How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume: The Complete Guide

Monday, February 24th 2020, 2:09 pm
By: News On 6

Resume Writing

On average, recruiters and hiring managers spend only 6 seconds looking at a resume. If you think about the hundreds of applications that hiring managers get for each job opening, their speed makes sense.

But, when a recruiter spends seconds looking at the resume that took you hours to perfect, it’s disheartening. What’s a job hunter to do?

The good news is, recruiters focus on the work experience section. If you can perfect that, you have a better chance of landing an interview. Read on to learn how to describe work experience on a resume.

Explain Your Impact

It’s important to describe what tasks and responsibilities you had at your previous jobs, but you need to take it a step further. Think about how you impacted each company and what you accomplished in your role.

Did you help increase revenue or save the company money? Did you give a successful presentation that brought in new business? Did you help expand your team or department?

If you did something concrete that benefited the company, include it. Your resume is not the place for modesty.

Be Specific and Use Data

You should also be specific and use numbers and percentages whenever you can. Your goal is to paint a picture in the recruiter’s mind.

For example, saying you managed the advertising accounts for 3 companies is good. But, saying you managed the accounts for 3 Fortune 500 companies with million-dollar advertising budgets is much better.

These two examples explain the same job responsibility, but the second one is much more specific and impressive. It also gives a clearer picture of the scope of the position.

Focus on Your Most Relevant Experience

If you worked at your previous job for years, you might want to list everything you did. But, you only have 3-5 bullet points to work with.

Read the job description for the role you’re applying for and compare it to your own experience. Focus on the skills and experience you have that overlap with the job description.

The recruiter will see that your skills are a good fit, which means you’ll have a better chance at an interview.

Your Work Experience Should Tell a Career Story

Think about the story you want your resume to tell. How has your previous career experience made you the best candidate for this job?

For guidance, look at the short bios of people you admire in your industry. How do they talk about their own career stories?

Even though your resume is about you, it’s important to also think about your prospective employer. What kind of career story does their dream applicant have? Think about your past work (or even volunteer) experiences and shape them into a story.

Know How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume? Getting Hired is the Next Step

Learning how to describe work experience on a resume can be a tough skill to master. If you can write a great resume, you’ll have a good shot of moving on in the hiring process. If you get an interview, that’s when you can go into more detail about your work history.

Searching for a job doesn’t have to be a long and stressful process. Check out our blog for helpful articles that will help you land your dream job.

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