You’ve applied for dozens of jobs you know you’re qualified for, but you haven’t heard back from anyone. What can go wrong?
Several factors, such as your resume summary, education, experience, and skills, affect the outcome of a job application.
However, one of the primary reasons qualified candidates may not receive an invitation is often related to how the work experience section of their resume is tailored.
These guidelines will help you write work experience on your CV in a way that will effectively highlight your skills and experience and leave a favorable impression on hiring managers.
What Should be in the Work Experience Section of a Resume?
The work experience section of your resume should contain a detailed account of your;
- Previous job titles
- Tenure durations
- Noteworthy accomplishments.
Depending on your background, you can include full-time positions, part-time jobs, temporary roles, internships, and even volunteer work if you do not have extensive paid work experience.
Which section should come first: Work Experience or Education
If you have little to no work experience or are a recent graduate, it is generally recommended to list your education first on your resume. However, if your work experience is significantly more extensive than your education, it’s likely best to prioritize work experience section first.
5 Tips to List the Work Experience on Your Resume
Follow these steps to create detailed information about your work experience on your resume:
1. List the Companies You Worked For
Include the full, official names of the companies where you’ve held positions, starting with the most recent and proceeding in reverse chronological order. Ensure to remove companies that are not relevant to the job positions you are seeking to apply for.
2. Provide Employment Dates
Present your work history using the standard month-year format (e.g., Jan 2014–Nov 2019). Clearly indicate the duration of your employment with each company. For brief employment gaps, consider listing only the years, and for more extended gaps, you might include a concise explanation if necessary.
By adhering to these steps, you’ll present a well-organized and informative work experience section on your resume, offering prospective employers a clear understanding of your professional journey.
3. List Your Job Titles
Clearly specify your job titles within each company, opting for precision. For instance, stating “Social Media Marketing Manager” provides more clarity than a generic “Marketing Manager.” Avoid using acronyms for your positions to ensure clarity for your potential employers.
4. Showcase Responsibilities and Impact
Articulate your primary responsibilities and the skills you applied in previous roles. Connect each responsibility with a tangible impact, quantifying success with numbers where possible. For instance, transform a generic statement like “Responsible for taking inventory and ordering office supplies” into “Developed a new inventory process, reducing quarterly supply costs by 15%.”
5. Highlight Promotions
If applicable, highlight any promotions you’ve earned in past positions. This signals to your potential employer that you not only fulfilled your roles but excelled, making you a more attractive candidate.
Recommended Format to Write Work Experience
List your most recent work experience first
Arrange your work experience section with the most recent job titles at the top and the less recent ones below.
Include achievements instead of responsibilities
Highlight your achievements on your resume rather than just outlining job duties. Achievements demonstrate your positive impact on your company’s performance, as opposed to merely meeting expectations.
Instead to write: Tracked business leads
Write: Implemented a system for tracking business leads that boosted sales by 47%
Use Number to describe your achievement
Use numbers to describe your work experience whenever you can (this is known as quantifying your resume), because numbers give hiring managers a better idea of what you can accomplish.
increased annual sales by 30% by running a marketing campaign in a new market
Saved comapny 20million per year on printing costs by purchasing two high-end printers and supervising user training