Consider An Alternative Format
If your work experience is limited to internships and volunteer work, this may be another good opportunity to utilize the functional or hybrid resume formats.
This will allow you to showcase the unpaid experience you have, while also sharing the focus with other sections such as skills and academic accomplishments.
How Far Back Should Your Employment History Go
Generally, its okay to include up to 15 years of experience but not more than that. Most industries change a lot in 15 years, which renders any experience thats older than that obsolete.
If you have been working less than 8-10 years, go back to the beginning of your work history and try to tailor your resume to be relevant for the job youre applying now.
Avoid writing about every single job youve held. This overwhelms employers and makes them lose interest. Instead, only use previous work experience at least a bit related to the opportunity you want.
If youve worked more than 10 years as an executive, consider starting your work history at the point you became a manager. Most hiring managers dont care what your first job was. They want to see how you progressed since you started as a manager.
Of course, if a job requires 20 years of experience, then definitely should include more than 10 – 15 years of experience on your resume.
How Much Experience To List
Typically, a resume will have information about your most recent 10 to 15 years of experience. Beyond that timeframe, you do not need to include details unless the positions are relevant to your current career.
In some industries, including experience that dates back more than 10 or 15 years can actually hurt candidates. For example, in tech, including jobs that focused on older, outdated technologies might make a candidate look stuck in the past, even if theyve kept their skills current.
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When To Use A Functional Resume
If you have one long gap or multiple employment gaps in your resume in the past five years, are a first-time worker or are drastically changing career paths, then consider a functional resume. By highlighting skills that transfer across industries and your most relevant accomplishments, you can emphasize the right qualifications for the position you want. This also prioritizes the information thats most important to a recruiter rather than focusing on a work history that doesnt align with the job.
In some cases, a functional resume might be too limiting. If you have some experience and few or no gaps in your employment history, a combination resume might be the right choice.
Why Employers Care About Work Experience On Your Resume
Heres what Ive discovered after years of working as a recruiter
If you have work experience , your recent work experience is the first place a hiring manager or recruiter looks on your resume to see if youre a good fit for their job.
So you want to put it front-and-center, and make sure your bullet points and other employment history details are GREAT.
For 95% of job seekers, there should only be a few things that come before your work history on your resume: You should put your name/contact info, a brief resume summary section, but thats it.
After this, you should be diving right into the employment history on your resume, because its what employers want to see right away on your resume.
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Example : School Teacher
Vivekananda School | Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Mathematics Teacher |**July 2016March 2018
Developed and implemented engaging lessons to achieve a 95% success rate in state board examination
Designed specialised sources for students that helped them improve test score by 50%.
Monitored student progress and worked with other teachers to create and coordinate coursework and lesson plans
Delivered lessons using the real-life application for better understanding of the students
Implemented long-term goals for 100 students to achieve 90% benchmark in national Olympiads.
What Are Technical Or Hard Skills On Your Resume
Here are some hard resume skills for 15 in-demand fields:
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Highlight Your Relevant Work Experience
Your work experience section is the most essential part of your resume because its the best representation of your qualifications.
If you lack formal work experience, however, dont worry. Simply title this section Relevant Experience and use it to highlight details about your volunteer work, extracurriculars, or relevant school coursework.
To create a logical and informative work experience section, list your relevant experience from most recent to least recent . For each job, list the following information:
- Your title
- Company location
- Dates of employment
If youre still currently working at a company, you can simply write , present for the employment dates.
A general rule is that each job title includes about 35 bullet points of your main duties and achievements working in that role.
3 parts of a strong bullet point:
- 1st: Action verb
- 2nd: Quantifiable point
- 3rd: Specific and relevant job duty
Trained5+ cashiers, managing their cash limits and guaranteeing quality customer service at all times.
Spearheadedthe development of the first media kit amalgamation for all company projects, increasing national sales by 8%.
One reason the above bullet points are effective is that they use action verbs to grab the attention of hiring managers. Describing your experience using strong action verbs helps illustrate to employers what youve accomplished and what kind of skills you have.
Make Sure To List Specific Accomplishments In Your Work History
With the examples above, its important to list accomplishments on your resume work history, not just duties/responsibilities.
Theres a big difference between saying, I was responsible for handling 50 customer requests per day, and saying, I successfully responded to 50 customer requests per day, while keeping a 98% customer satisfaction rating.
In the second one, youre phrasing it as an accomplishment instead of simply talking about what you were responsible for or supposed to do. And youre adding a great data point 98% customer satisfaction.
Try to do this whenever possible when listing accomplishments on your resume. Keep that in mind when you copy the examples above.
If you want more help with this, detailed examples and instructions are here.
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Include An Education Section
Grade point average
Participation in clubs or organizations
Leadership positions held
Awards, achievements or certifications
When writing your education section, you should include the name of the institution, dates of attendance and your degree or area of study. If you are applying to mid or higher-level positions, you might remove all but the name of your school and dates of attendance to make room for more relevant professional experience on your resume.
If you have certifications or licenses that are relevant to the job description, you can include them in this section as well. To save space, you can leave off any credentials that are not directly related to the requirements of this job.
Experience And Career Type
When you are applying for a position in academia, such as an associate professor, researcher, or fellowship, you will use a curriculum vitae for your application. If you have a master’s degree or doctorate, you use a CV to apply for grants, programs, research, or teaching positions. A CV provides detailed information and length to support publications, papers, and other critical data related to your career experience for these types of career positions.
In contrast, you would use a resume when applying for positions within non-academic positions, such as in public or private sectors of business. You may refer to these careers as “industry positions” as opposed to academia or research. You can often condense industry experience into one or two pages for an employer to understand your skill set and expertise.
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What To Include In A Resume Experience Section
When you’re writing a resume, the resume experience section provides detailed information about your employment history. This is the real heart of your resume, and the more years you have been employed, the more decisions you will have to make about what to include and what to leave off in this section.
How To Write A Resume
Do you need to write a resume? While it’s only a page or two in length, a resume is one of the most important parts of a job application. Your resume is your most powerful tool to tell the story of your professional work history to potential employers.
A well-written resume that highlights your most relevant qualifications for the job will help you get selected for an interview. Often, interviewers will consult your resume during the interview, too. Above all, your resume needs to be consistent, concise, and easy to read. If it’s not, your resume and cover letter won’t get a second glance from any hiring manager.
In many cases, your resume is the first document a hiring manager will look at when reviewing your application, and therefore is a true first impression. Accordingly, its important to put time and effort into developing and maintaining an updated, accurate resume.
Here is information on how to write a resume that will get noticed and help you get invited for an interview.
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Document The Skills You Used
Think about the specific skills that you utilized in each position, and how to convey that information when you list contract work. Review the job postingâs requirements to identify job-related keywords and focus on skills that fulfill those needs. This can help you illustrate your skills in a way that is both relevant and timely.
Resume Do’s And Don’ts
Keep it short and provide facts
Individualize your resume, not everyone will have the same categories or format
Maintain professionalism and keep information updated
Present your strongest qualifications first
Use action words to describe experiences
Quantify information to indicate results
Always include your name and contact information at the top of the resume
Organize section headings so the most important points are listed first
Use similar paper and headings when writing your cover letter
Maintain consistency with format: alignment, bullets, fonts, sizes, etc.
Do not use MS Word or other Templates format manually
Refrain from listing personal information such as: age, height, social security number, picture, etc.
Don’t add, “References available upon request”
Omit experiences from high school after your sophomore year of college
Don’t use busy or decorative fonts
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Make Your Application Ats
Many organizations use an ATS, or applicant tracking system, to digitally review resumes and CVs submitted for a job posting. An applicant tracking system is a digital software program that screens applications for specific keywords and phrases, usually related to the skills or qualifications of the position. Those CVs or resumes not containing these keywords don’t make it past the software program, and a hiring manager may never see the application. This is a fundamental reason to customize each application according to the job description and organization.
How To Include Older Experience
Listing 20 or 30 years of experience can clutter up your resume and make it much too long. Unless you are a senior executive, the ideal resume length is one to two pages. The key to a winning resume is providing relevant details on your work historynot every detail.
When you leave off employment information, you need to be consistent and still provide a timeline of your work history to employers.
Leave off your oldest jobs when editing your resume, not random positions.
If you worked in a relevant position 17 years ago, you will need to include all the jobs you’ve held for the past 17 years .
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Why Is Work Experience On A Resume Important
Many employers regard the description of work experience as the most important part of a resume. To get a quick idea of your employment history, your prospective employer will most likely read the work experience section first. As such, this section could be key in moving you forward in the hiring process.
The work experience section in your resume shows the hiring manager whether you have the necessary experience and skills to succeed in the role you are applying for. This section also includes information about your achievements, which can distinguish you from other applicants and make you more likely to get an interview.
Hard Vs Soft Skills: Whats The Difference
Heres the difference between hard skills and soft skills:
Hard skills are quantifiable, job-specific abilities learned through education, training, or on-the-job experience. Language skills, computer skills, and being able to operate heavy machinery all count as types of hard skills.
Heres a list of 24 popular hard skills to put on your resume:
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When To Use A Chronological Resume
A chronological resume is a good choice for anyone whose employment history shows a consistent, advancing career path. For example, you might select a chronological resume format if youve spent the past several years in the same industry and each role youve held was more senior than the last. Its also often used by people who are applying to a position in the same or similar field to the majority of their work experience.
However, if you have multiple gaps in your employment history, youre looking to change careers or your work experience is heavily varied, you may want to consider a functional or combination resume.
Why Are Typing Skills Important
Typing skills are important because many different jobs and industries seek employees with proficient typing abilities. For example, if you’re applying for administrative or data entry jobs, typing is an especially important skill to have and highlight on your resume. These skills are also relevant to other jobs in which you need to translate documents or convey information to your coworkers quickly and accurately. Including typing skills on your resume shows employers that you are capable of correctly entering information and typing documents at a proficient speed.
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Highlight Your Relevant Job Skills
Hiring managers are on the lookout for candidates who have relevant, job-specific skills. While listing a heap of skills on your resume doesnt actually prove youre skilled, incorporating your various skills into different sections will catch the eye of whoever is vetting your application.
For instance, you can showcase your hard and soft skills in your introduction and work experience section. And of course, you should also list your most valuable abilities in your resumes skills section.
Colors And Design Of Your Work History On A Resume
The first rule to follow when you write your employment history is to keep it simple in terms of style and formatting.
If youre not a professional designer, your resume format should not have fancy graphics and colors.
Thats true of every section of your resume.
Pick one accent color at most , one or two fonts total, and one or two heading sizes.
Youll notice all three resume employment history samples above keep colors to a minimum and focus on the content itself. Thats what you should do as well.
You want the employers focus to be on your past work experience, not on the styling and colors of your resume, so dont distract them too much.
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How To Include Typing Skills On A Resume
Typing is a useful skill that is applicable to many different jobs. Having excellent typing skills allows you to communicate more efficiently and accurately convey written information. If you are applying for jobs that require regular typing, it helps to create a resume that highlights your typing skills. In this article, we explain how to include your typing skills on your resume with a template and example.
List Your Professional History With Keywords
Write your professional history section in reverse-chronological order. Start with your most recent job and provide a short description including the company name, time period in which you were employed, your job title and a few key achievements during your time at the company. You might also include relevant learnings or growth opportunities you experienced while employed there.
When listing your professional history, you should keep a few best practices in mind:
Use numbers to measure your impact, when possible. Including specific numerical achievements can help employers understand your direct potential value to their company.
Example: Developed new process for requesting supplies, reducing fulfillment time by 10%.
Use keywords from the job description. Similar to your skills section, you should also include information from the job description in your job history bullets. For example, if the job description mentions the importance of meeting sales quotas, you could include information about how youve met or exceeded quotas in past roles.
Example: Achieved goal of reaching 250% annual sales quota, winning sales MVP two quarters in a row.
Follow the same process for other work experiences. If you do not have extensive professional history, you should also include internships and volunteer opportunities following the same format.
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