Career Progression Matters

Match Point Recruting

Written by: Mike Whittington


We see many candidates who have distinguished career progression but fail to show that in a way that might catch the eye of a hiring manager.


Hiring managers always ask about a candidate’s career moves on their resume, but what those moves mean can be particularly important. For instance, say you have been with your current employer for 10 years. You might have started as an analyst, then promoted to a key account manager after a couple of years, and then into a national account manager for the last 3 years. That is a great progression and shows how you have been given more responsibility and a bigger portfolio of business to manage.


It is worth mentioning that hiring managers put a lot of value on your progression within each employer, not just from company to company. I see candidates all the time who have solid career progression, but they hide it in their resume. I prefer them to list their employer’s name one time and then show the titles with bullet points to make those good moves really stand out. Often a candidate will say, “I will explain the progression/moves in the interview.”  The problem is they do not get the interview, because they have failed to illustrate one of the most important aspects of their career.


We recently had a candidate who was passed over due to the structure of her resume.  Her employer had changed names and was purchased by a private equity group. She had several positions within the company but the way she had written her resume made it confusing for us and the hiring team. Once we talked through her career moves and realized they were easily explained, she restructure her resume to show the longevity and progression in her career.  By structuring your resume well, you will avoid hiring managers and recruiters having to dig for information or put a puzzle together. Often times, they won’t take the time to do this and will move on to another candidate.


In a post-pandemic hiring world, moving from company to company seems to happen much more often than in previous years.  Much of this can be attributed to work location options.  Showing growth within a company, even if you are there a brief time, can play a big part in showing how you might stand out from other candidates.


We have also worked with a candidate who was employed with a company for 10 years, which would seem like a good thing.  However, the candidate was in the same position for all their time at the company.  Questions came up about why the candidate did not advance or want to build on their skill set. There is not right or wrong, but showing growth in skills, training, responsibility, or title is desirable to most employers.  This can be done by highlighting these items on your resume, even if your job title did not change.


Don’t discount internal moves and be sure to highlight them on your resume.  It gets noticed.

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