How To Put Work Experience On A Resume
The work experience section is where you get to really sell yourself, so you have to make sure you really iron out the details and the formatting makes sense.
This is where you get to show off your best qualities.
Because, if the recruiter is going to pick between 10 different candidates, you know for a fact theyre going to narrow down the list starting with the most relevant experience.
To get your work experience to really shine on your resume, first, were going to cover the basic formatting, and then get to the best practices on how to stand out with your work experience section.
Whats that? You dont have any experience to begin with? No problem!
Check out our no experience resume guide if youre trying to get your first professional job.
Now, heres what you need to know about structuring your work experience section.
Including Additional Dates On Your Resume
If you’ve taken professional development courses or other educational classes, it’s not necessary to list dates. If you have certifications, you should list the dates because employers will want to know that your accreditations are current.
When leaving experience and dates off a resume, do it strategically.
A resume, for example, with only a few jobs when you’re an experienced candidate or a resume with no dates at all, can be a red flag for hiring managers. Be sure your resume provides a clear synopsis of your work history to employers.
If the positions you held earlier in your career are relevant to your current objectives, consider shortening the descriptions of your jobs to reduce the length of your resume rather than deleting the positions from your resume.
Work Experience Section Example
Automotive Technician, Icahn Automotive, Rotorua, New Zealand
- Repaired various cars and trucks. Troubleshot and diagnosed vehicles. Repaired or replaced defective parts. Ensured that everything was in compliance with the companys high standards and clients needs.
- Awarded Employee of the Month for increasing customer satisfaction with provided services from 87% to 95% within one year.
Executives can use more than one page on their resume to present their extensive work experience. But that doesnt mean that you should let your resume become a 700-page long autobiography.
If somethings recent it also means its more relevant. Thats why you should describe more recent jobs in greater detail. Older ones will do with a brief description, allowing you to save some valuable space for more important details to put on your resume.
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Writing The Work Experience Section
Writing the resume work experience section is one of the most influential and often trickiest resume sections to get right.
The work experience/job history on a resume is where past job descriptions and professional experiences give credibility to an application or interview. All the other information and sections on a resume, from hobbiesto the personal statement, frame the list of relevant work experience over the last 10 – 15 years. So, how do I describe my work experience on a resume?
This guide will show you everything you need to know about including work experience on a resume, including:
- How to list your current job and previous positions
The five-word rule. Think about five words that would be sum up your career. How would you describe your experience? Those five words should then come across incredibly strongly in the work experience on a resume. A hiring manager is not going to remember the sentences that you write, but if they stop reading with those five words in their minds, your resume will have done its job.
Change Your Resumes Formatting
If your resume has wide margins and a large font, youâre going to have a hard time fitting all the information you need on two pages. After clarifying the content, read our advice on resume margins and font size, as well as the top 10 resume fonts. This will help your resume appear balanced, relevant, and easy to read.
Many people opt to use templates they find online. The templates you find on Etsy, Canva, or other sites are often very visually appealing and use a lot of white space however, multiple columns can confuse ATS scans so proceed with caution.
âIf your resume includes more than a square inch of white space at any point, adjust your settings. Thatâs valuable real estate! Play with the margins, tabs, and justification settings,â advises Caitlin.
Note: white space refers to spaces without content, no matter what color youâve opted to use or any lines youâve incorporated into your resume.
Finally, be wary of any site or resume builder that offers a subscription service for resume templatesâtheyâre notorious for charging unknowing job seekers month after month. When in doubt, DIY your resume or hire a reputable service.
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Examples Of Work Experience On A Resume
Here are a few examples of work experience on a resume to see the differences between a first draft and the final draft. How do you describe your experience in the most succinct way possible?
Example #1: Work Experience in CV for a Teacher.Lets say youre applying to be a middle school science teacher at a popular independent school. The new job description emphasizes the importance of involvement outside the classroom. They specified that theyre looking for teachers looking to grow through professional development throughout their time there.
- Developed and carried out a student-driven curriculum in three sections of Earth Science
- Annually advised 20 students to track growth and address individual challenges and strengths
- Invited to attend NAIS annual conference to develop modern social-emotional learning classroom tactics
Example #2: Work Experience in CV for Content Marketing Manager.Content Marketing Managers encompass a very wide range of responsibilities. The recruiter will have a general sense of your job experience no need to start from scratch but results-based, specific bullet points will thrive here.
- I manage a team of freelance copywriters at a major NYC marketing agency and ensure they got their work in on time
- I talked to clients and figured out what would be best for their brand
- Before everything was published, I proofreadit all
Resume Example And Template
This is an example of a resume with earlier jobs listed as additional experience. or see the text version below.
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANTProviding confidential and diversified administrative support to C-level executivesHighly organized and personable Executive Assistant well-versed in meeting and event coordination, calendaring and appointment scheduling, reception, correspondence drafting, and travel planning.
Creative and skilled in using Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Cloud to develop dynamic corporate communications materials, newsletters, and presentations.
ABC ENTERPRISES, Tampa, FloridaEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Meticulously perform executive administrative functions for C-level officers of global development group. Schedule and supervise team of five administrative assistants and receptionists make all arrangements for travel, public and stakeholder relations functions, conferences, and meetings. Notable accomplishments:
- Spearheaded offices transition to cloud-based corporate communications technologies.
- Successfully negotiated cost-effective contracts with vendors, caterers, resorts, and other service providers that reduced annual costs by more than $25K.
- Orchestrated all details for major stockholder events including annual meetings, golf tournaments, and receptions.
- Set up and administered CEOs social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS
Also Check: Where To Put Relevant Coursework On A Resume
Healthcare Sales Executive Resume Summary Example:
Turnaround & Ground Up Leadership
- Concept-to-execution strategies for untapped products, markets + solutions that yield 110% revenue growth
- Negotiates partnerships with leading distributors + hospitalsMedline to Centara + Novant Health to Mayo Clinic
- Revitalizes underperforming sales organizations via scalable, sustainable infrastructures emulated as best practice
- C-Level networks of clinical + supply chain leadership acquired during tenures with XXX, XXX and XXX
Why this resume summary is good:
This resumes summary examples strength lies in the detailed, unique information that has been included. By including revenue stats, names of past employers and partners, the reader right away sees that this person will bring to the role a strong networking ability with key players in his industry, and more importantly can build, grow and revitalize a sales organization, market or product.
By: Virginia Franco, Founder of Virginia Franco Resumes and Forbes contributor.
Should You Include A Resume Objective
You do not need to include an objective on your resume, and doing so can make your resume appear outdated. Use a resume summary instead of an objective. Follow the resume summary examples above and focus on discussing your skills, qualifications, and achievements, rather than stating your objective.
Employers know that your objective is to obtain the position youve applied for, and the resume objective has no place on a modern resume/CV in todays job market.
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Add Numbers To Your Bullet Points When Possible
Use numbers to describe your work experience whenever you can, because numbers give hiring managers a better idea of what you can accomplish.
Anything that shows how you measurably improved performance can be included on your resume.
Examples of how you can use numbers to describe your achievements include talking about:
- percent increases in something good
- percent decreases in something bad
- total money saved on something
Here are some examples of bullet points that include numbers:
- Increased annual sales by 30% by running a marketing campaign in a new market
- Saved company $280,000 per year on printing costs by purchasing two high-end printers and supervising user training
- Organized a series of community-focused events that resulted in a 200% increase in local engagement and earned $450,000 over two years
How To Address A Maternity Leave On Your Resume
Rather than chronologically listing your previous work experience, you can use the combination resume format. It allows you to attract the employers attention with your skills before addressing the elephant in the room.
Once youve done that, briefly mention that your career gap was due to the maternity leave. You can do it like this:
That’s it. You don’t have to go into great detail.
Make sure to put emphasis on the work you did before you took some time off. Write about it as if it were yesterday and you still remember the details about the projects you worked on.
Recall your accomplishments and the projects you are proud of from that period of your life. Time doesnt devalue those experiences and skills you learned working on them.
Also, make sure to mention any relevant community service or voluntary work that you engaged in during your time away. Any freelancing projects or short-term gigs work as great resume enhancers.
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Focus On Your Most Relevant Experience
If youâve jumped around on your career path, try to downplay positions that arenât relevant to this particular job description. Your resume does not have to include every place youâve worked or every job youâve heldâthatâs a common myth but isnât doing you any favors.
If you do want to list all your positions to establish a career trajectory or avoid gaps in your resume, limit the information you include with the less-relevant jobs. Expand the impact and results of your most recent and relevant jobs, and include three or fewer bullet points for the other information.
Write A Winning Resume Introduction
Placed at the top of your resume, a well-written resume introduction briefly introduces your key qualifications and skills, and convinces employers to continue reading your application.
There are many different types of resume introductions used by job seekers today, including the:
However, the two most commonly used introduction styles are the resume objective and the resume summary.
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Cashier Work Experience Example
There are no essential credentials business owners expect to come up on a cashiers resume.
Though, basic arithmetic and computer skills always help, so its a good idea to mention your educational background.
Customer service is another important area, which you can focus on in your work experience:
And this is one of those times where its perfectly acceptable to simply list out your daily responsibilities instead of any noteworthy achievements in your work experience.
The HR manager isnt expecting a cashier to have changed the way the store works completely, increasing revenue by 20%. Instead, what they want to know is if you can do the tasks as expected.
Be direct and honest with your work experience here to show youre qualified and youll be fine.
How To Start A Resume With A Summary Statement
A resume summary statement is a short paragraph at the beginning of a resume that highlights a job seekers professional skills and experience. It gives hiring managers a glimpse into the job seekers expertise before diving into their resume. The goal of a summary statement is to demonstrate the job seekers unique value through their skills and accomplishments.
The summary statement typically sits right below the job seekers contact information and right above the body of the resume. A resume summary statement is often referred to by other names, including:
- Career summary
As hiring managers may read through hundreds of resumes in a week, a strong summary statement can be just what a resume needs to stand out from the pack.
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Formatting Your Previous Work Experience To Impress Employers
The best resume format for job seekers is the reverse chronological format, which means you should begin your experience with your most recent role on top and then work backward through your professional career.
For each position, include the job title, dates, and company name, and then describe your professional experience and achievements in that role. You can either use a brief paragraph to describe the role and then bullets, or use only bullets. However, you should not use only paragraph format when writing your work experience section.
This is a mistake that many job seekers make, and it leads to their resume being skimmed over by recruiters and hiring managers. Bullets do a better job of catching attention and getting an employer to closely read your experience section.
If you held multiple jobs in a company over time, list each job with its own dates and relevant experience. Its a huge mistake to not show each specific job title under a company, because this shows that you were promoted and advanced.
As a final step, as you write your previous work descriptions and bullet points, glance at the job description to ensure youre covering the important skills that employers seem to want for the job youre pursuing.
This is known as tailoring a resume.
How Do I List 20 Years Of Experience On My Resume
When it comes to the length of your resume, more isn’t always better even if you have a long and accomplished career history.
Each week, TopResume’s career advice expert, Amanda Augustine, tackles your questions . We’ll be republishing those answers here. As a certified professional career coach and resume writer , Amanda has been helping professionals improve their careers for over 10 years.
In this Q& A, Amanda helps make sense of how long is too long for a resume, and what you should keep and omit from your resume if you’re an older professional.
Can I use a one-page resume for networking, even though my regular resume is three pages long?
How do I put 20 years of experience on a resume?
How do I showcase additional duties on your resume?
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Make The Title Stand Out
The resume title should stand out and should be able to catch the attention of the reader. Thus, be careful with your formatting to make sure your title does not blend in with the rest of your text. Consider making the title and headline bold change the font or make it of different sizes and colours.
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.
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List Your Awards And Recognitions
You can either choose to include your awards and recognitions in the work experience section of your resume or list them in a separate section. These awards show that you can excel at your work. A few ways to list them are:
- Won the 2019 Employee of the Year at Onkar Infotech
- Awarded the top sales honour for maintaining high sales
- Named “Most Valuable Teammate 2020” by Shree Pharmacy
- Recognised for providing excellent patient care in the gynaecologist unit with about 500 deliveries yearly