How to include early jobs on your resume (and whether you should)

Should you list jobs on your resume that you had very early in your career? Well, maybe yes, maybe no. It depends on your age, number of years since you started working in career-level jobs, and what kind of new position that you really want.

maybe yes, maybe no listing early jobs on resume

Here is how to decide whether to include your early experience or not:

Maybe Yes – DO include your early work history, if:

maybe yes to listing early jobs on resume
  • You haven’t yet established yourself into a degree-worthy career. By including your early work history, you show that you are employable and perhaps have acquired relevant capabilities and experiences that could translate to career positions.
  • You are fresh out of school and want employers to know how hard-working you are (or were) during or soon-after college or high school. If truthful, mention how you paid your way through school or how you paid a certain percentage of your college costs. Such hard work and determination is impressive to employers.
  • The job application insists that you list every single job that you had during a certain time period. If that’s the case, list the early/irrelevant experience as briefly as possible (perhaps even combining them into one entry) and make the duties and accomplishments that you do list relevant to the job opening.
  • You want to play up select early experience because they relate better to the type of job that you want than your recent work experiences. In that case, it’s not necessary to list all of your irrelevant work experiences in between now and then. Instead, add an entry at the end of your work history like this:

Additional experience includes sales positions with XYZ, ABC and LMNOP (YEAR-YEAR), including handling [THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER DUTIES], resulting in a [NUMERIC RESULT, SUCH AS $XX SOLD, OR XX% RAISED].

If the experience was unrelated to what you want to do, just end it at the date section and if you are concerned that including the dates could age you, leave them off.

Example of how to include early experience in a relevant way.
adding college jobs to resume
If you elect to include early work experience in your resume, relay duties that you performed that are relevant to career positions, add quantifiable results and honors and accomplishments. If possible, mention if you paid all or part of your education costs by working while in school.

maybe yes to adding early jobs on resume
Maybe No – DON'T include your early work history, if:
  • You have been out of college for a long time and have been working in career positions for a while. But if you do choose to include early jobs, play up duties and accomplishments from your early jobs that relate to the job opening and keep the entry relatively brief.

In general, only include the last 15 years of your job history on your resume unless: 

  1. Your early experience could help you get the job better than your more recent experience 
  2. Your work experience at a particular company extends back more than 15 years … in that case, include your whole tenure with the company, but maximize recent job duties / accomplishments and minimize early, irrelevant jobs with the company (perhaps just listing them as a bullet point under a more recent, important position).

Make the most of your early experiences! Strategically share your early work history to further your career prospects. -- Kathy



Look to WiserU for LinkedIn and career training and services!

We provide corporate LinkedIn training and services, as well as comprehensive career services for job seekers, new grads and college students including:
  • Expert resume creation / optimization
  • Expert LinkedIn profile creation / optimization
  • Career coaching
  • Job interview preparation
  • Group/class LinkedIn training 
  • Group/class career training (resumes, applying online, etc.)
  • Individual LinkedIn training
  • Recruiter reach services to connect top recruiters to you

To learn more or to get started, visit Services or contact Sue at 847-606-5160 or

How to stealth job search using LinkedIn

stealth job search using LinkedIn
Miserably employed? Hey, I’ve been there. Here is how to stealthily take action to move to a better job using LinkedIn and other means.

1) Change your LinkedIn settings to “No” where it asks, “Notify your network?” on the right side of your Edit Profile page.  By doing so, you won’t draw attention to your profile when you edit it to attract hiring companies.

2) Pump up your LinkedIn profile to match the jobs that you want, filling out every box that you can and improving your LinkedIn headline and job title entries so that you can be found for your ideal positions. This article explains how. Find tons of free LinkedIn tips for job search here

Best time to edit your profile? The weekend, when almost no one is paying attention. 

Call in the experts! WiserU can optimize your profile for you. Learn how then call 847-606-5160 or email Susan AT

3) Disconnect from your boss and coworkers to ensure they don’t observe your job search machinations on LinkedIn. You can do so two ways. One is easy, but potentially dangerous. The other is harder, but risk-free.

The dangerous/easy way: 
  • Visit a person’s profile and then click the triangle next to “Send a message” and then select “Remove connection”.  The dangerous aspect? The person may see that you visited his/her profile if they check the “Who viewed my profile” feature. 
  • To avoid this problem, change your settings BEFORE you visit their profiles, by clicking the little picture of you in the upper right corner of any LinkedIn page and clicking Privacy and Settings > “Manage” and  then under Privacy Controls, click “Select what others see when you've viewed their profile”. 
  • Choose “You will be totally anonymous”. 
  • Keep the setting that way for at least 48 hours after you have removed connections. Note that you should change your setting to “Your name and headline” later so that LinkedIn won’t “punish” you by not allowing you to see who visits YOUR profile.

The risk-free/harder way:
  • Click the Connections tab
  • Sort your connections list by last name. 
  • Hover over the entry of a person from whom you want to disconnect. 
  • While hovering, look for the “More” link that appears. 
  • Click the triangle to the right of the word “More”. 
  • Click “Remove connection”.

Either way that you disconnect, your connections will not be notified; however, your name may appear in the person’s “People You May Know” box and they may invite you to connect again.

4) Update your resume to play up your current position and to align with your LinkedIn profile so that you will be ready should a recruiter reach out to you. Ask WiserU to craft your resume

5) Use LinkedIn to reach recruiters who specialize in your industry / field / location to alert them that that you are available and interested in opportunities. Find articles about how to enlist and equip recruiters to help you here.

6) Selectively notify people who can help you (and not hurt you) that you are job seeking. Either send them LinkedIn InMail messages (which are free to connections), or send them an email. Let them know what types of job titles that you seek and in which city. Include your phone number and email address to make sending you job leads easy. Remind them once a month that you continue to seek a new position.

7) Increase your involvement with networking circles, such as with a local Meetup or field / industry associations to meet hiring decision makers and influential people.  Have personal business cards printed through Vistaprint or other providers, that you can hand out at such events. Include the job titles/functions that you want and your contact information. Follow up with the people that you meet by inviting them to connect and then nurturing the connection on LinkedIn.

8) Apply for jobs on LinkedIn by clicking the Jobs tab and the following the prompts to apply for jobs near you. LinkedIn will reveal to you who you know at the hiring company so that you can enlist their help and will often let you know the name of the person who posted the position. 

Best of all, many jobs posted on LinkedIn are “Apply Now” jobs, which lets you apply for the jobs instantly using your LinkedIn profile, plus you can upload your resume and cover letter as one document. This quick apply feature on LinkedIn and many leading job sites is a real time saver for miserably employed people ... just make sure that your LinkedIn profile is a strong match for open positions before you apply. 

9) Add the LinkedIn Job Search app to your smart phone so that you can have job leads sent to you so that you can immediately apply. Learn more here

10) Strengthen your skills on your current company’s dime and then add your skills into your LinkedIn Skills and Expertise section and then retype them into your LinkedIn Summary section. Endorse other people’s skills on LinkedIn and ask them to endorse your skills. The more endorsed skills that you have and the more relevant keywords in your Summary section (in general), the higher up in search results you will show up for the jobs that you want. 

You can pursue positions while miserably employed! Start stealth sleuthing for your next job! -- Kathy

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How to start your freelancing career (and why you might want to!)

Many professionals are drawn to the idea of freelancing – the flexible schedule, relative freedom and more creative working environment -- are possible perks of this alternative work style that are worth consideration. Moving from gaining extra cash or pursuing a hobby to a full-fledged freelancing career is like a revolution ... you'll find yourself in a completely new professional context and it will take time to navigate the freelancing lifestyle. 

Here are 6 tips to help you launch a successful career as a freelancer.

1. Identify your goals and make a plan

Before you quit your job to start working on your own, analyze your needs and define your goals. Your primary goal will be supporting yourself, so start thinking about how much you should charge for your work, how many projects per month you will pursue and how many potential clients you'll need to have on an ongoing basis to make a living.

You'll be the one managing your projects and scheduling your time, so make sure you know which tools can help you in that pursuit – choose tools from simple ones like Google Calendar,  to more robust ones such as Insightly(an online customer relationship management and project management tool).

2. Pick a form of business that suits you

There are many ways that you can choose to operate your freelancing business. You can set up a sole proprietorship for your unincorporated business, or establish a legal entity for your operation, for instance a limited liability company or corporation.

Many freelancers choose to set up limited liability companies (LLC), because you get all the benefits of a legal entity without having to deal with the hassle of corporation. Make sure to educate yourself on the financial and legal aspects of your operation.

3. Develop your brand

Your personal brand greatly influences your professional brand, so be cautious about what you show to the world on the web. Set up a strong personal LinkedIn profile promoting yourself as a freelancer and actively participate in relevant LinkedIn groups. Add value to groups discussions to build your credibility as an expert.

Remember that promotion and marketing are at the core of every freelancing business – take spending time on such activities into account when planning your schedule and making financial predictions.

4. Get yourself out there

Yes, a nice website showcasing your portfolio is a must, but it's certainly not the only way to get business. Choose networks that are relevant to your industry and market yourself in a few different channels. You can advertise your services to targeted clients on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, as well as promote your business on niche social media that you know your potential clients check. 

And don’t forget to advertise your services on job hunting sites like, Gumtree, (a free classified advertising site in the UK), or similar sites.

5. Network

Many freelancers work alone, but that doesn’t mean you should become a loner. On the contrary, be a networker – developing new connections with clients is crucial for your continued operation. Meet other freelancers on professional networking events to receive advice and support when needed. Consider renting a co-working office to meet like-minded people who can help you build your business.

6. Don't lose faith in yourself

If you're having doubts about your ability to launch a successful freelancing venture, maybe it's too early. Take active steps to prepare to operate on your own. Yes, you will panic, question your abilities and doubt yourself. Fight the urge to give up and, instead, change your attitude ... you can do it! Everyone, even the most successful entrepreneurs, had to start somewhere and this is your chance to show the world what you can do.

With preparation, a good plan for branding and financial know-how, you'll be on your way to launching a long and incredibly satisfying career as a freelancer.

Guest post by Cindy Boesel. Cindy is interested in brand building strategies and self-development. She works at and follows the latest trends in the global startup scene. Thank you, Cindy! -- Kathy

------------- is now! 

Why the name change? Because WiserU provides training and services to more than just the unemployed and miserably employed. We train and equip organizations to maximize LinkedIn for sales, recruiting, fundraising, or marketing. We also prepare college students and recent grads to master LinkedIn and land degree worthy jobs through training and services. 

Please continue to enjoy this helpful LinkedIn and career blog by visiting or Subscribe via the widget on the right sidebar to receive it weekly and share posts whenever you think others could benefit.

To learn more about WiserU and how we can help your company or class master LinkedIn, or how we can help you further your career through expert LinkedIn and career services, visit our main site,  


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Use coupon code: wiseru to save $5 on membership.

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How to avoid LinkedIn's dreaded commercial use limit

If you use LinkedIn to find employers or customers, you've likely noticed that LinkedIn now limits your people searches after you've reached a secret number (Hint: The number is 60 per month, renewable the first of each month). 

After that, unless you have a sales, recruiter or (generic) LinkedIn premium account, LinkedIn limits your search results to only 4 people. (Job seeker premium account holders do not get extra search privileges). 

LinkedIn now limits people searches to 60 per month unless you upgrade to select premium accounts.

But did you know that, will let you access the public version of LinkedIn profiles 1,000 times a month for free? (I receive no money for passing this tip on to you ... I'm just thrilled that such a service exists.)

On, click Free Recruitment Tools and then LinkedIn Xray Search.

Here's how:

  • Log out of LinkedIn (otherwise when you click a person's entry, you are routed to your LinkedIn account and encounter LinkedIn's limitations)
  • Visit
  • Click Free Recruitment Tools
  • Select LinkedIn Xray Search
  • Type your search criteria in the Google Custom Search box, such as "Recruiter, Los Angeles"
  • Search through up to 10 pages of results with 10 people per page
  • Adjust your search criteria to get even more results. Using the same example as above, expand your recruiter search to "Recruiting Manager, Orange County," to view even more people
  • Click on listed peoples' entries to see the public view of their profile. This view may leave some sections out, but you can usually see much more information than what LinkedIn typically reveals when the person is not in your LinkedIn network. 

Why I like Recruitmentgeek's Xray search tool:

1) Instead of people showing up high in search results simply because they are in your LinkedIn network, the people who show up highest in Recruitmentgeek's search results typically show up high because they deserve to. 

Recruitmentgeek list's people in order of prominence, not in order of relationship to you.

For example, if you look up "LinkedIn expert" on the site, Viveka von Rosen will show up first. This occurs, not because she is in a LinkedIn group with you or because she is your 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connection, but because she is widely known as a top LinkedIn expert. For that reason, I find Recruitmentgeek's search function even more valuable than LinkedIn's.

2) I use the search entries on Recruitmentgeek to study what top people are doing and saying on their LinkedIn profile so that I can make my profile stronger and so my LinkedIn profile clients can benefit from the knowledge I gain by studying their strongest competitors. 

3) I like to stick it to the man ... in this case, LinkedIn. I think its decision to limit people search is terrible and believe it particularly hurts job seekers who, even if they pay mightily for a premium job seeker account, are penalized by the LinkedIn-imposed commercial limit. 

Perhaps the LinkedIn commercial limit annoys you, too. If so, log onto LinkedIn, scroll to the bottom of a page (other than your often-endless home page) and click "Send Feedback". Complete the feedback form to express your displeasure. Maybe if enough people complain, LinkedIn will reconsider its punitive (and counter-productive) commercial limitation.

And in the meantime, check out Recruitmentgeek's Xray tool ... the search function is fantastic and by going around LinkedIn's commercial limits, you'll experience the sweet satisfaction of sticking it to the man. -- Kathy

What comments or questions do you have about the LinkedIn commercial limit? Share your thoughts! 


Look to WiserU for LinkedIn and career training and services!

We provide corporate LinkedIn training and services, as well as comprehensive career services for job seekers, new grads and college students including:

  • Expert resume creation / optimization
  • Expert LinkedIn profile creation / optimization
  • Career coaching
  • Job interview preparation
  • Group/class LinkedIn training 
  • Group/class career training (resumes, applying online, etc.)
  • Individual LinkedIn training
  • Recruiter reach services to connect top recruiters to you

To learn more or to get started, visit Services or contact Sue at 847-606-5160 or


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