Dates for Each Job on Your Resume

I read a resume today that grouped the employment history in such a way that it obscured the job seeker's experience.  This person has spent the last 20 years with the same company in the auto industry and recently lost their job.  With such a long career with one company, it’s not surprising this individual held a number of different positions in different areas of the company.

The problem with this resume was how the work experience was presented.  The job seeker provided the years they worked for the company, but they didn’t list any detail for each position.  Here’s the format of their work experience:

Company Name – City, State   198x to 2008
Job Title One:  <short list of responsibilities>
Job Title Two:  <short list of responsibilities>
Job Title Three:  <short list of responsibilities>
Job Title Four:  <short list of responsibilities>
Job Title Five:  <short list of responsibilities>
Job Title Six:  <short list of responsibilities>

In another section of the resume, the job seeker lists a number of accomplishments, but doesn’t related the accomplishments to specific roles.

The problem with this is that it is very difficult to understand what the job seeker did.  The six job were actually in five different functional areas of the company, and have significant differences in skills and experiences. 

Knowing how many years were spent in each position would really help.  Plus, it’s impossible to tell which of the roles was the best fit for the job seeker.  The resume didn’t have an objective, so I have to guess which position is the best fit.  I would assume it's the most recent role – but I honestly don’t know and could be completely wrong.

It is important for your resume to tell your story.  A resume is more than a collection of facts – it’s a picture of your career and potential.  This resume gave me some facts, but did not show me the potential of this candidate.