The work experience section of your resume is the real “meat” of the resume. A hiring manager will often skim the work experience first, to decide to contact you for an interview. Your work experience should describe previous employers, previous titles, dates of service, full-time positions, part-time positions, and volunteer work if you do not have relevant paid experiences.
Tailor your work experience to the job vacancy. Hiring managers want to quickly see that you are qualified for the job. Employers want to see matching experience, skills, and achievements to show that you can rock the job position.
What exactly do I include in my work history?
Companies you worked for
Provide the full, official names of the companies for which you have worked starting with your most recent followed by the next most recent, and so on. Exclude experience more than 10 years old. As a rule of thumb, include your last three employers. Double check your years of experience match or closely match the years required for the job vacancy.
Use the standard month-year format (ex. Jan 2014–Nov 2019) to list when you started and stopped working for each company. If you have short gaps in your work history, you may want to list only the years of employment, or if you have long gaps, you may decide to provide a brief explanation as to why. If you can include volunteer work to fill employment gaps – do it!
You should be specific about your job titles in the companies you worked for. For example, stating that you were a senior technical writer is preferable to just writing “Writer.” Avoid using acronyms or company jargon that might confuse a hiring manager.
Responsibilities and success
Describe your main responsibilities and the skills you demonstrated in your previous jobs, such as project management, strategic planning, or team building. Pair your responsibility with a key impact, using numbers to measure your success. Keep it short and simple! Use numbers to quantify your successes.
Awards and honors
You can include your awards and recognitions in the job experience section or have a separate section for them. These accomplishments show that you can excel in your field of work. If you do not have extensive paid experience, you can include other volunteer positions and/or internships.
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