The Right Way To Display Your Work Experience on Your Resume

It goes without saying that your resume will provide an overview of your previous experience. But, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. So, make sure you choose the first option!

Your work history is typically the primary source of material for your resume. But this section may encompass much more than just traditional full and part-time jobs. Internships, freelance assignments, temporary gigs and volunteer roles also qualify.

  • Keep it relevant. This simply means including experience on your resume that applies to the position you’re seeking. Read through the job posting and note the skills and duties mentioned. Then, make a list of your related past responsibilities. Base the content of your Experience section on this information.
  • Include keywords from the job posting. This will help your resume pass applicant tracking systems (ASTS), which is often the first step in a hiring process. And when your resume does reach an actual recruiter, it will make it easier for them to understand why you’d be a good match for their open job.
  • Relevance applies to everything on your resume, including how far back to go. If you’re more established in your desired field and aren’t looking to make a significant change, you can probably fill most of this space with information on your last one or two roles. As a general rule, you don’t need to include more than 10 to 15 years of experience. Otherwise, however, you may want to incorporate less traditional experience.

How should my Experience section be formatted?

For most job seekers, a chronological format works well, with past jobs listed in reverse order. But if you’re just entering the workforce, you may want to use a functional or other format. Regardless, start with a clear section heading. You might simply call it “Experience, Work Experience” or “Relevant Experience.” Keep it clear and simple. The key is to make it immediately noticeable to anyone who may quickly scan your resume.

  • In some cases, you may want to showcase experience from a previous career; namely, transferable skills that would be valuable in your new field as well. To do this, you can simply create another section and title it “Additional Experience” or, if applicable, “Volunteer Experience.” For each item you list, include position details, duties and achievements – with relevance always in mind.

How do I explain employment gaps?

There’s no shame in having taken some time away from the workforce. You can explain such gaps and make them work in your favor, either on your resume or in your cover letter.

If your employment gap was brief (less than six months or so), you probably don’t need to address it. But if it’s longer, you may want to add a bit of context in the form of an additional bullet point entry. If you took time off to go back to school, you can list it under your Education section.

Perfecting your resume and tailoring it to each job you apply for doesn’t have to be a tedious, endless effort. Neither does finding those jobs in the first place. PrideStaff North Dallas is ready to help, and our job network offers top temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time opportunities in areas including administration, warehousing, manufacturing, skilled labor, and finance and accounting. Contact us today to learn more.