Many candidates who come to us for resume help have the same question. They have years of professional work experience, but a lot of it isn’t relevant to the position they’re currently seeking.
On the one hand, they don’t want to waste resume space detailing work that doesn’t relate to their application. On the other hand, they don’t want to omit years of work that developed them as a professional.
How do you mention unrelated work experience on your resume?
The Right Phrase
We use a magic phrase to address this issue: “additional experience.” It’s perfectly fine to sum up large portions of your career in one section that lists previous employers, positions, leadership roles, certifications, associations, publications, awards, volunteer experience, and even significant hobbies (as long as the experience supports your professionalization in some way).
If you spent the first 10 years of your marketing career performing lower-level tasks, in your “Additional Experience” section at the end of your resume you could say: “Marketing positions with ABC, DEF, and XYZ (1990-2000).”
If your previous work was in an unrelated field, you can simply list the companies: “Positions with ABC, DEF, and XYZ.”
Whatever additional experience you decide to include on your resume, make sure you demonstrate why it’s important to the job you’re applying for by quantifying the work experience and your accomplishments.
The Age Game
This technique can also be very helpful for those who are concerned about age discrimination. We summarized the first 15 years of one candidate’s career into one sentence to downplay the fact that she was 55. Because her experience was relevant to her field, removing it from her resume entirely would have been a disservice, but we did not include the years that experience encompassed in her “Additional Experience” section.
The Experience Issue
We recently worked with another candidate who needed to show that she was a more experienced professional than her education suggested. This woman had worked for 10 years before going back to complete her bachelor’s degree. From looking at her graduation dates, you would assume she was in her 20s. In fact, she was an experienced manager in her 30sâa fact that was important to show for the level of job she was seeking.
By adding an “Additional Experience” section and putting her “Work History” section before her “Education” section, she was able to show employers that her graduation dates were not an indication of how much experience she had. Just because her work experience occurred before graduating doesn’t mean it was unrelated work experience. The right resume format will make it much easier to mention any kind of significant work experience you’ve had in your career.
Many of us have work experience that doesn’t fit neatly with our current goals and objectives. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving it off your resume altogether, using an “Additional Experience” section can help you mention the experience quickly without wasting precious resume space.
Need more help with your job search?
We’d love it if you signed up for Work It Daily’s Power Hour Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!
This article was originally published at an earlier date.
Learning doesn’t end with a diploma; it’s a lifelong journey that evolves with each experience and new piece of knowledge acquired. For alumni, continuing education opens […]
In the wake of the pandemic, businesses worldwide rapidly adopted tools such as video conferencing technology to facilitate remote collaboration within distributed teams. Despite the move towards this technology, large workshops that were traditionally dependent on physical spaces have continued to remain in-person events for many organizations.
And I get itâmeeting in person can help foster camaraderie and sidebar conversations. Employees can tune out from the constant Slack and email notifications, focusing on the task at hand. But in my experience, in-person working sessions also bring on massive inefficiencies. Many colleagues are forced to dust off their suits and travel from various locations, disrupting their routines and sleeping habits. Despite efforts to gather everyone in person, inevitably there are individuals who either live in distant markets or couldn’t attend in person and must virtually dial in, leading to a fragmented experience. Whiteboarding is done on large Post-it notes, requiring someone to take pictures and manually transcribe information for digital sharing. Employees end up spending long days in conference rooms, feeling drained, and often feel obliged to attend happy hours.
Companies aiming to sustain or even improve creativity, culture, and engagement need to invest in alternatives that meet the flexibility of the current business environment.
According to a Gallup poll, 51% of employees report disengagement from their work. The difficulty lies in maintaining a robust company culture when most interactions occur through screens (source).
Benefits Of Virtual Workshops
While many argue that in-person workshops are more personal and interactive than remote meetings, new and innovative technologies are bringing benefits to distributed brainstorming:
- Productivity: Parallel team ideation leads to significant time savings, shorter time to produce artifacts with templatized digital materials, and accelerated decision-making with digital features such as voting and timers.
- Cost Savings: Digital meet-ups are far more cost-effective than teams traveling to a centralized location, workspaces are quicker to set up, and they require less logistical coordination than in-person sessions.
- Greater Inclusivity: Virtual sessions guard against groupthink, creating an equitable environment where no single individual or group dominates ideas.
- Streamline Documentation & Scale: Teams can easily share workshop documents, create standardized company-wide templates, and integrate with existing external digital tools/workflows. Digital whiteboards maintain âthe whole storyâ of the session as well as reduce the need for duplicative notes.
As a management consultant, I often act as the facilitator, incorporating virtual workshops in various scenarios across clients. Here are some ways I have leveraged remote workshops to enhance collaboration:
- Process Mapping: Partnered with teams to develop a new marketing process by grouping various stakeholder groups and mapping the current state customer journey from start to finish. Understanding the customer journey helped the team come up with innovative ideas for the future state.
- Gap Assessment: Created a structured, collaborative discovery framework to help a company determine gaps across people, processes, and technology in their current operations. Recommendations to remediate current challenges were voted on and prioritized, which created the design of future projects.
- OKR Coaching: Utilized a virtual whiteboard to organize ideas for OKR development. The team identified strategic themes and prioritized the most critical areas of focus. We created an actionable plan with defined objectives and key results.
- Retrospectives: Leveraged the agile retrospective framework âRose, Bud, Thornâ to recap and reflect on a program that required cross-functional collaboration between teams. Walking away, the teams felt they had fostered a culture of continuous improvement and ultimately improved morale.
Additional popular use cases include prototyping, âDesign Think,â team stand-ups, strategic planning, project charters, and more.
To ensure successful virtual brainstorming sessions, consider the following best practices:
- Choose the Right Tool: Select a collaboration tool that is quick to learn, requires minimal setup, and aligns with any company security requirements (i.e., industry regulations, privacy, GDPR, etc). My favorite tool is Mural, given its optimized user interface, flexible permissioning, and timer features.
- Define the Scope: Clearly define objectives, problem statements, and establish guidelines for communicating through the session.
- Design: There is no need to recreate the wheel; take advantage of templatized frameworks. Think about how you want to organize and prioritize ideas as a group.
- Choose a Facilitator: Designate a facilitator to ensure a productive and respectful environment.
In conclusion, embracing virtual workshop tools can transform remote working challenges into opportunities for enhanced collaboration, creativity, and engagement within distributed teams.
In a perfect world, it would always be easy to deal with stakeholders, co-workers, bosses, and other peers. The truth is, sometimes we have to deal with difficult people in our personal and professional lives. How we deal with people, difficult or not, will be a factor in how far we go in our careers. So, how can we successfully deal with difficult stakeholders and peers without hurting our professional reputations?
We recently asked our leading executives how they deal with difficult stakeholders and peers at work.
Here are their responses…
Ana Smith, Talent Architect & Global Learning Strategist
Managing stakeholders is one of any project manager’s most complex and important responsibilities. The success of any given project or initiative can frequently depend upon stakeholder collaboration and satisfaction, which is why it’s essential to give careful attention to their needs.
However, managing difficult stakeholders and peers can be, and therefore become, quite challenging, so it’s important to anticipate and manage them effectively. They might not be open and forthcoming in their communications, or they may only offer negative feedback. Some stakeholders may be frustrated at the progress of the project or may not seem to be very engaged in the work. These are some basic areas that you need to focus on in successful stakeholder management: identifying stakeholders (internal and external), understanding stakeholder needs, meeting their needs, underpromising and overdelivering, listening to stakeholder concerns, frequently communicating, amongst others. If not done properly, they can result in spectacular project failures.
There is an “Iron Triangle” on which experienced project managers focus on. This consists of 1) quality/scope, 2) budget, and 3) time. If stakeholders or sponsors want more in the deliverable (i.e., more features) then something has to give. The project will take longer, or it will cost more, or it will be a little of both. If they want to lower costs, they probably cannot do it without decreasing scope or increasing timelines. Stakeholders will need to understand that, and the project manager needs to be consistent on this point.
A poor appreciation of stakeholder management can often lead to catastrophic decision-making which ultimately leads to more cost, longer timelines, and diluted benefits.
Ana Smith helps people & organizations achieve their full talent potential by developing and co-creating people strategies and customized solutions, and turning them into impactful outcomes and collaborative relationships, using coaching as the “red thread.”
Andrea Markowski, Marketing Executive
When I think of difficult people, my college job years ago as a part-time credit card bill collector comes up. People were often on their worst behavior when I called.
Thankfully, we were trained to handle these situations. In essence, you must listen to ALL objections before you can ask someone to agree to a request. It was a valuable lesson about human nature, listening, and empathy.
What does this look like, and how can you use this method?
Step one: Be patient and listen while someone might vent, complain, or express the issues preventing them from doing something.
Step two: Acknowledge what theyâve said and the feelings expressed.
Step three: Repeat steps one and two until there is no more air to clear. Do not move on until the upset person has had their complete say.
Step four: Transition to what you need and âwhatâs in it for meâ (them)âa WIIFMâif they comply.
Also, never accept insults or rude language. In the bill-collecting world, we had permission to hang up if things got out of hand. In your real life, you have permission to leave the situation until cooler heads prevail.
Andrea Markowski is a marketing director with specializations in strategy development, digital tactics, design thinking, and creative direction. She has superpowers in presentations and public speaking.
Lynn Holland, VP Sales & Business Development
Take a job, win a client, use a dating app, and youâre amongst people with hurts, hang-ups, and emotions like fear, anger, and insecurity near the surface. Add modern pressures and poof! Disagreement, bias, and attitude. An inevitable evil, here are some tools for influence and goodwill:
1. Seek to understand their POV and why (internal/external influences)
2. Suggest reaching the best company/collective outcome vs. personal preferences
3. Consider if ideas #1 and #2 can be combined for an even better solution (ideal outcome)
4. If #3 fails, translate #1 and #2 into their respective cost/benefit for the company/collective
1. Build individual profiles – job responsibilities, fears, and biases that internally motivate rejecting or buying into ideas or initiatives
2. Correlate ideas or initiatives to serving their inner personal interests without risk
3. Partner and collaborate with an internal champion motivated to build support for ideas or initiatives that improve the workplace
Lynn Holland is a business development executive with 18+ years of experience taking operational, IoT & retail technologies, products, & consumer engagement to market with a focus in petroleum & convenience retail.
Michael Willis, Sports Business Operations Executive
How to deal with difficult stakeholders and peers:
1. The first step is to identify the stakeholder. While everyone on the team has value, I would identify the threat to the team. The overall mission and objectives of the team must be met. If there is a weak link, executives and team leaders need this information.
2. Like any other threat the team encounters, the difficult stakeholderâs activities must be monitored.
3. Meet them one-on-one to discuss the facts that have been gathered. Donât just rely on second-hand information. Keep the conversation free-flowing. Let the difficult stakeholder do all the talking.
4. Determine the motivation behind the recent behavior.
5. Remind the difficult stakeholder of their place on the team and, most importantly, the mission and goals the group must meet.
6. Determine their motivation. Try to find out what triggered the behavior. Offer remedies or solutions.
7. Create a success story to create new energy and purpose. Tell the stakeholder how the team is valued and viewed by the company.
8. Develop a perpetual communication stream that flows in every direction. As executives, itâs our job to fix problems. But I feel itâs even more important to get ahead of issues before they become problems.
Michael Willis has 18+ years of experience working with accounting & sports organizations and has managed P&Ls of $10M – $125M+ with budgets of $3M-$50M+. He worked for the NFL for 22 1/2 years, mainly with the game officials working on the financial/accounting side of the business.
Mark Taylor, Product & Operations Executive
âDancing Monkey (DM): the length of time between giving someone work to do and your brain wondering why you havenât seen any product yet.â
If a stakeholderâs DM works on a more frequent cycle than yours, they might come across as âdifficult.â
To work out a stakeholderâs DM and stay one step ahead, use informal, face-to-face communication.
E.g.: âAccidentallyâ walk past their office the day after you were given the work.
YOU: âHi, not stopping, know youâre busy…â
THEM: âHowâs it going?â
YOU: “All good. By the way, Iâm cracking on with that work from yesterday.”
THEM: “Great. Could we review what you’ve done so far now/later/tomorrow/next week?”
(Hereâs where you find out whether youâll be burning the midnight oilâor if you have a few daysâ grace.)
Do this a few times and youâll soon become calibrated with a stakeholderâs DM, a means of managing their âdifficultâ tendencies better.
Mark Taylor has 20+ years of risk, technology, and product management experience working in global and regional financial services firms in the UK and the U.S. He’s managed teams of 40+, successfully addressed 100+ regulatory issues, and has saved companies $15M+.
Lisa Perry, Global Marketing Executive
At this point in my career, I am an expert in dealing with difficult stakeholders and peers regarding how often this has happened to me in a work situation. That said, itâs never easy and takes patience, empathy, communication, collaboration, and your eye on the end goal to ensure you succeed. Here are a few tips Iâve learned that might help you with this situation:
- Patience: The key here is to keep your cool as temperatures rise. Take the emotion out of the equation. If that means you need to step away, do it. Itâs essential to be objective, calm, and professional.
- Empathy: Remember the saying, âSeek first to understand, then to be understood,â from Steven Coveyâs book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? People want to be heard. Let them talk, and have them get their frustrations out. Even if you disagree, be quiet. It will be to your advantage. Itâs important to understand where their negativity is coming from so you can address it. You will have time to speak. Give them the first round.
- Communication Is Key: Itâs essential to tailor your communication to their style when dealing with difficult stakeholders and peers. Ask them what works for them. Iâve also found that asking these two questions in emails helps clarify any miscommunication: does this match what you need, and did I miss anything?
- Collaborate: Above all, you need to collaborate and show that you have their best interest at heart and you want to work with them and figure out the best path forward.
If you stay focused on the end goal and try not to get caught up in the emotional turmoil of dealing with difficult individuals, you might be surprised at how effective this approach can be.
Lisa Perry helps companies build leadership brands, driving loyal customers & delivering profitability. She does this through a process that builds brands consumers love. Her goal is to help companies develop, monetize, and grow their brands.
How do you deal with difficult stakeholders and peers? Join the conversation inside Work It Daily’s Executive Program.