Unrelated / Poor work experience

For those people that worked Retail ( non - financial i.e clothing stores etc ) Do you include that work experience on your Resume if it was something you did full time ? In this case I’m referring to experince acquired after completion of undergrad . Do you think it will be looked upon negatively by prospective employers ?

i’d say it’s fine to leave it off assuming you don’t have big chunks of time missing on your resume

Was it in a highend Men’s store, b/c you could talk about helping some BSDs find the perfect set of cuff links which taught you invaluable lessons about getting the job done.

will it be look on as negative if it is on there ? It is about 1 .5 yrs …I was in a situation where I needed flexibility with the hours and could not work regular office hours however still needed a full time job .

rudeboi, i think it really depends on what other experience you have. like numi said, if by leaving out retail your resume seems empty and can’t account for where you’ve been for 3 years, then by all means stick it back in. play the underdog card. i’m assuming you’re not out of a traditional top b-school, so i would make my selling point “hey, i started in retail, worked really hard to get my cfa, and i’m going to work even harder if you hire me.” that would be my pitch.

I think you should leave it on, since having a job is better then a gap of 1.5 years, means your are employable and willing to work…

“hey, i started in retail, worked really hard to get my cfa, and i’m going to work even harder if you hire me.” Yeah thats the pitch I’m currently trying to sell …however thats easier said than done , although from the interviews i have had in the past i havent really been questioned too much about that pat of my resume .

For what’s it worth I had jumping to the pump on mine… “Petroleum Distribution Technician” or something like that. Got a laugh in the majority of my interviews; interviewers have had shi**y jobs too. I also had more relevant experience on the resume too but that one got most interviews off the script and changed the mood for a few…

If its not your last job, then I say leave it on. It shows that someone employed you. It shows that you’re ambitious. It shows that you’re not trying to hide things, and it might give you something to joke about in an interview. However, you should also have some lesson that you learned from that experience about work/people/jobs that will show hat you can find advantages even in adversity. If the cr*ppy job is what you are doing now, it might be a harder choice. Not sure what to suggest, but the default should be to be straightforward.

I definitely learned a lot from that job …mostly soft skills like interacting with different kinds of people , hitting sales goals ,managing people , customer service and it helped me become more patient ( I’m impatient by nature )

If you spent that much time working there, leave it on your resume. You should figure out how to frame your discussion so that it focuses around the skills that you’d learned from the job, and how you arrived at the idea that you’d rather be doing something else. Also, I know you don’t think your experience in retail is much to brag about, but I think it’s worth pointing out that it’s important to be confident, or at least willing to accept yourself, for the employment decisions you’ve made. If you go into an interview with the mindset that your 1.5 years in retail was “poor work experience,” they will likely consider you a “poor candidate” no matter how well you do otherwise. It’s all about having the right attitude, and if you can make it sound like your experience in retail was just a starting point for better things and that there are still certain things that you were able to learn from that job, the potential employer’s perception of you will be much more positive. It really doesn’t matter whether I or anyone else here on this forum thinks your experience is poor – it’s still a part of who you are, and being comfortable in your own skin is just as important as any work experience you may have.

I think all the things that you mentioned learning in your retail job or whatever are really good things to hear a prospective employee say they’ve learned. Also, a good salesperson is always valuable, and retail sales is one of the ways to get that. I can’t do it myself, but someone who can just approach people out of the blue and sell them on something is something that people value in pretty much any industry. Don’t sell yourself short. The main question then is to figure out how to put that experience on your resume in a way that highlights those things and gets someone to ask you what you’ve learned from that so you can say it.

I think you have to put it on – you can’t have a 1.5 year resume gap.

I used to have MacDonald’s on my resume (I worked there when I was a student). A couple of people laughed at me at interview, but they liked it. Put it on, but if an interviewer is clearly unimpressed (if he/she mocks it, for example), don’t go off on one about how you learned all these skills (hit targets and so forth). Don’t apologise, just say “I couldn’t work normal office hours. Given the constraint, retail was not a bad option”.

I worked at a very very bad place, on par with McDonalds. But I also had another job (this was during university) which was a bit more respectable. I usually leave that other job off of there. Though I guess it might look good to show that I had 2 jobs while going to school.

My first job out of college was in a warehouse for 6 months. I also worked retail in college (GNC). I kept track of my sales because they were outstanding, and put the numbers on my resume. While those things aren’t on my resume now, they were when I applied to my current job two years ago. I think certain people appreciate it when they know they aren’t dealing with a prima donna who started in IB or whatever. It’s non threatening. Lots of people didn’t get an opportunity in their field straight out of undergrad. I think you should leave it on your resume and try to spin it positively. If you misrepresent your experience it will call your honesty into question.

I think meaningless jobs in college or even just out are nothing to be ashamed of. They at least demonstrate a willingness to work. Just make sure that your resume shows that you’re intelligent and ambitious and willing to work hard, and that should be good.

Thanks for all your feedback guys …

Sheeeeshh… I’m the king of (financially) meaningless jobs. I’m putting together a resume and someday sooon I’m going to post it here for tips/criticism/suggestions. You WILL laugh.

I graduated from undergraduate in May 2002. Most internships were very difficult to grab, and landing a position out of college was very difficult and jobs weren’t handed to anyone with a degree. Let me summarize the companies I lost opportunities with: 1. Cigna (They offered me a position in their development program, their stock tanked by $20.00/share and they removed three undergraduate positions, one of them being mine) 2. Ames (Filed for Cahpter 11 bc of Walmart)l and I was interviewing for their development program as well, they ended up calling me 20 minutes prior to my interview and telling me not to come in as they killed their development program the day before. -Not to mention the other Fortune 500 Companies. With the Recession, noone was hiring at that time. I had a four month stint post-graduation with a retail chain. Although it was logged as my experience on my resume, I still was able to make it into Unilever afterwards. What I learned through my initial job hunt post University is to use your networks. College: 1. Network of friends from Uni. 2. Career Services connections with recent graduates 3. Join your Alumnus association and network through that group. CFA Charter/Designation Is there a local Association of CFA Charters in your area? You may find them useful in your job search Look for opportunities to network because this will be the best way to gain entrance into your first job, when you are in a situation with little experience in the field. Its something I was never told and had to learn. Even though you may not have the experience required for the role, if the interviewer can relate to you, or has a reputable person vouge for you, you can gain entrance.