6 tips to optimally present your work experience on your resume

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Your work experience is a crucial part of your resume. It offers insight into your past and reveals information about your capacities, experience, competences, preferences and 'local' knowledge.

6 tips to optimally present your work experience on your resume

While you can't change the past, the way you present your work experience largely determines how the employer interprets it.

In order to increase your chance of a job, it is therefore important to get the most out of your work experience with the help of the right content and formulation.

But how do you do that? What should you include and what not? And what do you emphasize?

In this article we answer the above questions and give 6 tips to optimally present your work experience!

#1 Match the job titles

Companies use different titles for similar positions. As a result, it is possible that a Seller is mentioned at company A and an Account Manager at company B.

Adjust the job titles to the terms used by the company, so that you can be sure that the employer is interpreting your resume correctly.

Check the company website or use the advanced search function on LinkedIn to find out which terms make the best impression.

Please note: we are talking about functions that are similar in content, but can be described using different titles. You are not supposed to transform job titles into something that is not representative of the work you have performed.

#2 Only mention relevant matters

When mentioning your former employers, in addition to the basic information (job title, employer and period), you have room to show the employer that you are the best candidate.

For example, in a short piece of text you can describe what your responsibilities were, what achievements you have delivered or which competencies you have developed.

When writing this piece of text, keep two factors in mind:

- The demand from the company
- your past

1. The demand from the company

Analyze the vacancy text and try to discover what the company is looking for. If necessary, do extra research on the internet or within your network to find more valuable information.

Which competences are necessary to be able to carry out the work successfully? Is the company looking for someone with a proven track record? Do they value the number of years of experience? Or do they want you to be familiar with (local) customers?

List such job requirements and try to rank them by relevance.

2. Your past

For yourself, per former employer, note the following:

- Responsibilities
- Roles fulfilled (these could also be roles that were outside of your position, but that are relevant to the position you are applying for)
- Competencies and skills developed
- Outstanding Performance
- Activities
- Important clients you've worked with
- Knowledge
- Other relevant information

Link your past to the question

Take a look at the list of job requirements and see which parts from your past are relevant to the position you are applying for. V erwerk these parts then in your resume. Make sure that the overall picture is correct and that you meet as many job requirements as possible based on the descriptions.

It is important here to leave out all irrelevant details. Even if you are proud of it!

For example, it can be tempting to show off notable achievements you've made with previous employers. However, when performance is irrelevant to the position you're applying for, it only distracts the reader and increases the risk of them dropping out.

#3 Substructure with numbers

Where possible, try to substantiate your statements with figures. Figures serve as proof and remove uncertainties for the employer.

Have you trained interns in the past? Then state how many interns are involved. Have you realized an increase in turnover? Then state by what percentage the turnover has increased.

The more specific you are, the more confidence you inspire.

#4 Keep it organized

From research shows that organized resumes with a visual hierarchy score better than unorganized resumes. This sounds very obvious, but it often goes wrong.

For example, spaces are used to align text and parts are separated with lines consisting of long strings of underscores. Then when the resume is opened in another word processor or pasted into an email message, the resume is unrecognizable (and unreadable if you're unlucky).

Explore the possibilities of the word processor you use, be consistent, keep a clear structure and use the same formatting for the different parts. If you write a job title in large letters or in a certain color, you should do this for all positions.

In addition, use columns, blank lines and bullet points to create the correct spacing between lines and parts.

Finally, don't forget to save your resume as a PDF file so that it appears the way you want it on any device and in any program.

#5 Avoid long texts

Try to keep the description of your work experience (and the rest of your resume) as short as possible. The aim is to arouse the reader's curiosity and hold his/her attention. Long texts scare off the employer and increase the chance that important information will be overlooked.

Some job seekers try to compensate for lack of experience with long texts. Avoid this classic mistake and make up for a lack of experience with a competency resume or with other parts of your resume (such as education ).

#6 Determine the optimal position

Depending on the relevance, you should determine where you present your work experience.

Do you have a lot of work experience and does this experience fit well with the vacancy? Then it is wise to state it immediately after your personal details.

Do you have little experience, but can you impress with your training? Then it is better to list your education first and then your work experience.

Don't have enough relevant experience to show off because you're re- entering or making a career switch ? Then a competency CV can offer the solution.

With a competency CV, you don't focus on your work experience, but on the competencies and skills you have. You do not describe your career on the basis of job titles and employers, but on the basis of roles you have fulfilled and achievements you have achieved.

Conclusion

You can't change the past, but you can change the way you present it. Get the most out of your work experience by using the right content and wording. Leave out irrelevant details, use the right terms, keep it clear and avoid long texts.

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