A strong resume can make all the difference when applying for a job. It is important that you do not underestimate how seriously some employers take the resumes they read. If yours does not meet the content and formatting standards, hiring managers may not even begin reading it before moving on to the next candidate.
However, the incredibly high standards may actually be an advantage for you when you have the right tools at your disposal. If you submit a well-written resume, it may stand out from the sea of poorly written ones. The following template and writing guide will help you create your document and understand how to write about experience in a resume.
How To Write About Experience in a Resume
Your previous experiences are the most important part of your resume to most employers who will read it. Because there is such a big emphasis placed on this particular element of your resume, you need to be certain you are creating it correctly. The following tips will guide you when writing about your previous working experience.
1. Focus on being active in your writing
One of the most important aspects to remember about how to write about experience in a resume is keeping your writing active. Essentially, the purpose of describing your experiences is to show employers what kind of worker you would be if they choose to hire you.
This means you should write about the actions you took, the effect you had, and what accomplishments you reached. Doing so is not only the strongest way to write, but it also helps you focus your writing on what employers are actually interested in reading about.
2. Be as specific as possible
Vague statements have no place in your resume. This is one aspect that separates the best resumes from the worst. When writing about your experiences, it is effective to include details that will help inform readers about what you did in previous jobs.
When they read your resume, employers should be able to envision you fulfilling your duties so they can be confident that you can handle whatever responsibilities you would have in the position you are applying for.
3. Fill out your experience section
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when writing your resume is not including enough information. This is vital to understanding how to write about experience in a resume. While there are no rules about exactly how much you should write, your experience section should always be the longest part of your resume.
Additionally, your resume should fill but not exceed one full page in most cases, so you can figure out the best way to make sure the information detailing your experiences is nice and long. A short experience section makes it look like you do not have much experience and are not qualified for the position.
4. Choose your experiences carefully
Not all previous experiences are appropriate or helpful to include. Optimally, every experience you include in this section should directly relate to the position you are applying for. If it is in the same field, or even the same job, then it will be incredibly beneficial to include.
It is rare, even among highly experienced professionals, to have enough previous positions to completely fill out an experience section for higher-level jobs. If this happens, other positions that demonstrate necessary qualities or skills are still very effective to describe. If you are having trouble including enough experiences to fill this section out, you can use unrelated positions as well, although hiring managers usually frown upon this unless it is an entry-level position you are applying for.
5. Think about what you are trying to communicate
Just describing your experiences is not enough. You are trying to convince the reader that you are capable and qualified, so you need to know how you are making that case. Think carefully about what qualities the employer wants to see in candidates and choose experiences that emphasize exactly those qualities.
In many cases, the job description may outline exactly what employers are looking for. This is a great way to focus your resume and include stronger information that will appeal to each employer specifically. Remember to retool each resume for each individual job application in order to be as effective as possible.
6. Format your experiences correctly
One of the most important aspects to realize when learning how to write about experience in a resume is the expected format of your experience section. If you do not follow the standard format closely, some employers may not consider you at all.
You should divide this section into a few different previous positions you have held, and each of these should include a few bullet points that describe some of your responsibilities. It is best to include between five and eight bullet points for each position, although you can include more or fewer depending on how important each position is. Each bullet point should also begin with a strong action verb.
7. Consider the appearance of your experience section as well.
While the content of your resume is the most important, the appearance also plays a role in impressing employers, even if that role is nothing more than capturing their attention and encouraging them to continue reading. Large, unbroken blocks of text are intimidating and difficult to read. Likewise, large gaps do not look professional. Be sure to keep this in mind when you are reviewing your experience section so you can fix any issues that may turn readers away before they even begin reading.
Experience in a Resume
The following resume template shows a strong resume in its entirety. Pay careful attention to the experience section, which demonstrates how to explain your previous experiences.
Albany, New York
E: [email protected] P: 555-555-6789
Talented and professional sales expert with more than seven years of experience in the sales field. A candidate with highly developed communication and negotiation skills and refined these skills through daily practice over many years. Hold strong sales knowledge and have experience making both inside and outside sales calls, as well as managing multiple sales accounts simultaneously.
• Interpersonal and professional communication
• Negotiation techniques
• Leadership and management experience
• Critical thinking and problem-solving
• Good attention to details and analysis skills
• Proficient with standard sales software and tools.
Account Manager – August 2015 to present
Johnson Sales Firm, New York City, New York
• Oversee all interaction with client accounts under my supervision, making adjustments where necessary to improve sales and best serve clients
• Manage no fewer than eight client accounts at any one time
• Step in for sales representatives who face problems or when clients request to speak to managers
• Resolve conflicts with clients, striving to satisfy customers above all else
• Build long-lasting relationships with clients, encouraging return business for years to come
• Improve sales with accounts under my supervision by more than 10%
Inside Sales Representative – June 2012 to August 2015
Johnson Sales Firm, New York City, New York
• Contacted clients to make sales, answer questions, return client calls, and provide information about products
• Employed negotiation techniques to increase sales and resolve conflict with clients
• Kept careful notes of clients and detailed client information to continuously improve sales success on an individual basis
• Maintained client satisfaction rating above 90%
Sales Representative – November 2010 to June 2012
New England Sales, New York City, New York
• Interacted with clients, both on the phone and in person, to discuss sales potentials and take orders
• Answered client questions about products and product benefits
• Created monthly sales reports that detailed all sales information and all client orders
Bachelor of Science in Communication
University of New York City, 2012