How to write a good resume with a bad job history

Written by j. johnson
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How to write a good resume with a bad job history
Having a good resume can help you reach your professional goals. (business 2 image by Nathalie P from

Almost any job you apply for is going to require you to provide a copy of your resume. Employers use resumes to get an idea of your employment history, education, and relevant job skills to see if you're a good match for the position and for the company. However, impressing an employer can be difficult if you need to overcome a less-than-perfect job history.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Create an objective for your resume. Your objective should state the type of position you're looking for, as well as several specific strengths that you can bring to the position. Match these strengths to the needs of the company as closely as possible. A potential employer will be impressed right away and may be more forgiving of an imperfect job history. Add a professional summary after your objective. Your professional summary should list three to five of your most marketable traits or skills. Again, these should be tailored to the job you're applying for.

  2. 2

    List your education before your job history. This tactic works best if you have an impressive educational background, such as an advanced degree or a degree that fits perfectly with the position you're applying for. Make your education section even more impressive by adding additional training that you've received since earning your degree, such as classes, seminars, or certifications. Add your college grade point average, as well, if it was above a 3.0.

  3. 3

    Create a section for professional experience, rather than employment history. This allows you to add relevant volunteer experience to cover gaps in employment or a short job history.

  4. 4

    Group different jobs together as one item in your professional-experience section. For example, if you worked for three or four marketing firms in your area between 1990 and 2005, list them on your resume as "Marketing Executive: New York firms (1990-2005)." Doing this will help cover up the gaps in your resume.

  5. 5

    List approximately three bullet points under each item in your professional-experience section and describe the skills you acquired or responsibilities you had. Try to make the bullet points as relevant as possible to the job you're applying for.

  6. 6

    Proofread. Nothing will get your resume tossed faster than blatant errors, typos and misspelled words.

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