The Work Experience Section
YOUR Work Experience
How do you know what to put in this section of the resume? Which of your skills and accomplishments are the most important? What do employer's want to see in the work experience section of the resume?
You have to prioritize
your skills and accomplishments
based on the employer's needs.
When you list all of your relevant work-related experience, rank each one in order of importance. What do you compare them to in order to determine how they are ranked? If you have a job description or a classified ad, match your skills with those requested for prospective employees. Rank those first.
If you do not have anything written to go on, then you may have to do some research to find out more about the skills needed for jobs like the one you are targeting. Call the company and/or call its competitors to get more information - or look on-line for similar job titles. They will want to know if your work experience matches their needs, so provide that for them up front.
Sometimes you have to do a little legwork to get the information you need, but it pays off in the end when you're the one getting the great job instead of someone else.
Then, depending on what work experience you have left to list, put yourself in the employer's shoes and ask yourself these questions:
- How does this skill compare with what the job specifications are?
- Will this ability translate well into the position I have available?
- Can this achievement help the candidate do the job better?
- Does this skill reflect the quality of someone I want to hire?
Again, the idea is to rank your skills and accomplishments in the order that best fits with the job you are seeking.
If you have many tasks that do not appear to communicate your skills in a way that the employer is expecting - Get Creative!
How do you do that?
One idea is to check the Resume Action Keywords
page on this site to see if there is an alternative word (or set of words) to use in place of the one (or ones) you are already using. Another idea is to word your skill set in terms the prospective employer is accustomed to. This works well if you are changing career paths or transitioning from the military to a civilian job.
However you decide to word your work experience (in this section), remember that you have to be clear and concise. The skills and achievements that best support your career goals are the ones that need to be listed first, and then move down the list from there.
If you want to further distance yourself from your competitors in the job search pool, take some time inject enthusiasm and energy wherever possible. If your resume is equal in all aspects to one of your competitors, yet YOUR words seem to lift off the page, guess who is going to get the phone call for an interview? Don't settle for an average resume. You are better than average.
Make your resume come alive!
If you are finished with your Work Experience section, you may click here to go back to the Resume Outline page
Follow this link to read about the Education section of the resume