How to Write a Resume Work Experience Section
If we ask a recruiter which section does your eyes keep more focus on a resume, the answer will definitely be the Work Experience Section. A well-written work experience section will bring you the fortune of getting jobs and interviews for sure. Do you have a resume at the moment? If so, do you get calls for interviews? The problem might be with this work history section. So this guide is especially for you with a bad work experience section. At the end of this article, you will be able to create a killer employment history section.
So, let’s jump in.
What to include in a Resume Work Experience Section?
A typical resume work experience section should include the company name, company location, the job title you held, the duration and accomplishments or achievements you made in a particular position.
Always use the standard United States date format (mm/yyyy) when you insert the dates employed. Because recruiters do not want to know your exact employment time. They just need to know whether you have enough experience or not.
Including accomplishments and achievements is way more important than describing your job responsibilities and duties. There is no need to explain your job duties to the recruiters as they already know them. What they actually need is to see your achievements.
Create a Killer Work Experience section which Stand Out
- Tailor your resume with keywords: Nowadays most companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to sort out the candidates. You need to beat ATS in order to get the job or at least to get a call for an interview. Tailoring your resume with keywords is the best thing you can do to outsmart an Applicant Tracking System. Therefore, always tailor your job description according to the job advertisement you are going to apply for. Read the job advertisement carefully and note down the important keywords from it. Then you have to be smart enough to place those keywords in your bullet points.
- Use action verbs – Strong action verbs like performed, implemented, improved etc. will be really helpful to impress the reader and also he can get a brief idea about your potential. Here is a list of action verbs you can use in your work experience section.
- Bullet Points – Include 2-5 bullet points in your work experience section by describing your achievements and duties. A successful Bullet point should include quantified results, the skills you have used to gain that result and the actions you have performed to get it a success. This will help the recruiter to know how your impact on the previous companies.
- Quantify Data – When you indicate your accomplishments it is always better to include them with quantitative data and metrics. Use numbers and percentages as much as possible to showcase your achievements. So, the hiring manager can know whether you have been successful or not in previous positions. Not only that but also recruiters love to see your accomplishments.
List Work Experience in Reverse Chronological Order
Recruiters don’t want to see either your all work history or oldest work experiences. What they are expecting is what you have been doing in the recent past or current.
Therefore, when you list your work experience section it should be in Reverse-Chronological Order. That means the current job or the most recent experience must come first and the previous positions follow and so on. By this way, you can show your ultimate career path to the recruiter.
How many years of experience should I place on my resume?
Either you are a senior level candidate or entry-level candidate, you don’t need to add over 15 years of experience.
Just assume that you are having the experience of 20+ years and at the same time every experience is relevant to the job you are applying for. Though it is, you do not want to go beyond 15 years of experience.
Only the relevant and most recent experiences matter to the recruiter about you. Without the relevant experience, a great resume is just a dream.
What does it mean by the relevant experience?
Think that you are applying for the position of Marketing Manager position. And you also have the experience as a Fitness Trainer a long time ago. In this case, you should not include the experience of the fitness trainer position as it is not relevant to the position you are going to apply for.
Therefore, you must be aware of what are the relevant experiences you have and identify them to place in the right place on your resume.
Where To Place Work Experience On Resume?
If you are a well-experienced person the perfect place to place your work experience is soon after your resume summary and just before the education section. Otherwise, if you are a fresher it is better to place that after the education section.
Best Way To Name The Section Heading
Do not use any fancy title in any of the sections in your resume. Name your section heading as one of the following and those are the standard section heading titles for the work experience.
- WORK EXPERIENCE
- WORK HISTORY
- EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
Make sure you write this section title in ALL CAPS and BOLD letters. A section title should always be bigger than the normal text on a resume.
Common Mistakes Done By Candidates in Work History Section
- Highlights Responsibilities than Achievements – Recruiters know well what are the job duties and responsibilities for a specific position. So whenever you write the job description list key accomplishments rather than mentioning your duties and responsibilities. Recruiters love to see your achievements. They love to see the results which you gained.
- Writing Long Paragraphs – Never use long paragraphs to describe your achievements or your job role. Just think of small sentences with powerful verbs. And list them in 2-5 bullet points.
Internships and Volunteering Experiences in the Work Experience Section?
This question is relative to different persons. If you are a senior-level candidate with a huge amount of work experience, just include up to 15 years of relevant work experience. You can use separate sections to show your volunteering experience or any other things.
If you are a mid-level candidate then you can also include internships for your work experience section.
But you can add all the internships, volunteering experiences, freelancing experiences, projects you were engaged etc for your work experience sections if and only if you are an entry-level candidate.
Work Experience Section Tips and Tricks
Write in phrases – When you write the job description or accomplishments on your work experience section start the sentence with a strong action verb. And never use “I” to start off the sentence or in the middle.
Tense – You may be filled up with many years of experience. Some may not. Doesn’t matter. There is only one tip for all of them. When you are writing the details of the current job, use the present tense. On the other hand, if you are writing about your past experience or completed projects, use past tense in your achievement statements and the job description etc.
Brief and Concise – Always make your bullet points briefly and concisely. That will ease the readability of the resume to the recruiters.
Always check for your grammar and spelling errors – Having a single grammar or spelling mistakes will destroy your entire future career path unless you make it correct. So always proofread your resume content by giving it to one of your friends or a professional resume writer.
You can even upload your resume to the Priwoo Resume Review Tool and get the full resume review on your resume within two business days. Our AI and career professionals are there to help you with the full professional resume review.
No problem with the article? Cheers! Now it is the time to learn about the education section on your resume.