Learn how to create a resume that showcases your real world work experience. Is "work experience" preferable to "professional summary"? How to label the section, where to place information and how to format your experience will all be covered in this video, so follow along with Resume expert Stacey Gordon.
- The heart of your resume is your experience. This section is where you back up the claims you make in your objective and/or your summary of qualifications. If you listed something in either of those earlier sections, you want to make sure you include it here, which is why writing your professional experience first is a good way to go. If you begin by writing this section, the other sections will be much easier to write. So, how should you present your professional experience? For starters, what label do you use? I recommend using Professional Experience or just Experience.
I've also seen people use Professional Background or Work Experience. In the Upgrading Your Resume videos, we'll talk a little more about how to add additional sections to showcase your work, but for this particular section of the resume, you have to get the basics right. So, don't get too creative just yet. As long as it makes sense, and you can explain it, and it's professional, you can use it. Your professional experience needs to include the following: the name of the company where you worked, the geographic location of the company, your job title, dates of employment and your duties and responsibilities.
Your experience is the heart of your resume, but because of the subjectivity of resumes, it is a good idea to lay out the content in the standard format that most recruiters expect to see. That format consists of listing the name of the company where you worked above your most recent job title. This information should appear to the left of the page, with the dates of employment appearing closest to the right margin. This is important because this is where information is expected to appear.
If it isn't there, a recruiter may not take the time to look for it, and putting information in places other than where they're expected to be takes up the recruiter's time. Time, which instead of spent evaluating your skills, is now being spent evaluating why you made the decision to go against the grain. Where on the resume you put the location of your job isn't as important, but this should be included. And what you are including is the city where you worked, not the city where the company's headquarters are located.
Don't make a recruiter guess if your last job was in their local city or across the country. When adding jobs to your experience section, each job should contain at least three listed responsibilities. If you can't come up with more than two relevant job functions, it will not only look bad on your resume, but you'll have a tough time talking about that job during the interview, and subconsciously, something appears to be lacking. To avoid this, take some time to really assess your job responsibilities.
You'll find that you have done much more than you give yourself credit for. If you're really having a difficult time, ask a co-worker or a friend who knows you well for some suggested language. A potential employer would like to see that you have a proven track record of success. Any time you can use numbers, you should. Sales is an easy place to do this, and the person reading your resume would love to see that you increased sales by x amount. But numbers and measurements apply to many other job functions.
You might say you trained x number of people, improved efficiency by x percent or decreased spending on supplies by x percent year over year. You get the idea. Your experience section needs to demonstrate stability, longevity and leadership qualities. If others have already entrusted certain responsibilities to you, then your future employer will be happy to do the same. Now that you know what this section should consist of, start assessing your past jobs.
What were your duties and responsibilities? What have prior employers entrusted you to do?
Stacey A. Gordon, cofounder of Career Incubator, has made it her life's work to help others find the jobs and build the careers of their dreams. In this course, she walks through the basics of resume writing for job seekers, as well as a few extra job search basics such as following up, sending thank-you notes, and identifying companies to work for and determining fit.
Stacey explains what you should include on your resume, what to exclude, and how to craft your resume to showcase your talents and best qualities. Using practical resume examples, Stacey walks through choosing the right resume format, tailoring the information to match job requirements, and writing alternative resumes that include industry-specific information. Last, Stacey shows you how to deal with some common sore spots—like job hopping, lack of experience, or large unemployment gaps—while concentrating on your experience.
- Writing an objective statement
- Adding a summary of skills
- Showcasing your professional work
- Presenting your education
- Customizing your contact information
- Tailoring your resume to fit a job
- Upgrading your resume
- Choosing a resume layout
- Writing resumes for marketing, entertainment, and design jobs
- Handling career gaps and job changes
- Standing out and following up with employers
- Using a resume effectively
- Determining fit at a prospective job
- Finding contacts at companies you want to work for