Resume Tips – Discussing Number of Hours Worked
Posted by James M on November 14, 2008
Today’s resume tip is a very simple trick to help shore up your resume’s “Experience” section as well as your overall application.
The trick is simply to add the number of hours per week (or per month) you worked for those jobs you held while attending college. For example, if you had a job for 6 months during your junior year of college, you would add an extra bullet under this particular piece of work experience. This bullet would say something very simple like: “Worked 20hrs/week.”
So your work experience section for this job might look something like this:
Stone Gardens Rock Climbing Gym Nov. 2007 – Present
Kids Class Volunteer
- Taught a group of 12 children ages 7 to 13 basic climbing terminology, safety procedures, and technique
- Monitored general behavior and safety of kids while in the gym environment
- Time commitment: 15 hours per week
This particular sample job may or may not be placed on your resume depending on its applicability to your target position. For this example let’s assume you are applying to a community outreach position where part of your job is mentoring children, so this work experience would definitely be applicable.
So why would we add the extra bullet detailing the number of hours worked per week? Well, for one thing you are giving scope to your experience as I discussed in a previous post entitled “Resume Tip – Use Numbers.” In short, working 5 hours per week is different than working 15 which is different still than holding a full-time 40hr per week position while attending school. By providing this valuable information the recruiter will have some basis with which to evaluate the rest of your application, most importantly your GPA. For example, I would argue that earning a GPA of 3.5 with no college job at all, while commendable, is not nearly as impressive as earning, say, a 3.2 GPA while working 35 hours per week. So adding this piece of information helps to put your overall application in perspective and acts to give you a “pass” for performance that might be slightly lower than it would have been otherwise.
One last note. If, by working during college, you were able to fund a significant portion of your college education (which includes living expenses other than tuition that might normally be covered by a loan) you should also mention this on your resume. This can be either in the Summary of Qualifications section (which I’ll blog about soon) or by adding a bullet to the applicable job in the “Experience” section of your resume. Here is an example: “Funded 60% of living and tuition expenses from Dec. 2006 to May 2008.” This statement will have very broad implications for your overall application and will show a potential employer a variety of skills such as the ability to work independently, strong responsibility, multitasking, and, perhaps most importantly, the willingness to work very hard to achieve an important goal.
Although it may seem like a small thing, many recruiters I’ve talked to attest to the effectiveness of this tip.