I've been given confusing resume advice

Post date: 2023-09-16 08:51:41
Views: 15
And now I am confused. Can you help me figure out how to proceed?

Apologies for the length; I just want you all to have the full context. I have recently started ramping up a job search as the company I work for is experiencing a lot of instability, financial difficulties, multiple layoffs, etc and upper management is more reactive than proactive. It's become clear that there is no future here. Our reputation in the industry has taken a nosedive rather quickly and is unlikely to improve unless the entire C-Suite is removed and replaced.

Anyway, here's my question. I am in my late 30s and work as a Staff Accountant currently. I have been in my current position for 2 years and have been working in accounting roles for the last ten years. Prior to that I mostly worked in purchasing and supply chain jobs but have no desire to return to that as I really love accounting (weird as that may sound). I currently work in the veterinary medicine/services industry, but prior to my current job the bulk of my career was in the hotel and restaurant industries. I really like vet med and would like to remain in this industry. I have a friend/former colleague who left my company a few months ago who offered to take a look at my resume and fix it up to make me more competitive for other accounting jobs in vet med. However, some of the things she's suggesting seem counter to resume advice I've been given in the past and are genuinely confusing me and I want to make sure that in her zeal to help me escape my current unsatisfactory job she's not inadvertently making my resume less strong overall.

She thinks my resume should be truncated down to 1 page as opposed to 2 (which it is now) and I should remove most of my earlier entry-level post-college jobs and put most of the focus on my current job because it's the most relevant to staying in the vet med industry.

In theory I can understand her reasoning - if I want to stay in vet med my resume should really highlight my experience in vet med. In practice, I have 16 years' work experience and have been working consistently since I graduated college (save for the COVID interruption), and my resume shows that I have progressive experience in finance and accounting roles (even in my early supply chain roles I was mainly doing inventory control/accounting and forecasting).

I worry that removing all of those early jobs, especially at my age, would give the impression that I haven't been consistently employed, and I think that would make a poor impression on a hiring manager. I also have always been told that once you move to mid-career level a 2 page resume is the norm - it's not like I'm a recent college grad with a couple of internships and one entry level job. My 2 page resume has gotten me hired several times (including at my current company) so unless the job market has changed dramatically in the past 2 years I don't really know if I agree that a 1 page resume makes sense for a mid-career professional.

Am I off base here or is she? I definitely value her input as she's been working in vet med for longer than I have, she's also in accounting, and she just landed a fantastic accounting job in the vet med field after leaving our company so she really knows the specific type of job I am looking to land in. But truncating a 16 year long career showing progressive experience down to one page would probably end up with me only listing three jobs max. She says in an interview I would be able to talk about the earlier jobs but would I even be getting an interview with a 1 page resume at nearly age 40?

On top of that, while I've been working in finance and finance-adjacent jobs my whole career I don't have a degree in finance or accounting; I have a kind of irrelevant liberal arts degree from a dubiously fancy school that I have done nothing with. My degree has literally nothing to do with my career, and so removing a ton of my finance work experience from my resume when I have a random BA I would think would make my candidacy for an accounting position less strong. I have so much work experience in accounting just by learning on the job that it hopefully cancels out the irrelevant college degree. (I am looking into getting an accounting degree of some sort but that's a longer term plan that will take time, whereas I would like to start kicking my job hunt into gear now.)

Look, if my take on things is wrong and her advice would help me in my job hunt I'll happily be wrong and shop myself around with her retooled one page version of my resume! I'm not trying to say I know better than her - I asked for her advice specifically because she had more experience in this industry than I do. That said, her suggestions fly in the face of everything I've always been told about how to write a resume, especially with my lack of formal accounting education. Just wanted to query the hive mind and see if there is a general consensus about whether I should be taking my friend 100% at her word on this.

Bonus points if you are a hiring manager or work in HR screening applicants and can give me a real insider take.

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