The work experience section is the main focal point in a resume and having that down properly is of the utmost importance because it is essentially what decides whether you get the job or not. There are many different formats on how you can write your work experience section in your resume and because of this it can get quite confusing as you might not know which one suits you best or suits the job you’re applying to, best.
There are many points to consider when putting down your work experience on your resume, and sometimes it can get overwhelming because you aren’t clear on what would be appropriate and help you get that job you have been aiming for.
Following are some pointers to improve your work experience section in writing up your resume.
What to include in your work experience
It is important to note that you should not write down every single work experience you have had in your life on your resume. This will not only crowd your resume but also might cost you your potential job. You need to list specifically relevant work experience to the job you are applying to in your resume along with possibly any complementary experiences that might rank you as a higher candidate.
By listing relevant experience, this helps your potential employer make an informed decision in hiring you and it also shows the hiring manager how attentive you were to the job hiring post they put out. This would highly work in your favour in making a good impression via your resume as your resume also conveys your attributes and your ethics.
How old should your work experience be
A common mistake that many people tend to make is list every single bit of that relevant work experience to the job they are applying to. While this is a good way to start remembering and listing down your work experience, it might not be as good as your resume. Remember, that a resume tends to be concise and informative, meaning that you cannot crowd it with every single job you have had, regardless of relevance.
How recent your work experience is the next most important thing after relevance. A relevant but old work experience has a good chance of not being seen as very valuable by the hiring manager, whereas a more recent one might be looked upon more favourably. This is because, for example, when we search for reviews for a business and/or service, we tend to value the recent ones the most because they tell us the up-to-date accurate version of that business/service.
In a similar manner, the same is true for how hiring managers might value your recent relevant experience far more than one that is rather old. Jaclyn Westlake, an agency recruiter and HR manager, mentions how as a general rule of thumb, it is best to not include work experiences from 10 to 15 years ago on your resume as these can be considered as no longer viable by your potential employers.
How to Format
At times people tend to format their resumes in such a way that they end up putting the focus on other matters. In your resume, your work experience section is the most important and the main section that is going to be the deciding factor of your job status. Because of this, format it in a way that is easy on the eyes but also highlights your work experience in such a way that your potential employer can right away spot and read your job experiences.
A hiring manager that has to look at countless resumes might appreciate you highlighting your work experience and making it as readable as possible. Carefully formatting your resume on your own can be a difficult or even stressful task, so it would be wise to consult and use a resume builder at times.
A very useful smart resume builder to use is Resumist. It has countless free templates to pick and choose from for your resume, as well as a few highlighted resume templates which have been approved by HR specialists and top recruiters. However, there is more to Resumist than just templates, this resume builder gives you suggestions on how to best build your resume after you have listed your work experiences, qualifications and other details. Not to mention, you can not only make edits on your resume to your work experience at any point in time but can also change the design and formatting as much as you want.
A resume builder like Resumist can make your resume building into a fun activity and greatly help reduce your stress levels.
Other accomplishments section
Usually, when you think of writing up your work experiences, you might just list them out in a plain and simple manner. It is absolutely not wrong to write it like this but it might be more appealing if you, according to Jobscan, mention a list of your accomplishments at your workplaces along with describing your list of duties at each job. By mentioning what you accomplished at each workplace, it conveys what you are capable of as an employee and how much you might benefit their company.
For instance, an accomplishment where you increased one month’s sales by 25%, would be very appealing to hiring managers who might start viewing you as a potential valuable asset that would greatly benefit them. In this way, your accomplishments can be considered as being your selling point to potential employers, according to Jobscan.
A good way to format your accomplishments into your work experience section is by creating another mini section near it listing each accomplishment related to your mentioned work experiences in your resume. By doing so, you managed to elaborate your work achievements without crowding your work experience section.
How to word your work experience
The language you use in marketing yourself in your work experiences is very important. Using passive words and phrases can make you come across as unsure and possibly unreliable to potential employers. It is always beneficial to use strong and active words in writing out your work experiences because this might have you come off as a confident and proactive individual. It is important to never forget that your resume is your first interaction with the hiring manager, and how you word your work experiences will possibly play a significant role in landing you that job.
Conclusion: The Right Way to Include Your Work Experience
Writing up the work experience section in a resume can be, at times, the most stressful part as it is essentially the crux of your resume, but with enough effort and revision, you will end up with the best resume for the job you are applying to. Following the above mentioned tips will greatly help you in making sure you end up with the most effective work experience section in your resume. Final Tip: Do not forget to revise as many times as possible as this will ensure you have the best version of your resume for every job you apply to.