-term tenure -- so demonstrate you are a worthwhile investment. If you would like to use your solid work history as a selling point, here are seven ways to enhance your resume:

1. Keep Learning.
Some employers might view your long-term employment as an indication that your skills have stagnated. Prove them wrong by constantly refreshing your skills through formal education and self-study. Participate in professional development courses sponsored by your employer or paid out-of-pocket. Create a Professional Development section on your resume to list your ongoing education.

2. Remove Outdated Skills and Credentials.
Obsolete skills are a sure sign of a dinosaur, so omit them. If you aren't sure, ask a trusted colleague or potential hiring manager whether or not a particular skill is in vogue. You can also glean this information by scouring job ads -- if the skill isn't included in job postings, it should probably be omitted.

3. List Different Positions Separately.
Promotions illustrate that your company realized your worth and offered you more responsibility. Even lateral moves indicate your employer recognized your diverse talents. Instead of grouping all of your positions under one heading, give your positions individual descriptions along with distinct time periods. Reinforce your internal mobility with terms such as "promoted to" or "selected by CEO to assist with a new department start-up." If you've been in the same position for your entire tenure, show how you've grown in this position and made a difference to the organization. To jog your memory, think about how your current job duties differ from when you first started.

4. Display Accomplishments.
Your employment description should go beyond merely listing job duties. To get noticed in this competitive job market, your resume should feature a track record of accomplishments. If you feel stifled in your current position, volunteer for a project that's outside your core competency to experience new challenges and develop new skills.

5. Use Your Employment History to Your Advantage.
Use longevity, dedication, commitment, loyalty, and perseverance as selling points, both on your resume and in interviews. You also have the advantage of having seen your accomplishments through from beginning to end.

6. Highlight Experiences Related to Your Goal.
If you've been with a company for many years, chances are that you boast a long list of achievements. However, your r�sum� should only present the experience, skills and training that relate to your current goal. Since a resume is a marketing piece rather than a career history, don't feel that your resume must cover every detail of your career. Edit down your experience so that you are armed with a powerful resume that is tailored to your current job target.

7. Create a Career Summary Section.
A well-written summary at the beginning of your resume will present your career in a positive light. The summary provides an initial hard sell, demonstrating you are highly qualified for your stated goal.

Conducting a job search after a long period with one company can seem daunting, but realize that your experience provides you with skills that will be of value to your next employer.
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