The Professional Experience (And Most Important) Part of Your Resume
Professional experience is most effectively presented in reverse chronological order. Beginning with the current or most recent job, detail the recipient’s work experience in an achievement-focused manner, instead of the usual laundry list of job “responsibilities.” Recruiters and employers are probably aware of the daily tasks performed in various positions, what they don’t know is how the recipient’s individual contributions benefited their last employer in specific terms. Did they help boost sales by providing exceptional customer service? Did they streamline the office’s antiquated filing system, leading to improvements in organizational efficiency?
- Be sure to use proper verb tenses in the Professional Experience Section.
- It is our style to use first-person verbs to start bullets.
- For present jobs, that would be… organize, create, develop, etc.
- Use past tense action verbs for prior jobs… completed, implemented, supervised, etc.
- Try to avoid using the same verb for two consecutive bullets.
- Use periods at the end of bullets.
Does the PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE section…
- Explain the recipient’s achievement-focused job experience in concise bulleted statements that begin with action verbs? (Coordinate, Organize, Develop…)
- Include the correct name of the prior employer(s), the city / state in which they were located, and the correct employment dates (years only)?
- Include the recipient’s specific job title(s)? (If the job title is more important than where they worked, by all means accentuate the positive and emphasize the job title over company name. Remember, we’re marketing the recipients!)
- Articulate past experiences in a manner that’s heavily related to the current job search objective? (We can’t fabricate job experiences; however, we can “spin” the details of past jobs to better match their current job search objective.)
- Go back in time only as far as necessary? (As a general rule, we only need to display the past 10 years of relevant work experience to not outdate candidate while sticking with relevant and most recent experience.)
- Include only the jobs that help boost the current job search objective? (Those who experience multiple relocations often have more jobs listed on their résumé than necessary. If a specific job is not relevant to the job search objective, and if omitting the job does NOT create a large employment gap, leave the position off the résumé. Some things are better left unsaid!)