The most important part of your job application is the work experience portion of your resume.
Do you want your resume to stand out among the hundreds of others? You must provide a compelling response to the question, “Why should we hire you?” In other words, demonstrate your competency rather than simply demonstrate the nature of your task.
Want interviews to result from your resume? Every job description you create should be tailored to the needs of the position you’re looking for. Sounds challenging? There is a straightforward procedure to complete it quickly.
This guide will show you:
- How to properly sum up employment history on a resume.
- Job description examples for resumes that you can edit and use right now.
- The finest format and template for a resume’s employment history section.
- How to highlight your accomplishments in a resume for work experience.
- The simplest way to match the work experience portion of your CV to the job offer.
Ready? Check out this example of a work experience section for a resume created using our resume generator for a customer service role. What do you suppose makes it so unique?
How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume
First things first: the space on your resume devoted to your employment history is the most valuable.
This study demonstrates that 91% of recruiters prefer applicants with industry experience. More than two out of every three recruiters regard the job experience area to be the most important, according to a different study.
This means that you should format this portion of your resume as follows:
- is quick to identify and simple.
- enables the recruiting manager to recognize your value right away.
So, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to list work experience on a resume:
Make the Section Heading Stand Out
One of the following headings should appear in your work experience section:
- Experience from the Workplace
- Employment Background
- Career History
Make the section title bigger than the other job descriptions in the section. Put it in bold or all capital letters.
Put Your Work Experience Section in the Right Spot
- Especially if you have a lot of professional experience, just underneath your resume description.
- If you are a recent graduate with little work experience, put your education section below.
Pro Tip: paragraphs or bullet points? 99% of the time, bullet points are a superior option. They enable you to be succinct and to the point while saving you space. Only if you’re writing an academic CV and not a resume should you use paragraphs rather than bullet points.
List Job Descriptions on Your Resume in Reverse-Chronological Order
- Start with your most recent or present position.
- Then the one before it, and so on, should come after it.
The highlight of your career, your most recent job, will garner the greatest attention if you present yourself in this manner.
The fundamental principle of the traditional reverse-chronological resume format is to include your positions in chronological order, starting with the most recent. With very few exceptions, it’s perfect for the majority of job seekers. However, look at other resume format examples to make a wise decision.
Pro Tip: When describing your previous employment, use the past tense (e.g., “managed,” “developed,” or “supervised”). Use just present tense for the description of your current position.
Make Each Entry Clear and Legible
Put this at the very top of each job description:
- your position title
- Organization name and address
- worked dates
Resume Work Experience Example—Heading
Boston Consulting Group, Philadelphia, PA
Pro tip: You can either start each entry with your title or the name of the company. That is not very important. Just keep in mind to keep your layout consistent. The same is true with tenure dates. Dates should all be left-aligned if you decide to do so. Don’t make the hiring manager search and speculate.
Use Relevant Job Description Bullets for Each Job
- The section on your present employment should have the most bullets and details. As you go back in time, keep the number of bullet points in the job description to 3–4.
- Focus on highlighting your accomplishments rather than just your duties and job obligations in each bullet item. Don’t list every action you took in your essay. Focus on quantitative achievements to ensure that each bullet point on your resume earns its spot.
- Make the most of action verbs and compelling words to strengthen each entry.
- Ensure that your descriptions are consistent with the skills listed on your resume.
- purchasing responsibility for office supplies.
- Internet sales significantly rose.
- Negotiated (action verb) with vendors of office supply costs, saving the business $12,000 annually (quantified achievement).
- A/B testing was used to redesign the e-commerce sales funnel, which increased monthly revenue by 112%.
Every job description should be customized to the obligations specified in the job ad, adding only the most pertinent responsibilities and accomplishments. By tailoring, what do you mean?
- Look for words that describe your responsibilities as you read the job description that is part of the advertisement. Make a note of them or mark them.
- Include whatever duties you can find in the bullet points of your resume job description.
The key is relevancy. According to research, about 40% of recruiters immediately reject generic, non-position-specific resumes.
Check out how this functions in real life. Let’s imagine a job posting for a programming position requests the following from applicants:
- provide project design and development for mobile applications
- Meet with technical staff members, business owners, and other stakeholders
- Create and convey the project’s needs
- Examine test results and guide additional development
- guiding less seasoned employees
Now, let’s see a customized example of a work experience section for a resume:
Black Knight Financial Services, Jacksonville, FL
- Up to 10 application development projects are planned and executed annually (1).
- Project specifications were developed (3) in collaboration with data analysis teams.
- (2) Attended project meetings with business analysts, technical staff, and outside stakeholders.
- (5) Over 15 young engineers and developers were trained and coached.
- Key accomplishment:
- created a test automation tool (4) that cut the testing time in half.
See? The applicant didn’t list every duty from their prior employment in the work experience section. Instead, they only included people on the list who have demonstrated their ability to handle future tasks. It will definitely help your resume stand out.
Add a “Key Achievement” Subsection
- It will draw recruiters’ attention like a magnet.
- Mention something in it that you can’t risk your potential employers missing.
- To explain your success, use the Problem-Action-Result (PAR) technique.
The PAR formula operates as follows. Recall the example job description from earlier.
- created a tool for test automation that cut testing time in half.
Problem? The test was excessively drawn out.
Action? creating a fresh tool.
Result? Cutting testing time in half.
This method can be applied to each bullet item in your resume’s job description. Look at this:
- new training initiatives were put in place for circulation and access services librarians, which reduced the overall training period by more than 40%.
Problem? It took too long to train librarians.
Action? introducing fresh programs.
Result? Cutting almost half of the training time.
- For developing the internal newsletter to convey management’s vision, congratulations. 35% less email back and forth was exchanged.
Internal communication is a problem.
In-house newsletter is the action.
Result? Email exchanges between parties fell by more than one-third.
Alright. You already know the essentials. When you follow our instructions, you won’t have to worry about what to put on your resume or whether a two-page resume will be ineffective. Here’s a short refresher of how to list your employment experience on a resume correctly before we continue.
How to list work experience on a resume?
- Section title :In bold or ALL CAPS; larger font size; “Work Experience,” “Work History,” or “Employment History”
- Where to list your employment history:if you have experience, post your résumé or summary of qualifications after your name; If you’re a fresher, put your education section below.
- Listed jobs in alphabetical order: Reverse-chronological order: start with your most recent or current employment, then move on to the one that came before it, and so forth
- Details under each entry heading: Title, Company, Dates of Employment
- Job-specific bullet points for your resume: up to five bullet points listing your responsibilities and proven accomplishments; Compare your bullet points to the needs of the employers.
- Achievements of note subsection: Draw attention to your most stunning victory; apply the Problem-Action-Result formula
Many Years of Work Experience Should Go on a Resume?
- applicants with seniority:Include up to 15 years of relevant employment history.
- mid-level to junior applicants:Include in-depth job descriptions for occupations that are pertinent to your field. To give your resume more credibility, you can also list temporary positions, internships, and freelance experience.
- newcomer candidates:All paid work you’ve ever done, including internships, part-time or temporary jobs, and freelancing, should be listed and explained. have you carried out independent work? Include those endeavors on your résumé as well.
- candidates without a background in the workforce: Include all employment history, both paid and unpaid, such as memberships in student organizations, practicums, unpaid internships, and volunteer work.
How to Make a Resume Without Work Experience?
Your resume should include more information than just your work experience section. Put your resume’s job descriptions after the education section if you recently graduated or have very limited professional experience. This will enable you to present your best self. On your resume, place a strong emphasis on any significant but pertinent coursework, publications, or academic accomplishments.
Employment Gaps on Resume—Do They Matter?
Perhaps someone has advised you to try to conceal employment gaps in your work history on your CV or that they are always “red lights” for recruiters.
It is untrue. Employers now understand that it takes longer than it did 20 years ago to identify the ideal match between a job seeker and an organization, especially in light of the 2010s’ increase in unemployment.
Contrary to what the majority of experts in the 1990s assumed, this study from the American Economic Review has demonstrated:
- If they were followed by professional experience in your area, employers don’t even take into account extended periods of unemployment or irrelevant experience.
- If you’ve been unemployed for less than nine months, your current employment gaps have no bearing on the outcome of your job application.
- Current work gaps longer than nine months will only hurt your chances if you’re looking for medium- or low-skill positions.
Should I Include Irrelevant Work Experience on a Resume?
What if you’ve worked at a job in the past that has absolutely nothing to do with the line of work you want to go into now?
List the “unrelated” former employment if there are qualities there that are relevant to the one you are currently seeking. It all comes down to picking the appropriate words to define who you are.
Recall the candidate from the preceding example. She is seeking a position in customer service but spent the first four years of her professional career as a waitress. These two jobs have a lot in common despite not being the same.
Because of this, our candidate specified only responsibilities and accomplishments pertinent to the customer service position in the job description and mentioned that job on her resume.
Have a look at a sample entry for a customer service rep:
Newark, NJ’s Pizza Hut
- devotedly performed customer service work in a busy restaurant.
- finished the customer service training course offered by F.A.S.T.
- maintained a high tip average due to a steady stream of happy customers.
Can I Put Volunteer Work Under Work Experience
- Job descriptions for your volunteer positions should be left off if you currently have at least 5 years of paid work experience. They can be included in a different section of your resume.
- Lacking a lengthy work history to highlight on a resume? In your major experience section, mention volunteering.
How to Show Promotion on Resume
- How can you indicate a promotion on a resume if you’ve had various positions or been promoted within the same business?
- You don’t have to make distinct entries for each position, after all. Add one set of bullet points and stack your job titles if your responsibilities for these two roles were comparable. akin to this
January 2012–January 2013
- Mention Promotion
Were your responsibilities very different? Add each headline as a distinct subheading, then list the bullet points after it.
How to Measure Job Performance for Jobs That Are Harder to Quantify?
Even though it looks nice, I don’t really deal with hard figures that often. You do! more than you may believe. You can use one of the following methods to quantify your achievements even if you are unable to provide precise numbers to describe your work:
How many individuals made up your team? How many workers have you managed? What size budgets did you manage? Employers place a lot of importance on all of these factors. And to convey them more effectively, you can utilize numbers. Check out this sample resume for a marketing manager:
- 18 team members worked together to guarantee that the company’s branding is consistent throughout the entire organization for our clients.
- 10+ marketing interns were guided and trained to acquire junior marketing positions that were permanent.
- I was in charge of all artistic and technical facets of national marketing campaigns with spending caps exceeding $300,000.
How much work could you manage to get done in a certain amount of time? How frequently did you carry out specific tasks? These things should and can be measured. Look at the following example from the work experience part of a resume for a customer support representative:
- weekly resolution of 150+ user tickets.
- Four posts a week on Facebook, six a week on Instagram, and one a week on LinkedIn are scheduled for publication.
- arranged for the daily email to be distributed to our 50,000+ readers.
- Unable to calculate the precise number? Estimate. It will draw interest. But bear in mind that during a job interview, you’ll undoubtedly be asked about the reasons behind your remark, so don’t take any wild guesses. Make informed assumptions while estimating:
- introduced new data security protocols, which prevented any data breaches for 29 weeks and saved $5–$8k each month.
Work experience is the knowledge that an employee acquires via employment in a particular position, industry, or profession (for example, Four years of hands-on experience in online marketing). Your chances of getting your dream job depend heavily on the work experience portion of your resume.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing your resume’s job description:
- Start with your most recent or present position.
- It should be followed by the one that came before it, and so on.
- Specify the dates you worked, the name of the employer, and your employment title.
- Include up to 5 bullet points that list your accomplishments.
- Focus on your most pertinent tasks and duties when tailoring your work experience section to the job posting.
- When feasible, quantify and use action terms.
All good? Then you’re well on your way to getting the job of your dreams.
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