A reader writes:
Having been in the working world for 7+ years (post college), I've racked up a variety of professional experiences (have had 4 different full-time jobs, as well as done some complementary contract work on the side). I'm currently considering a new opportunity in which not ALL of my professional experiences necessarily apply. Likewise, some of my non-professional experiences from college are VERY applicable. My resume is getting quite lengthy these days, but I'm hesitant to remove any of the jobs that I have because, a: it would result in seeming gaps in employment, and b (more importantly): even though these experiences don't necessarily speak directly to this new opportunity, they've still been an important part of my professional development. I'm curious as to whether you have any advice for how to organize a resume in this situation. To date, my resume has always been organized chronologically, but I'm beginning to think that perhaps a different approach is more fitting. (ie, most applicable to least applicable).
Some people will disagree with me, but I hate resumes that are organized in any way other than chronologically. It makes it look like the candidate is trying to disguise something, and it makes it difficult for me to sort out the person's career progression. So keep the chronological organization.
But four jobs and some work on the side should easily fit on a one-page resume, as long as you're being choosy and concise about what details you include about the work you did there (by the way, to whatever extent possible, include achievements rather than a job description).
But if there's work on there that doesn't relate to the jobs you're applying for -- and which wouldn't leave a sizable gap if you excised them -- you could leave those off. Definitely do include the relevant college experience, though, even though it wasn't paid -- I'm continually surprised by how often I discover "hidden" experience in a phone interview, which the candidate left off the resume simply because it wasn't paid work. Good luck!