resume tips (part 6): work experience.

  • resumes
  • March 31, 2017

The work experience section of your resume is where you’ll list your professional know-how and accomplishments. Your goal is to show a hiring manager exactly how your achievements will translate to success in the position for which you're applying. You'll need to include a job experience section no matter what resume format you choose. No matter if you're going with a skills-based resume or one that's in reverse-chronological order, your professional experience will need to be highlighted, but the way you present it will be different. Let's take a closer look.

tips on formatting work experience on your resume

  • If you're using a reverse-chronological resume format, this section should come immediately after your career highlights, unless you also include a job skills section.
  • If you're using a skills-based resume format, this section will generally come immediately after your job skills, unless there is a specific reason to include it higher.
  • If you're looking to limit your resume to a single page, you should aim to keep this section no longer than half a page. Of course, there may be exceptions if you have extensive work experience or are applying for skill-specific or executive positions.
  • Call out three or four bullet points for each job you include on your resume.
  • For reverse-chronological resumes, start with your most recent employment and work backward.
  • For skills-based resumes, start with your most relevant employment experience.

reverse arrowsfor a reverse-chronological resume format, list work experience after career highlights, for skills-based resumes, list it after job skills.

writing your work experience

  1. Title this section Work Experience.
  2. List the name of the company, your title and employment dates (month and year) for each of your previous positions. If you are currently employed, then write the month and year you started, followed by a hyphen and the word “present”.
  3. Use the present tense for your current role and past tense for previous roles.
  4. Focus on specific numeric figures and goals you have met or exceeded, rather than general accomplishments.
  5. Include keywords!

piggy bank nothing jumps off the page like numbers: think in terms of percent increases, revenue generated and dollars saved.

resume experience examples

When it's all said and done, the job highlights in your work experience section should look something like this:

  • Led 30-person team to correlate design approaches to feasibility of implementation.
  • Designed and implemented key processes to decrease search time by 15%.
  • Developed at least four software patches per quarter based on real-time consumer feedback.
  • Utilized C++ to deploy an internal accounting compliance algorithm across Southeastern region locations.

With your work experience section completed, you may be wondering what part of your resume you should tackle next. Listing your education and training is the next logical step, and we’ve got guidance to help you there too in part seven of our resume-writing series.