By Dale Isip
According to a long-term study, the average American adult holds about 12.4 jobs over the course of their lifetime, from ages 18 to 54. In another survey, almost half of working U.S. adults reported a complete career change over the course of their lifetime.
With changes in jobs and careers being this frequent, knowing how to write a resume is as important as ever. Work experience is key to a resume – and there are distinct and effective ways to describe your skillset. Here are some solid ways to include work experience in a resume.
Order and Style
Your resume should describe work experiences in a reverse chronological order. For example, you will want your most recent job towards the top of your resume, followed by your next recent position. For each position, write your job title, company name, the dates which you worked, the job location, and company location, if applicable.
The work dates included should be style specific. For example, instead of writing “May 12th, 2018, to December 9th, 2020”, use the “mm/yyyy – mm/yyyy” date format. These dates would be listed as “05/2018 – 12/2020”. This will give your resume more consistency.
A 2018 eye-tracking business study found that recruiters spend an average of only 7 seconds looking at a resume. This emphasizes the necessity to create a resume that stands out – one that highlights your work achievements and skills.
To do this, you will want to tangibly describe the accomplishments you have reached in your past jobs. Maybe you have increased sales by a certain number of percentage points, or successfully trained students in several courses, or made a group of computer systems operational.
Describe these accomplishments – and not just your duties – in single-lined bullet points. Use numerical values whenever possible. As the human brain uses different areas to process numbers and letters, you might catch more attention with “increased sales by 30%” than “increased sales by thirty percent”.
Wording and Customization
In describing your work experience, you will want to use a large variety of action words. Verbs such as “implemented”, “managed”, or “advanced” could suitably show your capacity to improve business. Make sure that you keep your achievements to one line and try not to repeat specific words.
If you are applying for multiple positions, you might want to tailor your resume for each job. Note which skills, software programs, or certifications each listing requires, and re-write your resume to reflect the position listed. If you do this, make sure to re-read and spell check your resume.
You could also mention work-related licenses, certifications, or any work in a training capacity distinctly related to your job. Keep a separate section for these things accordingly if necessary.
With the right style and a healthy emphasis on your achievements, you will be able to write a resume that confidently highlights your work experience. Hopefully your resume will get some notice, and you can find yourself at the job of your dreams.