Why is our career journey document called a Resume?
If your'e like Jerome K. Jerome, work fascinates you, and if you're like Charles Lamb, you always arrive late at the office.
But how does your prospective employer understand your prejudices and your values? More importantly, how do they know whether you abide by them?
Without ambition one cannot start work. Well, without a work experience section, one cannot start a resume.
Apparently, the work-experience section covers the essence of resume, literally and otherwise.
It consumes longest space in the resume and all the other sections in the resume support the role of this section.
A resume without any other section would still be useful till the time it has a work-experience section.
There is a correct way of writing this section. And it must be followed to land your dream interviews.
You've been working for quite a while now. But in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.
Work - Experience on a Resume
This guide will take you through the following:
- What & How to write in a work-experience section - Let us impress the 6-seconds recruiter
- Do's and Dont's of a work-experience section
- Key Take Aways
Before going further, try our resume builder for a quick and fast resume building.
What to write in a work-experience section
Let us impress the 6-seconds recruiter.
Today's recruiters have no more time than 10 seconds to scan each resume.
Those 10 seconds are only reserved for those resumes which interests a recruiter.
Resumes which come across as a messy pile of information shall not be entertained by the recruiter for more than 3 seconds.
So to grab full attention from our 10-seconds recruiter, what shall be done?
Criteria to help you with landing more interviews:
- Clarity of Information
- Information shall be precise
- Highlights to look at
- Neatness in the resume
Company Name and Description in a Work-Experience section
The entire work experinece section is about how to portray your different job experineces in a way that you land maximum interviews.
Clarity of Information
A 6-seconds recruiter will not have time to assume information in the resume.
Heck, he would rather throw it in the bin if there is any scope of thinking and comprehending in the resume left.
That is why, company name which is often never missed in resumes is accompanied by the company description.
Company description is very important so that there si no scope of confusion with some other company at some other location.
First rule is to add a company description and the 2nd rule is to add the correct description.
Given the fact that the recruiter is in not interested in reading a pile of paragraphs, it is important to use a smaller font for company description as compared to the main bullet points.
If you use a smaller font, then you can compile more information in 1 line.
Also, the company description can be kept in italics so that the smaller font still remains more readible.
Referring to the image, the company description is in a lighter colour of black as compared to company name and other details.
It is written in italics and a smaller sized font is used.
This is how you can go about writing company description.
Apart from this, it is important to remember the ground rule while writing a company description: Mention Numbers.
In the example above, you can see how numbers have been used to describe the company.
Essentially, the number of employees, revenues and number of operations define a lot about company's status and reputation.
And showing the recruiter through these numbers that you are associated with a reputed brand is a strong point to put across.
Such information can be extracted from the company's website or from its' Wikipedia page.
Some companies which are small and are start ups do not have such information given on their website or do not have a Wikipedia page.
Even if there is some information given, it is not matching the kind of numbers expected to be written there in the description.
For example, you might be associated with a start-up which has 10 employees.
In such a case, we advise you to leave the company description as sometimes giving information like 10 employees might backfire on you.
So though your company might be doing great work, but in your resume it would seem to be a really small company who has no future.
So ground rule 2 is, if you do not have a great information around your company, then better leave it blank.
For example, do not write something like this:-
The how of work experience: Alignment of Information
Looking at the above 2 images, we can easily say that there is nothing wrong in the infromation given.
However, there is something which needs to be corrected here. What is it?
It is alignment.
Perhaps the most beautiful feature in content writing which makes the entire document more readible and neat to read is symmetry and using alignment styles.
There is a reason why word document has these alignment styles like justified, left and right.
It makes the document looks much better and its' first impression is way better on the reader.
Now let us take a look of how the same document looks if we change the alignment of dates and location with company name and job profile:-
In the image above, we have utilized left alignment style and right alignment style to describe the information.
According to the industry standards, company name and job designation shall be kept aligned to the left and date of start and end date and location is aligned to the right.
This has 2 benefits.
- It consumes less space in the resume as you are done in 2 lines if you are using both left and right alignment.
- Human brain is accustomed to register better aligned information.
- More white space lends neat look to your resume and thus promotes clarity.
Work Location in a Work Experience: Full Address or not?
In a professional resume, work location is of paramount importance.
It tells the recruiter whether you would have to change your city or country for his job.
It also gives an impression around the kind of company you must be working in. Because all big MNCs are generally in metropolitans.
Full address describing the floor number, house no., street number is definitely not required.
Just a simple mention of city and country is enough a detail for the recruiter to make an impression.
Structure of work Experience
The best way to showcase your work experience to grab maximum interviews is put a structure to it.
Let us understand from an example again:-
It is great to put information around what you have done in form of 1 liner bullets.
If you have given a business presentation, you very well understand the importance of using bullets.
By far, you must have read enough information on this.
But how exactly those bullets should look like is the main criteria.
Bullet points should not finish half way. Try to bring them to the finish line to make this section look symmetrical.
Also, each bullet should reflect a cause-effect relationship.
For each task performed, mention the outcome of the same.
"Conducting end to end effective media evaluation & targeting maximum ROI by coordinating with key media providers."
"Executed the brand promotions & publicity for national & international markets leading to vol. improvement of 15% in 2 years"
"Collaborating with the sales team to analyze and implement marketing initiatives"
In all the examples, there is a cause and effect mentioned in one liner.
Such a statement forms a high impact on the recruiter's mind.
Let us rephrase above examples in small bullets without any cause-effect relationship:-
"Executed the brand promotions & publicity for national & international markets"
"Improved sales volume by 15% in 2 years"
"Collaborating with the sales team"
"Analyzed and implemented marketing initiatives"
So now, 2 things come out of this example:
- Cause-effect relationship statements imply a better meaning to what you have done.
- Small bullet points take up more space in the resume.
So it is better to always keep in mind to showcase the cause-effect relationship and state better points.
Additionally, lot of bullet points become a pile of information uncomfortable to read and analye.
If the 6-seconds recruiter has to make sense out of many bullet points written there, the bullet points hould be put under the sub heading.
Sub-headings eventually form key skills in your resume.
So always construct sub-headings in alignment with the key words used in the job description mentioned and your work history.
Example: Let us look at a work-experience section without any bucketing done:-
Ad now look at the same work-experience with bucketing done:-
Comparing the examples, it is easily seen that the work-experience with bucketing is highly readible, easy to be analyzed and helpful in making a positive decision.
There are 2 things to keep in mind when you are bucketing:-
- Club points under same heading.
For example: If you have 4-5 points of sales and business development then they can be clubbed under 1 heading: Sales & Business Development.
Do not put more than 4 to 5 points in a single bucket.
Highlight the bucket.
As mentioned many a times, highlighting play a very important part in a resume.