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Writing a Resume After a Long Tenure with One Employer

Kristine Penning,


The COVID-19 pandemic has had professionals in agriculture evaluating their career options and has even forced some professionals to search for new employment. Starting the job search process several years removed from it can be difficult. You may have stuck with your current employer for many years and have little else to list for experience. In the words of Pam Beesly on The Office, “My resume can fit on a Post-It note.” 

You’re not alone—many job seekers find themselves in this position. Here’s how to write a resume after you’ve been with one employer for a long time (or even your entire career):

Don’t Lie. I always hope that this goes without saying, but it happens. Don’t lie on your resume. Don’t make up positions or qualifications that you don’t have. You don’t have to add false filler to make your resume look more impressive. Be honest; it will surely come back to bite you if you fib.

Only List What’s Pertinent. Only list experience that is relevant and pertinent to the position you are applying to. If you have only held one or two long-term roles in your professional career, you might be tempted to list short-term roles you held in college or university. Or you might be thinking about listing roles in your past that are no longer relevant or noteworthy to your current career path and goals. While these experiences are valuable to who you are now, they may not look as impressive or may be dated.

Same Employer but Different Roles? List Them. Definitely list each role you have held with one organization, as it will demonstrate to the reader that you were successful in a variety of roles, or even promoted.

Write a Skills-Based Resume. If you don’t feel confident about your brief list of experience, try the skills-based resume format. A skills-based resume highlights the various skills and accomplishments you have gained from your experiences and focuses in on how they are transferable to the position you are applying for. Your experience is still listed, there is just less focus on it. Learn more about writing a skills-based resume in this 2019 Career Guide article.

Your Brief Career History is Really a Positive. Don’t worry about having few experiences listed under your career history. This should communicate to your employer that you are not a job hopper and that you are likely to stay at a position for a considerable length of time. Your potential employer will hopefully see that you are committed and loyal.

Your Resume is Important, But So Are You. Finally, yes, your resume is important. It will help you get the interview. However, so will your cover letter. Be sure to detail any changes you experienced while with your employer(s) to display adaptability and growth such as leadership, company, or technology changes. Also, in the interview, you will likely get the opportunity to elaborate on why you have remained with just a one or two employers during your career (and why you are now leaving). With all things, put your best foot forward, represent yourself accurately and in the best way you can, and your resume will fill up with a new role in no time.