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Looking beyond your ‘first seven jobs’

Social media users may have encountered an interesting hashtag recently about their job experience. The #firstsevenjobs topic began trending on Twitter earlier this month and prompted many users to share sections of their job history.

While this could be fun, for serious jobseekers, it might also lead them to look a little too much into the past without focusing on the future. Dig a little deeper and you may see why this trend is so popular and what it can tell you about the way you see your career.

For a start, it's worth noticing how the early jobs tend to be mundane. It's part of what has made the hashtag so interesting, especially when prominent people weighed in. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner listed his first seven jobs and created a line between an early gig shoveling snow to time as a consulting analyst. There's definitely power in seeing how far a person has and can go.

However, employers don't always want to see such a thorough list of past jobs: it's more about what's relevant. This doesn't mean you should leave gaps in your work history, necessarily, but it does require you to be a bit more critical about your experiences.

A Monster.com article addressed this issue in an interesting way, suggesting that job applicants list all of their jobs, but only by highlighting what's relevant in each. In other words, you don't need to dismiss a job out of hand just because it doesn't tie directly to your new target. Instead, it might be better to reframe it based on what's most applicable now.

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