Writing the Experience section of a resume effectively

By | May 10, 2017

Significance of Experience section in a resume

In a professional resume, the Experience or Work History section is one of the most important parts. Equally important as the skills and expertise listing, this is the section where employers look to get an insight of your career history. It should include what all job positions you have held, which companies you have worked for and the roles and responsibilities you’ve undertaken in each position. A brief description of the company and the project handled should be given. Along with this, the most important part is the listing of all the significant roles and responsibilities you held while working in the position.

The Work Experience section enables hiring managers to read through your career graph and see how it has progressed. This is the key area that they check to understand how efficient and fit you are for the job, especially if the job position requires significant prior experience in the job.

Experience section for each level of experience

Highly experienced professionals

If you had a steady career progression in your current field, you can use the reverse chronological order to list each job title, starting with the highest and most recent one to the first. In case you have a very long work history spanning more that 15-20 years, you may omit a few less significant roles in the distant past or just briefly list them in a line or two.

Career changers

If you had some major career changes during your professional phase, you may consider including only those that are most relevant to the applying job. If required, you may list the remaining job roles in brief as a justification  for gaps in your career.

Read about resume writing tips for career changers here.

Graduates with less or no work experience

If you are a fresh graduate or an individual with no or very less work experience, you may opt to include all roles you have held or laid hands on. Be it a work experience not relevant to the current job or a volunteer program or project you have been part of at school or college. This will not be a problem as you will obviously be applying as an entry-level or mid-level candidate. So your employers know how much to expect in the Experience section of your resume. At the same time, listing all your work-related experiences will help recruiters understand your dynamic nature, work dedication, openness to any opportunity and willingness to try and learn new things.

Read about resume writing tips for fresh graduates here.

A sample layout of the Experience section for all levels of resumes:

WORK EXPERIENCE

Job Title 1

Company Name, Year – Present

Job Description: Provide a brief summary of the project handled in a paragraph of about 4 or 5 lines

Roles and Responsibilities: List out in bullets all the key responsibilities you undertook while working in the project. Include significant terminology if any.

 

Job Title 2

Company Name, Start Date – End Date

Job Description: A brief summary of the project handled in a paragraph of about 4 or 5 lines

Roles and Responsibilities: List out in bullets all the key responsibilities you undertook while working in the project.  Include significant terminology if any.

 

Job Title 3

……

 

Read more about the tips and guidelines to write an effective resume here.

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