Why is our career journey document called a Resume?
If you're 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 work. Well, without a work experience resume section, one cannot start a resume.
Apparently, the work experience resume section covers the essence of resume, literally and otherwise.
It consumes the largest space in the resume and all 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 resume 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 you're clueless about how to incorporate all your work history in a resume.
Your work experience resume will be enhanced if you make it on Hiration's Online Resume Builder.
Our 2019 Guide to a Work Experience Resume will cover the following:
Resume Work Experience Section
This guide will take you through the following:
- What & How to list a work experience resume section
- Framing points in a work experience resume section
- Do's and Dont's of a work experience resume section
- Key Takeaways
Before going further, try our resume builder for a quick and cheap resume building experience.
What to Write in a Work Experience Resume Section
Let us find out how to impress the recruiter who only has 6 seconds to go through your resume in the first glance.
Today's recruiters have no more time than 6 seconds to scan each resume work experience section.
Those 6 seconds are only reserved for those resume work experience sections which looks promising.
Resume work experience sections which come across as a messy pile of information shall not be entertained by the recruiter for more than 3 seconds.
So to grab the full attention of the recruiter in 6 seconds, what should be done?
Criteria to help you land more interviews:
- Clarity of Information
- Information should be precise
- One liner bullet points
- Key Highlights with performance figures
- Neatness in the resume work experience section
Company Name and Description in a Work Experience Resume Section
The entire work experience section is about how to list your different job experiences in a way that you land maximum interviews.
Clarity of Information
In 6 seconds, the recruiter will not have time to assume information in the resume work experience section.
Hence, he would rather throw it in the bin if there is any scope of thinking left in the resume work experience section.
That is why, the company's name which is often never missed in resume work experience section is accompanied by a one-liner description of the same.
Company description is very important so that there is no scope of confusion with some other company at some other location.
First rule is to add a company's name and the second rule is to add the correct description ideally containing figures around gross revenue, number of employees, geographic presence, etc.
Given the fact that the recruiter is 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 one line. But only use this approach for the company description and nowhere else.
Also, the company description can be kept in italics so that the smaller font still remains more readable.
Referring to the image, the company description is in a lighter color 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 to list the description.
Apart from this, it is important to remember the ground rule while writing a company description: Numbers.
In the example above, you can see how numbers have been used to describe the company.
Essentially, the number of employees, revenues and scale of operations tells a lot about the company's status and reputation.
Show the recruiter through these numbers that you are associated with a reputed brand. Such information can be extracted from the company's website or from its Wikipedia page.
Some companies which are small or are start ups do not have such information given on their website or do not have a Wikipedia page.
For example, you might be associated with a start-up which has 10 employees. Though your company might be doing great work, but mentioning 10 employees would make it seem to be a really small company with no future.
So ground rule 2 is, if you do not have great information around your company, then better leave it blank.
For example, do not write something like this:-
In such a case, we advise you to leave the company description as sometimes giving information like 10 employees might backfire. Instead, focus on the key challenge your startup is trying to solve, or the domain which it is in.
How to list Resume Work Experience Section: Alignment of Information
Looking at the above images, we can easily say that there is nothing wrong in the information given.
However, there is something which needs to be corrected here. What is it?
It is the alignment.
Perhaps the most beautiful feature in content writing which makes the entire document more readable to read is symmetry and alignment.
There is a reason why alignment styles like justified, left and right exist. It makes the document look much better and the first impression is way better on the reader.
Now let us find out how to list the same document by changing the alignment of dates and location with company name and job profile:-
In the image above, we have utilized left alignment and right alignment to describe the information.
According to 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 the following benefits:
- It consumes less space in the resume work experience section as you are done in 2 lines if you are using both left and right alignment.
- Human brain is accustomed to effectively register information which is better aligned.
- More white space lends a neater look to your resume work experience section and thus promotes clarity.
Work Location in a Resume Work Experience section: Full Address or Not?
In a professional resume work experience section, work location is of paramount importance.
It tells the recruiter whether you would have to change your city or country for the job.
It also gives an impression around the kind of company you must be working in as most 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 detail for the recruiter to make an impression.
Structure of Work Experience
The best way to showcase your relevant experience to grab maximum interviews is to put a structure to it.
Let us understand from an example again:-
One-liner Bullet Points
It is great to put information on what you have done in the form of one-liner bullet points.
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 to list those bullets in the main criteria.
Bullet points should not finish half way. Try to bring them to the finish line to make this section look symmetrical.
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 promotion & 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 each line.
Such a statement delivers 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"
Based on the above examples, we can conclude that cause-effect statements provide a better context to your contributions. All the applicants vying for the same vacancy would have done the same thing in their career (more or less).
It's by specifying the quantifiable impact that you are able to better clarify your role and your value before the recruiter.
It is advisable to showcase the cause-effect relationship to frame better points in your work experience section.
Additionally, adding a lot of bullet points makes it difficult for the recruiter to comprehend your contributions.
Since the recruiter only has 6 seconds, instead of going through all the points, you can simply group every 3-4 points under a relevant subheading.
Sub-headings eventually form key skills above your resume work experience section.
Always construct sub-headings in alignment with the keywords used in the job description and your relevant experience.
Example: Let us look at a resume work experience section without any bucketing:-
And now look at the same work experience resume with bucketing:-
Comparing the examples, it is easily seen that the resume work experience section with bucketing is highly readable, easy to be analyzed and helpful in making a positive decision.
Keep in mind the following things when you are bucketing:-
Club similar points under a single subheading. 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.
Bold the bucket and make sure it is framed along the lines of the target job listing.
As mentioned above, highlighting play a very important part in a resume work experience section.
Bold all the major points in the relevant experience that you write. Highlighting relevant experience in the resume work experience is very important as by doing so, you will make the recruiter directly read your relevant experience for the profile that you are applying for.
This broadly covers the basic of writing a job-winning professional experience section in a resume. In case you have further doubts, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.