New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
neowiser
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:32 pm

New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by neowiser »

My daughter is about to graduate with a Master's degree in a clinical occupation. She has worked for the past year as an unpaid intern with the county to accumulate required clinical experience and will have very good letters of recommendation. She also worked weekends as a laborer at a warehouse earning $22/hour.

Questions:
1. Should she mention the warehouse work in her résumé? She feels this would detract from the professionalism of her work experience, but I think it would show she can stick with a hard job for a long time. I suggested she might want to at least mention it during an interview, if the opportunity arises.

2. She would like to continue working with the county, but no appropriate jobs are currently advertised. She has been told that jobs will probably open within several months due to retirements and attrition of recent hires. Should she delay her job hunt for a few months in the hopes that a desirable position will open up, or apply widely and work at a less desirable job for awhile before pursuing openings (if any) at the county?

I don't have any experience with these types of decisions so any advice is welcome.
Ramjet
Posts: 1203
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:45 am
Location: Ohio

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by Ramjet »

neowiser wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:09 am My daughter is about to graduate with a Master's degree in a clinical occupation. She has worked for the past year as an unpaid intern with the county to accumulate required clinical experience and will have very good letters of recommendation. She also worked weekends as a laborer at a warehouse earning $22/hour.

Questions:
1. Should she mention the warehouse work in her résumé? She feels this would detract from the professionalism of her work experience, but I think it would show she can stick with a hard job for a long time. I suggested she might want to at least mention it during an interview, if the opportunity arises.

2. She would like to continue working with the county, but no appropriate jobs are currently advertised. She has been told that jobs will probably open within several months due to retirements and attrition of recent hires. Should she delay her job hunt for a few months in the hopes that a desirable position will open up, or apply widely and work at a less desirable job for awhile before pursuing openings (if any) at the county?

I don't have any experience with these types of decisions so any advice is welcome.
On my resume I would list both but go into great detail on the internship and leave the warehouse job as more of a line item with just the essentials (company name, dates worked, title). I think it shows good work ethic having two jobs at once
VT & HFEA
retiredjg
Posts: 45717
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by retiredjg »

I would definitely list both jobs. First, it shows a broader range of experience. Second, it shows maturity and determination. Third (most important) the job application probably asks for all employment, not just the employment you want to show.

Leaving work experience off a job application could be construed by some as omitting the truth. I think leaving work experience off a resume might be judged less harshly though.

If she wants the county job, she could take a short vacation (just finished school!) and see what comes up. Continue the warehouse job a month or two. There is no rush here. Take a moment or two to settle.
Big Dog
Posts: 2838
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by Big Dog »

Agree: put the internship under Relevant Experience (or something similar), and the hourly job under 'Other", one line at best.

I once hired a guy for an Accounting clerk position -- he was a business major -- and his only real paid experience was a sign-twirler (one of those guys who twirls signs on the street corner to announce Real Estate, or a new opening). He was from a poor family and this was a way to pay for his gas & isnsurance. To me, it demonstrated work ethic.
Isabelle77
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by Isabelle77 »

I absolutely would put it on my resume. It shows some grit and a willingness to work.
Normchad
Posts: 3044
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by Normchad »

Yep. Put it on there. It says something good about her.

Hiring decisions are made by people; each with their own biases. Some people reallly like to see applicants that know what’s it like to work jobs like that. Either because they also worked them in the past, I it signals they are a person with drive who is willing to whatever it takes to keep moving forward.

I once hired a college senior just after finding out he worked at McDonalds for five years during school. That says something to me about determination and commitment. He had other qualifications for sure, but that other experience sealed the deal for me.
adamthesmythe
Posts: 4456
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Working your way through school is a good story. A gap because you were waiting for a job to open up is not a particularly good story.
Topic Author
neowiser
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:32 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by neowiser »

Great replies, thank you. She mentioned that she wanted to keep the resume to one page and "didn't have room" for the warehouse job. She should be able to list it on job applications though.

She will be able to continue at her unpaid internship until she finds a job, accumulating client hours needed for licensure, so she won't have a gap while searching for jobs. I'm inclined to recommend she wait about two months to see if something better pops up and allow time for graduation documentation to finalize. Even if a better job appears there's no guarantee she will be hired, in which case waiting will have been a waste of time.
Mike Scott
Posts: 1990
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:45 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by Mike Scott »

adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:43 am Working your way through school is a good story.
Find a way to make it fit on the resume. It's a very strong selling point plus a lot of specific skills even if it was a mundane job.
retiredjg
Posts: 45717
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by retiredjg »

What is the situation with this county- do people often retire in Dec/Jan like in federal employment? If yes, then continuing the unpaid intern job sounds like a great idea to me. As long as she has enough income to live. By mid-December, she might have a very good idea about what openings are going to happen soon
RudyS
Posts: 2259
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:11 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by RudyS »

adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:43 am Working your way through school is a good story. A gap because you were waiting for a job to open up is not a particularly good story.
I once interviewed a recent college graduate who had worked most summers in school, but there was no info on one summer. When I asked him what he did, he told me he could only find minimum wage jobs, which he didn't want, so just "sort of loafed." That sure turned me off. I myself had a few of that kind of jobs cuz I needed the money.
Doctor Rhythm
Posts: 1100
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:55 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

Keep it in for now - it’s recent and makes her seem less bougie. I’d recommend taking it out after she’s established herself in her chosen career.
MAKsdad
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:43 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by MAKsdad »

neowiser wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:11 pm Great replies, thank you. She mentioned that she wanted to keep the resume to one page and "didn't have room" for the warehouse job. She should be able to list it on job applications though.

I definitely agree that she should include the job on her resume, not just the application.

I am consistently amazed that people who are just graduating college have such long resumes. I recently saw one that was two pages and the person had only had one job. I've worked for 20+ years and I could still make my experience fit on a single page if I had to. Surely a new college grad can include two jobs, plus education and still get it on one page. Just take off the "hobbies" section!
User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 7640
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by Kenkat »

Put it on there, even if it’s just a line or two. My son worked for 2 years part time as a dishwasher. His current “real job” employer mentioned that they liked seeing that job on his resume as a lot of young applicants don’t have a “went out and found paid work myself” type job on their resumes.
stan1
Posts: 10679
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by stan1 »

I'd leave the warehouse job on the resume, maybe there's a way to say "exceeded performance metrics in fast paced work environment" (basically a way to show that she did a good job at it, if true). Did she train other employees? It shows work ethic but even in entry level jobs there are usually opportunities to rise above the minimum expectations of the job.

I would not stop looking for work waiting for a county opening that may or may not come. The wording you used is not specific enough to stop looking. If they had said "Mary is retiring in December, you definitely should consider applying for her job wink wink" that would be more specific and actionable. That does not appear to be what they told her.
Topic Author
neowiser
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:32 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by neowiser »

retiredjg wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:50 pm What is the situation with this county- do people often retire in Dec/Jan like in federal employment? If yes, then continuing the unpaid intern job sounds like a great idea to me. As long as she has enough income to live. By mid-December, she might have a very good idea about what openings are going to happen soon
She's been told that there may be resignations/firings over the vaccine mandate implemented for county health care workers. Covid cases are falling in CA so it's unclear whether the mandates will be upheld with enforcement or whether the county will take a lenient approach. I'm unsure of the deadline for employees to show proof of vaccination, but it's within the next few months.

I'll will encourage her to find a spot to list the warehouse job. The warehouse employer gave her multiple acknowledgments and a raise for lasting more than one year, turnover is very high in our area for those jobs.
User avatar
anon_investor
Posts: 8767
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by anon_investor »

neowiser wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:00 pm
retiredjg wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:50 pm What is the situation with this county- do people often retire in Dec/Jan like in federal employment? If yes, then continuing the unpaid intern job sounds like a great idea to me. As long as she has enough income to live. By mid-December, she might have a very good idea about what openings are going to happen soon
She's been told that there may be resignations/firings over the vaccine mandate implemented for county health care workers. Covid cases are falling in CA so it's unclear whether the mandates will be upheld with enforcement or whether the county will take a lenient approach. I'm unsure of the deadline for employees to show proof of vaccination, but it's within the next few months.

I'll will encourage her to find a spot to list the warehouse job. The warehouse employer gave her multiple acknowledgments and a raise for lasting more than one year, turnover is very high in our area for those jobs.
Most jobs applications do not require a font size or margin size on the resume, so I am sure your daughter can fiddle with the formatting to make it fit.
Onlineid3089
Posts: 268
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:47 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by Onlineid3089 »

I would keep her resume short as it doesn't sound like she has much in the way of work experience. There should be plenty of space to include a line for this job with maybe one or two bullet points max under describing duties if there is anything interesting to say about it.

To me, someone who has worked, even if not in the field they have just graduated in, is preferable to someone who has never held a job. By having a year listed on there you at least have some indication that she can show up on time, not constantly call in sick, etc and it gives one past employer that you can at least get dates of service and title from to check a reference box, assuming wherever she's applying to requires a minimum number like our HR department.
User avatar
greg24
Posts: 4097
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:34 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by greg24 »

neowiser wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:09 am2. She would like to continue working with the county, but no appropriate jobs are currently advertised. She has been told that jobs will probably open within several months due to retirements and attrition of recent hires. Should she delay her job hunt for a few months in the hopes that a desirable position will open up, or apply widely and work at a less desirable job for awhile before pursuing openings (if any) at the county?
A job in hand is worth two in the bush. I wouldn't wait.
goos_news
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:14 pm
Location: Northern California/French Riviera

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by goos_news »

Another vote for adding the warehouse job, even if it means editing down the rest. Single line, with full range of dates worked. It shows work ethic, self motivation and ability to tough it out in a difficult situation.
shess
Posts: 1239
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 12:02 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by shess »

neowiser wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:09 am My daughter is about to graduate with a Master's degree in a clinical occupation. She has worked for the past year as an unpaid intern with the county to accumulate required clinical experience and will have very good letters of recommendation. She also worked weekends as a laborer at a warehouse earning $22/hour.

Questions:
1. Should she mention the warehouse work in her résumé? She feels this would detract from the professionalism of her work experience, but I think it would show she can stick with a hard job for a long time. I suggested she might want to at least mention it during an interview, if the opportunity arises.
A thing that new graduates often get wrong with their resume is that they see it as an opportunity to list all of the things they have done to further their goal of getting a particular kind of job. What employers want to see in a resume is a list of things which make them feel good about actually hiring the candidate. Of course these sets overlap a fair amount! In my opinion having a line or two about working a warehouse job which is clearly off-topic says a lot more about a candidate than the 9th and 10th line about an on-topic job.

Don't get me wrong - do not give much depth to background you are not interested in doing work in. And later in your career when you have four or five on-topic positions to list, there's not a lot of value to carrying that off-topic position UNLESS it's a good conversation starter (for instance, I'd leave "Eagle Scout" on my resume, even 30 years on).

I don't know if I'd mention off-topic experience in the interview, though, unless the interviewer brings it up, or if there is something super on point about a question the interviewer asked. In person, you generally want to sell where you're going, because you can provide the enthusiasm to make it feel real.
BatBuckeye
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:15 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by BatBuckeye »

I read lots of good suggestions already.
Not only would I list it I would add:
(Warehouse job) 2020-2021 "where I received raises and bonus for my hard work". And/or "I learned (she can probably think of at least one thing that will apply to her future career).
Is 'clinical occupation' a specific field or is that generic? I'm not familiar with the term.

Have to admire people who work their way through school!
supalong52
Posts: 535
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by supalong52 »

We once had a Ph.D. student come into our law firm for an interview as a member of the legal staff (but not attorney). He still listed his bag boy experience at a supermarket from years ago, and I just couldn't take him seriously. In his case, it showed a lack of judgment that we would even care that he worked at a supermarket when he was in high school or whatever.

But in your daughter's case, since it is more recent experience and she is trying to show work ethic due to an unpaid internship at the county, it is worth noting, but not going into detail.
Normchad
Posts: 3044
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by Normchad »

supalong52 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:31 pm We once had a Ph.D. student come into our law firm for an interview as a member of the legal staff (but not attorney). He still listed his bag boy experience at a supermarket from years ago, and I just couldn't take him seriously. In his case, it showed a lack of judgment that we would even care that he worked at a supermarket when he was in high school or whatever.

But in your daughter's case, since it is more recent experience and she is trying to show work ethic due to an unpaid internship at the county, it is worth noting, but not going into detail.
Yep. I’m a big believer in the one page resume. Unless you are a titan of industry, you can fit everything on one page. So pick all the best stuff, and get it on one page. At some point, you need to drop that you were captain of the high school basketball team, etc.
shess
Posts: 1239
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 12:02 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by shess »

supalong52 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:31 pm We once had a Ph.D. student come into our law firm for an interview as a member of the legal staff (but not attorney). He still listed his bag boy experience at a supermarket from years ago, and I just couldn't take him seriously. In his case, it showed a lack of judgment that we would even care that he worked at a supermarket when he was in high school or whatever.
Sounds like you both dodged a bullet on that one!

More seriously: I'd completely look at it as an editing issue. If they're coming in with a four-page resume that lists that time they worked at the grocery store, that's silly, especially for any profession which might rely on ability to communicate. But if they have a one-page resume with two on-topic items which have been obviously fluffed up to appear bigger than they were, then I'd not mind a little color to prove that this candidate has a backstory and didn't just materialize in the lobby.

Personally, for a new grad, I'd aim for one page. I have 30 years under my belt and would like to aim for two pages, but would probably go to three. That's for me hunting for a job - if you're being actively recruited, give them however many pages you care to, as long as you aren't insulting.
cabould
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:12 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by cabould »

MAKsdad wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:20 pm
neowiser wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:11 pm Great replies, thank you. She mentioned that she wanted to keep the resume to one page and "didn't have room" for the warehouse job. She should be able to list it on job applications though.

I definitely agree that she should include the job on her resume, not just the application.

I am consistently amazed that people who are just graduating college have such long resumes. I recently saw one that was two pages and the person had only had one job. I've worked for 20+ years and I could still make my experience fit on a single page if I had to. Surely a new college grad can include two jobs, plus education and still get it on one page. Just take off the "hobbies" section!
She should look to trim the resume down. Recruiters (unfortunately) do not have the time to read more than 1 page of a resume, especially in entry level positions.
MAKsdad
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:43 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by MAKsdad »

Normchad wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:40 pm
supalong52 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:31 pm We once had a Ph.D. student come into our law firm for an interview as a member of the legal staff (but not attorney). He still listed his bag boy experience at a supermarket from years ago, and I just couldn't take him seriously. In his case, it showed a lack of judgment that we would even care that he worked at a supermarket when he was in high school or whatever.

But in your daughter's case, since it is more recent experience and she is trying to show work ethic due to an unpaid internship at the county, it is worth noting, but not going into detail.
Yep. I’m a big believer in the one page resume. Unless you are a titan of industry, you can fit everything on one page. So pick all the best stuff, and get it on one page. At some point, you need to drop that you were captain of the high school basketball team, etc.
Last time I was in the job market I fit 14 years of experience into a one-pager. Certainly a new college grad can do the same.
niagara_guy
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:32 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by niagara_guy »

Is her warehouse manager going to give her a good recommendation or maybe write a recommendation letter for her? If so, it's obvious, put the job on resume.
cabould
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:12 am

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by cabould »

niagara_guy wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:27 am Is her warehouse manager going to give her a good recommendation or maybe write a recommendation letter for her? If so, it's obvious, put the job on resume.
At least in my experience, most work places will only call and confirm that an individual worked at a company during the time frame listed on the resume. I really don't think companies can ask if an employee was a hardworker, or for a recommendation. Too many legal problems with that.
britcoal
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:45 pm

Re: New graduate job hunt: Mention unskilled side-job in résumé?

Post by britcoal »

MAKsdad wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:02 am
Normchad wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:40 pm
supalong52 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:31 pm We once had a Ph.D. student come into our law firm for an interview as a member of the legal staff (but not attorney). He still listed his bag boy experience at a supermarket from years ago, and I just couldn't take him seriously. In his case, it showed a lack of judgment that we would even care that he worked at a supermarket when he was in high school or whatever.

But in your daughter's case, since it is more recent experience and she is trying to show work ethic due to an unpaid internship at the county, it is worth noting, but not going into detail.
Yep. I’m a big believer in the one page resume. Unless you are a titan of industry, you can fit everything on one page. So pick all the best stuff, and get it on one page. At some point, you need to drop that you were captain of the high school basketball team, etc.
Last time I was in the job market I fit 14 years of experience into a one-pager. Certainly a new college grad can do the same.
Agreed! I fit over 20 years (graduate work and 4 jobs) onto one page.. surely it's doable for her.
Post Reply