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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

Scar on Resume

I had a brief discussion with one of my friends about changing a job. One thread was especially interesting. We discussed whether a substantial change of profile for a few quarters can be considered as a flaw on your career.

To give a couple of examples: an experienced team manager taking a position of simple software engineer or a senior-level manager switching for a year to a role of software analyst.

Of course there are two perspectives. One is here and now. Do I suit given position? Do they want to hire me? Will it bring me fun? Those answers have to be positive if you want to think about that kind of switch. The reasons to make the move can be different from not having any other option to make some kind of creative vacations from your current role.

However there’s another point of view. How recruiters will look at that in the future? Will they believe you wanted to take a brake or they’ll assume you’ve failed in looking for a similar position? It can be considered as a scar on your, otherwise glowing, resume.

My advice in that kind of situation is: forget about resume. If the job is going to bring you fun, take it. Your career doesn’t have to be bookish. Anyway as far as you care to prepare individual papers for each company you apply for you should be able to point your strengths and hide your weaknesses. Believe me – you don’t get hired because of your CV but because of impression you make.

And talking about scars, they can even make you look better. Ask Harrison Ford.

in: recruitment

4 comments… add one

  • Elena Plop November 19, 2008, 1:49 pm

    Totally agree. Just about 2 months ago I switched from project manager to business analyst. Seemed like a good chance to see a project from a different perspective, and I cannot say I’m not happy about the decision. I still find myself looking at the project from a PM’s perspective sometimes, but it always is for the best :)

  • Pawel Brodzinski November 19, 2008, 2:27 pm

    As far as a new job brings some new experience to you or widen your profile it shouldn’t be considered as an issue. Although you can’t change point of view of some recruiters I believe good people will always find their place. No matter which positions they used to fulfill.

  • Resume Docket November 26, 2008, 6:24 am

    A resume is simply a summary of work history represented chronologically. It is how well a certain change is justified in an interview is what really matters. To make your case stronger, listing the relevant aspects which are similar in either careers which helped you hone your true capabilities will certainly help.

  • Pawel Brodzinski November 26, 2008, 6:47 am

    I agree no one hires you basing on a resume only. However resume is your ticket for an interview. people fear they won’t be invited to an interview because of “scar” on resume. That way they won’t have a chance to justify their spell with different role.

    Anyway for me it shouldn’t be considered as a problem or a blocker for inviting a candidate to an interview.

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