Effective Resume Work Experience Listing Example & Guide
After you read this article, you will find out:
The Example of Professional Experience Section in Resume.
Step by Step Guide for Winning Work Experience Listing.
How much Experience Should Be Included?
Most Effective Way to State Your Responsibilities.
Why Listing of Working Experience on Resume is Difficult?
Most people said that the most difficult and time consuming section of any resume is the listing of work experience; no matter the level you have reached in your professional career. If you have just graduated college and do not have any full-time professional experience, you are concerned if your part time job and summer internship are enough to get your foot in the door. If you are changing careers, you are unsure which skills best showcase your qualifications. If you are a seasoned professional with extensive work experience, you are worried how to fit all of your hard work on only one page.
Questions to Consider in Listing Work Experience
Listing work responsibilities on our resumes does not get easier as our career progresses. The key is to consider your career objective and prioritize your work in accordance to your goals. Before you begin your resume, consider the following questions.
What is your career objective?
Are you changing careers or looking for professional growth?
What experience have you had so far that will help in meeting your professional goals?
Professional Experience Example
This is an example of work experience listing in resume format.
1234, Los Angeles, CA 90041
Seeking a Software Manager position requiring advanced management knowledge to improve the company operations.
ABCD Software Inc., Los Angeles, CA 2007 – Present
Currently in a project management role developing and maintaining e-commerce websites for clients around the world.
Responsible for helping define, plan and create online marketing campaigns.
iSoftwareReview the software reviews website that was developed as a content specialist website.
Deliver fast service to meet customer satisfaction and fulfill their expectation.
ABCD Software Inc., Los Angeles, CA 2002 – 2007
Analyzed customer requirements, specifications and developed matching functional systems and applications.
Supported company projects in the selection, delivery and management of new technology.
Decreased shipping processing time 50 percents by 2006.
Total quality management – every day improvement.
Listing Professional Experience Guide
Here are step by step guide to help you to write an effective professional experience section in your resume.
1. Just List Any Experience
When people are asked about work responsibilities, they have a tendency to disclose the routine items first. This method can be a costly mistake for listing your professional experiences on your resume because it leaves all of the important and key qualifications at the bottom of the list. To avoid falling into this practice, first put together a list of your responsibilities on a sheet of paper. For your initial draft, do not worry about how you are phrasing each statement – just make a list of everything that you do in your current or have done in your previous jobs.
2. Select Most Critical and Relevant Experience
Once your list is completed, consider all of the responsibilities you have included. What are the three most important items on the list for each job? How do those items relate to your career objective? Are there any other responsibilities you have listed that better support your career objective than the three you picked as the most critical to your job? You have to consider all these questions in order to prioritize your job descriptions on your resume.
3. Use Active Verbs and Power Word
Begin each description with a power word, such as managed, developed, communicated, etc. Make sure that the statements you list first quantify your achievements – don not be afraid to list sales figured, customer acquisition rates, budget and timeline successes, or any other figures which help put your responsibilities in a context of the business or field you are working in. Also, these statements should be aligned with your career objective. If you want to get a job in project management, letting your employer know that you managed a team of 20 people will effectively highlight your qualifications. It is important to quantify your job description statements on your resume; however, as a word of caution, do not quantify all statements, just one or two that are most critical to your job and are goal driven. This shows your employer that you think in terms of exceeding your goals. All subsequent descriptions of your responsibilities should support the first one or two items on your list.
Prioritizing does not only apply to your job descriptions, although it is the most commonly disregarded element in this particular area of the resume. Achievements and qualifications are often misrepresented because they are not ordered properly. Same rules apply – consider which of your achievements and your qualifications are most complimentary to your career objective, and list them first. For example, if you are applying for a job in customer service, list your communication skills before your computer skills. While both are important, your communication skills are more in line with your career objective, and therefore should take priority.
How much Experience Should Be Included?
Ideally, your resume should not exceed two pages. Depending on the type of jobs you have held and your responsibilities, having only two pages does not account for a lot of space. The best practice for listing your experiences is not to exceed the most recent five jobs you have held. Again, keep the mind the length of the resume when you are deciding on the number of jobs you will list – if your last five jobs and their accompanying responsibilities will take over one page alone, than consider narrowing the experience down to the three most recent positions you had.
Also, consider the time you spent at each organization you have worked for – list up to the last ten to fifteen years of experience. It is not necessary to list every job you have ever had to showcase your qualifications and years of experience. If you have a long professional career, focus on the last three to five jobs, but use the profile or summary at the beginning of the resume to highlight the number of years you have spent working, or the number of years you have spent in a certain industry, acquiring specific skills.
Most Effective Way to State Your Responsibilities
You must first consider what type of a job you are seeking. Much like your career objective or summary should reflect your professional goals, your current and past experiences must showcase that you are the best candidate for the job you are applying for. In listing your current and past professional experiences, try to focus on those responsibilities that indicate you are qualified to take the next step in your career.
Using Active Verbs
Due to the fact that more and more companies as well as job search sites use scanning software to pick out candidates, it is very important that you use key words including active verbs, to describe your skills. Instead of beginning your job descriptions with “Responsible for” try to use active verbs such as:
These key words get straight to the point of describing your responsibilities, which is exactly what the employers are looking for. Choose these words carefully – do not say that you “managed a project”, implying you were responsible for the whole task from start to finish if you were only responsibly for communicating the project to other associates. Instead state that you “Developed and executed the communication strategy for associates,” describing your role more accurately and emphasizing your strengths.
Make it Relevant
Make sure that responsibilities you are listing are relevant for to your career objective. List only those responsibilities which help you put your best foot forward. For example, if you are looking for a job that requires managing a team of people, focus on your development and participation in group projects instead of focusing on solitary activities such as office organization.
Quickly Scan Bullet Point
In terms of formatting, make sure that your responsibilities are listed in bullet points. This formatting is preferred to paragraphs on a resume because it is easier to review quickly. Employers simply scan the resumes and look for key words – if the resume looks overwhelming, with a lot of copy and poor formatting, they will likely discard it. Thus, it is very important that your resume is formatted with enough white space and does not contain any errors.
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