How Should You Describe Work Experience In Your Resume?

Published: 11th February 2010
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In this article we will'look at'the work experience section of your resume and provide key tips to make it effective.

The work experience section of your resume should include the following, for each postion held:

  • Job title

  • Name of the company

  • City/Country

  • Dates of employment

  • Company description (mainly if the company is not a household name)

  • Brief description of your job responsibilites

  • You key achievements/accomplishments

It is best to avoid any useless information, such as company address, contact details, names of supervisors and so on (Yes, I have come across these).

The most important thing to keep in mind is to focus on your accomplishments. There will be many people who have held similar postions and they all would have similar job responsibilities. So a long list of your job duties will not set you apart. What will help you standout is information about how well you performed your responsibilities, or in order words - what were your accomplishments. A a guideline, I would suggest 2-3 bullets points (or a paragraph of 3-5 lines) to describe your job responsibilities and 4-5 bullet points providing details of your achievements.

A good'way to communicate'your achievements is through Action-Benefit statements. Action-Benefit statements use your accomplishments and experience to demonstrate the positive impact you can have on a company's bottom line and to show how well you fit the job requirements.

An Action-Benefit statement consists of:

  • Action: Specific action that you took when faced with a situation, problem or opportunity that enabled you to achieve a positive result

  • Benefit: The positive result or benefit to the organization, such as an increase in revenue, a reduction in costs, streamlined processes or systems, or improved morale

Start your statements with Action Verbs (Managed, Spearheaded, Directed, Implemented, Executed, etc.) and try to quantify them whereever possible.

Here is an example of an action statement - Devised and implemented a new sales training programme which resulted in a 37% increase in new business.

Amit has over 10 years of career advisory, organisational psychology, business management and finance experience/education. He is the Managing Consultant at Sandbox Advisors, a career, job search and HR consulting firm.

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