Your resume’s work experience section needs to include details about your professional background, such as prior job titles, employers, dates of employment, responsibilities, acquired skills, and accomplishments. If you don’t have a lot of paid work experience, you can list full-time jobs, part-time jobs, temporary positions, internships, and even volunteer work depending on your history.
Why is work experience on a resume important?
The summary of job experience is frequently regarded as the most crucial section of a resume by employers. Your potential employer will most likely scan the work experience section first to get a quick overview of your employment history. As a result, this section might be essential for advancing you in the hiring procedure.
Your resume’s work experience demonstrates to the hiring manager whether you possess the knowledge and abilities required to be successful in the position for which you are applying. Along with describing your accomplishments, this part can help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of getting an interview.
How to format a resume for job experience
To learn how to list job experience on your resume, refer to this guide.
1. Incorporate pertinent and in-depth details
Your resume’s job experience section needs to include details about your past employment, such as:
Businesses you’ve worked for
Give the full names of the organizations you’ve worked for, beginning with the most recent, then the next most recent, and so forth. Exclude job history that is more than ten years old to keep the section current. Generally speaking, you ought to list at least your last three jobs. If possible, make sure to mention the amount of experience needed in the job posting.
The businesses’ locations
The cities and states where your prior employers are located should be listed. It’s not required to give their complete physical location.
Days of employment
List your start and end dates for employment with each business using the standard month-year format (for instance, Jan 2014–Nov 2019). If there are any brief gaps in your job history, you might only want to list the years of employment; if there are any significant gaps, you might choose to include a brief justification.
Names of jobs
When describing your job titles at the various businesses you’ve worked for, be specific. For instance, it’s better to say that you managed social media marketing rather than just putting “Marketing Manager.” Additionally, refrain from referring to your roles by acronyms.
Obligations and effects
Briefly describe your primary duties and any project management, strategic planning, or team-building abilities you have had in the past. By combining your responsibility with a significant effect, you can quantify your success. For instance, an office administrator should write, “Developed a new inventory process, reducing quarterly supply costs by 15%,” rather than, “Responsible for taking inventory and purchasing office supplies.”
Promotions Mentioning any promotions you may have received at previous jobs will demonstrate to a prospective employer your performance at those positions, which may make you a more appealing candidate.
Medals and acknowledgments
You can either have a separate part for your accolades and recognitions or include them in the job experience section. These successes demonstrate your potential for success in your line of work.
If you lack a lot of professional experience, you can still include other experiences that demonstrate your abilities and dedication to carrying out duties in a professional manner. This includes any paid employment, even if it doesn’t seem immediately pertinent, whether it was in the food or retail industries while you were in high school or college, internships, or even volunteer work. Give your pertinent experiences a higher priority when applying for jobs. Remove less pertinent positions if you have at least two years of professional experience.
2. Format the job experience section of your resume
Here are three sensible formats for your resume’s work experience section:
Your most recent position will be listed first in a chronological resume list of your employment experience. This is the most popular format because it makes it obvious how your work has developed. If you have at least a few years of stable employment history, this approach will work best for you.
You can group your accomplishments and abilities using the functional resume format by the demands of the position you’re seeking. Only the names of your prior employers and the dates of employment are required for your job history. This format is a good choice if you are a recent graduate or have major gaps in your employment history because it places more emphasis on your accomplishments and skills than the positions you held at previous jobs.
Format in combination
The combination format gives you more freedom and enables you to highlight your strengths when presenting your work history. With this choice, you will list your accomplishments and skills after giving a brief overview of your professional experience. If you are applying for a management or executive-level job, think about using the hybrid format.
Resume writing tips for job experience
Most resumes follow a common structure and style. However, by following this advice, you can make your work experience section stick out:
Pick a well-organized design.
Your resume will be simpler to comprehend if it is well-organized. Select a format, and stick with it throughout the document when listing your prior employers, positions, and dates of work. Use bolding, tabling, horizontal lines, and tables to draw attention to the material.
Respond to the requirements of your potential employers
Many job applicants only include their duties and abilities on their resumes. Mention the advantages your prior work has given your prospective boss to set yourself apart. Include job description terms that correspond to your expertise.
Differentiate yourself from other candidates
You should include information that makes you stand out from the competition in addition to your duties from prior positions. This could include your distinctive skills or traits, accolades you’ve gotten, or leadership roles you’ve held.
Make it short.
Ensure that your bullet points are clear and simple to comprehend. Include only details that are pertinent to the company.
Your strongest arguments should come first or last.
This is particularly crucial if your résumé is longer than one page. Powerful openings and closings can increase the likelihood that the hiring manager will peruse the work experience section from beginning to end.