How to write your work experience on a CV [+ examples] (2023)

Learn exactly how to describe work experience on a resume. There are specific formats that hiring managers and recruiters prefer, here they are!

Writing the work experience section

Writing the work experience section of your resume is one of the most influential and often hardest resume sections to get right. Some employers even skip the summary at the top of a resume and scan employers, job titles, and work dates to see if the resume is worth reading in detail. The amount of text you include for each paragraph will also create a significant first impression. Much can be understood during the mythical 6-second scan.

Work experience/work history on a CV is where previous job descriptions and professional experience lend credibility to an application or an interview. All other information and parts of a CV, fromhobbiesagainstpersonal statementPlease frame the list of relevant work experience within the last 10 to 15 years. So how do I describe my work experience on a CV?

This guide will show you everything you need to know about including work experience on a CV, including:

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  • Why work experience matters in CVs
  • What to include (and not include) work experience on a CV
  • The best format to follow to describe your employment history
  • Examples of CV work experience in all industries
  • Practical tips for resume work experience
  • How to list yourscurrent position and previous positions

expert advice

The five word rule.Think of five words that will sum up your career. How would you describe your experience? These five words must appear incredibly strong in work experience on a CV. A hiring manager isn't going to remember the sentences you write, but if he stops reading with these five words (or more) in mind, your resume will have done its job.

Why is work experience so important on your CV?

Before we jump into the ins and outs of writing work experience on a resume, here's why it's important. A hiring manager or employer looks at a resume to answer a question:

Does this person's work experience qualify them for this job?

The work experience section of your resume is the foundation that qualifies or disqualifies you for an interview or the next step in the hiring process. This part of the resume uses the past 10 to 15 years of relevant professional history to tell a potential employer whether you have the work experience on your resume that matches the requirements of the position. The work experience section lends credibility to your application and should complement all other aspects of your application materials (other sections of the CV, cover letter, portfolio, etc.).

However, be careful not to write your work experience section as a list of job responsibilities. The hiring manager knows what he wants you to do. They are much more interested in evidence from your previous work experience that you have what it takes to perform and promote your next employer. Focus on delivering compelling performance, plenty of context and measurable results that your competition won't be able to match.

How do I add experience to my resume: what should I include?

In most cases, choosing which jobs to include on your resume should depend on your work history and the type of job you are applying for. In general, you must work in reverse chronological order (in aCV-formatoften known as reversechronological format) starting with your most recent position at the top of the page and include the last 10-15 years of employment history. Backward chronological order works best for most job applicants.

If you have a scattered work history, don't stress. Today, changing jobs is more common and more widely accepted, especially among the younger workforce. Including short part-time stays and side projects is good if these work experiences directly relate to work orcharacteristic abilitiesthat overlaps with the position. Be prepared to answer questions about your career options while considering work experience on the resume, have a confident answer about your career path, and be upfront about the level of commitment you're looking for. Once you've chosen the positions, let's dive into the details of work experience on a resume. Each must contain:

  • Results-focused facts:The hiring manager already knows the basics. These vignettes should focus on how you specifically accomplished the position with innovation.
  • Action verbs:Strongaction verbshook the reader Bargained! Pioneer! Turned! This also prevents you from falling down the adjective rabbit hole.
  • Quantitative information:The numbers stand out to a hiring manager. They are specific and tangible. Increased a client's reader base by 300% or managed 200 silent auction items. Let itachievementsshine!
  • At the training site:knitting skills andcertificationsearned at work. This shows initiative and skills that would otherwise be overlooked.
  • Awards and Honors:If you got called out at work for a job well done, brag. Examples of resumes from your work experience should be designed to impress.

Ideally, each post should contain a combination of flowing text and performance-oriented bullet points. Bullets will attract attention, but you can only tell a deeper story when you are not limited by the width of the page.

expert advice

How do I write a student CV?INstudent CVfor a first job must contain all the details of youreducation(as it will testify to your ability to focus and achieve) and ideally also include details of any coursework or volunteering you did while studying. No matter how menial this job was, the most important thing is that you understand the responsibility of doing a day's worth of work.

Related Article How to put volunteering on your CV Volunteering can be a wonderful way to introduce a range of valuable skills. Here's a list of how to add volunteer work to your resume.

Work experience on a CV: what to avoid

Always assume that your reader, in this case the hiring manager, doesn't need to explain anything to them. You also have very little room to wander on your resume. They will assume more about you than you think, especially if you have worked in their industry for a while.

Free up some space by not including:

  • What does the organization do:your CV is about you. The hiring manager does not need to know anything about the company.
  • The basic requirements for your position:this is implicit in your job title and will shine through your results-focused vignettes.
  • Filler words:Mostly you save space by cutting out words like "I" and "he".
  • Alt irrelevant:If you have lesser responsibilities in a position unrelated to the new job, leave them out. Every point and every word takes up valuable space on your CV - make them count.

Examples of work experience

  • Led a project team through a change process that reduced 5% of our cost base.
  • Outperformed the sales team in attracting new quarterly business by 67%.
  • I carried out the implementation of the software in twelve departments in two months.
  • Resolved a record 150 customer complaints per week.
  • He corrected a to-do list that had been inactive for over a year.


expert advice

If you are a recent graduate with a little orwithout work experience, you may consider adding yourGPAowhat praiseon your CV. As you gain work experience over the years, you should replace your GPA or cum laude with relevant work experience.

What is the most effective format for work experience on a resume?

At a basic level, business experience design typically includes:

  • Title, company name, place of employment
  • Month and year for the start and end of the position
  • Between three and six bullet points that briefly describe their impact on the company

Work experience/work history on a CV should also include:

  • Clear and precise bullet points that show the positive results of your work
  • powerful verbs
  • Clear figures and facts
  • growth between positions
  • Specific keywords extracted from the job description
Related Article Best Resume Format 2023 (+Free Examples) There are 3 common resume formats: Chronological, Functional, and a combination. How to choose the one that suits you.

Examples of work experience on a CV

Here are some examples of work experience on a resume to see the differences between a first draft and the final draft. How do you describe your experience in the most concise way possible?

Example #1: Resume work experience for a Maestro.Let's say you're applying to become a high school science teacher at a popular independent school. The new job description emphasizes the importance of participation outside the classroom. They specified that they are looking for teachers who want to grow through professional development during their time there.

First eraser:

  • I taught fifth grade science.
  • Counseled students outside of classes
  • I attended a conference on social emotional learning.

final draft:

  • Developed and implemented a student-directed curriculum in three sections of earth sciences.
  • Mentor 20 students annually to track growth and address individual challenges and strengths.
  • Invited to attend the annual NAIS conference to develop contemporary social-emotional learning tactics in the classroom

Example #2: Work experience with resume for Content Marketing Manager.Content marketing managers cover a wide range of responsibilities. The recruiter will have a general idea of ​​your work experience, no need to start from scratch, but specific bullet points based on results will thrive here.

First eraser:

  • I manage a team of freelance copywriters at a large marketing agency in New York, making sure they deliver their work on time.
  • I talked to clients and found out what would be best for their brand.
  • Before everything was posted, I went through everything.

final draft:

  • I supervised a team of 25 freelance writers and optimized the content pipeline from idea to publication.
  • Advised clients on short- and long-term content strategies while clarifying their personal brand voice.
  • Edited and polished copy to maintain content consistency across multiple channels
Related article How to list multiple positions for the same company on a resume When you've moved up the career ladder at a previous employer, you should be proud to show it off on a resume. But how can you display multiple positions for the same company?

Example #3: Work experience on a resume for one Serving.Food service moves fast. Anything that cuts a manager's search time in half makes you more likely to get the job. Be sure to search for keywords in the job posting, such as "craft mixology experience" or "fine dining." Sure, you can and will learn on the job, but restaurants have minimal time to train you in the basics. Be confident and aware of your background.

First eraser:

  • I was waiting tables in a busy restaurant in midtown New York
  • Most of the time he tended the bar in the evenings and on weekends.
  • Trained some hosts

final draft:

  • Served lunch and dinner for four years in a Michelin-starred Midtown brasserie
  • He served as head bartender during peak weekend and evening hours, specializing in craft cocktail creation.
  • Managed and optimized training methods for new hosts and servers

Example #4: Sample resume experience for a Executive Assistant.Personality plays such an important role in smoothly managing a busy executive's schedule and lifestyle. The tone of your resume should be no-nonsense and confident in what is expected of an EA. Always try to be one step ahead of what your boss needs, even before you start work.

First eraser:

  • Made travel plans on behalf of the executive board.
  • Budgeted for office and managed expenses
  • I trained other assistants and helped with hiring.

final draft:

  • Managed housing complex andInternationaltravel for five C-level managers
  • Reduced expense management costs by 35% and streamlined expense tracking system for all office management accounts
  • Hired, trained and managed a team of five team assistants, including a seasonal sales intern team

Example #5: Sample resume for work experience Sales Representative.Verifiable facts and figures are your greatest asset as a sales representative. Did your last position measure your personal or team sales growth? Dig up these numbers to include in your work experience section. Then explain the methods you used on the job itself to achieve this. This sample resume provides some ideas:

First eraser:

  • Increased sales revenue every month
  • I signed several new clients
  • I changed the way we talked about our product.

final draft:

  • Exponential increase in monthly sales revenue exceeding 150% department growth after just 6 months
  • Developed and signed 10 new key customers by exploring previously unknown corners of our industry
  • Redesigned brand voice and sales representative script for effective and personalized customer service

expert advice

At skillsI put a CV?When considering work experience on a CV, you should try to make the most of the space. There will always be a separate skill section where you can list a hard word andsoft valuesSo make sure this ties in with the experience you've listed with each employer, but it should add to the big picture rather than just repeating it. If you add an interesting skill that you haven't mentioned in the work experience section, an employer is bound to ask you about it at the interview.

Grammar tips for including work history on a resume

Do you write sentences? sentences? Statement? Writing CV for first job? Here are some important grammar rules for writing bullet points of your work experience.

  • Write in sentences, often beginning with a strong verb. It is not necessary to write "I" to start the sentence; it is understood and work experience on a CV is often conveyed in the third person as it is more professional.
  • Tense: If you are still in your current position and completing the job described, use the present tense. For past positions or completed projects, choose past tense.
  • Don't be afraid to break down the thesaurus, especially for synonyms for "lead, manage, and train," but stick to words you would use yourself. It is not necessary to succeed on the verbal portion of the SAT.
Related Article The truth about lying on your resume Filling your resume with only truthful statements about your career is harder than you think. Lying on a CV can take many forms. Do not give in to temptation.

Tailor employment history to a resume for each application

Instead of applying en masse to every job posting on the Internet with the same resume, take the time to tailor it. The work experience section may require the least tweaking (as it will check the boxes for most jobs if your focus is the goal), but there may be some achievements that you may want to include for certain roles and exclude for others. Think of yourself as a careful editor, cutting and pasting your career story to make it as compelling as possible.

In addition to the fact that 36% of hiring managers throw out resumes that don't seem to fit a specific position,personal CVand application:

  • It shows the hiring manager that you took the time to apply and your job wasn't one of the 50 different places you sent your resume to.
  • Forget automatic keyword filtering, which larger companies can use to automatically select candidates in their applicant tracking system (ATS). First, the machines must scan samples of your work experience.
  • Edit different experiences to focus on the most relevant experience for a particular job. If you e.g. have ever had a "feature-heavy" job, unless you're applying for another "feature-heavy" position, this strategy allows you to focus your work experience on the features most relevant to the new position. .

Restarting this process every time you apply for a new job can seem like overkill. Ideally, the more time you spend tailoring your CV, the fewer jobs you will need to apply for.

More examples of work experience

  • Lit a fire under the management team to generate $950,000 in additional sales.
  • Researched the market and doubled the market share by launching a new product.
  • Implemented a new software solution that reduced build time by 34%
  • He started a recruitment drive that hired fifteen people in three months.
  • Minimized surgical wait time by 15 minutes, increasing patient satisfaction by 25%


How far back should work experience appear on your CV?

The work experience on your CV should contain all the information that is relevant to securing the position. This will determine the amount of work experience on a resume that you can include.

If you have a 30-year career, you may choose to simply list employers for the first 10-15 years and use your precious resume space to describe the mostrecent CV experiences. But if your career is 15 years or less, you should definitely include resume experience above all else.

Regarding the amount of work experience on your resume, try to provide more information about recent roles. Use bullet points and solid text after entering employer and date information, as you can see in our manyretake tests.

It might be possible to include a list of roles that were older than 15 years, but that only includes the incumbents. It is interesting to some business leaders to see where a senior manager spent the first few years of their career, so while you may not be asked much about this during an interview, it adds some depth to your application.

expert advice

Should I put seminars on my CV?Typically, a one- or two-day seminar will not count towards work experience on a CV. If the education or training event is of some prestige or lasts longer than a week, you might consider listing it in the education section, but since anyone can attend a seminar, it won't give much of an indication of your individual level. suitability. to the paper You will no doubt have more important information to share.

Related Article Highlight Military Experience on Your Resume Your transition from the military requires a resume that expresses your talents in a way civilian employers understand. The blog below provides tips for getting the most out of your service on your post-military resume.

key takeaways

  • Focus on the results of your previous employment history. Only include work experience on a CV that is relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Stand out with strong action verbs
  • Be specific: use numbers, facts and figures
  • Talk in past tense when the job is done, present tense when you are still doing the job.
  • Remove unnecessary filler words or adjectives.
  • Adjust the items in your work history to match the job description.
  • Make sure resume experience dates back to an appropriate amount of time

Work experience on a good resume helps employers know in 10 seconds or less if you're qualified for the job. It should sound very similar to the job description. If the work experience on your resume doesn't sound like the job description or doesn't follow these rules, be prepared to get a little creative to get noticed. For example, use a CV builderbuild a perfect resumein the exact format potential employers are looking for.


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