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Fragmented Work Experience

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Joined: 09 Sep 2004
Posts: 5
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Fragmented Work Experience [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2004, 19:57
My work experience is fragmented for a few reasons:

1. In the Bay area boom, even very young professionals were hired away from their first jobs quickly

2. In the post bust, it was hard to find anything that didn't fold ( at least for me)

3. Recently, my company moved to another state.

That means that, aside from my 2+ year stint in the Peace Corps, all my work experience (we're talking almost 6 years) is fragmented to periods equal to or less than one year).

While, I know that I need to be forthcoming about this- especially at schools that ask for you to account for all your time since college- I am afraid of looking like a real fruitball who can't keep a job!

Besides using an essay to explain this, can anyone recommend a good way to make this experience seem more logical/seamless/acceptable? (eg: using a functional resume).

Also, at some schools, I may be able use the years instead of months on my resume... would you recommend against this?

Thank you.

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Joined: 31 Oct 2003
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Location: Ann Arbor
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2004, 19:01
Hi Annie. First I commend you for your 2+ years in the Peace Corps. This is something that you should definitely try to highlight, as it will have at least two benefits:

1) It shows your commitment to a cause, which should help combat the potential of you being seen as a dilettante.

2) It's a great differentiator from other applicants -- most won't be able to reflect on this type of experience.

With respect to your fragmented experiences... You should know that admissions committees are very aware of the situation with dot coms over the last several years and therefore are not quick to dismiss applicants who show a record of jumping from job to job.

Couple things to think about:

1) Try your best to provide a consistent theme with regard to your job experience, in terms of what positions you selected and perhaps more importantly with regard to your future career goals. If you can weave a consistent theme then job-hopping will be less of an issue.

2) A functional essay is a good idea (especially if your experiences truly appear unrelated without this style)

The question about months vs. years. I don't think it will make much of a difference either way. If you have a choice, I'd use the method that most accurately reflects what occurred. Just make sure to provide succinct reasoning for why you left the position.

Joined: 09 Sep 2004
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Very grateful [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2004, 20:31
Thank you very much for your comments. For one thing, you made me feel like there's hope.

And, more importantly, your specific suggestions (re: fluidity) are just what I needed. I think that the best thing to do here is be honest and make SURE I explain my path- before anyone makes any assumptions. I don't have much of a choice! I think I can make it work somehow.

This is the third question I have posted here ( I think that I am done) and I've gotten some really awesome guidance. I hope that you guys get good press/karma from the time you put into this.

Many Thanks.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2004, 19:59

In addition to what was mentioned supra, as a rough generality the more "nonstandard" one's applications package the more it behooves that applicant do diversify her portfolio of schools.

An irregular employment history is not a crime, but it does deviate from the prototypical applicant with a smooth ascension in rank/responsibility within the same or possibly two different firms. Some admissions officers might be unconcerned by a low GPA, or low GMAT, or irregular work history etc. but it is difficult to know in advance who will be reviewing your file.

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