Although many of us are in a place in our lives where we think that any experience is good experience--eagerly accepting any job opportunity that comes out way-- it turns out that accepting a job below our skill level, and then putting it on our resume, can actually hurt us in the long run. The problem is that, when potential employers and recruiters view resumes, they often fall victim to the idea that someone who has taken a lower-level job is less committed or less competent than someone who exclusively accepts jobs of higher caliber.

David Pendulla from The University of Texas Population Research Center shared that "Even though millions of workers are employed in part-time positions--through temporary agencies and at jobs below their skill level--less attention has been paid to how these types of employment situations influence workers' future hiring outcomes."

In an attempt to better analyze how past unemployment affects a person's future employment chances, researchers conducted a study involving 903 hiring decision-makers in the U.S. These decision-makers were questioned about the perceptions of each job applicant when taking into account his or her past employment histories, and then asked to determine the likelihood of such applicants receiving an interview.

Interestingly enough, the results showed that men in part-time positions were penalized--being seen by employers as less committed or competent than those in full-time positions and jobs. Women working the same position, however, were thought to be less competent, but not necessarily less committed.

Long story short, both men and women lost, though men lost the most.

Due to society's ingrained perceptions of a correct professional course, it can be worthwhile to re-evaluate what you place on your resume before apply for your next job. Through this study, it's clear that not all work experience is ultimately beneficial when you're applying for a new job. Instead, it can actually hurt--rather than help--to put low-level or part-time work on your resume.

It's definitely more beneficial to be seen as someone who's done a fewer number of jobs very well, than someone who has participated in many lines of work--but not necessarily excelled in any of them. Remember that quality trumps quantity, and your resume should reflect that notion.

Published on: Dec 28, 2016
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