Of all your resume sections, your work experience is one of the most critical and important ones to have.
You’ve labelled your skills and your education. It’s quite clear you’ve got the knowledge required, so what makes your employment history different?
Firstly, it doesn’t just list or show what you’re capable of…
But it’s a form of proof that shows your skills and expertise are credible.
See, it’s far more compelling for job recruiters if they understand the true value behind your skills by getting insight into what you did in your previous job roles and responsibilities.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “actions speak louder than words”.
And, that’s what makes your work experience section vital. Because you’re highlighting what you’ve managed to achieve. This alone has a huge impact on letting employers determine if you’re as good as they think you are.
In this guide, we’ll go through how to cover your work experience on your resume. I’ve also included 5 proven examples with Enhancv that got candidates hired, so stay tuned.
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What You Need to Know About Your Resume Work Experience Section
Let’s start off by the meaning of your work experience – essentially, it refers to your professional background in employment. This includes details such as:
- Job titles
- Role and responsibilities
- Skills and accomplishments
- Company names
- Dates you’ve worked
Most workers list out 3-5 different jobs they’ve had in the past 10 years on their resume. For others who have less experience, they’ll include their work experiences in reverse chronological order.
If you have no experience at all, it works to use volunteering experiences or internships instead if you have any.
What employers want to see is if you’re familiar with the working environment you’re going to be working in. Do you also have the skills that it takes? What have you done that supports those claims?
One way to reaffirm your expertise is by using the results or previous company success which you contributed towards. I’ll explain how in more detail in the step by step guide.
Why Should You Include A Resume Work Experience Section?
The work experience section for your resume is a requirement for virtually all job applications. Without one, employers will assume you’re an amateur who can’t reinforce your skills listed because there’s nothing practical to show for it.
Do you have a healthy career timeline? Do you have the necessary professional background, skills, certifications or qualifications?
Employers can identify if you’re a worker who can handle the job responsibilities, tasks and if you understand what needs to be done. With a lack of work experience developed, recruiters will see that it’ll take some time and training to get you up to speed.
How to Cover Work Experience On Your Resume
Identify which format you’re going to use
Pick one from the following:
- Chronological resume format
- Reverse chronological resume format
- Combination/hybrid resume
- Functional/skills-based resume
Each one has a different goal and reason for use, so it’s important you know which is most ideal for you to use. Rather than taking a blind approach, use the resume format that helps you write an engaging work experience section personalized for your job vacancy.
Are you unsure of what’s most ideal for you?
The reverse chronological resume format is most ideal as it lists out your most recent work experience or job titles. From there, you work your way backwards. If you have less than 5 years of work experience, I recommend sticking to listing out your work experience in reverse chronological order.
However, for seniors and for those whose work history goes a long time, chronological resumes will work better. With this format, it’s easier for employers to notice that you’re a veteran who’s highly experienced in your field of profession. You’ll quickly be respected by the fact you’ve been in the workforce more than anyone else.
Find out how others successfully created their resume for your profession in our ultimate list here.
List out the relevant job titles
Do you know what experiences you have that are most aligned with the job position you’re applying for?
If you don’t, go back and do the job and company research.
Note down what the employers are looking for – avoid including experiences that are irrelevant. Unless there’s anything that links and connects (e.g. transferable skills), it’s better to leave it than include it.
Your job titles should also be labelled nice and clearly on your resume. This way it’s scannable and easy for the reader to consume when skimming your application.
Follow up with the key details and talk about the results you helped to deliver during your work experience
The necessary details include your company name, geographical area of work, alongside the date for how long you were employed.
After listing out those essential pieces of information, it’s time to write a brief, concise description of your work experience. What you describe must trace back to the company’s needs and interests for you to maximise your chances of getting hired.
Don’t just list out your job duties and responsibilities. In addition, you need to talk about the results you contributed towards and the success you’ve helped your previous company achieve. Are there any skills you’ve developed in the process and any impressive achievements? How will all of these things help the company go from point A to point B?
Without seeing a correlation or any relatable points, employers won’t be satisfied or feel an impact when reading your work experience section.
Implement keywords and buzzwords
Ensure that you’ve implemented the keywords. These should match the job description specifically.
Keywords are one essential thing to capture the interest of recruiters, but buzzwords are another. These words amplify the personalization of your resume since it’s tailored and targeting your specific job title.
These factors really add up when it comes to making the decision with having you onboard the team or not.
Not only does it make your work experience section tailored, but it makes your achievements look more impressive than it already is.
Edit and proofread
Can the formatting be improved? Could you rephrase or use different words that are less common and more impactful? Have you highlighted the main points employers need to see?
If this is eating up too much of your time and you’re struggling with this process, chances are you need to improve your editing and proofreading strategies.
Don’t trap the employers in a maze with a faded map to find their way through. Instead, put the pieces together for them. Everything the recruiter is looking for, they should be able to find it within the first few seconds of scanning your resume.
The contents of your work experience description need to be parallel with the job responsibilities. And, the way you present this information needs to be clean and neat. Keep in mind that minimal and simple is better than large bulks of text and overcomplicated styles.
Quick reminder: double-check for typography errors! These rookie mistakes can easily cost you a professional career!
5 Proven Resume Work Experience Samples With Enhancv
IT Project Manager Resume
In this IT project manager resume, the reason it works so well is that it focuses on both the experiences gained and the outcome that benefited the company. As a project manager, it’s important you have experience so employers know you’ve got the management experiences and are familiar with the working culture.
However, notice how the applicant has used action verbs to show he’s actively contributed towards the company’s success. Keep in mind to demonstrate your skills, expertise and actions. Ultimately, words mean nothing – it’s far more compelling if you’re able to show exactly what you’ve achieved and how.
Manufacturing Engineer Resume
One common mistake is listing your job responsibilities and duties as a bullet point list. These are important to mention, but they shouldn’t just be plainly brought up. Instead, a better approach is to be specific with those responsibilities and describe what you’ve done to benefit the company.
Digital Marketing Resume
Remember that your resume work experience section needs to not only talk about your previous job titles and responsibilities but the results you helped to deliver. You need to be specific so the hiring manager can see the value behind how skilled you are at what you do. If you just make a shopping list for the job recruiter, it doesn’t exactly show much value or meaning.
Medical Assistant Resume
For resumes in the healthcare field, if you’re not using a resume summary or objectives section then the work experience part should come first. Like this candidate, your work experience should be going in detail about what positive results you’ve contributed to.
Property Manager Resume
In the real estate industry, overusing buzzwords isn’t the best idea. What employers are more focused on are numbers and data. Do you have any evidence to back up your skills to show you’re a qualified candidate?
In this example, we see a variety of data. “Sales flow that lead to a 100% increase in sales activity” and “achieved €600 revenues”.
Since employers are looking for actual data and achievements from candidates to reinforce their statements, it makes your resume stand out and worth remembering.
If your field of profession wasn’t here, you can find it on our list of proven resume examples here. Take a look at how others wrote a successful resume work experience and take note!
Extra Tips and Tricks
- Use bullet points – it’s outdated to use long paragraphs to include your description, instead, stick to only one-page resumes as having less says a lot more about you, and has more impactfulness since you’re being very specific. Have a minimum of at least 2-3, and a maximum of 5 if necessary.
- Use metrics, numbers and data – this makes your resume more convincing since you’re supporting your statements and not just stating empty words. This reinforces authority and credibility which makes your resume even more appealing.
- Consider using colours to highlight the company name – if the company is reputable or a figure of authority, the right colours can be highly effective. Take a look at the visual layout with these proven templates from Enhancv (which you could use right now for free if you wanted to) and how the colours compliment each other. This plays its part when grabbing the employer’s attention when they start initially reading your resume.
- Prioritize your best accomplishments – the priority of your entire resume should be to show value. You’re pretty much selling yourself on the job market to why you’re a qualified candidate who’s ideal to hire for taking on the job responsibilities. If you showcase your greatest achievements first, it makes for a great impression.
The work experience section refers back to your employment history in the past with what you’ve developed and accomplished.
All the details you list down should be directly parallel to the new job you’re applying for. Or, if you’re heading into a new industry then at the very least, it needs to be relevant.
Feeling ready but unsure of where to start building your resume? Get started for free with Enhancv for free by clicking here!
The steps and tips discussed in this guide are your ingredients for creating a captivating dish that can’t be ignored.
If you have any questions or anything else you’d like to add, let me hear from you in the comments below!