One-Employer Job Search!

By Joe Stein

It may sound amazing during these transient employment times but there are many people who have worked for only one employer during their career. This may be due to just getting started in their career or because they found that “right job” immediately and stayed for quite awhile before seeking new employment. Whatever the reason, the dilemma faced in this situation is usually questions such as, “what do I place on my resume?” or “what do I talk about in the interview?”
The concern is that a one-employer job search person lacks the diverse and interesting background as someone who has worked for multiple employers.  While some Recruiters may value the loyalty to one organization, others may actually perceive it as a negative. These Recruiters may draw the perception that the candidate lacks motivation or will be too set in doing things only one way: the way they always have done it. A Recruiter may wonder why you did not change jobs for a better opportunity, or whether you will fit into their culture.
So let’s examine what a Job Seeker can do to present him or herself in the best possible light when their experience lacks employer variety.
·        Don’t forget that length of resume does not guarantee success. Most Recruiters dread having to read lengthy resumes, especially if they are inflated. A crisp, concise, readable one page resume may be exactly what the Recruiter is seeking. Avoid writing text for the sake of having a lengthy Resume. We are stressing quality over quantity.
    • Focus on accomplishments and skills. This should be the majority of your resume regardless of whether you are starting your career or in full swing. Consider formatting under sub-categories rather than just listing everything under the header of the employer. In your phone screen/interview come prepared with the key accomplishments you want to make sure to present. Whenever possible, these accomplishments should be quantified in terms such as dollars saved, sales increased, or productive improvements. Accomplishments quantified in this nature speak the universal language of business. Weave in the skills you have obtained and how you applied them to reach your accomplishments. If you are relatively new in your career consider adding information regarding internships and volunteer work that will be relevant to the Recruiter.
    • Stress any career progression you have had at the employer. This will help offset any concern regarding your career motivation. If you have received promotions during the course of your tenure, then make sure these are emphasized on your resume and noted in an interview.   Each title during your progression should receive its own recognition in bold on your resume.  If it has been quite awhile since your last promotion (i.e. more than 5 years ago), you may want to leave the dates off of the resume and just list the titles. A steady progression will display how your current organization continued to present you with meaningful challenges and fully valued you. I suggest that this theme should also be part of your interview talking points. The message that should be conveyed is that while you were at one company, the position continued to change with new and exciting challenges being presented to you. If you have not received promotions during your tenure, avoid the temptation of embellishing your resume. These mistruths will surface at some point and be devastating to your career.
    • Stress in the interview times that you were flexible. The point is to communicate how adaptable you have been in your career. If you have worked on any special projects or on a start-up assignment, these examples will display your ability to work outside of the norm. You do not want to present yourself as someone who is a “one trick pony” and can only do things the way of your one employer.
    • Show how you have kept your skills current. A concern of a Recruiter might go beyond “is this person used to doing things a certain way”, but whether they have kept current with technology and methods. If you feel that you are not as up-to-date as you should be, then go out and skill up prior to your job search. This may require college or trade courses that will provide you the necessary knowledge.
In previous times, a long stable career with a company was a real asset, displaying a sign of stability and loyalty. In modern times, although still a positive reflection, a single stop in a career may also create some flags with a Recruiter. If you have minimal variety in your experience, consider the tips above to provide yourself with the tools to overcome any perceptions.
As always, best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNY Jobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel Free to E-Mail Any Questions or Comments