The work experience section of your resume might be the most important part of your job application process. Hiring managers want to know what you did and where you did it. They want to know that you’ve been successful in the past and that you have the qualifications to be successful in the future. Your work section should be a showcase of all your top achievements. Here are five tips to properly list your past work experiences on your resume.
Make it Appealing
Formatting is so important when crafting a resume. It’s hard to read the content if your eyes can’t move past a disorganized layout. Choose a font and style that are appealing to the eye and easy to read. Use boldface type, caps, or italics to make certain items stand out, just make sure you’re consistent. Keep all subheadings the same font size and style.
Only Include “Employment”
Although volunteer work is important and always looks good to potential employers, keep that information separate. In the “work history” section, only include full-time work, part-time jobs, self-employment, work-studies and internships, not unpaid, charitable work. You can include this in “other experience” or “relevant experience.”
List the names of the organizations where you were employed, the city and state of each company, the positions and titles you held, and the months and years you worked there. If you got promoted, only list the most recent position you had. Beneath each job title, include no more than six bullet points. They should list your responsibilities, achievements, and other ways you added value to your employer.
Only List Relevant Work Experience
Only include jobs you’ve held that are similar to the job you’re applying for now. Don’t include every job you’ve had since you were in high school! And don’t include jobs you had more than fifteen years ago. But you can include a seemingly random job if it prevents you from having a huge gap on your resume—a few months is okay, but several years might be a red flag to potential employers.
Use Action Verbs
When you’re writing your bullet points, use past tense verbs that underscore your responsibilities and show that you take initiative. Numbers attract attention, so use specific numbers to highlight your accomplishments. If you increased sales revenue by 20%, then mention that! Did you win an award? Break a monthly sales records? Manage a team of six people?
If You’re Inexperienced…
If you’ve just graduated or you’re relatively new to the workforce, then you can include a section called “professional experience.” List any relevant classes you took, group projects you worked on, or internships you held. Focus on transferrable skills—skills you picked up in these roles that will help you in your new job. You might want to echo some of the phrasing you see in job postings to make yourself look like a great fit.