In today’s tough economic times, many candidates have been employed by companies that eventually closed their doors, were bought out or underwent massive layoffs. Instead of the average two to five year-spans of employment recruiters are used to seeing, resumes of today often list recent work histories as periods of less than a year at multiple companies. You want to list that great experience on your resume, but a long list of roles with a short duration may leave potential employers questioning your loyalty.

How can you demonstrate your commitment to a company, without having to explain your streak of bad luck? Here are some ways to tweak your resume format to accommodate short-term full-time jobs or a series of freelance positions as you search for a long-term position:

  1. Change your resume format—Instead of listing all of your work experience chronologically, use themes to bring your information together in a way that shows you at your best. Relevant Experience lets you leave out jobs that don’t apply to the current role. Contract Experience lets you list all of your freelance projects in one section, even if they are not long-term roles individually. Reverse Chronological Order is not the only way to construct a resume. Here are some others.
  2. Leave it out—You don’t have to list every job you’ve had for every company. Instead just include your general responsibilities, companies, and brands in separate lists. Then, be prepared to discuss specific accomplishments or projects from your time with each company.
  3. Volunteer—If you’ve been out of work for a while, offer your skills to a non-profit as a volunteer. Those experiences can go on your resume and LinkedIn profile, just as any paid work would. If you have long gaps in your work history these volunteer opportunities can provide recent stories to tell in an interview – where showing passion for a cause or a project can be a great way to sell yourself.

Wendy Stackhouse for Artisan Creative