Work Experience on a Resume - How to List It Right

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Imagine you’re a hiring manager who goes through countless resumes on the daily.

What’s the first thing you look at?

If your guess was work experience, then you’re right.

And if you spot a few relevant keywords in their work experience section, then you’re more likely to continue reading about their background, contact information, and so on.

The most important thing hiring managers want to know is whether you can do the job you’re applying for, and that’s where the work experience section of your resume comes in.

So how do you make your work experience do the heavy lifting?

Don’t worry! Our article is here to help.

We’re going to cover:

  • What Information Your Work Experience Section Needs

How to Format Work Experience on Your Resume

  • 11 Real-Life Examples of Work Experience on a Resume

Let’s get started.

resume-templates cta

What to Include in Your Work Experience Section

The work experience section is the most important part of your resume.

This is the section that gives hiring managers a look at your professional journey so far, including your skills and achievements, and it’s the section they base their hiring decisions on the most.

Your work history can show how likely you are to excel at the job, how committed you are to career growth , and what industry know-how you ought to have.

This section is going to look different depending on your career level, how recent your work experience is, and what the job you're applying for is.

Let’s look at what information employers expect from your work experience section:

  • Job Title/Position . Add this at the top of each work experience entry. You want the hiring manager to know at a glance that you have relevant work experience for the job, so use the actual job title instead of any buzzwords.
  • Company Name. Include the name of the employer. Sometimes, if the employer isn’t well-known, you might want to describe the company in a sentence or two to give the hiring manager context.
  • Location. The general location, such as the city and state/country where you worked, is more than enough information.
  • Employment Dates. Write down the approximate timeframe of your employment. There’s no need to give exact dates since the standard format for this is mm/yyyy.
  • Responsibilities and Achievements. The core of each work experience entry is what you achieved while you were there. List your responsibilities and achievements in bullet points instead of paragraphs to make them easier to read. Use 5-6 bullet points for newer job entries and 2-3 for older ones.

Here’s an example of a work experience section that includes all of the above:

example of a work experience section

Want to know more about other resume sections? Learn how to write a resume with our detailed guide!

You know what to include in your work experience section, so let’s talk about how to include it.

First things first - your work experience section should always follow a reverse chronological order . Add your latest work experience at the very top, and work your way backward.

Hiring managers aren’t interested in what you did ten years ago. Instead, they’d rather know what you’ve been up to right before applying for this specific job.

That being said, if you have a lot of experience, you shouldn’t include every single job you’ve ever had.

Your resume is supposed to be one page long , so feel free to omit any summer gigs or part-time jobs to free up space. It’s also extremely important that your work experience is easy to find and that the information is well-structured and readable.

Here’s an example of how to format your work experience section:

listing work experience on a resume

Making Your Work Experience Stand Out

Now that you know how to list your work experience, you need to describe it in a way that makes you stand out from other candidates.

We’ve divided this process into several steps, starting with:

#1. List Achievements Instead of Responsibilities

Too many resumes focus on the day-to-day tasks in the work experience section.

The thing is, hiring managers already know what those responsibilities are. They’re the ones who write the job ads, so you won’t impress them by telling them you did just what they would expect you to do.

For example, if you’re a QA engineer, your responsibilities could include:

  • Identifying software bugs.
  • Ensuring test coverage for all features.
  • Making detailed reports on product quality.

These same responsibilities show up in 99% of QA engineer resumes out there.

So, if you want to stand out from the crowd, you want to focus on your most impressive achievements instead. Show the hiring manager how you helped your previous employer and the difference you made while you were there.

Let’s compare how the same work experience entry looks like when we use achievements and when we use responsibilities:

  • Increased test coverage by 25% by implementing new automated test suites.
  • Reported and triaged over 100 high-priority defects ahead of major releases.
  • Executed manual test cases across web and mobile applications.
  • Logged defects into bug-tracking systems as they were encountered.

But there are some fields where there aren’t that many achievements you can mention in your resume. For example, if you’re a server , serving 120+ patrons a night, or earning a lot of tips aren’t achievements that look good on your resume.

Your daily tasks probably include:

  • Taking orders, serving food and beverages, and ensuring customer satisfaction.
  • Preparing tables for meals, including setting up items such as linens, silverware, and glassware.
  • Assisting in opening and closing the restaurant, including cleaning duties and setting up for the next service.

In this case, it’s okay to focus on responsibilities instead. You can still distinguish yourself by following the rest of our tips on how to make your work experience shine.

#2. Tailor Your Work Experience to the Job

If you want your resume to go from “okay” to "outstanding," what you need to do is tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for. 

The hiring manager doesn’t need to know details about every job you’ve had or about the skills you gained in a different field. 

So, your work experience should reflect what the job requirements are. This way, you’re more likely to really catch the hiring manager’s attention and land a job interview .

Here’s an example of a well-tailored job ad:

Tailor Your Work Experience to the Job

As you can see from the picture, it’s easy to figure out what the most important requirements for the role are. 

So, to tailor your resume to this ad, you need to show how you meet every one of these job requirements.

Let’s look at an example of how the same work experience would be tailored differently according to different job ads.

Say, you were an advertising intern.

Here’s what your work experience would look like when you’re applying for a position as a social media assistant:

INTERNSHIPS

Marketing Intern

Full Picture Company

New York, NY

09/2023 - 12/2023

  • Analyzed various social media platforms for trending content.
  • Managed company social media accounts.
  • Posted interesting content on the company's Facebook page, increasing engagement by 25%.

Pretty easy, right? Now, let’s look at what the same work experience entry would look like for a job as a content writer .

  • Assisted the Marketing Manager in writing press releases and new blog posts, which increased web traffic by 25%.
  • Created engaging content for email marketing campaigns and boosted newsletter subscriptions.
  • Revitalized old blog posts with updated information and SEO optimization, improving organic search rankings by 30%.

The internship is still the same but this way, the experience you’re focusing on is tailored to the job you’re applying for. The hiring manager can immediately see your most important skills for the job and the value you could bring to their team.

#3. Add the Right Amount of Work Experience

If you’ve had a lot of jobs so far, you might be wondering if they all belong on your resume.

The answer is usually no. Your full, detailed work history belongs on your CV instead of your resume .

The hiring manager only wants the most recent and relevant information, not your full life story.

So, the amount of work information your resume should include depends entirely on your level of experience.

Let’s break it down:

  • No Experience. If you’re currently looking for your very first job , you simply won’t have any jobs to fill in your work experience section. In that case, we recommend skipping this section and instead focusing on any experience gained in clubs, extracurricular activities , volunteering, and other projects.
  • Entry-Level. When you’re applying for an entry-level job, you can list most of your work experience so far. Likely, some of it won’t be relevant, but it still shows the hiring manager that you have some work experience, and that’s better than none.
  • Mid-Level. At this level, you should only mention relevant work experience. Don’t waste precious space listing old internships or jobs you had as a teenager .
  • Senior-Level. You only need to list up to 15 years of relevant work experience. You might even need a two-page resume to apply for an executive position at this stage, but only if you have too much relevant work experience to fit onto a single page.

#4. Optimize for the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Software

Before the hiring manager reads your resume, it has to make it to them.

The fact is that 70% of resumes get discarded before the hiring manager even reads them.

That’s because most companies use specialized Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to go through hundreds of resumes and automatically filter out ones that don’t have what the hiring manager is looking for.

Unfortunately, this means that if a resume is missing a specific skill or isn’t formatted in a way that the ATS can process , it gets rejected immediately.

ats-statistic

So, how can your work experience make the cut?

Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t go over one page. The ATS can have a limit on how long a resume is allowed to be, so we recommend always sticking to a single-page resume.
  • Format everything carefully. Don’t give your resume sections quirky names. Your work experience section should be titled “Work Experience,” not “The Journey So Far.” If you try being too creative, the ATS might not recognize what that section is and reject you.
  • Tailor carefully to the job ad. If you want to beat the ATS, you need your resume to be as tailored to the job ad as possible. Include as many relevant keywords as you can in your work experience section. Just make sure they’re all used in a logical context since the hiring manager is supposed to read them, too.
  • Keep everything in an active voice. Describe your previous jobs with clear and specific language. (E.g.: Instead of “A team of ten people was managed by me,” say “Managed a team of ten people” ).
  • Use power words and action verbs. Hiring managers don’t want to hear how you “were responsible” for this or “helped with” that. Make your work experience pop by using impactful language like “spearheaded,” “designed,” “conceptualized,” and more.

Choose one of our ATS-friendly resume templates to make sure your resume passes the test.

Where to Place Work Experience on Your Resume

The work experience section should always be one of the first sections on your resume, along with the skills section.

Typically, it comes just after your resume header , so that the hiring manager can read it immediately after your resume headline .

If you are using the reverse-chronological resume format, work experience should go at the top of your resume. This way, hiring managers can quickly evaluate your qualifications based on your most recent roles.

However, if you’re using a different resume format, such as functional or combination resume formats, you can make an exception. These resume formats emphasize skills over work history, so you could move your work experience further down, towards the middle of your resume.

Recent graduates are another exception to this rule

Suppose you’re a student with minimal professional experience. In that case, you can put your education section on top instead of your work experience section to emphasize your academic achievements and show that you’re ready to put your knowledge to good use.

Want to learn about the other popular resume formats ? Check out this article to see which one is right for you.

Complimentary Resume Sections

While your work experience might be the single most important section of your resume, at the end of the day, it works in sync with the rest of it.

Other resume sections , like your resume summary or certifications, can show the hiring manager how experienced you are and how much industry know-how you bring to the table.

So, here are a few other resume sections that come into play if you want to back up your work experience and increase your chances of getting an interview:

#1. Resume Summary

A resume summary is a short section at the top of your resume that highlights your most relevant skills and achievements related to the job.

In 2-3 simple sentences, a good resume summary tells the hiring manager:

  • Your years of experience in that type of role.
  • Your top qualifications or impressive accomplishments.
  • What kind of responsibilities you’re familiar with.
  • What your motivation for the position is.

By summarizing the core of your work experience upfront, your resume summary lets the hiring manager know what they can expect from the rest of your resume. So, when done well, an eye-catching resume summary can make you stand out from the crowd.

Here’s an example of a resume summary:

example of a resume summary

Another important section is devoted to your most important skills.

The skills section lets you list abilities that supplement your work experience, and it should be divided into two categories:

  • Hard Skills. These include technical skills, tools, and specific knowledge that’s directly applicable to the role.
  • Soft Skills. These can be personality traits or interpersonal skills that demonstrate how you work with others and how well you’d fit into the company’s team.

Along with your work history, the skills section helps employers quickly evaluate your credentials and relevant expertise for the position. While your work experience highlights skills in context, the skills section provides an easy-to-reference summary.

Make sure the skills you list on your resume align with what the employer is looking for. Use the job description as a reference to pinpoint the keywords you should add to your resume .

Here’s an example of a skills section on a resume:

example of a skills section on a resume

#3. Certificates

Professional certificates and coursework can show your commitment to continuous learning and honing your skills.

Listing certificates on your resume allows you to showcase specialized knowledge and skills that might not be evident from your work experience.

For example, say you’re applying for a position as an SEO content marketer.

If you’re experienced in digital marketing but don’t have formal work experience with SEO, that could be a problem. However, listing a certificate from an SEO course can tell the hiring manager that you have the necessary knowledge to take on the role.

Relevant certificates can provide evidence of your advanced skills, industry expertise, or any other necessary qualifications for the role. They can back up your skills and distinguish you from other candidates with similar work experience.

Depending on the context, any certificates you have can either be listed in the education section or a dedicated resume section.

If the certificates are more recent and different from your formal education, we recommend listing them separately. Here’s an example:

certificates on a resume

#4. Personal Projects

One of the best ways to show your passion and dedication is through your projects.

Hiring managers love candidates who do cool stuff in their spare time.

If any personal passion project you’ve been working on is relevant to the role you’re applying for, make sure to add it to your resume. It can back up the skills and experience on your resume, and help you stand out from other applicants.

For example, if you’re applying for a job as an animator , any published flash animation videos on YouTube are a great addition to your resume.

However, personal projects should only be listed if they’re relevant. If you’re looking for a job as an architect , your incredible cosplay sewing abilities just won’t cut it.

Here’s an example of a personal projects section:

personal projects on a resume

11 Real-Life Examples

Not sure how to list work experience for your field?

Check out the practical work experience in these resume examples for different professions:

#1. Marketing Executive Resume Example

Marketing Executive Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing a marketing executive resume here.

#2. Teacher Resume Example

Teacher Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing a teacher resume here.

#3. Cashier Resume Example

Cashier Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing a cashier resume here.

#4. Software Engineer Resume Example

Software Engineer Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing a software engineer resume here.

#5. Career Change Resume Example

Career Change Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing a career change resume here.

#6. Illustrator Resume Example

Illustrator Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing an illustrator resume here.

#7. Esthetician Resume Example

Esthetician Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing an esthetician resume here.

#8. Stay-at-Home Parent Resume Example

Stay-at-Home Parent Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing a stay-at-home parent resume here.

#9. University Graduate Resume Example

University Graduate Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing a university graduate resume here.

#10. University Student Resume Example

University Student Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing a university student resume here.

#11. High School Graduate Resume Example

High School Graduate Resume Example

Check out our full guide to writing a high school graduate resume here.

Work Experience Section FAQs

Are you still wondering about something related to your resume’s work experience? Check out the answers to these popular questions about listing work experience on a resume:

#1. What If I Don’t Have Any Work Experience?

If you don’t have any work experience, there are two things you should consider: first, hiring managers don’t expect candidates for entry-level roles to have a ton of experience, so you don’t have to worry too much.

And second - there are plenty of ways to make an impressive resume even without any professional experience .

For example, if you're a recent graduate, you can focus on highlighting your education, relevant coursework or extracurricular activities.

Include any internships, volunteer roles, or student organizations that show you have the skills necessary for the job.

You can also highlight universal skills like communication , teamwork, problem-solving, and computer skills . If you use a strategic approach, your lack of work experience won’t hold you back from writing a great resume.

#2. Can I List an Internship Instead of Work Experience?

Yes, you can list internship experience on your resume instead of work experience.

Internships provide valuable on-the-job training and give you exposure to a professional work environment, so they’re always a great thing to add to your resume.

Like work experience, internships allow you to gain important skills, learn about a particular industry or role, and build accomplishments you can use to show potential future employers. 

Internships can be a vital resume section for candidates with less experience, such as students, career changers, or stay-at-home parents re-entering the workforce, since they show hiring managers you have enough relevant hands-on experience to succeed at the job.

#3. How Can I Explain an Employment Gap on My Resume?

The key to managing a gap in your work experience section is to address it briefly and positively on your resume or cover letter .

In a line or two, explain what happened and move on without dwelling on it, since employment gaps are relatively common and can happen for different reasons.

For example, if you had to take a year off to recover from a medical issue, just say so in your resume without going into details. The important thing is that you’re now better, ready to resume work, and the hiring manager knows it won’t be a problem.

If you have a short employment gap, you can probably skip the explanations. Simply list the start and end dates for each role without explaining the time in between. A couple of months between jobs is perfectly normal, and hiring managers aren’t likely to ask about it.

#4. What If My Work Experience Isn’t Relevant?

If you're applying for a job and none of your work experience is relevant, it’s a bit more complicated.

As a general rule, any work experience is better than no work experience. Most soft skills are applicable across industries, so you can focus on them in your resume.

If you’re an entry-level candidate, you might want to leverage other areas to show the hiring manager that you’re a good fit for the role.

For example, if you want to be a graphic designer but only have experience in customer service , emphasize your art education, portfolio work, and personal projects instead. If you’ve taken any more recent courses related to the field, you can list them before your work experience.

However, if you’re an experienced professional looking to change careers , things are a little different.

For a career change, you need to articulate your transferable skills and show how your previous experience can help you in this new role.

Let's say you're a sales professional interested in marketing. You could highlight skills like communication, market analysis, client relationship-building, and goal-oriented achievements that show your valuable marketing skills.

Key Takeaways

You’ve made it to the end!

Now, you’re all set to write a flawless work experience section.

But before you go, let’s recap what we talked about:

  • Always list your work experience reverse-chronologically so the hiring manager can see what your most recent achievements and experiences are.
  • If possible, focus on work achievements over day-to-day tasks. This way, you can immediately show the hiring manager what you’ve done for your previous team and what the value of hiring you would be.
  • Carefully format your work experience so it passes the ATS and so that the hiring manager can easily read it.
  • Instead of paragraphs, use bullet points to describe your previous jobs. For newer experiences, 5-6 bullets are good, but for older ones, 2-3 bullet points are enough.
  • If you don’t have work experience, use this section to list your internship, volunteer experience, personal projects, or extracurricular activities. Treat them the same way you would treat work experience, and list your responsibilities and achievements in bullet points.
  • Make sure the other sections in your resume complement your work experience for a flawless job application.

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Work Experience on a Resume: 20+ Examples of How to List It

Work Experience on a Resume: 20+ Examples of How to List It

Your work experience is the resume section hiring managers look at first. And if they’re busy, it’s often the only part they review. To get the interview, you need to pay extra attention to your resume work history section. In practice, this means you should spend roughly 80% of the total time spent on your resume on the work experience section. As with other resume sections, there are some simple rules to follow.  In this guide, we’ll unpack them for you and help you create a resume that stands out every single time.

Here’s what you’ll master today:

  • How to describe your work experience on a resume (plus how to format it)
  • Extra tips on how to make your work history super-memorable
  • How to sell yourself on a resume in different situations
  • How to draft your work experience section based on real examples for the most common scenarios and jobs

Let’s dive in!

How to List Your Experience on Your Resume

  • Put it under a clear, legible heading
  • Place it right after the resume summary or objective
  • List your most recent experience first
  • Include relevant experience
  • Be clear, concise, and consistent with your formatting
  • Use bullet points to describe your responsibilities and achievements

work experience on a resume

1. Put it under a clear, legible heading

Make sure your work experience section is clearly visible and has its own heading. You can name this section “Work Experience”, “Experience” or “Employment History”.

2. Place it right under the resume summary or objective

It’s best to place the experience section right under your resume summary or a resume objective. However, if you’re fresh out of college and have little or no work experience, you can fit the work history under your education section.

3. List your most recent experience first

You typically list your work experience in reverse chronological order — put your current or most recent gig at the top, followed by the previous one, then the one before that, and so on.

This is effective because it gives the hiring team the most relevant information instantly. If you’re a UX designer looking for a new opportunity, the hiring manager will want to know about your most recent accomplishments to see how you progressed, where your expertise lies, and how your latest experience can translate into success in your new role.

4. Include relevant experience

Do you need to put all your past experience on a resume? By no means. Professional resume writers and career coaches advise that you include up to 15 years of relevant work experience. Including every single job you’ve done (like that pizza delivery summer gig when you were 16) can actually work against you.

Remember, this is just a general rule that can be broken in certain situations.

For instance, if you’re looking for a job in tech, where skills, frameworks, and tech stacks change often, your experience from 13 years ago may not be truly relevant today.

Also, if you’ve had a major career change, e.g. switched from teaching to copywriting 10 years ago, you could omit your teaching roles. However, if working in that position gave you relevant skills and experience that you still consider useful and valuable (e.g. clear communication, time management, or presentations), you can definitely include it in your resume.

Read on if you’re changing careers, switching from the military, or are freshly graduated (we’ll cover those scenarios in a bit).

5. Be clear, concise, and consistent with your formatting

This is a big one. It’s crucial to format your entries properly so that the information is easy to spot and read. Also, consistency is hugely important. Maintain the same order of information in each entry for a polished, organized, and harmonious look.

Here’s how you can order the items in a single work experience entry:

  • Your position (usually written in bigger font or in bold)
  • Company name
  • Dates worked
  • Bullet points highlighting your responsibilities and achievements

6. Use bullet points to describe your responsibilities and achievements

Instead of writing a paragraph or description explaining your role in detail, make sure to use a bulleted list (it’s way clearer, better organized, and memorable).

Next, it’s always wise to focus on your most important accomplishments and achievements, rather than simply listing your everyday responsibilities. After all, the point of this section is to gently persuade the hiring team that you’re equipped to do the job and that you have an excellent track record.

In other words, this is where it pays to take a moment to think back to your biggest career wins and corroborate that with some data (more about this later).

Finally, make sure to limit the number of bullets as you go back in time. While it’s perfectly fine to have 5–8 points for your latest job, 3–4 will be enough for older entries.

work experience on a resume

Now let’s put theory into practice and look at two great examples of work history on a resume that follow the steps we discussed above.

Sample resume work experience section (senior candidate)

Vice President of Marketing Vue 03/2017 – Present

  • Helmed website overhaul, resulting in increase of organic traffic by over 300%
  • Spearheaded the team of 7 full-time employees and 12 contractors
  • Tracked email, PPC and display marketing performance to optimize cost per lead
  • Hit 541% and 137% return on marketing investment for organic and email, respectively

Sample resume work experience section (junior to mid-level candidate)

  • Responded to up to 20 tickets a day, resulting in 97% first touch resolution score
  • Maintained a >9.0 monthly average satisfaction rating each of last 12 months
  • Resolved 7 escalations with the IT/SysDev teams in the last 3 months
  • Wrote 24 knowledge base articles to reduce ticket resolution times by 1.3 minutes

How to Take Your Resume Work Experience Section from Standard to Job-Winning

Now let’s zoom in on your work experience section even closer and help you take those bullet points from average to outstanding. To sell yourself on your resume, just follow these simple tips.

1. Focus on achievements over day-to-day duties and quantify wherever possible

This is precisely where most candidates get stuck. A lot of you are probably thinking: yes, I’ve heard this piece of advice many times. But I don’t have any stellar achievements. I just do my job well .

Precisely. That’s enough to be sure you do have achievements. You might not even know it. And the best way to showcase those is by hard numbers.

Again, don’t freak out. You don’t have to be in the data and numbers game to be able to come up with quantifiable results and statistics. There are simple strategies to present tangible results to back up your accomplishments. And just so you realize how miserably bad people are at showcasing their accomplishments —

Here’s a real-life story that a resume-writing consultant friend told me.

He was hired to revamp a spacecraft engineer’s resume (btw, how cool is that!). When she walked him through her resume and explained what each item meant, one caught his attention — ” Optimized and automated the procurement and invoicing flow. ” Optimizing and automating? That always means something cool.

She eventually explained how she made a highly complex process fully automatic, and in doing so, saved around 18 work hours a month for 7 people each. These people were paid an average of $200/hr. That’s $1.3 million a year saved for the company. And that was not on her resume.

Why am I telling you this?

Because this is proof that you’re not alone in being horrible at framing duties as achievements. Apparently, even the most extraordinary candidates are. Bottom line: you will most definitely stand out if you know how to do it!

So here are a few tips on how to really stand out from the crowd:

Mention the scale , e.g. how many people you managed, or the size of the budgets you handled

  • Provided consultations for 120 students a year over 7 consecutive years
  • Managed a shift of 70 workers in a 250.000 square foot facility
  • Standardized the Sales process in a 2000-employee company averaging 300M annual ARR
  • Controlled an annual marketing budget of $30K

Mention the frequency , e.g. how many tasks you performed within a time frame

  • Wrote 14 new SEO-optimized articles in the last quarter
  • Onboarded 17 Fortune 2000 clients in 2021
  • Performed 13 weekly technical website audits and resolved 25 issues
  • Hosted 5 company webinars attracting a total of 790 B2B leads

Mention specific results , e.g. money and time saved

  • Reduced the employee turnover rate by 5% in 2021
  • Tripled the number of Instagram sales since 2019
  • Reduced cost per sale from 3.8K to 2.7K in two years’ time
  • Attracted 2.6 new LinkedIn followers in the last quarter

Pro tip: Record your accomplishments as they happen. This is how I do it. Every time something cool happens (e.g. 89% of email subscribers click on the CTA button in an email and read my article or 5 product demos were booked on a blog page that I wrote), I take a note in a Google document. Even if I’m not actively looking for a job. (Or not even thinking about it.) In time, you’ll have a killer list of accomplishments to add to your resume, cutting your writing time in half. Otherwise, you’ll either forget the details or spend hours digging through your old projects to find the right info.

2. Use action verbs at the beginning of your bullet points

If you take a closer look at all the examples we listed in this guide so far, you’ll notice a few common themes — none of the bullets start with “I” and they sound super descriptive although we used zero adjectives.

The secret lies in action verbs, the powerful verbs that are used at the beginning of each bullet to draw the reader in and show your impact.

Take a look at these examples again:

  • Responded to an average of 20 tickets a day, resulting in 97% first touch resolution score
  • Received 9.1 satisfaction rating in the last 365 days
  • Resolved 7 escalations in the last 3 months with the IT/SysDev teams

Combined with numbers and specific results, these verbs show the recruiting team exactly how you accomplished things and attained goals at work.

There are extensive lists of power/action verbs you can find on the web, but here’s a short list of our favorite ones to get you started.

Top 50 action verbs to use in your resume work experience section:

  • Coordinated
  • Established
  • Facilitated
  • Implemented
  • Standardized
  • Streamlined
  • Strengthened

Expert tip: Vary your power verbs to avoid repetition. Keep your bullet points as short as possible and avoid the use of pronouns, articles, and adjectives.

Here’s an example of a bland work experience section turned amazing and catchy by applying the 3 tips above.

  • Responsible for all content marketing activities in the company
  • I was in charge of the link-building project
  • Proofreading of the copy before publishing.

Why we think it sucks:

Let’s dissect this Frankenstein.

  • Consistency issues: Although the candidate uses the bulleted list to provide more information about their recent role, they are not consistent. The first bullet starts with an adjective, the second uses a pronoun (“I”) and looks like an actual sentence, while the third one starts with an -ing form. All in all, it’s a mess.
  • No details or real info: The candidate uses overused phrases like “responsible” and “in charge of” combined with little other info. All in all, super bland and nonspecific.

Now let’s see how you can transform this meh work history section into an unforgettable one by using action verbs and quantifiers.

  • Designed annual content marketing strategy, resulting in 247 SQLs (500+ employees)
  • Oversaw a team of 10 writers, resulting in 60 do-follow links in the last 90 days
  • Increased content downloads website-wide by 78%
  • Conducted quality assurance for 100% of content

Why we love this version:

First, it’s super specific and it tells us exactly what this Content Marketing Manager did. Next, they listed the results of their efforts in a consistent and persuasive way. Finally, a nice mix of power verbs (designed, oversaw, increased, and conducted) leaves the reader with the impression that this person knows what they’re doing.

3. Customize your employment history section to the job description at hand

We’ve been saying this forever and we’ll say it again: don’t expect to have a single resume that can win you endless jobs. Heck. Don’t expect a generic, all-purpose resume to land you more than 1 interview out of 50 applications.

That’s not how the pros do it.

Instead, you’ll need multiple versions that you’ll then further customize by tailoring your work experience section to the exact position you’re targeting.

The easiest way to do this is to peruse the job description, identify which skills and requirements matter to the employer and then have your resume prove that you possess those very skills.

Here’s how it works in practice.

Let’s say a MarTech company is looking for someone to join the Billing Customer Support Team.

Here is a sample job ad and some of the requirements and duties listed in the description:

how to write work experience on a resume

After carefully reading the job description details, this candidate found 5 points they have previously excelled in. Next, they’ll use them as guidelines to tailor their work experience resume section to match the requirements 100%.

Customer Support Engineer Omnis

  • Solved a daily average of 20 Zendesk tickets over a 3-year period
  • Maintained the internal knowledge base 100% clean and up to date
  • Prioritized feature requests and worked with AppDev and PO until implementation
  • Hit company-record ticket response times (11 hours Zendesk; 2 minutes live chat)
  • Authored a total of 56 technical articles in the Help Center

Why we like this answer: The candidate relied on the information from the job ad to highlight their accomplishments in a clear and convincing way. They showed their familiarity with Zendesk, their dedication to keeping the internal company wiki updated, and proved that they are independent and proficient enough to write technical documentation. Finally, they illustrated most of their efforts with relevant metrics and KPIs and used power verbs to convey authority and skill.

How to List Work Experience on a Resume for Different Scenarios

This may make perfect sense to someone who’s had 10+ years of experience and few job gaps. But what if you’re applying for a job outside your industry or aren’t sure whether to include your volunteer experience? Here are all your questions answered.

How to show a promotion on your resume?

If you’ve held multiple positions in the same company or if you’d like to highlight your growth and change in roles, you can approach this in two different ways.

1) List them as a single entry if similar and if the career path is clear. Start with the company name, dates worked, and then list your positions together with the from-to period when you held them. Like this:

Acme Technologies Inc. 03/2017 – Present

Content Marketing Manager (01/2021 – Present) (a bullet-pointed list of accomplishments)

Content Writer (03/2017 – 01/2021) (note the promotion, followed by a bulleted list of responsibilities and achievements)

2) List them as two separate entries if you made a bigger shift or changed departments (e.g. started in a call center, then switched to Business Development).

A note of caution: When using stacked entries (1), there’s a chance that the ATS software won’t recognize your promotion as such, and may list your skills and experience under the earlier position. To ensure your resume will be well-parsed by the ATS and look good, it’s safer to stick to the format shown in (2) and list your promotions as two separate entries.

How to put freelance work on a resume?

Absolutely include your freelance work in your employment history, as it shows your versatility, skill set, and soft skills like client management, negotiation, and independence. Here’s an example of how a writer and illustrator listed their freelancing experience.

Content Writing Consultant (alternatively, you can use Contractor ) Freelance

  • Contributed original blog content to businesses (include most notable clients)
  • Increased organic traffic by 250% with a 6-month blog project
  • Helped generate 14 Fortune 2000 leads through Google AdWords over a 6-month period
  • Illustrated for both web and printed media
  • Provided 50+ illustrations for clients such as NewYorker Magazine, CondeNast, Monocle
  • Won Best Book Cover Award (Illustration Category) in 2021
  • Collaborated with 20+ teams with an average UpWork score of 4.8

Should I include volunteer work on my resume?

If you can supply at least 5 years of paid work experience, you can skip your volunteering experience altogether or add them to other resume sections.

If your employment history is short or if you’re just starting your job search after being a stay-at-home parent or a student, then definitely include the volunteering gigs in your main work history section. After all, recruiters love seeing this type of experience — it tells a lot about who you are as a person, what you’re passionate about, and that you’re not entirely motivated by money.

How to list part-time jobs on a resume?

When adding your part-time jobs to your resume work history, treat it like any other entry. However, make sure to add that you worked part-time. A simple note next to your position works just fine. Like this:

Online Marketing Specialist (part-time) Forwa

  • Posted 5 blog posts weekly in WordPress over a 2-year period
  • Set up an average of 10 email marketing campaigns/week
  • Assisted 2 Lead Gen Specialists to clean 14 lists over a 2-year period

How to put internships on a resume?

You can include your internship just as you would with any other work experience, no matter if it was paid or not. Add your official role, the company name, and then provide a bulleted list of your responsibilities and accomplishments. Here’s how one candidate did it:

  • Used javascript, HTML, and bootstrap to build UI pages
  • Worked closely with frontend developers to solve more complex issues
  • Collaborated with backend developers and UX/UI designer to assess requirements

How to explain employment gaps on a resume?

I’ll start with a general note here: people freak out about their employment gaps way more than they should. Yes, employment gaps on your resume can be considered red flags, but not by default.

As a matter of fact, a recent study published in the American Economic Review reveals that “long-term unemployment spells in the past do not matter for employers’ hiring decisions.” The study also found that all subsequent experiences canceled out the gaps in employment, as well as that employers didn’t treat short-term and long-term unemployment much differently.

So no reason to panic, okay?

You’d normally have the chance to explain the gaps in your employment in an interview. To get there, it’s wise to address them in your resume work experience section and provide a bit of information and context.

This is especially valid if the gaps are bigger and happened for a good reason like getting a degree, being a full-time parent or caregiver, or for medical reasons.

And here’s how you can integrate that smartly into your resume employment history.

  • Took time off from professional career to provide care for a baby and a toddler and manage the household
  • Used the gap years to complete 3 B2B Sales courses

(In case you need more inspo, here’s what else you can put on a resume .)

Resume Work Experience Examples for Different Careers

Here you’ll find some of the best resume experience examples for the most common professions.

Customer service and tech support

  • Assisted customers and troubleshot technical issues on 30+ calls/day on average
  • Resolved 90% of issues without transfers or escalations
  • Decreased cancellations by 11% over a one year period
  • Ran regular customer satisfaction surveys resulting in 9.6/10 satisfaction rating
  • Built close relationships with CIOs and CTOs from prospective companies
  • Provided software demonstrations to 52 companies in the last quarter
  • Closed 36 new deals, hitting a 69% closing rate in the last quarter

Software engineering

  • Worked with PO team to update and rearchitect 50+ page web app
  • Built 5 additional features in the last 12 months
  • Cooperated with a team of 8 agile developers to prioritize biggest impact features

Office administration

  • Provided reliable administrative assistance to the Regional Manager
  • Organized 2 conferences for 2000+ attendees
  • Managed 7 workshops and 10 local events over a two-year period
  • Interviewed 6 potential new candidates and trained 3 new team members

Digital marketing

  • Posted daily on 5 company social media profiles
  • Interacted with 10 LinkedIn HR influencers every day
  • Grew the LinkedIn account by 525% over a six-month period
  • Provided emergency health care to 20 patient per shift on average
  • Participated in 300+ emergency procedures over a one-year period
  • Exceeded standards of care to hit 9.7 patient satisfaction rating in an anonymous survey
  • Prepared and delivered 100% of lessons to second year students (<20 students/class)
  • Coordinated 30+ extra study sessions to prepare students for state exams
  • Increased assignment completion by 40% via technology-based learning during Covid19

Business analysis & data science

  • Reduced the cost of IT infrastructure by 24% via alternative software solutions
  • Relocated budget from social to organic for 30% increase in ROI
  • Restructured the Sales department, resulting in 45K of new revenue

Find out how to write a next-level resume work experience section for 100+ other professions in this free resume library .

Need a bit more guidance?

You can hop over to Big Interview’s Resume Builder, where you’ll get to enter your information section by section (basic info and contact details, summary, work experience, education, certifications, skills), choose the design and then have the tool create a resume for you. Here’s what you’ll find inside:

Resume Builder

This is super useful because you can easily create many iterations (for different job ads) and save a bunch of time in the process.

Once that’s done, you can also use ResumeAI , a new feature that assesses your resume for various criteria hiring teams use in real life – how easy it is on the eye, how you used action words to convey experience and skills, and whether it’s ATS-friendly Basically, you’ll get a rating based on how effective you were in showcasing your skills and experience.

Screen Shot 2022 11 06 at 11.38.11

And if you need a bit more support, we created a short course on resume writing, designed and led by our own co-founder, Pamela Skillings (aka *the resume and job interview guru*). In this curriculum, you get 8 video lessons with Pam (with a transcript), after which you’ll be 100% sure to crush that resume.

Resume Writing Course

Key Points Summarized

TL; DR? Here’s the essence of a killer resume work experience section that you can copy in no time.

  • A well-written employment history section directly impacts your chances of being shortlisted. Take some extra time to do it right.
  • Always present your work experience in a clearly separated section and place it under your resume summary.
  • Begin with your current (or most recent) job and work backward from there.
  • Include the following information, in this order: your position, company name, and dates worked.
  • Back up this information with a bulleted list of up to 5 achievements and responsibilities. Forget false modesty and show your excellent track record. Quantify and provide tangible results wherever possible. Use power verbs to convey authority and entice the hiring team.
  • When applying for multiple jobs in different companies, custom-tailor your work experience section to each job opening. Browse the job requirements and duties and match them with examples from past experience.
  • Bonus tip: Keep the high standards in other resume sections too. Learn how to best showcase your skills on a resume.

How many years of work history should I describe on a resume?

List 10–15 years of experience, depending on your individual circumstances. The key thing here is to include only relevant work experience, so if you’ve been in the job market for 10 years, but only 6 are relevant to the job you’re applying for, focus on those 6 years. You can still list the previous experience, but there’s no need to go into great detail.

How many bullet points should I use per entry in the work history section?

A common guideline is to have 3–8 bullet points per entry. This way you can give plenty of relevant information about your achievements and responsibilities without overwhelming the reader with excessive detail. You can use 5–8 for your most recent and penultimate positions. As you work your way backwards, 3 bullet points is usually enough. Remember to aim for quality over quantity — if you can fit your best accomplishments into 3 bullet points, there’s no need to write 2 additional weak ones. Make sure to refer to your “strongest” qualities in the first 2 bullets.

What work experience should I not include in my resume?

Here are some examples of work experience that should not be included in your resume: irrelevant experience, experience from over 15 years ago, high school jobs, or volunteer work. However, this all depends on where you are in the career journey. For example, for first-time job seekers, school jobs, part-time jobs, and volunteer experience will matter.

What should I do if I have little to no work experience?

If you have no or little formal work experience, include other types of experience and focus on your qualifications and results. Some ideas to consider: internships, volunteer work, academic projects, freelance or contract work, leadership roles in student associations or sport clubs, and community work. Don’t worry about your title or if it was a formal experience. Instead, focus on the relevant skills and tangible results you accomplished in these roles.

Should I put volunteer experience in my work history section?

You can include it if you have little to no relevant professional experience. Otherwise, you can put it in a separate resume section or omit it if your resume is already full.

How to address gaps in employment in my work experience section?

If there’s a significant gap in your resume, address it proactively in the document and don’t wait for it to come up at the interview (imagine you miss out on one because of that gap!). This way, your potential employers will know you have nothing to hide. Briefly explain the reasons for the gap, keep your language positive, and mention if you did any coursework or upskilling during that time. If you took a sabbatical to travel, take care of a family, or get degrees to prepare for a career change, say it proudly.

When should I take a job off my resume?

A general rule is to remove a job from your resume if it’s no longer relevant to the position you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing role, already had 4 marketing roles, but had initially worked as a history teacher for 1 year, it’s safe to assume your history teacher experience can be taken off. The point is to not overwhelm the resume with unrelated experience. You can also remove some short-term jobs or jobs you had a long time ago, especially if your resume is already getting longer than 2 pages.

Should I include a job I was fired from on my resume?

That depends on several factors. If this was a recent position you held for a long time, you should include it. Otherwise, there would be a big employment gap that you’d still have to address (and it may come up anyway during a background check). If you can come up with a tactful, honest explanation behind the termination, and especially if you’ve gained new relevant skills in the meantime, don’t hesitate to include that position. On the other hand, if the job was a long time ago or if it’s unrelated to the position you’re currently applying for, feel free to omit it.

make my work experience

Pamela Skillings

Briana Dilworth

Fact Checked By:

Michael Tomaszewski

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The Right Way to Include Your Work Experience on a Resume (With Examples)

person at table typing on laptop

We all know resumes are important. They’re your first impression. The highlight reel of your qualifications. The tool that you can use to land an interview (and ultimately a job).

Your past experience takes up the bulk of your resume and tells future employers what you’ve done up until now that qualifies you for your next job. So when it comes time to write about your experience on your resume, the pressure is admittedly a bit high. Determining what, exactly, belongs in there, let alone how to write about it and how to format it can be trickier than it sounds.

But fear not. As a recruiter and career coach, I can say—without exaggeration—that I’ve laid eyes on thousands (and thousands!) of resumes. So I know my way around an experience section. Allow me to answer all your questions:

What Belongs in My Experience Section?

Ok, so how do i know what experience is relevant, how should i format the experience section of my resume, is it ever ok to tweak my job titles, how far back should my experience section go, what if i have a gap in employment, can i see an example experience section.

When you think about which experience should be included on a resume, you usually think of past jobs. And rightfully so—your full-time work history will often be the primary source of material for your resume. But your experience can encompass so much more than the traditional jobs you’ve held. Internships , volunteer work , freelance assignments, temporary gigs , and part-time jobs all count as experience, too.

What types of experiences you include on your resume will depend on where you are in your career journey. More established job seekers who aren’t looking to make a significant career change can likely fill their experience section with their most recent full-time jobs. But if you’re new (or newer) to the workforce, looking to break into a new industry, or making a career pivot, it might make sense to incorporate less traditional experience. Before you include something on your resume, ask yourself: Is this relevant experience for the jobs I’m targeting?

Relevant experience is simply experience that’s applicable to the type of jobs you’re pursuing. For example, if you’re a software engineer, you’ll want to include your current and previous engineering jobs and internships, but you might decide to leave off your long-ago stint as a paralegal (unless you’re applying to work as a programmer at a law firm or legal services startup!) Or if you’re applying for a senior marketing role in publishing, you might decide to trim the first marketing job you had out of college in the beauty industry in order to make more space to highlight your publishing industry experience.

Besides which roles you’re listing, think about how to describe what you did and achieved. Suppose you currently work as a server in a restaurant, and you’re applying for receptionist jobs. In this case, you’d want to include experience interacting with customers, answering incoming phone calls, and managing schedules on your resume because those skills are highly transferable to the job you want. And you might skip less relevant job duties like busing tables because you probably won’t be needing those skills in a receptionist role.

If you aren’t making a big career pivot from one type of job or industry to another, chances are, most of your work history is relevant. But every job posting is a bit different, so you’ll need to be more discerning about which of your past responsibilities are most relevant.

To tailor your resume for each specific job, spend some time reading through the posting and take note of the skills and job duties it mentions. Then make a list of the responsibilities you have experience performing. And voilà! You’ve identified your most relevant experience.

When you write about this relevant experience on your resume, make sure you’re incorporating keywords from the specific job posting. This is essential for two key reasons. First, most applications will be scanned by an applicant tracking system or ATS, which helps recruiters search resumes for relevant keywords to find which applicants are the best match for an open role. Second, a well-tailored resume will make it easy for the recruiter reviewing it to understand why you’d be a good match for their open job.

Every experience section should start with a clear section heading. You might simply call it “Experience” or “Work Experience” or “Relevant Experience.” Or maybe you’d prefer to highlight your specific role or industry with a header like “Accounting Experience” or “Entertainment Industry Experience.” The key is to make it easy to spot for anyone who may be quickly scanning your resume.

In some cases, you may want to showcase experience from a previous career or otherwise include experience that’s not directly related to the job you’re applying for. To do this, you can simply create another section with a header like “Additional Experience” or “Additional Professional Experience.” You can also pull out a section such as “Volunteer Experience” if it doesn’t make sense to include volunteer roles under your main experience section or if you prefer to list them separately

For most job seekers using a chronological or combination resume format, you should list your past jobs within your experience section (or sections) in reverse chronological order. For each item you list—full-time jobs or other types of experience—include the following:

  • Position details: List your job title, company name, location, and employment dates (month and year) for every position on your resume. Here’s one way it might look:

Graphic Designer | Evergreen Industries | San Francisco, CA | May 2018 – April 2020

  • Job duties and achievements : Aim to include three to seven bullet points under each position describing what you did there, starting with a high-level overview of your role and common responsibilities and then drilling down into more specifics. These bullets should highlight your most applicable experiences for the role you’re applying to. You can either include your most relevant achievements for each job alongside your job duties or you can create a dedicated subsection for “Key Achievements.” Quantifying everything you can will lend context to your work history and can be a great way to wow prospective employers. Use this magic formula to craft eye-catching bullet points:  Compelling verb + job duty = tangible number and/or result.  So you might say:  Redesigned new hire onboarding program to include welcome week, 1:1 mentoring, and interactive training, resulting in a 60% increase in 90-day retention.
  • Promotions: If you were promoted during your tenure with an employer, you can either separate the two roles (if your job duties were distinct enough) or group them together into one entry that shares a set of bullet points. For example:

UX Designer | Caterpillar Collective | Kansas City, MO | July 2019 – Present Associate UX Designer | March 2018 – July 2019

  • Collaborated with marketing team to create user-centric graphic designs for print and web that contributed to a 30% increase in customers over 2 years.
  • Conducted 50+ IDIs and created and completed 12 surveys of 200+ users each; compiled and analyzed results to make recommendations to stakeholders.
  • Led website redesign with a focus on accessibility, increasing retention rate of customers with visual impairments by 50%, per self-reported survey.

While it’s never OK to straight-up lie about (or even embellish) your work history, there are cases when tweaking your job titles is permissible. Just remember: The key is to use your job title to clarify your role—not to mislead. Two situations where adjusting your job title is generally above board are:

  • Your employer gave you a funky title . A startup might hire a “Data Guru” while an established e-commerce organization would employ a “Data Scientist” to perform the same duties. In this case, it’s probably safe to tweak that job title on your resume.
  • You wear lots of different hats. If you’re in a role where you juggle lots of different responsibilities (like an office manager who also supports a marketing team), you might adjust your job title to give recruiters more context. For example, if said office manager wanted to pivot into a marketing assistant role, they might list “Office Manager - Marketing Support” as their job title.

If tweaking a title feels like a stretch, you can instead focus on crafting strong bullet points to clearly convey your responsibilities or use your summary to lend additional context to your qualifications.

Keeping your focus on relevant experience means you probably won’t need to include all of your past jobs—and that’s a good thing. Recruiters and hiring managers are going to be most interested in your most relevant and recent experience. They also love a concise, single-page resume that’s easy to scan (they get a lot of applications and don’t have time to read through years and years of work experience). So it’s OK to keep your resume short and sweet.

As a general rule, you don’t need to include more than 10 to 15 years of experience on your resume (with some exceptions). Check out this guide for a detailed breakdown on how far back your resume should go depending on where you are in your career and any special situations.

If you took time away from the workforce, know that you’re in good company. Plenty of successful people have gaps in their employment history for myriad reasons, like caring for a loved one, raising children , going back to school, or losing a job. If your employment gap is brief (less than six months or so), you probably don’t need to address it on your resume. But if it’s a bit longer (more than a year), you may want to add a bit of context in the form of an additional “experience” entry—no more than a line or two.

Here’s what it might look like:

Professional Sabbatical | June 2016 – August 2019

  • Provided full-time care for a sick family member.
  • Traveled throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
  • Authored a memoir about growing up on a Christmas tree farm.

Whether or not you include an entry like this on your resume, you can use your cover letter to explain any special circumstances in more detail.

If you took time away to go back to school, listing your education (and including relevant projects or coursework) will also suffice to bridge the gap on your resume.

Below is an example of how a tailored, quantified experience section might look on a sample resume. This job seeker has already made a career change from accounting to writing (notice how they leveraged their transferable accounting expertise to write for financial publications, first as a volunteer and then a freelancer before landing a full-time writing job). Now, they’re hoping to find a new staff writing role covering different topics—ideally lifestyle or wellness.

The types of jobs this job seeker will be applying for require at least three years of experience pitching and producing SEO-focused articles, preferably with a lifestyle focus. Notice how this job seeker uses the “Key Achievements” subsections to highlight their most relevant project work. (They’d also include a link to their personal website on their resume so that potential employers can easily see their portfolio!)

example resume with detailed experience section

Download sample resume experience section  

make my work experience

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How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume in 2024 (Examples & Tips)

Your work experience is a summary of all your hard work, dedication and achievements over the years. Here's how to do justice to your work history.

Rohit Sahay

The work experience section of a resume will be the crown jewel that demonstrates to potential employers that you have the work history to back up your credentials.

In this guide, we will provide you with in-depth coverage for how to craft the perfect work experience section to help you land more interviews and job offers. 

Here's an outline of what we'll learn:

Including Work Experience on a Resume

What to exclude from your work history, formatting your work experience section, how to list achievements and accomplishments, add more experience with relevant certifications, use strong action verbs, how to show job promotions, addressing career gaps in your work experience, how to show volunteer work and internship experience.

  • How Far Back Should Your Work History Go?

Key Takeaways

For all the inside scope on each component of your resume, check out our comprehensive resume guides . 

Work experience is a major component of any successful resume.

However, it can be difficult to decipher what exactly you should be including in your work history. 

Each job applicant will have a differing amount of working experience under their belt.

The key is to not shove too much information into this section.

Instead, you will need to take the time to sit down and decide which information best highlights your strengths and gives you an advantage for a particular job opportunity.

It is important to keep in mind that you should be altering your resume to match the job description of each individual job you are applying to. 

By taking the time to re-edit your work experience section for specific applications, you will have a much greater chance of impressing hiring managers. 

In this article, we will help you craft the perfect work experience section.

Some key questions we will be answering include:

  • What should you be including in your work history?
  • What should you be excluding from your work history?
  • How should your work experience section be formatted?

Keep reading to learn more about how you can begin optimizing your work history section.

Beautiful resume templates to land your dream job

Executive Assistant

What Information to Include in Your Work History?

Ultimately, your work history will contain the following:

  • Job Position ( e.g. "Bartender" )
  • Company ( e.g. "Red Lobster" )
  • Location (e.g. "Brooklyn, NY")
  • Start Date - Month & Year (e.g. "October 2019")
  • End Date - Month & Year (e.g. "January 2021") Note : You can list "Present" if it's your current job
  • Description (responsibilities and achievements)

Here's how that looks, you can also see an example of the Yoga Instructor resume here .

Yoga Instructor, January 2018 – Present Mellow Mushroom • Nashville, TN • Taught 40+ elderly clients basic yoga moves each day • Held 4 classes a day that differ in intensity, including beginner and intermediate • Advised modifications for yoga poses to ensure proper form, to meet clients' athletic abilities • Instructed clients on breathing techniques, such as Basic Breath Awareness and Retention • Developed body-mind-spirit awareness, mental clarity and physical flexibility and strength

However, when deciding which information to include within your work experience section, there are four main principles to keep in mind:

Here is a quick breakdown of each of these crucial factors:

1) Relevancy

When writing out your work experiences, it is important to consider how relevant your previous experience is to the job you are currently applying for

Your most relevant experience should always be the most emphasized and focused on, as it will be where you showcase the skills and achievements that qualify you for the position.

For instance, let’s say you are applying for an entry-level copywriting position and you have two major examples of work experience you would like to include.

These examples are:

  • Managed the front of house of a restaurant for four years.
  • Worked as a journalist at a local newspaper for one year.

Even though the management position may take up a greater chunk of your professional background, your experience as a journalist is much more relevant to the field of copywriting.

Therefore, you would want to place greater emphasis on your more relevant experience. 

2) Timeliness

Let’s say you are applying for a position for which all or most of your work experience is fairly relevant with similar importance in your roles.

How do you decide which of this experience is best to include on your resume?

When listing out your relevant work experience, it is recommended to showcase your most recent experience first and work backwards from there. 

As a general rule of thumb, it is good to aim to include work experience that you have gained within the past 5 years, though trying to include examples from within the last 1 to 5 years is ideal. 

Generally, work experience older than 5 years should be included on more in-depth resumes, such as on a resume for a job applicant seeking a senior position at a company.

Additionally, the academic resume format “Curriculum Vitae” – or CV – will typically include experience that spans across an even wider timeframe. 

3) Longevity

If you have held a relevant position for a long period of time, this kind of longevity can be highly impressive to hiring managers.

Showcasing your longevity at a previous job demonstrates your ability to commit to a company long-term. 

Moreover, showcasing positions you have held for a long period of time can also be a great opportunity to emphasize any promotions you may have received.

Showing your ability to not only commit, but to grow as well can be majorly influential on the impression your resume leaves.

4) Position

Different positions you have held within a field or industry may hold greater weight than others.

While it is still important to keep relevance, timeliness, and longevity in mind, it can also be useful to showcase your higher positions on your resume.

For example, let’s say you are applying for a position as an executive administrative assistant and you have the following work experience:

  • Office manager for small law firm 
  • Administrative assistant for a tattoo parlor

While both positions are relevant to the job you are applying for, your role as an office manager may have had greater responsibilities compared to your assistant position. 

Check out our Human Resources Resume Example to see how the work experience section utilizes all four of the above mentioned factors. 

Human Resources

When you are writing your work experience section, it is important to note that you don’t want to include every job under the sun that you have ever held.

A hiring manager won’t want to read through all of that, nor are all of your experiences likely to be relevant for the job you are applying to. 

For instance, short-term jobs that you left soon after being hired may not be the best to include, as this can lead to speculation and uncertainty as to why you held the position for so short an amount of time.

If you happened to work a job that was purposefully or contractually short-term but holds a high level of relevance to the job you are currently applying for, it can be useful to include a short note explaining why you were only in the position for a limited amount of time. 

Omitting Jobs from Your Resume

There may be a variety of circumstances that may lead you to wanting to omit certain jobs from your resume.

For instance, if you were fired from your previous position, you may feel inclined to try and hide this information out of fear of it leaving a bad impression on hiring managers.

However, even jobs you were fired from should be included if they are relevant working experience

Being fired from a previous job is not an automatic deal breaker in most cases, and including that position on your resume is oftentimes preferred over leaving unexplained gaps in your employment history.

Moreover, you do not have to explicitly state on your resume that you were fired.

Should this be a topic of concern, it will likely come up in a job interview at which point you can more clearly and directly explain what happened.

Keep Your Job Descriptions Simple

A common mistake that many job applicants will make is writing descriptions of previous jobs that are too wordy or long.

Although it can be helpful to include more information about your most relevant or most recent experiences, you still want to write in clear and concise sentences that are easy to skim.

In truth, it is unlikely a hiring manager will thoroughly read your resume – especially if there are many applicants for the position.

As such, you must optimize your resume to provide information clearly and quickly.

A hiring manager should be able to gain the most valuable information with only a short read-through or skimming. 

As mentioned, you don’t want to go overboard when writing your work experience section.

Although you should aim to include the best and most relevant details, you should strive to write in short and simple sentences. 

Here is the basic format to use when structuring your work experience section:

Position, Start Date – End Date Company Name, Location ‍ • Descriptive Sentence • Descriptive Sentence • Descriptive Sentence

Alternatively, you may also want to list the company name on the first line with the position title.

This can be especially true if you worked for a well-known and easily recognized company or brand.

The formatting would then look more like this:

Position, Company Name Location, Start Date – End Date ‍ • Descriptive Sentence • Descriptive Sentence • Descriptive Sentence

There are, of course, some stylistic choices you can make to help your resume stand out.

However, sticking to this straightforward and easy to read format is key. 

Here are a couple quick examples of correct and incorrect formatting:

1) Always use bullet points for your descriptions.

Long paragraphs can be hard to read and make your work experience section look too cluttered.

Restaurant Manager, 2018 – 2020 ‍ In this position as a restaurant manager, I worked diligently to help implement new point of sales systems that greatly reduced operational costs. I also managed a staff of over 20 waiters on any given day. Of my responsibilities, I was in charge of handling customer complaints and issuing refunds. 
Restaurant Manager, 2018 – 2020 Mellow Mushroom • Nashville, TN • Hired and trained over 20 staff members . • Implemented point of sales systems that reduced operational costs by 15 percent . • Reduced customer complaints and refunds by 25 percent . 

2) Be specific as possible.

When writing your work experience descriptions, try to be as specific as possible rather than providing vague descriptions of your work accomplishments in the position. 

Junior Graphic Designer, The Coca-Cola Company Atlanta, GA • June 2017 – July 2020 • Responsible for making creative designs for the company. • Created hundreds of different designs for a variety of projects. • Worked closely with top-corporate officials. 
Junior Graphic Designer, The Coca-Cola Company Atlanta, GA • June 2017 – July 2020   • Led the design, development, and implementation of a label design project. • Designed and implemented new branding materials, including a re-design of the logo.  • Presented key deliverables to executive level stakeholders. 

In the following Content Marketing Associate resume example, you can see how Sarah has emphasized each of her bullet points with specific relevant keywords.

Content Marketing Associate

When it comes to listing your achievements and accomplishments on a resume , there are several considerations to keep in mind

As a general rule of thumb, your job descriptions are the best place to showcase your greatest accomplishments within a position.

For example, let’s say you worked in a sales position and raised overall sales by 10 percent .

This is the kind of specific accomplishment you will want to list within your job description. 

As previously mentioned, you will always want to be as specific as possible when listing out your achievements.

Here are some examples of how to properly list your accomplishments within your work experience section:

If you have specific data to quantify an accomplishment, always provide specific numbers rather than generalized statements.

Incorrect: ‍

Increased productivity of staff immensely over the course of the position.
Improved staff productivity rates by 30 percent , leading to a reduction of labor costs by 45 percent . 

Awards are a type of achievement that can be particularly useful to include.

Keep in mind that a hiring manager may not be familiar with company-specific awards.

Thus, you should provide enough detail to explain the importance of the award. 

Earned the Departmental MVP Award in 2019.
Earned the 2019 Departmental MVP Award for increasing productivity and efficiency rates, as well as improving cross-functionality of the department. 

Depending on the quantity of achievements you have, it may also be beneficial to create a section devoted entirely to your professional accomplishments.

The key takeaway here, however, is that job descriptions are one the most useful places to showcase your job-specific achievements. 

Although certifications may not be direct work experience, they often times are major indicators to employers of how qualified the candidate is for a position.

To earn a certification, you will typically be required to complete an accredited course successfully.

It can be tempting to include every certification you have ever earned on your resume as a way to help add some extra detail and interest.

However, when you are including certifications you should still be keeping relevancy as your top priority.

As such, only the most relevant certifications should be showcased. For instance, let’s say you have a CPR and First Aid certification.

If you are applying to become a school nurse, these kinds of certifications are not only important but are likely required.

Comparatively, if you are applying to a position as a content writer, these certifications hold no relevance. 

If you have earned a certification as a result of working a previous job, then you would likely want to include that certification in that specific job description.

Otherwise, your certifications may be better suited in their own devoted section.

Additionally, working to earn relevant certifications that you can list in tandem with your work experience section can help you to greatly stand out from other job applicants.

Here is a quick list of a few well-known certifications that would be useful to include on a resume:

  • PMP: PMP is a Project Manager certification and is given to professionals with a four-year degree, a minimum of three years of project management experience, and the successful completion of the PMP exam and hour requirements. 
  • NCLEX-RN: The NCLEX certification is the required certification for nursing professionals put forth by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. 
  • PHR: The PHR certification stands for Professional in Human Resources and is earned through successful completion of an exam upon confirmation of eligibility. 
  • SERVSAFE: ServSafe certifications are used in the restaurant industry to certify that kitchen and waitstaff are following all proper food and drink protocols. 

For more information on how to best show certifications, check out our guide on listing certifications on a resume.

When you are writing your resume, you want the words you use to engage the person who is reading it.

Chances are that the hiring manager reading your resume will read hundreds of other resumes that all contain similar words, verbs, and phrases. 

When choosing which words to use in your resume, it is important to remember that you don’t want to tell the employer why you are a great candidate.

Instead, you want to use the words to show the employer why you are the best candidate. 

This is where strong action verbs come in.

In your job descriptions, rather than saying something boring like “ managed a staff of 50+ members ” —  instead use a stronger action verb such as “ delegated ” or “ directed .”

Here are a couple quick tips for using strong action verbs on your resume:

1) Always lead with your action verb

Don’t bury your action verbs or make them difficult to spot.

Start your sentences with a powerful action verb instead.

I helped senior executives with important administrative tasks.
Assisted senior executives with administrative tasks, including managing travel schedules and optimizing file organization systems. 

2) Make it contextual and supporting

While it is important to use action verbs, don’t just use any word that comes to mind.

The words you use should make sense in the context of how they are being used to describe a job. 

Prohibited operational costs from exceeding budgetary restrictions.
Maintained low operational costs according to budgetary restrictions. 

Though both of these statements essentially say the same thing, the latter is much more clear and better represents your professional achievement. 

For more ideas on which action verbs to include on your resume, check out our list of 350+ Action Verbs to Make Your Resume More Effective.  

If you have worked in a previous job for a longer period of time, chances are you have received a promotion or two along the way.

Keeping track of these promotions and showing your professionals growth is essential. 

There are a couple different ways to show promotions within a job description.

When showcasing different roles you have held within the same job or company, it is important to list your highest position first and work backwards from there.

As an example, let’s look at two different ways a job candidate could list their promotion from office assistant to office manager on a resume:

1) Stacking job promotions

Use stacked positions to show your growth over time, with the most recent and highest position at the top.

Office Assistant, Tennessee Valley Authority Nashville, TN • January 2015 – January 2016 ‍ • Promoted to current position of Office Manager in 2016.
Office Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority • January 2016 – November 2020 Office Assistant , Tennessee Valley Authority • January 2015 – 2016

This kind of stacked formatting is an easy way to show you growth within a company without having to detail each position.

This is a good format option for when you want to focus solely on the highest position you earned.

2) Listing job promotions as separate entries

This format is useful if you served in each position for several years with different responsibilities in each. 

Office Assistant and Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority January 2015 – November 2020
Office Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority January 2016 – November 2020 • Job Description & Achievements Office Assistant, Tennessee Valley Authority January 2015 – January 2016 • Job Description & Achievements

The choice to format promotions as two separate entries should be reserved for instances where most or all of your work experience has been in different positions within the same company

Otherwise, the stacked format allows you to feature other work experiences with different employers as well. 

Legal Assistant

In some cases, a job applicant may not have very much relevant work experience or they may have large career gaps.

If this is the case for you, it can be useful to consider utilizing different resume formats to help fill in those gaps. 

The worst thing you can do is try to hide these career gaps from hiring managers.

These are the types of details they will be looking out for, and signs of deception are likely to get your resume thrown out immediately.

Instead, you should consider the different resume formats that may be better suited to showcasing your skills rather than your experience.

Here are the three main types of resume formats and how we'd rate them from best to worst for addressing career gaps:

1) Functional (best)

Functional formatted resumes focus more on skills and unpaid experiences, making them well suited for applicants without a strong work history.

2) Hybrid/Combination (good)

Hybrid resumes will combine elements of both reverse-chronological and functional resumes, making them good to use when you have career gaps. 

3) Reverse-Chronological (worst)

‍ This format focuses on making the work experience section the main component of the resume so it won't be the best choice for you.

Though having limited work experience or large career gaps can certainly make the resume writing process more difficult, it is by no means impossible to create an effective resume in spite of this.

Check out our guide for writing a resume with no work experience for more advice on how to create a resume when you have limited experience or career gaps.

For some applicants, especially those who may still be in school or are recent graduates, you may lack paid working experience but have several good examples of volunteer work and internships. 

Generally speaking, your internship experiences can go in your work experience section, as these are still technically professional experiences you applied for and earned based on your academic credentials.

Volunteer work, comparatively, should often be listed in a separate section as this is not typically considered “professional experience.”

Nonetheless, volunteer work can still hold a good amount of value, especially if it is directed related to the job you are applying for.

For instance, an IT professional may have volunteered their time to work on a not-for-profit software development project.

Though this experience was unpaid, it provided the applicant with experience working directly with software developers.

This kind of experience will still be crucial to share with potential employers. 

Consider an Alternative Format

If your work experience is limited to internships and volunteer work, this may be another good opportunity to utilize the functional or hybrid resume formats.

This will allow you to showcase the unpaid experience you have, while also sharing the focus with other sections such as skills and academic accomplishments. 

How Far Back Should Your Work History Go?

We’ve covered the importance of timeliness and longevity when deciding which previous jobs to include in your work experience section.

The reality of how far back you should go ultimately depends on the position you are applying for.

For applicants who are applying to entry-level or lower-level jobs, keeping your work experience section concise and focusing on jobs you have worked in the past 1 to 5 years is likely to be preferable. 

Comparatively, if you are applying for a senior-level position, or for a position in the fields of science or academia, it is recommended to showcase more of your professional background.

For instance, applicants who are seeking positions in academic fields will likely want to use a CV format which typically will cover most – if not all – of both their professional and academic background. 

Not every job is the same, nor is every applicant the same, so how much you include on your resume will depend on the situation at hand.

Luckily, there are many resources to help, such as our guide on on writing the perfect resume.

By now you should feel a much greater sense of confidence for how you should be writing and formatting your work experience on your resume.

Here are five key takeaways to remember as you embark on your resume writing journey:

1. Relevancy is Key

When listing out your work experiences, keep in mind which of your previous jobs are the most relevant to the position you are now applying for.

You don’t want to weigh down your resume with too many jobs and job descriptions, so narrowing down to the 3 – 5 most relevant experiences is key. 

Do keep in mind the other three factors we discussed as well: timeliness , longevity , and position .

You want to showcase how your prior work experiences have given you the skillsets to make you highly qualified for the job you are seeking. 

2. Show, Don’t Tell

When writing your job descriptions, avoid using statements such as “I did this” or “I accomplished this.”

Instead, word your descriptions in a way that showcase your achievements and strengths within the position.

Employers don’t want to be told what you can do because words only mean so much without the evidence to back them up.

‍ Show hiring managers what you are capable of by providing clear and quantifiable examples of how you have excelled in your previous positions. 

3. Use Strong Action Verbs

Begin each of your bullet points in your job descriptions with strong action verbs that clearly represent the action or accomplishment you are showcasing.

The use of these verbs not only helps to clarify your work experience section, but also helps emphasize key points, tasks and achievements.

However, be wary of using these verbs just for the sake of using them.

Always make sure the verbs you are choosing relate back to the statement you are making so you don't not accidentally cause any confusion.

4. Keep it Simple 

Bullet points and simple sentences are your friend. Most hiring managers are not going to read through your resume in its entirety.

Thus, having bite size and concise descriptions that effectively represent your abilities, skills, and accomplishments is key. 

5. Determine Which Format is Best for You

If your work experience is limited, you may want to consider using an alternative resume format.

To help determine which format best suits your needs, take a look at our guide for choosing the correct resume format . 

Closing Thoughts

Your relevant work experience can make or break your opportunity for landing an interview with the job of your dreams.

Figuring out the best and most concise way to list your experience is, thus, crucial. 

To learn more about how to craft the best resume possible, check out our comprehensive guides and resume templates to get started making your perfect resume today. 

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make my work experience

How to Add Work Experience to Your Resume in 2024

This step-by-step guide shows you how to create a work experience section that will help you get more job interviews.

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The work experience section of your resume answers the biggest question hiring managers have when they review your application:

What relevant job skills and experience do you have?

Unfortunately, most job seekers feel intimidated when writing their work experience. They know it can make or break their chances of getting an interview.

This is why we’ve put together this guide. Follow these seven steps and you’ll soon have a resume that will grab the attention of hiring managers – no matter what position you’re applying for.

Table of Contents

Step #1 – organize your work experience section, step #2 – format the job information correctly, step #3 – use bullet points, step #4 – start each bullet point with an action verb, step #5 – list accomplishments as well as duties, step #6 – use numbers and metrics, step #7 – tailor your work experience to the job, how to make a resume with no work experience, show your career trajectory on your resume, key takeaways.

Use Jobscan’s free ATS-friendly resume templates and start building your resume that gets noticed by recruiters!

make my work experience

Did you know that when you submit your resume to most companies, it does NOT go to a human being? Instead, it goes directly into a computer database called an ATS, or applicant tracking system. 

An ATS is a software program that manages the entire hiring process, from sourcing candidates to tracking applicants and scheduling interviews.

This means that your work history should be formatted so an ATS can easily read and understand it. (Don’t worry – we’ll tell you exactly how to do this).

We’ll start with how to organize your work history. 

Both ATS and humans like your work experience to appear in reverse chronological order. This means your latest job should appear first, at the top of the section, followed by your second-to-last job, etc….

This order allows potential employers to quickly spot your most recent job while getting a sense of the progression of your career over time.

Here’s an example of a work experience section in reverse chronological order:

Work experience section of a resume.

PRO TIP: Stick to a traditional heading like “Work Experience” instead of more creative headers like “Where I’ve Been,” which will cause the ATS to organize your data incorrectly.

Before you start describing your job responsibilities, you need to list the following information about each job first:

  • Company name and location – Include the full name of the company you worked for followed by the city and state of its location. You don’t need to describe what the company did. 
  • Job title – Be as specific as possible to ensure that employers know exactly what your role was within the company.
  • Start and end dates – To make sure the dates can be properly read by an ATS, use the MM/YYYY format. 

Below is an example of how this information should look on a resume. We recommend this format because it can easily be read by an ATS:

make my work experience

The key thing is to present your information consistently throughout your entire work experience section. If you’re not consistent it can hurt your chances of getting an interview. 

“The quality of presentation tells me something about you,” one healthcare recruiter told Jobscan. 

Pro Tip: Always Include the month as well as the year for your start and end dates so the ATS can read your information properly.

Now it’s time to get into the details of each job you’ve held. To do this, use bullet points . Recruiters tend to skim through resumes and bullet points are a great way to make it easier for them to do that.

Use four to eight bullet points. Each bullet point should include a job responsibility and/or an accomplishment. Here’s an example:

Bullet points from a work experience section of a resume.

The goal is to be concise but provide enough information for a potential employer to get an idea of your experience, skills, and capabilities.

Pro Tip: Watch out for typos! Nearly 60% of hiring managers will reject a resume because of poor grammar or a spelling error.

Always try to start each bullet point with an action verb , such as “Developed”, “Managed”, or “Created”. These verbs paint a clearer picture of your area of expertise and increase the overall impact of your resume.

Many people make the mistake of using the word “was” in their bullet points. For example, “Was responsible for warehouse safety.” 

Try not to do this. Instead, use an action verb or two, such as “ Researched and implemented new warehouse safety standards.” This makes you look like a more confident and capable candidate.

Here are examples of bullet points that begin with an action verb:

  • Processed 100 tickets per day and effectively handled incoming correspondence.
  • Managed multi-line phone system and provided administrative support.
  • Organized large meetings for cross-functional events on- and off-site.
Pro Tip: Don’t rely on cliches! Over 50% of hiring managers will reject a resume if it has too many cliches.

A lot of people use the work experience section to list their job duties or responsibilities. These are the tasks that you’re expected to perform as part of your job. They include things like:

  • Answering phones
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Taking inventory
  • Maintaining records
  • Training employees

Listing your job duties gives potential employers an idea of what you did, but it doesn’t indicate how well you did it.  

To show employers how well you did your job, use your bullet points to highlight specific accomplishments . 

Instead of saying ,

“Managed a team of 10 customer service representatives.”

Try saying,

“Managed a team of 10 customer service representatives, resulting in a 20% reduction in customer wait time and an improvement in first-call resolution rate by 15%.”

No matter what type of job you had, it is essential to focus on the specific results of your efforts in order to clearly convey the value you provide for employers. 

See 67 Resume Accomplishments Examples to Demonstrate Your Value .

Pro Tip: Don’t get hung up on every last job duty; put more emphasis on your most transferrable work experience and skills. 

Whenever possible, try to use numbers and metrics to describe your accomplishments. These clearly demonstrate the impact your work had on the business. 

Dollar amounts, timespans, and percentages are all great ways to quantify your accomplishments on a resume.

Here are some examples of how to use numbers on a resume:

  • Maintained a 97% satisfaction rating over a 24-month period as a customer care representative.
  • Fulfilled over 4,500 warehouse orders with a 98% accuracy rate and 100% safety record over a 12-month period.
  • Created a company culture initiative that raised employee satisfaction rates by 25% YoY.
  • Cut data processing time by 50% by building a new cloud data infrastructure, leading to more timely insights.
  • Grew email subscriber list from 300 to 2,000 in 8 months without expanding the monthly budget.

For more examples, explore our library of resume examples for any profession.

Pro Tip: There are many situations where you can’t quantify an accomplishment and some cases where you shouldn’t even try. So only use numbers and metrics when it makes sense to do so!

Do you send out the exact same resume with every single job application? That’s what most people do, and it’s a big mistake.

Instead, you should try to tailor each resume to the specific job you are applying for. 

Tailoring your resume has become even more important these days. This is because so many companies use ATS to help filter the hundreds of resumes they receive for each job opening.

When hiring managers want to find good job candidates, they search the ATS database by typing in words and phrases (known as keywords) taken from the job description. If your resume contains these keywords, then it’s more likely to appear before the hiring manager.

If your resume does not contain keywords from the job description, it will remain in the database. That’s why you need to constantly refer to the job description when writing your work experience section.

Here’s an example of a job description with some important keywords underlined.

Accountant Job Description

If you were applying for this job, you would want your resume to include as many of these underlined keywords as possible (but don’t lie). 

Most job seekers use the same resume again and again because it’s easy . But it’s also ineffective . Take the time to tailor each and every resume and you’ll see much better results with your job search.

To simplify this process, use Jobscan’s resume scanner . It analyzes your resume against job listings and provides you with a score that tells you how well your resume matches the job description. By increasing your score you’ll increase your chances of getting a job interview!

If you’re a recent graduate or are just starting out in your career, you probably don’t have a lot of work experience. That’s OK. Employers don’t expect much experience if you’re applying for an entry-level job. 

The good news is there are still things you can add to your work experience to make it stand out. These include special skills or talents that are related to the job you’re applying for.

What are your hobbies? What are things you’re good at? Sit down and make a list of things you’ve done and what skills you used. 

Examples include computer programming, foreign languages, music, sports, fixing cars, art, writing, etc… You should also include any relevant volunteer work or internships.

Also, make sure to list any awards, honors, or recognitions that you may have received during your academic career or while working in other roles. Employers are always impressed by individuals who have achieved something special.

Read the full guide : How to Write a Resume with No Experience

Pro Tip: Don’t list everything you’ve ever done on your resume. Stick to things that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

NOTE : If you’re building your resume from scratch, try Jobscan’s free resume builder . There are no hidden costs and it allows you to build an ATS-compatible AI resume in no time!

Ideally, your work experience section should tell a story about your professional career. Hiring managers like to see how your experience has shaped you into the professional you are today.

“I’m looking for the logic of why you went from this job to the next job,” a corporate recruiter told Jobscan. “When we make that initial presentation email to the hiring manager, we also include a bio paragraph that goes over their career– where they started, how often they moved up, where they moved to, trying to really create a narrative .”

To create an effective narrative, focus on how your job responsibilities have increased over the years. You can also highlight any promotions you have received.

For example, if you started out as a customer service representative and eventually moved up to technical support manager, you should emphasize the growth in your job responsibilities. 

Your resume summary is a great place to emphasize your growth. Here’s an example:

“Seasoned professional with a progression from Customer Service Representative to Technical Support Manager, demonstrating significant growth in expertise and leadership responsibilities. Proven track record of enhancing team performance and customer satisfaction in fast-paced environments.”

If your resume tells a memorable story, hiring managers will be much more likely to call you in for an interview.

Read more : How to Write a Resume for Today’s Job Market

jobscan has helped over 1 million users build and optimize their resume

When it comes to your resume, quality matters more than quantity. It’s better to have fewer jobs on your resume that are well-described and demonstrate your relevant skills and experiences than a long list of jobs without any detail or context. Generally speaking, you should aim to have three to seven job listings in your work experience section.

You only need to go into full detail about your most recent two or three jobs. Then go into less detail the further back you go. Your oldest job listings (those more than 15 years ago) should only include the company you worked for, your role, and your dates of employment.

Employment gaps on a resume can matter to some employers. Gaps may raise questions and prompt further inquiry during the hiring process. The longer the gap, the more attention it may attract. Short gaps of a few months are generally more acceptable and can often be explained easily. However, extended gaps of several years may raise concerns for employers. Pro Tip: If you have gaps in your work history, you can explain why in your cover letter or in the job interview.

Yes, you can include volunteer work under work experience, especially if it is relevant to the position you are applying for. When listing volunteer work, follow a similar format as you would for paid employment.

Let’s quickly review what we’ve learned:

  • The work experience section is the most important part of your resume. Spend quality time working on it.
  • Your work experience should appear in reverse chronological order , from last to first.
  • Every entry should include the company name and location, your job title, and your start and end dates. 
  • Use bullet points to describe your duties and accomplishments.
  • Each bullet point should start with an action verb .
  • Be sure to list accomplishments as well as job duties. 
  • Use numbers and metrics (when relevant) to make your accomplishments stand out.
  • Use color for your section headings to enhance your resume.
  • Tailor each resume to the job you’re applying for.
  • Include 3 to 7 job listings in your work experience section.
  • Try to use the work experience section to tell the story of your professional experience.
  • Set your resume margins at one inch on all sides.

More expert insights on this topic:

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75+ Free Certifications to Help You Land Your Dream Job

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4 Ways to Write a Resume Skills Section (with Examples)

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How to Format Your Resume Education Section

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Robert Henderson, CPRW, is a career advice writer and a resume expert at Jobscan.

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How to Describe Your Work Experience Sample

Quick Navigation:

What is the work experience section for?

What accomplishments should be listed, what skills should be listed, what other details should be included, examples of work experience.

The work experience section is an important aspect of an effective resume because it showcases your skills in action and highlights your professional accomplishments. This section should be descriptive and compelling as it details your previous experience relative to the specific job you’re applying for. Learn how to describe your work experience with sample entries showcasing all the best features required for an effective work experience section.

The work experience section is where you list your most relevant previous roles to show employers your employment history and career development. This section gives hiring managers an idea of where you’ve been and how you got to this point in your career. It also enables you to describe how you performed in your previous roles and what skills and experiences set you apart from other candidates.

For each entry in your work experience section, you should include your official job title, your dates of employment, the employer’s location and a list of the key responsibilities and achievements you had. You can use bullet points when listing your responsibilities and achievements to help prospective employers quickly review and understand each entry. Having an easy-to-read and descriptive work experience section can help employers determine your suitability for the role and see what unique qualifications you have to offer.

Determining what accomplishments you should include in your job descriptions can be a challenge, but it’s best to mention accomplishments that are relevant for the job you’re applying for before other accomplishments. There’s a general rule in resume crafting in which you always want to put the most important information first, and anything that specifically and directly details how well you will fit the job you’re applying for is going to be the most important. 

Imagine you’re applying for a job as a project manager and you already have some experience in the position. To show off your accomplishments, you’ll want to begin with the biggest project you’ve successfully managed along with its results. Generally speaking, your most important accomplishment in any position should take priority within the job description.

In the most popular and useful resume formats, skills are listed in a separate section. Typically, the skills section includes a comprehensive list of all the skills you have that would be relevant to the job. Often, these skills are described using single words or phrases such as ‘leadership’ or ‘critical thinking.’ Be sure to consider all of the relevant hard and soft skills.

Since skills can be listed in their own separate section, it takes a bit of finesse to include them in your work experience section. Just remember that finesse doesn’t mean you have to be overly clever. You can mention skills directly, but you just have to tie them to a relevant accomplishment. 

To get the most out of your work experience section and make your resume stand out from other applicants, there are several factors you’ll want to include in addition to accomplishments and the application of skills. 

Here are some details you’ll want to include in your resume when possible:

  • Any awards or special recognition you received as a direct result of your accomplishments or performance in a particular job
  • Actual data represented by numbers and figures as demonstrated in the above samples to quantify your accomplishments
  • Begin descriptions with strong and varied verbs to make each bullet point in your job experience description unique and powerful
  • Use the present tense when describing ongoing responsibilities in your current job and the past tense for everything else

Be sure to include details from the most relevant professional roles you’ve had to show a hiring manager how your experience makes you uniquely suitable for the role. 

To get a better understanding of how to describe work experience, it’s helpful to have effective samples to reference. 

Here are some well-crafted examples of work experience that feature all the necessary accomplishments and skills included:

Project Manager example

Czerka Hospital, May 2014 – March 2019

  • Facilitated the implementation of the Quality Training Project for all employees which cut training costs by 28% after six months
  • Oversaw Supply Reorganization Project which reduced breakage costs of stockroom supplies by 71%
  • Led team of 15+ people in Front End Revamp Project to design and implement a new system that decreased the frequency of reception errors by 48%
  • Partnered with local area hospitals to gather data on wait times and patient satisfaction to determine areas for improvement in the Quick and Quality project and improved satisfaction by 41%

Senior Programmer example

Computech, June 2017- October  2019

  • Created a tool for test automation that reduced program testing time by 48% increasing productivity across the department
  • Interviewed, hired and trained over 12 junior programmers with virtually no turnover as the company increased the size of the department throughout 2018
  • Collaborated with data analysis department team members to design project requirements in accordance with company goals and allotted budget
  • Met with technical staff, analysts, senior executives and stakeholders in meetings to discuss the state of the company with meticulously crafted presentations featuring relevant quantitative data

Customer Service Representative example

DB Industries, January 2016 – October  2018

  • Received and answered 100+ calls daily and helped customers with signing up for services and products, data retrieval, answering questions about products and canceling services
  • Earned a favorable customer satisfaction rating from 93% of customers surveyed, which is 11% higher than the overall company average
  • Used advanced sales tactics to persuade customers seeking to cancel their services to reconsider, which reduced the overall number of cancellations by 8% over 6 months
  • Trained new employees on how to navigate the database to efficiently retrieve relevant customer information and input new data accurately and consistently

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  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • Work Experience for a Resume:...

Work Experience for a Resume: How to Add it to Get Hired

14 min read · Updated on June 12, 2024

Jen David

Present your work experience well and you'll blow other applicants out of the water!

For most professionals, the Work Experience section of their resme will be the most important part of their most important career document. This is the part that proves to a hiring manager that you have the knowledge, background, and experience to excel. But, given that it carries so much weight, how can you write and format it for maximum impact?

In this article, we'll examine how to lay out your resume work experience section, what to include, and how to word it. There are plenty of examples too, so that you can visualize how your resume could look. In short, we'll give you the crib sheet that teaches you how to produce a stellar resume that gets noticed for all the right reasons.

Where should I position my resume work experience?

While your work experience is likely to make up the bulk of your resume, that doesn't mean you should put it right at the top. Start with your contact details and headline , followed by a profile summary and your key skills .

Then, you have a decision to make. If you're a recent graduate , or you're aiming for your first job, your qualifications are probably more impressive than any work experience you have. Therefore, put your qualifications section directly under the key skills and position any work experience you have underneath that.

If you're established in your career, however, it's your professional experience that should take center stage. Relegate your qualifications to the bottom of the resume and promote your work experience to start just below your skills.

Pro tip: When you're writing a resume, put yourself in the mind of your reader. Make sure it's easy for them to find the most impressive and relevant information!

How to lay out your resume work experience

First things first – you need to create a basic layout for your resume work experience that you can then replicate for every role. You'll need the following elements:

Section heading

To ensure your resume is easy to navigate, begin with the section heading. You can choose from any of the following:

Work experience

Professional experience

Career history

Career summary

The heading should be in a larger font than the body of the text, so that a reader can immediately identify and jump to the section they're interested in.

Next up, you'll need a subheading for every role you've held over the last 10-15 years. Within that subheading, include:

Your job title. Ideally use your official job title, but if you're going for a similar role with a slightly different title, it's fine to tweak it, or to put the target job title in brackets. The key point is that the job title should accurately reflect what the job actually entails.

The name of your employer. Use their formal name, e.g. “Ford Motor Company” rather than just “Ford.”

The start and end dates of your employment. Just month and year will do – or even just year if you've held each role for a long time. Keep the format consistent, whether you chose “12/2023” or  “Dec 2023” or “December 2023.”

The location. Add the state or country you worked in, unless you've always worked, and will continue to work, locally - in which case location is less important.

When you've laid out this sub-heading, duplicate it for every role so that you have a uniform presentation that looks professional.

Role and responsibilities

Below the sub-heading for every role, you'll need to briefly explain your overall role and responsibilities. You don't need to go into much detail on this – 3 to 4 lines or bullet points should be plenty. The key here is to ensure that someone from outside the company, or someone unfamiliar with the role, can immediately understand what you were employed to do. Quantify whatever information you can, so that the reader can understand the scope of your duties, too.

Achievements

Now we come to the star attraction of your resume work experience section – your achievements! Aim to list a minimum of 3 achievements for every role you've held over the last 10-15 years. Remember, an achievement in this context doesn't mean something personal to you, such as learning to use new computer software. It means a benefit you've delivered to the company.

Start every achievement with a dynamic verb , such as reduced, exceeded, improved, increased, won… the options are endless. Again, quantify everything you can so that the hiring manager can appreciate the impact you've had on the business.

Which work experience is listed first on a resume?

Always write your resume work experience in reverse chronological order – that means your current (or latest) job first, working backwards in time as you go down the page. By doing that, your most recent, high-level, and impressive experience will be the first thing the reader sees.

Resume work experience example

Let's put all that together to see how it works:

Professional Experience

Head of IT                                                                                                                       May 2015 – date

Big Business Inc.

Led a team of 25 Software Engineers and controlled a $30million annual budget to provide IT services to 5,000 users across 15 locations. Directed transformation projects and contributed as a key member of the senior leadership team.

Key achievements

Enabled $5million of savings by overseeing a project to implement a time management system for 2,500 staff

Reduced average support resolution times by 20% by upskilling and expanding the team

Reduced printing costs by $30,000 per year by renegotiating contracts with suppliers

Senior Systems Engineer                                                                                      Jan 2013 – May 2015

Small Business Inc.

Held full accountability for all IT requirements in 3 UK offices, supported 50 users and managed a portfolio of IT projects.

Improved data retention and retrieval by 4 hours per request by transitioning from tape to cloud back-up

Won Manager of the Year for 2 consecutive years

As you can see, the focus of the resume work experience section here is on the value added to the business. By quantifying the scope of the role and the achievements, it's easy for the reader to understand this person's previous experience and how they can make a positive impact in the role.

How much work experience do I put on my resume?

As you'll have seen above, we recommend using this resume work experience format for all the roles you've held in the last 10-15 years. That doesn't mean any earlier work experience is useless and should be discarded! No, it just means that this level of detail isn't required.

Recruiters are usually most interested in your most recent experience. Earlier roles can simply be summarized in an Early Career section, giving just job title, employer name, and years of employment (you can omit the years, or even your earliest jobs, if you're concerned about age discrimination).

Similarly, if you've held many roles in the last 10-15 years, you may want to change the cut-off point to 8-10 years. A resume is flexible! Its job is to show your suitability for the role, so if you're repeating yourself or adding less relevant information, you can start summarizing sooner – it will benefit both you and your reader. As a general rule of thumb, 4-5 roles in detail is usually plenty.

How to write a resume with no work experience

Everyone has to start somewhere! If you haven't started your first job yet, that doesn't mean you can't write an impressive resume . Consider these options:

Include volunteering. If you've worked in a voluntary position , that's ideal – your resume work experience can relate to both paid and unpaid work. Present your volunteering experience the same way you'd present paid experience, as we outlined above.

Create a skills-based resume. If you have no work experience to add, you can create a skills-based resume. Add sub-headings for your relevant skills, with bullets underneath giving examples of when you've used each skill (preferably outcome-oriented).

Leverage school and college experience. Were you the Captain of a sports team? Secretary of a society? Mentor for other students? Pet-sitter? If you lack professional experience, you can draw from every other area of your life to demonstrate to a hiring manager that you have the experience and attitude to succeed in their vacant position.

If you're worried that the work experience section on your resume is a bit light at the moment, now's the perfect time to get out there and beef it up. Ask neighbors if they need a babysitter, volunteer to tutor younger students, help out the elderly lady across the street – get creative in finding ways to build up this part of your resume!

Resume example for students with no work experience

The work experience section of a resume for students with no work experience could look like this:

Work Experience

College  Ambassador at XYZ College (ad hoc)                                                    2022 - 2023

Represented the Computer Science course as a subject ambassador, speaking with prospective students and parents about the course and the college. Answered questions politely and shared relevant information, with the course being over-subscribed following every open evening.

Assistant Golf Coach at ABC Golf Club (part time)                                           2022 - 2023

Assisted with coaching junior players aged from 9-15. Drove golf carts safely and with consideration for other players. Enabled players to progress, improve their skills and enjoy a new sport, resulting in additional memberships at the club.

How to tailor your resume work experience

Now that you've written your resume work experience section, you're ready to start job-hunting. But wait! Don't just fire off your master resume to every vacant job! You may have spent time perfecting the layout and the wording, but there's one final step before you hit send.

With the job posting in front of you, you'll need to tailor your resume work experience to your target role. What does that mean? Well, go through the advert and highlight the key requirements for the role, then make sure they're reflected back, very clearly, within your resume. Aim to use the exact words you've highlighted, so that your resume pops up when recruiters carry out a keyword search.

For example, you may notice that the role requires someone who can code in C#, but your resume currently states “programming.” Changing that one word to “coding in C#” aligns your resume better with the role requirements. Do this with every point you've highlighted and watch your resume fly to the top of the pile!

Resume work experience FAQs

Pulling together your resume work experience can be tricky, so we've pulled the most common questions together to make it easier for you.

Do employment gaps on a resume matter?

Employment gaps are a perfectly normal part of life, so embrace the gap! If you've had a break longer than a few months, though, it may help to positively (but briefly) address the gap on your resume. Here are some suggestions on how you could do that:

2020 – 2023 – Planned career break to raise a family

2018 – 2019 – Career break due to redundancy: time spent pursuing an online course and completing home renovations

2023 – 2024 – Career break due to illness: now fully recovered and fit to return to full-time work 

Should I include work experience that's not relevant to my target job?

Sometimes, life can blow you in unexpected directions. If you've had a role that doesn't align with your current career aspirations, it need not be a problem. Consider these suggestions:

Eliminate the role. If taking the role off the resume won't leave a gaping and unexplained hole, you can simply remove it, no questions asked.

Minimize the role. If removing the role would raise unnecessary questions, include it – briefly. Keep the same sub-headings as usual, but don't dedicate more than a line or two to your responsibilities and achievements, just mention the job and move on.

Reframe the role. Rather than focusing on the irrelevant aspects of the role, just write about the transferable parts.

Can you include volunteer experience?

Absolutely! Volunteering is generally very positively viewed. We described above how a student with no work experience can include volunteering on their resume, but what if you have a solid career already? You have four options here:

Use it to cover a gap. Volunteering can be used to cover a gap in your resume if you include it as part of your work experience section. Treat it as you would a paid role.

Create a volunteering section. If your voluntary work uses relevant skills that aren't coming through elsewhere on your resume, create a separate volunteering section, laid out in the same way as the work experience section. While you won't want to go into such great detail, it gives you the opportunity to highlight information that would otherwise go unmentioned.

Add a brief one-liner. If your volunteering doesn't add any relevant skills or experience, but you still want to mention it, you can add a brief line in your Further Details section – that's where you can include any information to support your candidacy that doesn't fit neatly anywhere else – for example, foreign language proficiency.

Ignore it. There's no obligation to include volunteering on your resume, so if you don't think it adds any value, just leave it off!

Can I leave jobs off my resume?

There are certain situations where it's acceptable to leave jobs off your resume. We mentioned irrelevant jobs above, but you may want to leave them off for other reasons. If you held a job back in the eighties, for example, it probably has very little relevance to your career today. A resume is a sales brochure, not a life story, so there's no harm leaving off outdated experience.

What if you were fired, or left on bad terms? Well, ideally a resume wouldn't have an unexplained gap on it, so you can either include it and hope they aren't asked to provide a reference, or you can take it off and find another brief way to explain the gap. The shorter the time in the role, the easier this will be!

Should I put a short-term job on my resume?

It's not unusual to take a stop-gap job to retain an income between permanent roles. Whether you choose to include it on your resume depends on how relevant it is to your current career aspirations. If it's relevant, there's no harm in including it. You could emphasize that it was a “short term contract” or “maternity cover” to pre-empt questions. If it's not relevant, however, you can pick the most suitable option above where we discuss irrelevant work experience.

How can I show a promotion on a resume?

Congratulations on your promotion, it's definitely resume-worthy! A promotion shows that you've performed well and received recognition from your superiors, and that's definitely something a hiring manager will want to know. Make sure that you include the company name within the sub-heading of every role, as that way any reader will be able to trace your progress within the business. 

You may also want to add a line into your achievements section, if there was a particular reason for your promotion – for example, “Achieved selection into a more senior role having reduced customer complaints by 50% in just 6 months.”

How do I list an internship?

An internship can be included just like any other paid, permanent role. Include the same details and focus on the experience you gained and any value you added to the business.

A little effort now can get you far

The work experience part of your resume is arguably the hardest part to write, but it can have a great impact if it's done well. By following our guidelines on including resume work experience, you'll soon have a resume to be proud of that opens doors for you.

Want to check you're hitting the right notes? Why not submit your resume for a free resume review by our experts? They'll make sure you're hitting all the right notes before you apply for your dream job.

Recommended reading:

9 Soft Skills Employers Want

How to List Education on Your Resume (with Examples)

How to Write a Targeted Resume That Lands You an Interview

Related Articles:

Do Hiring Managers Actually Read Cover Letters?

How to Create a Resume With No Education

Why You Lose When You Lie on Your Resume: Learning From Mina Chang

See how your resume stacks up.

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How to List Work Experience on Your Resume – A Guide with Examples

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In This Guide:

What is a resume work experience section, how do i add experience to my resume, where to list work experience on your resume, how to format your work experience (with template), how to describe work experience on a resume, how to choose the right resume format, how many years of work experience should be on a resume, what should i do if i have a gap in employment, tips on writing a powerful resume experience section, key takeaways.

Resume image 1

R esume work experience almost always needs to be presented in reverse chronological order—starting with your most recent position and working backward.

Each entry needs to include the basics: company name and location; job title; start and end dates. It’s also essential to include bullet points describing your duties and responsibilities.

Finally, never underestimate the power of action verbs and quantifying your accomplishments.

Crafting the perfect resume experience section  can be challenging, especially when deciding how to describe work history  effectively. Almost everyone struggles with selecting the right work experience examples  that highlight their skills and accomplishments. The key is to showcase your professional past in a way that resonates with potential employers.

A we ll-structured resume work experience example s houldn’t only detail your previous roles but also emphasize the impact of your contributions. By accurately featuring yo ur work experience, yo u enhance your chances of catching a recruiter's eye and securing your next job opportunity.

We guarantee that by the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of this particular resume section and be able to do the following:

  • Study and use a plethora of real work experience examples to help visualize your target.
  • Easily produce an effective entry that conveys all the essential elements.
  • Be able to recognize and correctly choose which format is best for the specific job you’re applying for.
  • Understand what exactly needs to be included in your work listing.
  • Tips on writing a more powerful and convincing experience section.
  • How to properly describe and convey your achievements and responsibilities in an impactful way.

Let’s begin by looking at what exactly we are trying to craft.

Improve your resume experience section!

Drop your resume here or choose a file . PDF & DOCX only. Max 2MB file size.

The work experience section is arguably the most critical part of a resume, serving as the focal point for recruiters and hiring managers alike. This segment outlines your professional history and highlights your achievements in previous roles. It encompasses paid and unpaid roles, including full-time positions, part-time jobs, internships, volunteer work, and freelance projects, essentially any role where you've applied and honed your skills in a professional context.

What to put for experience on a resume involves carefully  tailoring your selection  of relevant positions that illustrate your qualifications and readiness for the new role you're applying for. This means not just listing your duties, but focusing on quantifiable achievements and how you've contributed to past organizations.

For instance, highlight the wins you had, like projects you nailed, teams you led, sales records you broke, or any process you made better—outcomes that provide concrete evidence of your capabilities.

Including different types of work experience is all about painting a picture of how you've grown and what you bring to the table. It's not just about what you've done, but how you've made a difference, underscoring why the experience section plays such a pivotal role in your resume.

But what exactly should you include?

Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you.

Aldous Huxley

Your resume work experience section refers to your professional background in employment.

For all professional experience sections, you need to include your previous:

  • Role and responsibilities
  • Skills and accomplishments
  • Company names
  • Dates you’ve worked

If you’re worrying about what to write in a resume for work experience, let us just quickly calm those nerves. Just remember to stick to reverse chronological order, presenting your most recent job first  to emphasize your career progression.

Also, try starting each point with action verbs  to animate your roles and achievements vividly—recruiters love that!

make my work experience

The ideal location for your work experience section is immediately following your resume summary  or objective statement . This gives it a prominent position that ensures it’ll catch the eye of the hiring manager.

Deciding which work experience is listed first on a resume is easy—it’s the job you just left or perhaps are still working at  and then you work your way back.

For a standout resume experience format , begin your entry by listing the company name, your position/title, employment dates, and the location. Including a brief company description is optional but can provide context, especially if the company isn't widely known—whatever you choose, be sure to be consistent.

The bullet points under each role are crucial; this is a job description  where you should focus on quantifying your impact and showcasing your achievements using action verbs. Aim for 4-6 bullets per position, starting each with a dynamic action verb.

Ensure that you quantify as many of your achievements as possible (e.g., "Increased sales by 20%") to provide concrete evidence of your impact. This approach not only makes your contributions clear but also demonstrates the value you brought to the position.

Remember, how to format work experience on a resume is about making your contributions and achievements easily accessible, so use concise, impactful language and keep your bullet points focused and relevant.

The best way to demonstrate this is by showing you a couple of examples. You can find below an example of an experience entry that you would do well avoiding. Check it out:

  • • Duties included cashiering, helping customers, stocking shelves.

As you can see this work history section needs a boost. It would be a good idea to swap "Duties included" for lively action verbs like "Managed" or "Assisted." Also, adding some numbers to show off their impact, like boosting checkout speed by 30%, would drastically improve this entry. Another thing that they should’ve done is to be more clear about how they helped customers or improved stocking methods.

A few tweaks could definitely make this resume shine! Let’s rewrite it in a manner that could actually help the candidate land the job.

Here’s the new and improved work experience listing:

  • • Managed transactions for up to 200 customers daily, ensuring a smooth and efficient checkout process.
  • • Assisted customers by providing detailed product information and resolving inquiries, enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • • Coordinated shelf stocking and organized product displays, contributing to a 15% increase in-store efficiency.

We transformed the work experience section by swapping "Duties included" for dynamic verbs like "Managed" and "Coordinated," highlighting proactive roles and leadership. By quantifying achievements—like handling 200 transactions daily and boosting store efficiency by 15%—and adding specific details on enhancing customer satisfaction, we've crafted a vivid, impactful snapshot of skills and contributions.

Here’s a template you can use to help guide you while listing your experience on your next resume:

Resume work experience section template:

[Job title]

[Company name in smaller font]

[Location - optional]

[Company description]

  • [Bullet points detailing your accomplishments and job duties –– between 3 and 6 for each job you’ve held]

While writing your bullets, remember these four things:

Action verbs

  • Use numbers and quantify
  • Detail your achievements and responsibilities
  • Be concise and impactful

Let’s continue with the topic of experience and achievements. Next, we’ll explore exactly how to format these sentences, use the right action words, and the best way to quantify your accomplishments.

When writing the work experience section of your resume, start each sentence with a strong action verb  to immediately capture the reader's attention. This approach showcases your role as an active contributor and leader in your previous positions. For example, instead of saying "Responsible for managing a team," you could say "Managed a team of 10, leading to a 20% increase in productivity." This not only demonstrates what you did (managed a team) but also quantifies your achievement (20% productivity increase).

Quantifying

Quantifying accomplishments provides concrete evidence of your impact and showcases your ability to deliver results. Try to include numbers, percentages, or other measurable outcomes whenever possible. For instance, "Increased sales by 15% through strategic marketing campaigns" gives a clear picture of your effectiveness and contribution.

For formatting sentences, aim for clarity and conciseness. Begin with the action verb, follow with the task you performed, and end with the result or impact of your action, quantifying the achievement. Keeping this structure consistent throughout your work experience entries will create a streamlined, easy-to-read section that clearly communicates your professional value.

Tailored content

When pondering how to write work experience in a resume, it's crucial to tailor your bullets to the job you're applying for, emphasizing the experiences and achievements most relevant to the position.

Prioritize work experience that aligns closely with the job you're applying for, highlighting roles where you've developed relevant skills or achieved significant accomplishments. This targeted approach  demonstrates your suitability and potential value to prospective employers.

How to decide what experience is relevant and what isn’t?

Determining if work experience is relevant  to your resume involves aligning your past roles and achievements with the requirements of the job you're applying for. Here are tips on how to tailor your resume effectively:

  • Analyze the job description: Start by thoroughly reading the job listing. Note the skills, experiences, and qualifications that are emphasized. These are your clues to what the employer values most.
  • Match your experience: Look at your own work history and identify which roles and accomplishments directly relate to the job description’s requirements. Focus on experiences where you've used the skills listed as necessary for the new position.
  • Highlight transferable skills:  Some of your experiences may not be directly related but have transferable skills that are valuable for the job. For example, if you’re applying for a project management role and you’ve led a team or coordinated a project, even in a different industry, that experience is relevant.
  • Use keywords from the job description: Incorporate language and keywords  from the job description into your resume. This not only shows that your experience aligns with the role but also helps your resume get past automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) that many companies use.
  • Be selective:  You don’t need to list every job you’ve ever had. Focus on the roles that demonstrate you have the skills and experience to excel in the job you’re applying for.

Remember, a tailored resume is much more likely to catch the attention of hiring managers and show that you're a strong candidate for the position.

Deciding on the right resume format hinges on your career history, skills, and the type of job you're applying for. Among the main formats—reverse chronological, combination, and functional—each serves a distinct purpose, while all other formats are considered outdated in today's job market. Here's how to choose:

  • Reverse chronological format :  This is the most traditional and widely accepted format. It lists your work history starting with your most recent job and working backward. It's ideal if you have a steady work history and want to emphasize your upward career trajectory. This format is especially beneficial when applying to roles that require extensive experience in a specific field.
  • Combination or hybrid format :  This combines elements of both the chronological and functional resumes. It highlights your skills and achievements at the top, followed by your work history in reverse chronological order. This format is suitable if you're aiming to change careers, have gaps in your employment, or possess a diverse set of skills and experiences that are relevant to the job.
  • Functional format :  This format focuses on your skills and experiences rather than your job history. It's organized by skill categories rather than employment history and is best suited for individuals with gaps in their employment, those changing careers, or if you're new to the workforce.

Your choice should strategically highlight your strengths and match the expectations of your target role, ensuring your resume stands out for the right reasons.

The work experience section of your resume should ideally go back 10 to 15 years . This timeframe allows you to showcase your most relevant and recent experience without overwhelming the reader with too much information. Older positions can be included if they are particularly relevant to the job you're applying for, but it's often unnecessary to detail every role beyond the last decade or so.

Also, choose how many jobs you list  wisely. Don’t include 15 different jobs—focus on positions that directly relate to the target role. Prioritize quality over quantity, ensuring each listed job adds value to your candidacy.

Handling employment gaps on your resume  can be tricky, but it's essential to approach them thoughtfully and strategically. Here's how to manage and communicate employment gaps:

  • Don’t highlight gaps on your resume : Your resume is a marketing document meant to highlight your strengths. You don't need to explicitly point out employment gaps here. Focus on your experiences, skills, and achievements.
  • Use a functional or combination resume format:  Instead of the traditional chronological resume, consider a functional or combination format. These emphasize skills and accomplishments up front, rather than the timeline of your employment history. This approach can help draw less attention to the gaps.
  • Include other relevant experiences:  If you were doing something relevant during your gap period, such as volunteering , freelancing, studying, or undertaking any personal projects  related to your field, include these experiences on your resume. Present them similarly to how you would list a job, focusing on skills  gained and contributions made.
  • Be prepared to discuss the gap in your cover letter and interviews: While you don't need to explain employment gaps on your resume, you can address them briefly in your cover letter  if it adds valuable context to your application. Be prepared to discuss the gap openly and positively in interviews, and focus on what you learned or how you grew during that time.
  • Stay positive and focus on the future:  When discussing employment gaps, maintain a positive tone and focus on your eagerness and readiness to return to work. Emphasize that your experiences during the gap have prepared you for the next step in your career.
  • Honesty is key:  If asked about an employment gap, be honest but succinct in your explanation. You don't need to go into personal details. A simple explanation like "I took time off for family reasons, but I'm excited to bring my skills and experiences to this role" is sufficient.

Employment gaps are more common than ever and are becoming less of a stigma, especially due to reasons like personal health, family obligations, or the recent global changes impacting employment. Most employers understand that career paths aren't always linear, so focus on demonstrating your value and readiness for the role you're applying for.

Here are some final resume tips  that could help you create that powerful, successful resume you’ve been hunting for:

Choose an organized template

Selecting a clear, professional template for your resume  can make a significant difference. It helps highlight your experience section effectively, ensuring that recruiters can easily scan through and understand your career progression and accomplishments. A well-structured template with distinct headings and a logical flow from one section to the next sets a strong first impression.

Address the needs of the employer

Tailor your experience section to meet the specific requirements and preferences of the employer. Closely read the job description and emphasize the parts of your work history that match with what they’re looking for. By mirroring the language of the job listing and focusing on relevant experiences, you demonstrate that you aren’t just qualified but also attentive and responsive to the employer’s needs.

Keep it brief

Aim to convey the essence of your roles and achievements without overwhelming the reader with too much information. For each position, include a few bullet points that highlight your key responsibilities and accomplishments, using quantifiable results whenever possible. This approach guarantees that your resume is digestible and impactful, making it easier for employers to see your value.

Check for grammatical and spelling errors

Before submitting your resume, thoroughly proofread it for any typos on your resume . Consider using tools like spell checkers or having someone else review your resume to catch errors you might have missed. A clean, error-free resume reflects your diligence and care, qualities that are highly valued in any role.

Now that we have thoroughly gone through all aspects of listing your resume work experience, you should be ready to start writing. Here are some takeaways from the article.

  • Study real examples: Use real work experience examples to visualize and craft an effective experience section on your resume.
  • Choose the right format:  Understand and choose the best resume format (reverse chronological, combination, or functional) for your specific situation, recognizing that all other formats are considered outdated.
  • Highlight relevant experience:  Tailor your resume to address the needs of the employer by focusing on relevant work experience that showcases your qualifications for the job you're applying for.
  • Use action verbs and quantify achievements:  Start bullet points with action verbs and quantify your accomplishments to clearly demonstrate your impact in previous roles.
  • Organized template:  Choose a clear, professional template to make your work experience stand out effectively.
  • Mind the details: Include essential information like company names, positions, dates, and locations, and aim for 4-6 bullet points per job that focus on your achievements and contributions.
  • Address employment gaps thoughtfully:  Strategically manage and communicate any employment gaps, focusing on the positives and how experiences during these periods have prepared you for your next role.

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Resume Work Experience: How to Write the Most Important Section on Your Resume

Kayte Grady

3 key takeaways

  • What a resume "Work Experience" section is
  • Why the "Work Experience" section is so important
  • How to write your "Work Experience" section with Teal's free Resume Builder

Your resume "Work Experience" section is the bridge that builds the connection from everything you've done professionally to all that you're capable of in your next role.

In fact, it's the most vital section for highlighting how well you're qualified for a new position.

With that in mind, how can you showcase your work history in a way that reveals depth, relevance, and impact so you can apply for your next job with credibility, clarity, and confidence?  

What is a "Work Experience" section?

The "Work Experience" or "Work History" section of your resume showcases your professional background and employment history. It offers recruiters and hiring managers a comprehensive overview of your relevant work experiences, including previous roles, companies you've worked for, responsibilities, and accomplishments.

Your work experience on a resume typically follows your contact information and professional summary at the top. It helps hiring managers assess your qualifications, gauge your level of expertise, and evaluate how well you align with the requirements of the role you're applying for on a granular level.

Why resume work experience is so important

Your "Work Experience" section is the most important one on your resume because it...

  • Validates claims:  Using specific examples of your past achievements, impact, personal projects, responsibilities, and experience on a resume verifies you can and have done what you claim to—adding credibility to your qualifications and differentiating you from other applicants.
  • Demonstrates relevance:  Elements of your work history, like past professional titles and achievements at previous employers, allow a hiring manager to determine whether or not your previous roles and professional experience align with what they're looking for.
  • Shows career progression:  Have you taken on increasing levels of responsibility? Gained new skills? Executed significant accomplishments? Listing your work experiences in reverse chronological order clearly shows your career trajectory and how you've advanced. 
  • Highlights transferable skills:   Transferable skills  are those you can apply across different roles or industries (like leadership, problem-solving, or project management). Demonstrating these skills in your work experience section can make you a more flexible candidate who's capable of doing a job.
  • Supports skill matching:  Employers often use manual scanning or an applicant tracking system (ATS) to match your relevant skills and experiences to the job posting. A well-crafted "Work Experience" section that includes keywords and accomplishments from the job description can increase the chances of standing out as qualified.

Create your work experience now

Our Resume Builder  delivers one platform to write, update, analyze, and improve your resume work experience.

Build a comprehensive work history, then choose the most relevant experiences for every role you apply to.

And if you're feeling stuck, use the Achievement Assistant or generative AI to create custom, metric-driven achievements in just minutes.

When work experience matters most, present it best with Teal.

Structuring your work experience for a resume

When structuring the "Work Experience" section on a resume, there are a few formats for you to consider: a chronological resume format, a hybrid format, and a functional (or (or skills-based) resume format. The  best resume format  depends largely on your relevant work history.

A chronological resume format (also known as the reverse chronological format) is the most popular and widely recognized because it presents your work history clearly and concisely.

While most job seekers opt for reverse chronological order, a hybrid format might be worth considering if you want to draw attention to your skills.

A hybrid format emphasizes hard skills near the top of your resume—directly beneath your professional summary—then moves to work experience or other sections with relevant details. 

A functional resume or skills-based resume emphasizes skills over accomplishments and jobs; however, do your best to steer clear of this format to provide the most clarity possible and avoid confusion. 

What should resume work experience include?

Including the same information for each company for every role maintains consistency throughout your resume—presenting a clear and structured overview of your professional journey.

This basic information should include:

1. Company name

Clearly state the name of each company or organization you worked for to offer context about the work environments you have been a part of.

2. Job title

Your job title or position clarifies your level of responsibility and your role within an organization.

3. Location

Whether you made the commute to a physical office or were fully remote, this information is valuable (especially if the potential future employer is considering candidates based on proximity or remote work experience).

4. Dates of employment

The duration of your employment for each role, including the start and end dates, offers insight into the length of your experience and tenure with each company.

5. 3-5 work experience achievements per role

Each resume job description should include 3-5 achievements. These achievements should be structured as bullet points and provide tangible evidence of your success by showcasing the impact, contributions, and value you brought to an organization.

Tailoring your resume work experience to a job description

One of the most important things to remember when writing work experience for a resume is that you want to  tailor your resume  to align with the requirements of a specific job. 

Aligning your experience with each specific role emphasizes your relevant qualifications and understanding of the job description (and increases your chances of landing an interview). Try not to submit the same resume for every job you apply for.

Instead, match your resume to job descriptions to get real insights about how closely you match up to the role. Do this for every unique job.

How to customize your resume work experience

Start by researching the company and carefully studying the job description or job ad.

Then include keywords and the other important language you find in your bullet points (and in your professional summary, "Education" section, and skills, too).

Sound time-consuming? It doesn't have to be.

The Teal Job Application Tracker and Resume Maker pull the hard skills, soft skills, and other language from the job description so you can easily plug them into your resume work experiences where they have the most impact. 

Then, use Matching Mode to receive a Match Score, which assesses how closely the skills and keywords in your resume align with those in the job description.

You want your Match Score to be as close to 80% as possible. You can incorporate more keywords from a job listing into your content to improve your score—creating a targeted resume.

Resume work experience aligned with a job description

5 types of work experience for a resume

Quantifiable achievements.

Numbers and metrics (like percentages or monetary) demonstrate quantifiable impact on your resume . For example, "Exceeded sales targets by 20% with..." "Increased revenue by $500k through..." "Reduced spending by $25k after..." or "Improved efficiency by 10% as a result of... ."

Project success

Make a point to incorporate successful projects or initiatives emphasize your day-to-day responsibilities and the impact of your work. Outline the goals, challenges, and outcomes to give a more detailed look into your ability to drive results.

Process improvements

Improvements or optimizations resulting in increased productivity, cost savings, or enhanced quality illustrate problem-solving skills and your ability to foster positive change.

Leadership and team contributions

Showcasing growth and advancement by highlighting instances where you used strong leadership skills or made influential contributions to team efforts shows your ability to take on greater responsibilities and make a meaningful impact as you advance on your professional journey.

Awards and recognition

Awards, accolades, or honors you've received during your work experience offer insight into how your peers and leadership view you. This could include Employee of the Month, Team Player of the Year, or recognition for outstanding performance or contributions.

Resume work experience for non-traditional job seekers

Suppose you're a job seeker with non-traditional work experience (like freelance projects, part-time jobs, entrepreneurial ventures, exclusive summer job experience, or relevant volunteer work). In that case, you might face unique challenges when figuring out how to how to write experience in your resume that presents your qualifications in a way that helps you stand out from other candidates.

Below are some strategic elements you can include to highlight your qualifications:

Emphasize transferable skills: Focus on the key skills you gained from your non-traditional work experience that apply to your desired role.

Showcase project outcomes: Include projects in a resume or initiatives you undertook during your non-traditional work experience and emphasize the outcomes or impact achieved.

Demonstrate entrepreneurial mindset: If you were involved in entrepreneurial ventures or freelance work, emphasize your entrepreneurial mindset and showcase qualities like creativity, resourcefulness, self-motivation, and the ability to work independently.

Emphasize continuous learning: Highlight any additional courses, certifications, or workshops you've completed to enhance your skills and knowledge. This demonstrates your commitment to professional development and willingness to acquire new competencies.

How to write resume work experience

Understanding how to write work experience in a resume can make all of the difference when it comes to effectively presenting your qualifications with impact. Teal can help! Just follow the steps below to use Teal's Achievement Assistant within the Resume Builder to write your work history—quickly and effectively. 

1. If you still need to sign up, create a free Teal account .

2. Next, log in to your account and click the "Resume Builder" icon in the left navigation bar. Then, select the resume you want to work with or click "New Resume" at the top right.

Adding resume work experience

3. After that, scroll down to the "Work Experience" section. Then click "Add Work Experience."

Adding a resume work experience section

4. Now add the job you want to create achievements for. Every previous job you list (as well as your current position) should be consistent.

5. Finally, to create your achievement bullet points, you have two options. You can navigate to the Assistant tab at the top right to work through what you did, what metric you improved when, and how your action connects to your strategy.

Adding resume work experience achievements

Or just click the "Generate with AI" button.

Work experience resume examples

You understand why listing your work experience on a resume is important. You know that a hiring manager and most recruiters are looking for content tailored to the job description. You're ready to write a strong employment history that includes your most recent job, relevant past jobs, and the impact you've had in a way that lands you a job interview. So now it's time to dive into some resume accomplishment examples that'll inspire you and grab the attention of hiring managers and any prospective employer.

Junior Project

Economics Group Project 

  • Collaborated with a team of four members to develop and execute a comprehensive economics project, resulting in a remarkable achievement of 97% grade.
  • Researched and analyzed 200+ economic theories, market trends, and financial data to support project objectives and provide valuable insights.
  • Led the team in creating a detailed financial report, demonstrating strong analytical skills and effective communication to present complex economic concepts in a clear and concise manner.

Social Media Coordinator

Brewster's Beans Coffee Shop

12/2022 – 12/2023

  • Successfully managed social media platforms for Brewster's Beans Coffee Shop, a vibrant local coffee house with a dedicated community following.
  • Developed and implemented engaging social media strategies, resulting in a 40% increase in overall online engagement and a 25% growth in followers within six months.
  • Created and curated visually appealing content, including captivating images and compelling captions, to enhance the coffee shop's brand image and showcase its unique offerings to a broader audience.

Entry-level role

Hr assistant.

09/2022 – Present

  • Spearheaded successful interview processes, conducted all hiring manager communication, led orientation events, and managed onboarding activities for more than 20 new hires, enhancing morale and performance in the organization.
  • Introduced a comprehensive employee recognition system, resulting in improved employee morale and a reduction of turnover rate by 20%
  • Facilitated the design and execution of an employee communication program, helping to improve two-way dialogue between senior management and the workforce.

Sales Associate

07/2022 – 09/2022

SalesPro Solutions

  • Conducted market research to identify potential customers and target markets, resulting in a 40% increase in sales opportunities.
  • Scheduled and conducted sales meetings with potential customers to present products or services, resulting in a 50% increase in contract wins.
  • Maintained accurate and up-to-date records of sales activities, customer satisfaction, and customer interactions in a CRM system, resulting in a 25% increase in sales efficiency

Mid-level role

Email marketing specialist.

03/2020 – 03/2022

Cormac, Inc.

  • Managed email list segmentation and targeting, resulting in an 18% increase in email engagement and a 37% increase in conversions
  • Collaborated with content team to develop personalized email content, resulting in a 25% increase in open rates and a 15% increase in click-through rates.
  • Developed and maintained email marketing best practices, resulting in a 30% increase in overall campaign effectiveness and a 10% increase in customer satisfaction.

Software Engineering Manager

03/2019 – 03/2020

CyberNova Solutions

  • Developed and maintained a complex software application that supported a user base of over 500,000, resulting in a 20% increase in revenue over one year.
  • Identified and resolved a critical software issue causing system crashes, resulting in a 50% reduction in crashes and a 17% increase in system reliability.
  • Collaborated with a team of developers to implement a new software architecture that improved scalability by 30% and reduced server costs by 25%.

Senior-level role

Senior digital advertising manager.

03/2022 – Present

AdVantage Marketing Solutions

  • Leads a team of 125 employees with a consistent 92% retention rate.
  • Developed and executed a comprehensive advertising campaign for a new product launch, resulting in a 25% increase in sales within the first month.
  • Analyzed and reported on the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, identifying areas for improvement and implementing changes that resulted in a 15% increase in click-through rates.
  • Negotiated contracts with digital media outlets, securing a 10% discount on advertising rates and maximizing the budget for the campaign.

Senior AI Product Manager

07/2019 – Present

DecTech Solutions

  • Developed and launched an AI-based product that increased customer engagement by 25% and generated $2M in revenue within the first year.
  • Implemented a pricing strategy that resulted in a 15% increase in profit margins and a 10% increase in customer retention.
  • Conducted market research and analysis to identify emerging trends and opportunities, resulting in the development of a new product line that generated $1M in revenue within the first six months.

Career pivot

Marketing generalist .

MJG Software

1/2018 – 9/2022

  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership skills by effectively managing and mentoring a team of 11 marketing professionals, fostering collaboration, and achieving 96% of team goals.
  • Developed and executed innovative marketing strategies for MJG Software, resulting in a 40% increase in customer acquisition and a 25% improvement in customer retention.
  • Utilized excellent communication and interpersonal skills to collaborate with 4 cross-functional teams, including sales, product development, and customer support, ensuring alignment and consistency in marketing efforts.
  • Proven ability to adapt to changing priorities and work in a fast-paced environment, consistently meeting 100% of deadlines and delivering high-quality marketing materials.

Unconventional professional experience

Volunteer work experience.

St. Joseph's Shelter

1/2021 – Present

  • Assists in providing essential services to over 200 unhoused individuals on a weekly basis, offering compassionate support and fostering a safe environment.
  • Collaborates with a team of dedicated volunteers to serve meals to an average of 100 individuals daily, ensuring that nutritional needs are met and promoting overall well-being.
  • Implemented a volunteer work outreach program that increased the shelter's community engagement by 30%, actively connecting with local businesses and organizations to secure essential donations and resources for unhoused individuals in need.

Part-time Work Experience

Independent Drone Pilot

2014 – Present

  • Independently operates drones for aerial photography and videography projects. 
  • Utilizes creative flight techniques to showcase scenic landscapes, urban architecture, and special events, fostering a deep passion for aerial storytelling. 
  • Published a portfolio of 50 high-resolution aerial photographs on personal blog, garnering over 10,000 views and 500 social media shares.
  • Collaborates with fellow drone enthusiasts through online communities using strong interpersonal skills and building a supportive network within the drone community. 
  • Contributed to organizing and hosting two drone photography workshops, attracting over 30 participants and receiving an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 for educational value.

If you're looking for more inspiration, check out 1,500+ resume examples to use as a guide.

Bonus: Documenting your work experience over time

Your job history isn't just the culmination of your job responsibilities; it's a comprehensive overview of your genuine impact. But when it's time to create or update your resume—whether you need a new job immediately or are considering quitting your job without another lined up—how do you remember everything you've done?

Starting today, schedule a consistent time each month to write down all of your past accomplishments over the last 30 days. And don't just wait until you've done something "big." Document your day-to-day activities. They likely contribute to something very significant.

@teal_hq If you’ve ever found yourself stumbling across a great job opportunity then scrambling to apply just to find your resume is all out of date here’s a great monthly habit to get into. If you set aside some time at the end of the month to document your work wins, when it comes time, updating your resume will be much easier. #resumetips #resumebullets #careeradvice #careertok #jobsearch ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

Create your resume work experience with Teal

You are more than just your job title and a list of responsibilities or job duties . In fact, you've had some incredible professional accomplishments.

Your work experience on a resume offers potential employers insight into the impact of those accomplishments—helping solidify you as a qualified candidate ready to take on new responsibilities.

Don't wait to start creating your "Work Experience" section until you find a job opening or feel pressured. Instead, use the free Resume Builder to craft measurable, metric-driven achievements so that when you're ready to apply, your resume is, too.

Start showcasing your value with Teal today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i tailor my resume's work experience section for a specific job application, can i include volunteer work or internships in my work experience section, how far back should i go when listing my work experience on my resume.

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How To List Your Work Experience On Your Resume

Your work experience section contains some of the most important information on your entire resume. It’s not only a chance to show potential employers that you have relevant experience, but also to highlight your achievements at each of your past positions.

This article will cover whether you should include work experience on your resume, how to do so effectively, what to do if you have no work experience , and whether gaps in your employment history are really that bad.

Should You Include Work Experience on Your Resume?

In almost all cases, it’s very important to include your work experience on your resume. It’s generally what potential employers read first, and it shows them whether you have the necessary skills and experience to perform the job you are applying for.

Most hiring managers spend an average of about 7 seconds scanning each resume they receive, and they’ll likely spend those precious seconds on your work experience section. If a potential employer has 20 people applying for one position but you’re the only one who demonstrated your prior experience in similar roles and how well you succeeded in those roles, you are much more likely to score an interview.

Of course, if you are a student, recent graduate, or otherwise do not have any professional work experience, then it’ll be tough to create a compelling work experience section on your resume. But, don’t worry - what to do in that situation is covered later in this article.

How Much Work Experience to Include on Your Resume

One of the most important considerations is how much work experience to actually include on your resume. Essentially, it depends on how experienced you are within your field:

  • Very experienced/senior-level candidates: List up to 15 years of relevant experience with detailed job descriptions. Of course, if you’ve only worked for one company for your entire career, you may wish to outline all the various positions you’ve held there to show the progression of your promotions, which may encompass more than 15 years. Otherwise, only mention pertinent experience within that time frame, even if it might mean leaving some time gaps.
  • Considerably experienced/mid-level candidates: Include all of the positions you have held, going into detail for relevant positions and briefly mentioning other positions (outside your desired field, internships, temp work, freelance gigs, etc.).
  • Somewhat experienced/entry-level candidates: List all the paid work that you’ve ever done and include detailed descriptions regardless of relevance. Include internships, part-time work, temp work, freelance gigs, independent projects, etc.
  • No professional work experience: List and include details about any unpaid work experience you have, like internships, practicums, volunteer work, roles in student or community organizations, etc.

Tips for Listing Your Work Experience on Your Resume

Now that you’ve got an idea of how far back your work experience section should go, here are some tips for how to actually list your experience on your resume:

Where to Place Your Work Experience Section

If you choose to use the popular and traditional reverse chronological resume format, your work experience section should go at the top, just under your resume summary . This format is best if you have a decent amount of relevant experience, as your work experience section is the focal point of the resume in this case. As you might have guessed, your work experience should be listed in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent job at the top.

If you have less experience, you are looking to make a career change, or you have gaps in your work history, you may wish to use a functional or combination resume format. If so, your work experience section will go below your skills section. This places the emphasis on your skills and certifications, which can be beneficial in some instances and may help gloss over gaps or a potentially rocky professional history.

Students and recent graduates may wish to place their education section at the top, followed by their work experience section. This allows you to highlight your academic achievements as the primary focus of your resume. It will be obvious to the recruiter that you are a student or grad, and showing them that you excelled in school will likely be a more impactful first impression than listing something like a summer lifeguarding job at the top of your resume.

Information to Include

For each job that you list, include your job title, the company that you worked for, the location of the company, and the dates that you worked there. The order and arrangement of these details is up to you, but be consistent throughout with whatever you choose. For dates of employment, the standard format includes months and years, but you might choose to include years only (to gloss over short employment gaps), or no dates at all (typical in a functional resume).

For example:

Membership Director

Bellevue YMCA, Bellevue, WA

May 2016-August 2019

Or, if you have held multiple positions at the same company, you might list them like this:

Membership Director: September 2018-August 2019

Assistant Membership Director: May 2016-September 2018

Use Bullet Points

Add up to 5 bullet points under each job listing, focusing on quantifiable achievements wherever possible instead of simply listing your job duties.

Most hiring managers will know from your job title generally what duties and responsibilities you had, so instead of just saying what you did, show how well you did those duties.

As outlined above, in some cases you only need to briefly touch on jobs that aren’t relevant to your goal job, going into more detail for pertinent positions as well as your current or most recent position.

Target your work experience bullet points to the specific job that you are applying for by using keywords from the job description and mirroring the language that the employer uses. For example, if the employer is looking for a customer service representative and you perform that role but your current job title is ‘client success agent,’ it’s acceptable to rephrase your job title within reason. Using keywords and mirroring the job ad language will help your resume pass an applicant tracking system (ATS) scan and increase your chances of getting an interview.

For instance, if a job posting for a programming position requires candidates to have experience with project requirements and design, analyze test result data to create recommendations for further project development, and mentor junior programmers, you might list your work experience like so:

Senior Programmer

XYZ Solutions, Boulder, CO

May 2015-Present

  • Provided project design for 10+ applications each year
  • Drafted project requirements in conjunction with analytics teams
  • Created and implemented recommendations for further development
  • Trained and mentored 8 junior programmers

Key Achievement: Developed an automated testing system that produced more detailed test result data, reducing overall testing and developing time by 45%

Create a Key Achievement subsection for each job in your work history section. Use the problem-action-result format to show how successful you were: identify a problem, share what you did to solve it, and quantify the result. This will draw the hiring manager’s eye and even if they skim through your other job information, they’ll still see your biggest win.

Try to keep each bullet point to a single line to preserve limited space on your resume - which, by the way, should be no more than one page if you have less than 15 years of relevant experience and no more than two pages if you have more than 15 years experience.

Gaps in Your Employment

Fortunately, in recent years many employers have taken a more relaxed stance on gaps in your work experience. In the 1990s, it was considered a huge red flag if someone took more than a couple of weeks off in between jobs. Now, however, it’s no longer such a big deal, especially if you provide a basic explanation.

For example, in your work history section where there’s a significant gap between jobs, you might say something like ‘January 2018-June 2018: I took time off from work to deal with a medical situation and regain my health’ or ‘January 2016-December 2018: I spent this time focusing on my son before he started preschool’ or ‘May 2019-August 2019: I took this time to fulfill my lifelong dream of traveling the world.’

Employers may ask you about the gap in an interview, but being honest and providing a basic explanation is generally the best policy. Keep in mind that many employers have indicated that they don’t mind gaps in a candidate’s work history so long as the gap has been followed by employment that is relevant to the target position.

However, if you aren’t comfortable sharing an explanation or if the explanation would be compromising, you may choose to omit dates altogether from your work experience, as mentioned above. Although this may also appear slightly suspicious to potential employers, it allows you to focus on your skills and other qualifications in lieu of an extensive work history.

Creating a Resume with No Work Experience

If you have no professional work experience, you can still create a flattering and compelling resume. Pick a resume layout that isn’t as dependent on work experience, like a functional or combination resume style. Especially if you are a student or recent graduate, highlight your education section prominently and include awards, honors, and other achievements in bullet points.

Make your skills apparent by scattering them throughout all of your resume sections, and be sure to write an especially compelling introductory paragraph - usually this will be a resume objective for someone with no work experience. Include additional sections like languages, certifications, and hobbies and interests to prevent your resume from looking too sparse and to give potential employers an idea of who you are as a person.

Be sure to format your resume properly, use professional fonts and colors, and supplement it with a strong cover letter that will grab and hold potential employers’ attention.

Can You Include Volunteer Work in Your Work Experience Section?

You should only include volunteer work in your work experience section if you have less than 5 years of paid work experience. Otherwise, you can include volunteer work in its own section if you have enough room on your resume.

If you have little or no professional experience, including volunteering in your work experience section can show potential employers that you have a strong work ethic, you are altruistic, and you care about your community. Use bullet points to highlight skills and experience that you gained in each volunteer position.

Key Takeaways

Work experience is one of the most integral parts of a resume, and it’s usually what employers read first - and sometimes it’s the only thing they read. Make sure your work experience section is stellar by putting it in the right place, using a consistent format, and including all relevant information. Quantify your achievements in bullet points whenever possible, and target your work experience section to each prospective job.

Need help transforming your work experience into the crown jewel of your resume? Check out Jobseeker’s professional resume creation tool . Simply enter in your details and test out different formats, style, color schemes, and fonts with just a few clicks. Then download your resume instantly and apply for your dream job today!

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Status.net

30 Smart Answers: ‘Tell Me About Your Work Experience’

By Status.net Editorial Team on July 6, 2024 — 10 minutes to read

When an interviewer asks, “Tell me about your work experience,” it’s your opportunity to connect the dots between your past roles and the job you’re aiming for, showing how your skills and experiences make you the perfect fit.

I know from personal experience that having a few well-thought-out responses can boost our confidence and make a great impression. In this article, we’ll share some smart answers and strategies to help you tackle this common interview question.

30 Examples of Smart Answers: ‘Tell Me About Your Work Experience’

  • 1. “I’ve been in digital marketing for the past five years, mainly working on social media campaigns and content creation. I love how your company is always at the forefront of marketing, and I’d be thrilled to bring some fresh ideas to the table.”
  • 2. “I was a project manager at a construction company, making sure projects ran smoothly and stayed on budget. Your infrastructure projects sound really interesting, and I’d love to help keep things on track.”
  • 3. “I spent three years in customer service, helping clients sort out their issues and making sure they had a good experience. I really admire your commitment to customer service and would love to contribute to that.”
  • 4. “I’ve been a software developer for a while, mostly using JavaScript and Python to build web apps. Your focus on cutting-edge tech is exciting, and I’d love to work on some innovative projects with your team.”
  • 5. “I worked as a sales associate in retail, learning about products and how to close a sale. I’m eager to help meet your sales goals and deliver great customer service.”
  • 6. “For the past two years, I’ve been a graphic designer, creating visuals for both print and digital media. I’m excited about the chance to bring my creativity to your team and work on impactful designs.”
  • 7. “I taught high school English and History for five years. Your organization’s focus on education and community outreach really resonates with me, and I’d love to help develop educational programs.”
  • 8. “I worked in hospitality for several years, managing a team of servers and ensuring top-notch service. I’d love to bring my leadership and customer service skills to your restaurant.”
  • 9. “I’ve been an administrative assistant, handling scheduling, correspondence, and office management. I’m looking forward to supporting your team and helping keep things running smoothly.”
  • 10. “I spent three years as a financial analyst, analyzing market trends and giving investment advice. I’m excited about the chance to bring my analytical skills to your team and help make informed financial decisions.”
  • 11. “I’ve been a registered nurse, providing patient care in a hospital. I’m passionate about continuing to make a positive impact on patients’ lives with your team.”
  • 12. “I worked in quality assurance in the tech industry, testing software to make sure it was bug-free. I’m excited about helping maintain high-quality standards for your software products.”
  • 13. “I’ve been in human resources, focusing on recruitment, employee relations, and benefits. I’m eager to help create a positive workplace environment for your team.”
  • 14. “I worked as a journalist, writing and editing articles for a local newspaper. I’m excited about the chance to bring my writing skills to your team and help create engaging content.”
  • 15. “I have experience in logistics, managing shipping and receiving for a large distribution center. I’m looking forward to using my organizational skills to ensure efficient operations.”
  • 16. “I spent several years as a chef, creating and preparing dishes in a high-end restaurant. I’m excited about bringing my culinary skills to your kitchen and creating memorable dining experiences.”
  • 17. “I’ve been a real estate agent, helping clients buy and sell properties. I’m looking forward to using my market knowledge and client service skills with your team.”
  • 18. “I worked as a mechanical engineer, designing and testing machinery for manufacturing. I’m excited about contributing to your innovative engineering projects.”
  • 19. “I’ve been in public relations, managing media relations and crafting press releases. I’m eager to help enhance your company’s public image.”
  • 20. “I spent five years as a librarian, helping patrons find information and managing the library’s collection. I’m excited about contributing to your library’s mission of providing valuable resources to the community.”
  • 21. “I worked in the automotive industry as a service technician, diagnosing and repairing vehicle issues. I’m looking forward to bringing my technical skills to your team and ensuring high-quality vehicle maintenance.”
  • 22. “I’ve been a social worker, providing support and resources to individuals and families in need. I’m passionate about continuing to make a positive impact on people’s lives with your team.”
  • 23. “I have experience in event planning, organizing corporate events, weddings, and other special occasions. I’m excited about bringing my organizational skills to your team and creating memorable events.”
  • 24. “I spent several years working as a bartender, mixing drinks and providing excellent customer service. I’m looking forward to bringing my mixology skills and customer service experience to your establishment.”
  • 25. “I worked in education as a school administrator, overseeing daily operations and supporting teachers and staff. I’m excited about contributing to your school’s success.”
  • 26. “I’ve been a marketing analyst, analyzing data to help guide marketing strategies. I’m eager to bring my analytical skills to your team and help drive effective marketing campaigns.”
  • 27. “I have experience as a paralegal, assisting attorneys with case preparation. I’m excited about supporting your legal team and contributing to your firm’s success.”
  • 28. “I worked as a personal trainer, creating fitness plans and helping clients reach their health goals. I’m passionate about helping clients achieve their fitness objectives and lead healthier lives with your team.”
  • 29. “I’ve been a web developer, building websites and ensuring they’re user-friendly. I’m excited about working on innovative web projects and enhancing user experiences for your clients.”
  • 30. “I spent several years as a photographer, capturing images for events, portraits, and commercial projects. I’m eager to bring my creative eye and technical skills to your team to produce stunning visual content.”

How can you describe your work experience and its relevance to the position?

Focus on key roles and how they match the job you want. Mention specific tasks, responsibilities, and achievements – show how these experiences make you a strong candidate.

Example Answer:   “I used to work as a Marketing Coordinator at (…) Company. There, I handled social media campaigns, kept an eye on market trends, and organized events. These tasks needed me to be super organized and detail-oriented, which are key for the Project Manager job I’m applying for now. Plus, I often worked with different teams, which fits right in with the collaborative nature of this role.”

How to Answer “Could you provide an example of how your background has prepared you for this job?”

Think of a specific job or project. Explain what you did and learned, and connect those skills and experiences to the requirements of the new job.

Example Answer:   “In my last job as a Software Developer, I led a project to redesign our company’s website. I gathered requirements from different departments, designed the user interface, and coded the backend. This project helped me sharpen my project management, teamwork, and technical problem-solving skills, all of which are crucial for the Web Development Manager position at your company.”

What skills have you gained from your past jobs that will be beneficial in this role?

Highlight skills like teamwork, problem-solving, or communication. Give examples of how you used these skills in the past. Explain why these skills are important for the new role.

Example Answer:   “From my previous roles, I’ve gained strong communication skills, especially when it comes to explaining complex information in a simple way. For example, as a Data Analyst, I often presented my findings to people who weren’t tech-savvy, helping them make smart decisions. This skill will be useful in the Business Analyst role, where clear communication is key.”

How would you explain your work history to someone unfamiliar with your profession?

Use simple and clear language. (Avoid jargon.) Describe your jobs in basic terms, focusing on what you did and why it mattered – make it easy for anyone to understand.

Example Answer:  “I’ve spent the last five years working in digital marketing. Basically, my job is to promote products and services online. I create and manage online ads, check how they’re doing, and tweak things to get better results. In simple terms, I help companies reach more people through the internet.”

Can you discuss your work experience in a way that highlights your strengths?

Identify your top strengths. Share examples from your past work that show these strengths in action, and explain how these strengths will help you succeed in the new job.

Example Answer: “One of my main strengths is leading teams effectively. In my previous job as a Team Lead at (…) Corporation, I managed a team of 10 people, making sure projects were done on time and within budget. My leadership and organizational skills helped boost our team’s productivity by 20%. These strengths will definitely help me succeed in the Operations Manager position you’re offering.”

In terms of customer service, what experiences do you have that make you a good fit for this job?

Describe specific customer service scenarios you’ve handled. Highlight your communication and problem-solving skills. Share positive outcomes or feedback you’ve received – show how your experience will benefit the company!

Example Answer: “I worked as a Customer Service Representative at (…) Inc., where I handled a lot of customer inquiries and resolved issues quickly. One time, I turned an unhappy customer into a loyal one by really listening to their concerns and offering a personalized solution. My strong communication and problem-solving skills, along with positive feedback from customers, make me a great fit for the Customer Service Manager position at your company.”

Crafting Your Response

Structuring your answer.

You can mention your role, the company, and the dates you worked there.

  • “I was a manager at (…) Corp from 2020 to 2024.”
  • “I worked as a software developer at (…) Inc. from 2018 to 2024.”
  • “I served as a customer service representative at (…) Services for two years.”
  • “I was a marketing intern at Cool Tech during the summer of 2024.”
  • “My first job was as a sales associate at (…), where I worked for three years.”

Highlighting Key Responsibilities

Talk about what you did daily in your roles: you can mention tasks and responsibilities that were central to your position.

  • “I managed a team of 10 sales reps.”
  • “My duties included handling customer inquiries and resolving issues.”
  • “I created social media content and tracked engagement metrics.”
  • “Regular tasks involved inventory management and staff training.”

Emphasizing Achievements

Ideally, highlight specific accomplishments in your roles. If applicable, focus on measurable outcomes whenever you can, because it’s more impactful to mention what you achieved rather than just listing tasks.

  • “I increased sales by 20% in one year.”
  • “I developed an app used by over 50,000 users.”
  • “I resolved 95% of customer complaints successfully.”
  • “My marketing campaign boosted followers by 30%.”
  • “I streamlined the inventory process, reducing errors by 15%.”

Illustrating Your Professional Growth

Describing career progression.

  • Started as a marketing assistant, now a marketing manager.
  • Began as an intern, promoted to project coordinator.
  • Progressed from junior developer to senior developer.
  • Shifts from sales trainee to sales executive.
  • Moved from customer service rep to team lead.
  • Upgraded from administrative assistant to office manager.
  • Growth from teaching assistant to head teacher.
  • Evolved from junior designer to art director.
  • Transitioned from analyst to department head.
  • Developed from barista to store manager.

Highlighting Leadership and Management Experience

  • Managed a team of 10 employees.
  • Led three major projects to success.
  • Set and achieved quarterly sales goals.
  • Improved team performance by providing training.
  • Guided a team through a company merger.
  • Handled budget planning for projects.
  • Designed a new workflow for better efficiency.
  • Developed leadership programs for new managers.
  • Conducted performance evaluations and feedback sessions.
  • Launched a successful new product line.

Reiterating Your Interest in the Role

Showing you’re excited about the job and explaining why you want it can help make a strong impression. Express why the role inspires you and state the specific reasons you applied:

  • “I’ve always been passionate about helping customers, and this role allows me to do just that.”
  • “I admire your company’s commitment to innovation and am thrilled by the opportunity to contribute.”
  • “The team-oriented environment at your firm excites me because I thrive in collaborative settings.”
  • “This position aligns perfectly with my desire to grow in the field of marketing.”
  • “Your company’s dedication to community service is something I truly value and want to be a part of.”

Outlining Reasons for Wanting the Role

Explain why you’re interested in this role and how it fits with your career goals. Try to be specific about what attracts you to this job.

  • “I am drawn to this position because it offers the chance to work with cutting-edge technology.”
  • “The opportunity to advance within this company is a major reason I’m eager to join your team.”
  • “I respect your company’s mission and believe this role will allow me to contribute meaningfully.”
  • “This role matches my skills and gives me a platform to further develop my expertise.”
  • “I am excited about the chance to work on diverse projects and expand my knowledge in the industry.”
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Professional Skills

  • Oct 10, 2023
  • 15 min read

15 Key Skills You Can Gain from Work Experience in 2024

That internship or placement has a lot to offer!

Siôn Phillpott

Siôn Phillpott

Career & Entrepreneurship Expert

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Key Skills You Can Gain from Work Experience

As a student, gaining  work experience — whether it’s through an internship, a placement or a part-time position — is invaluable.

Indeed, once you graduate and  head out into the world of work , you’ll already have gained the  key transferable skills  that employers look for. This, in turn, will differentiate you from the competition, making that all-important  job search  just a little less stressful.

So, instead of spending your summer chasing cocktails on a beach somewhere, maybe consider an internship or a placement in your industry. After all, it could be the most critical employment decision you ever make!

To illustrate how important work experience can be, we’ve compiled a list of its biggest benefits, including some of the most essential  professional skills  it can help you gain.

What is work experience?

In the simplest of terms, work experience refers to the experience you acquire in any professional work setting . All professionals, regardless their age and seniority, accumulate work experience over time.

When it happens at the beginning of people’s career, however, it exposes young or inexperienced adults to working independently as well as within a team ; practicing their technical and soft skills; and putting their theoretical knowledge to practice for the first time.

In some parts of the world, “work experience” is used interchangeably with the term “work placements”. Many university students complete their “work experience” as part of their degree at a company they choose. This is similar to internships and apprenticeships, in that it provides fixed-term employment to students.

Benefits of work experience

Work experience can benefit your career in multiple ways. Let’s look at some below:

  • It boosts your confidence as a professional. The more tasks you take on, the faster and more accurate your execution will become. In turn, this increases your faith in your own ability, which is crucial in advancing your career down the line.
  • It allows you to acquire new skills and enhance existing ones. Hands-on experience is a surefire way to build a strong skill set. The longer you work, the more diverse and impressive your range of technical and soft skills will be.
  • It makes you more employable. Since work experience has the power to increase your confidence on a professional level and build your skill set, it automatically makes you a more desirable candidate in the eyes of recruiters.
  • It allows you to form connections . Working within a team is a great way to find mentors who can guide you as you progress, as well as people who might be able to open new doors for you in the future.
  • It lets you gain a greater understanding of the industry you plan to work in. There’s no better way to know what you’re signing up for than going for it!

15 skills you gain from work experience

Both technical and soft skills are crucial to your career success. Here are 15 workplace skills gained through work experience!

1. Self-reliance

To an extent, university also helps you develop self-reliance. You’re encouraged to find your own answers and build your own path. But applying this skill in an academic environment is entirely different from doing it in the workplace, and students develop a greater sense of self-awareness when there is more riding on their actions than just their own grades.

Demonstrating that you can be trusted to take on a task and complete it independently gives employers that warm fuzzy feeling. It will also help you to understand your own strengths and weaknesses , and how you can cultivate them accordingly.

2. Interpersonal skills

The development of  interpersonal skills is vitally important  and, in reality, can only be effectively acquired in a workplace environment. Indeed, being able to  communicate with clarity and diplomacy  is an absolute requisite for any successful employee.

This doesn’t just mean being able to speak and listen, though. It’s essential to learn about the more subtle art of communication, such as knowing when to take the lead and when to take a step back ; these are  lessons  that can only be learned and observed in a real-life work scenario. When you do eventually start working full-time, these are the key learnings that will arguably serve you best — so don’t ignore them.

3. Problem-solving skills

No employer wants a worker who continually hits brick walls in the course of their daily work; instead, they want somebody capable of using their initiative and  seeking out their own solutions .

Luckily, being proactive and competent is a lot easier when you have some experience to back up your intuition — meaning that, from day one, you won’t constantly be leaning on the shoulders of your more experienced coworkers.

Getting into the habit of decision-making will serve you well further down the line, too. If you have any ambitions of working your way into a leadership position , for example, being able to work through issues with a degree of self-confidence will certainly make you a suitable candidate.

4. Commercial awareness

Although this can be industry-specific, gaining a general understanding of how organizations work and operate will make your transition into the workplace a lot easier.

Specifically, having first-hand knowledge of how your chosen industry works can give you not only a clearer indication of your suitability for it but also a working knowledge that you exhibit in your interviews. In broader terms, it can also help you realize how decisions are made and how a  company’s culture  can have an impact.

5. Maturity

You might not realize it at the time, but as a student, you’re still fairly immature. As wonderful as higher education is, you’re still somewhat restricted to the kind of people you associate with, including their backgrounds and motivations; your exposure to the “real world” may still be minimal.

Working in a team where your coworkers vary drastically in terms of age, experience and knowledge can significantly alter your perceptions and allow you to see things differently . This accelerated maturity will not only stand you in good stead for future employment but also greatly benefit your studies.

By having a more balanced viewpoint and starting to see the world outside your own educational bubble, your personal development will advance rapidly.

6. Teamwork

If you don’t play well with others, then you should probably consider starting your own one-person business. (Hint: we don’t actually mean that.)

Every single successful company in the world is built upon the core foundation of  teamwork . You need to learn how to work within a group and recognize that the strengths and weaknesses of individuals are only effective when combined into something greater.

It’s also one of the few guaranteed interview questions you will face : “Give me an example of a time when you worked in a team”. If you have nothing to draw on in your answer other than group assignments or sports, you might be at a disadvantage to those who have completed quantifiable, real-time projects in a workplace environment.

7. Practical skills

Of course, each job role is different, and you will encounter different software systems and tools depending on your chosen profession. Some things will remain the same, regardless your industry, though.

For example, basic IT skills are expected of all new hires, but if you’ve never changed an email signature or converted data into a graph before, then where else are you likely to learn? You’ll also get highly valuable exposure to some important technical skills and tools , such as Microsoft Excel ; becoming familiar with more advanced formulas and capabilities will certainly be useful.

If you want to refine your skills further and  make the most out of your work experience , you could do so through an online course that will solidify your practical skills and knowledge. For example, embarking on a programming course while working for a tech company could take you one step further and help you stand out as a future job candidate, too.

8. Self-confidence and self-esteem

It’s long been accepted as a psychological truism that having a job  boosts your sense of self-esteem and self-worth , making you a more confident and well-rounded individual . This is an essential component of your personal and  professional growth .

It’s also something that others notice. At university, many students are unassuming and prefer to remain within their shell, but in interviews and indeed the workplace itself, this can be misinterpreted as a failure to engage or, even worse, as a sign that you don’t care. Doing something that you enjoy every day — and being good at it — will bring out the best of you.

9. Organization skills

University teaches organization skills to an extent, but it’s one thing to drop a grade because you didn’t give yourself enough time to finish a paper and quite another when entire teams of people across different departments (and external companies) are relying on you to submit a proposal on a deadline.

Even without resorting to such extreme examples, it’s a simple reality that the world of work is far more rigid than university in terms of time management. From something as simple as working out how to be on time every single day to learning how to deal with and prioritize the demands of different managers , right through to juggling multiple tasks and submitting everything on time and to a high standard, work experience teaches it all.

10. Networking

Just because you’re a three-month intern at the very bottom of the corporate “food chain”, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make an impression on others. This means having to learn how to  create and develop professional relationships  with coworkers, managers and even clients — a vitally important skill that you will use for the entire duration of your career.

It can also lead to a  multitude of opportunities . If you impress with your attitude and your ability during those three months, then this could convert into a permanent job role that will be waiting for you when you graduate.

Alternatively, you might have impressed a client so much that they suggest you contact them if you’re looking for employment. As you progress in your career, you never know how important these connections will be; hands-on experience will help you learn how to cultivate them.

11. Business etiquette

Getting a grasp of professional and  business etiquette  is something that isn’t taught in a classroom — it can only be learned by seeing and imitating. Many school leavers and graduates are not used to professional environments and can have trouble making the initial adjustment, which has consequences.

Knowing how to express yourself in an email or a phone conversation might seem relatively straightforward, but when you get it wrong, it can leave a negative and lasting impression on you. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to be told how to answer a phone properly, for example.

Therefore, getting exposure to how offices operate and how people communicate with each other can give you a good head start. When it comes to making a positive first impression, this could truly set you apart from your peers.

12. Negotiation skills

At some point in your career, you’ll have to make agreements with employers, coworkers or outside parties over minor and even major issues. Learning the art of negotiation and compromising in the workplace is, therefore, key.

During work experience, you may run into relationships or challenges that require negotiation. You may build the skills to support your arguments while maintaining a positive tone and compromising with your peers.

Such negotiation skills will come in handy with your real-life job, from having to negotiate a work schedule, a contract, your salary or a deadline with your boss. Being able to successfully negotiate, create a mutual understanding and solve a problem can ultimately be highly beneficial for workplace success.

13. Stress management

You can’t escape  stress in the workplace . In fact, it comes hand-in-hand with success. Of course, school and university can be pressuring, but there’s a difference when it comes to your actual job.

You’re pressured to perform well,  maintain a good relationship with peers  and managers, and ultimately, keep your job so you can earn an income. To achieve these, you may be faced with situations that cause stress, such as working long hours , a heavy workload, or tight deadlines.

Although it may not feel as serious, you may face similar scenarios during your work experience. The stress you encounter during your placement can be just as demanding if you’re eager to complete it successfully and enhance your career. But learning how to manage stress beforehand can prepare you for similar situations at your future job .

14. Determination

It’s easy to give up and let go when things aren’t working out. Doing so at work, however, can have a consequential effect on your employability and overall professionalism. Employers want to hire someone who is able to push through and face any hurdles and challenges in the workplace. The work determination you attain from work experience can, therefore, be highly valuable.

Through your  internship  or placement, you will most certainly stumble upon difficult situations that will test your determination to carry on. The key is to learn to push through and avoid giving up so that, when it comes to your future job, you’ll have the same determination at the ready.

15. Coping skills

You develop coping skills by learning from your mistakes . And what better way to make “excusable” mistakes than during your work experience?

After all, you’re there to learn lessons and think about how you can improve the next time you’re in a similar situation. When you fail at something, it means you’re in the process of learning and, ultimately, that is the purpose of a work placement or an internship.

The professional experience that you gain can help you work past your mistakes, develop coping skills and take away powerful lessons that can help you avoid similar errors in your future career — which  can  be detrimental for your success.

How to highlight your work experience skills

“When you got it, flaunt it,” sang Uma Thurman in Susan Stroman’s The Producers. And why shouldn’t you? Here are four ways to hone in on your skills and show potential employers your value.

On your résumé

If you’re like most jobseekers, you’ll likely be using a reverse-chronological résumé in your job search.

Even though these types of résumés put more emphasis on work experience rather than your skill set, they must still include a section that’s dedicated to outlining your most valuable skills. Typically, you’ll want to list 10–15 skills on your résumé ; any more, and it can make your document appear cluttered and imprecise.

If you’re a student, recent graduate or someone with limited work experience, using a skills-based résumé instead can be a smart move. Where chronological résumés have a large employment history section, skills-based ones center on a professional skills section.

In your cover letter

An effective cover letter introduces you to the hiring manager, conveys your enthusiasm for the role and the company, and presents you as the ideal candidate. It does the latter by relating your skill set and knowledge to the job requirements, essentially “ticking them off” one by one.

As such, it provides an opportunity for you to talk in more detail about what you’ve learned from your job experience and which skills are your strongest .

On your LinkedIn profile

Much like your résumé, your LinkedIn profile has some key sections you should always strive to fill in. Besides your headline, summary and work experience sections, it’s a good idea to complete your skills section, too.

Although you can add around 50 skills to your profile, it’s best not to go overboard and make your profile look cluttered and unfocused. Choosing 10–15 skills (as you would on your résumé) is a better way to demonstrate your most recent and relevant skills that employers in your industry consider most desirable.

In a job interview

In a job interview, the hiring manager might ask you something along the lines of: “What have you learned from your work experience so far?”. When a question like this comes up, use it as an opportunity to talk about your skills.

The best way to do this is to describe real scenarios you dealt with in your previous roles , mention what skills those challenges or tasks allowed you to build, and then indicate how your skill set makes you a good fit for the role.

Key takeaways

As you can see, there is more to be gained from work experience than an extra block of text on your résumé. You could think of it as a crash course in  soft skill development  and professional awareness, two traits that employers look kindly upon!

To summarize:

  • Many key job skills you will develop through work immersion are transferable; in other words, they can come in handy down the line , even if you change career paths .
  • Work experience can boost your professional development in many ways. Besides growing your skill set, it often leads to important connections being made, as well as increased confidence.
  • Highlighting your skill set in your application materials as well as the interviews you attend is a great way to show prospective employers you have what it takes to meet their requirements.

Can you think of any more employability skills that work experience can help people develop? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Originally published on February 9, 2018. Updated by Electra Michaelidou.

Work Experience

Soft Skills

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How to answer “what are your salary expectations” in 2024.

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Your unique expertise and skill set play a major role in determining which end of the pay range you ... [+] are likely to fall in

You've applied for your dream remote job and you've performed exceptionally well throughout the interview.

You've demonstrated to the interviewer and hiring manager that you're the perfect fit for the role.

And it worked! They're convinced that you're just the candidate they need. There's just one final question left...the question that fills us all with dread:

"What are your salary expectations for this role?"

This question can make or break your career...at least at this point. You're worried that if you suggest too little, you might be underselling your skills and cheating yourself out of a potentially lucrative salary.

But if you announce that you're expecting the highest end of the pay range, it might be too high for their budget, and worse, they might see you as out of their league and not offer you the job altogether.

So, what should you do?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to approach this sensitive issue:

Suspected Trump Shooter Remembered By Rifle Team Member As ‘Comically Bad Shot’: What We Know About Thomas Matthew Crooks

‘house of the dragon’ season 2, episode 5 recap and review: the seeds of the dragon, will smith’s ‘bad boys: ride or die’ gets digital streaming date, 1. understand why they're asking "what are your salary expectations".

First things first. You need to know why the interviewer—whether hiring manager or recruiter—is posing this question. It might sound obvious, but one reason they are likely to ask this question is because they are trying to assess your value, and one way to do that is to see what estimate you would place on your monetary value as relates to the job market. They are testing your level of experience and what expertise and value you would offer to their organization.

While they may provide a pay range when advertizing the role, it is likely that they will negotiate the salary according to various factors based on your experience and skills.

If you only have a two years of experience, for example, it's best to go for the lower end of the range. With more years of experience you can increase your salary expectations in line with the middle of the range, where it feels comfortable enough for you.

Another reason a hiring manager would ask this is because they are working with a budget. They need to ensure that the pay you're asking for, falls within that budget realistically.

Use salary calculators and your previous role as a benchmark for pay expectations in your industry, ... [+] role, and location

2. Do Your Homework

Rather than leaving up to luck or chance, undertake due diligence and do your research of the job market and the salary expectations for your industry and specific role, including your seniority level.

You should even consider factors such as the city or state you reside in, or the city and state the employer is hiring from, as these can greatly impact average salary ranges, causing them to plummet or rise sharply due to greater demand or higher cost of living in certain locations. Even if you are applying for a remote job, location should still eb considered when it comes to salary ranges.

Excellent sources of average pay range information include salary calculators such as ZipRecruiter, Salary.com, Glassdoor, and Indeed. These may also provide you with information on expected pay ranges at the specific employer you are interviewing with. This helps with pay transparency on their part, and enables you to ensure that you are not being discriminated against due to personal characteristics such as age, race, or gender.

3. Assess Your Value

To assess your salary value, it might be helpful to use your last role (if it was in the same field or industry) as a benchmark. You might be comfortable asking for the same salary as the one you had previously, or you could demand higher pay—but it's important to know why you deserve to be paid more.

Do you have a unique skill set that you can provide which is of high value to the new employer? Have you upskilled and completed certifications or a master's degree since then? Was the last employer paying you unfairly, below the average range for someone with your experience and skill set? Did you acquire a significant breadth of expertise and accomplishments in your last job that justify your new salary expectations? Make a note of all these factors.

Always provide a range; never tie yourself down to a fixed number when negotiating salary

4. Provide A Range, Not A Fixed Number

When answering "What are your salary expectations?" it's important that you answer with a salary range, not a fixed number. It's similar to what happens when you ask someone a closed question versus an open-ended question.

Providing a fixed number (i.e., $90,000) gives room for the employer to outright say no, and there is limited scope to explore further. You might also end up cheating yourself out of higher pay, if the employer was willing to pay more. However, if you give them a range (say $90,000 to $95,000) they have some room to work with and can even offer you more than what you initially expected.

As a general rule, aim to provide a range that varies no more than $5,000 to $10,000. Additionally, it would be good practice to ensure that your desired fixed number is at the bottom of the range. Start from there, then add $5,000 to $10,000 as your maximum for the range.

So for example, if you want to be paid $90,000, start your range from that figure and end at $95,000 or $100,000. This ensures you never get paid any less than your minimum expectation.

While sharing your range, be sure that you make it clear that you're happy to negotiate and discuss further. You might also use this as an opportunity to say that you're OK with reconsidering your salary range if the right benefits and total compensation package was in place.

This perfectly segues into my next point:

5. Consider The Entire Compensation Package

Last but not least, remember to take the entire compensation package into consideration. Think about other benefits that you would potentially be willing to sacrifice part of your salary for if needed. What benefits matter the most to you? Healthcare? Stock options? Bonuses? Remote work? Learning and development or work-from-home office stipend? Factor these into your salary negotiation with the hiring manager.

Occasionally, the hiring manager might say, "We will revisit this later, according to your performance in the role." In this case, if you feel comfortable with everything else and there are no red flags, go for it—but be sure to confirm in writing when exactly your pay will be reviewed for a potential increase. Have a transparent discussion to understand what the expectations are for you in your first 90 days, six months, and one year into the role, and what the criteria is for increased pay at your pay review.

Salary is only on part of compensation, so don't forget to consider the bigger picture

Following these five steps will help you answer "What are your salary expectations?" confidently and positively, aligning you with a remote job (or otherwise) that reflects your true worth.

You'll never need to worry about this question again.

Rachel Wells

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make my work experience

New Atlassian research on developer experience highlights a major disconnect between developers and leaders

Only 44% of developers believe leaders are aware of the issues contributing to a poor developer experience.

Andrew Boyagi

Head of DevOps Evangelism

Misalignment between engineers and their leaders is possibly the leading cause of a sub-optimal developer experience and, consequently, poor productivity.

See for yourself here

Thankfully, we have moved on from a time when a positive developer experience meant buying a few ping-pong tables and ordering pizza on a Friday. Leaders understand that improving developer experience is about removing friction from the developer’s daily work and is a key input to productivity and retaining talent. But how closely do leadership attitudes match with what developers experience?

We partnered with DX , an engineering intelligence platform that leading companies use to measure and improve developer productivity, and Wakefield Research to survey over 2,100 developers and managers across a range of industries worldwide. This gave us a fresh look at what keeps work flowing smoothly vs. what introduces friction in software development teams.

Our research shows that 97% of developers are losing significant time to inefficiencies, and the majority think about leaving their jobs due to a poor developer experience. Engineers and leaders agree on the importance of a positive developer experience, but there is less alignment on what needs to be improved.

An example of the disconnect between engineers and their leaders is highlighted by the differing perspectives on AI. Leaders believe AI is the most effective way to improve productivity and developer satisfaction, while two out of three developers say they aren’t experiencing significant productivity gains from using AI tools yet. Despite the best intentions, disconnects like this create the potential for significant investment and effort to be spent on initiatives that don’t meaningfully improve the developer experience or productivity.

Here are some of our main takeaways from the research.

Developers are losing significant amounts of time to friction

Sixty-nine percent of developers are losing eight hours or more per week to inefficiencies . That’s 20% of their time . While this is shocking, perhaps more alarming is that less than half of them believe their leaders are aware of this issue. Similarly, less than half think their organization prioritizes developer experience.

How many working hours a week developers lose to inefficiencies:

make my work experience

They aren’t wrong—there is a misalignment between developers and leaders on the issue. Most developers attribute their time loss to tech debt or insufficient documentation, while leaders point to understaffing, the expansion of the developer role, and the amount of tech knowledge needed. Not only does this create frustration among developers, but it also means leaders are likely to fix the wrong issue. The consequences are a larger gap in the issue and potentially wasted resources.

Additionally, most leaders admit the metrics they track are inefficient at measuring developer productivity, and most appear to conflate productivity and experience. This is unfortunate, given that developer experience is important to 63% of developers when considering whether to stay in their current jobs. Two out of three consider leaving their roles when they aren’t satisfied with their developer experience.

Investing in developer experience is a virtuous cycle

While productivity and experience are intertwined, they are also highly contextual—there isn’t one metric or a set of metrics that rules them all. At Atlassian, we’ve invested heavily in developer experience with the goal of putting developers at the center of the process. As a result, developer satisfaction has risen 25 percentage points over the past two years (from 49% to 74%).

How important developer experience is to developers:

make my work experience

Focusing on developer joy can take your developer experience to the next level. Less time lost to obstacles and inefficiencies correlates with higher satisfaction with developer experience investment, meaning not only does productivity improve, but employee sentiment improves as well. The very first step for tracking, measuring, and improving developer experience is to speak with your developers . You can’t begin to help them unless you truly understand them.

What about AI?

Leaders believe AI is the most effective way to improve productivity and satisfaction, but currently, two out of three developers aren’t seeing significant productivity gains from using AI tools .

Top areas leaders believe will improve both developer productivity and satisfaction (multiple choice question):

make my work experience

How much AI tools are improving developer productivity today:

make my work experience

AI has the potential to enhance the engineering craft by addressing tech debt, reducing developer toil, helping plug documentation gaps, and reducing interruptions. However, to understand how AI can improve developer joy, leaders must go beyond code generation to understand the needs of each area separately and design effective solutions that match. It is critical that leaders ask developers about friction points and then implement tools that create consistent feedback loops, a manageable cognitive load, and the ability to get into a flow state.

Using the data to improve developer experience

It’s not all doom and gloom. This research allowed us to provide recommendations for leaders on measuring and improving productivity in a way that addresses developers’ concerns. And the best strategy to understand how to improve the developer experience is also the simplest.

Developers want to be productive; if you ask them what needs to be improved, they will definitely tell you. Trying to improve developer experience without asking developers what needs to be improved is the equivalent of searching the house for your phone while it’s in your hand. Alignment between engineers and their leaders on what needs to be improved is a critical step in prioritizing precious effort toward initiatives with the greatest impact.

With developers facing increased complexity and companies facing tighter budgets with more pressure to maximize productivity, improving developer experience is more important than ever. Improving alignment between developers and their leaders increases the likelihood of organizations meaningfully improving developer experience, productivity, and overall company success.

Progress toward improving developer experience is not linear—there will inevitability be events or incidents that impact sentiment. The important thing is that developers feel their challenges are understood and that they are enabled to do their best work. This is an ongoing process at Atlassian, too, but we will keep pressing forward and sharing what we learn through blogs, events, and reports like this.

Why developer experience is more important than productivity

Why developer experience is more important than productivity

Stories, trends & announcements for atlassian builders.

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write your Work Experience on a Resume [+ Examples]

    On a basic level, the work experience layout typically includes: Job title, company name, location of employment. Month and year started and left the position. Between three and six bullet points briefly outlining your impact at the company. Work experience/job history on a resume should also include:

  2. Work Experience on a Resume

    A resume summary is a short section at the top of your resume that highlights your most relevant skills and achievements related to the job. In 2-3 simple sentences, a good resume summary tells the hiring manager: Your years of experience in that type of role. Your top qualifications or impressive accomplishments.

  3. How To List Work Experience On A Resume (20+ Examples)

    1. Put it under a clear, legible heading. Make sure your work experience section is clearly visible and has its own heading. You can name this section "Work Experience", "Experience" or "Employment History". 2. Place it right under the resume summary or objective.

  4. How to Describe Your Work Experience on Your Resume (With ...

    1. Understand the four elements of the STAR formula. Here is a breakdown of each step of the STAR formula: Situation. This step gives you a canvas to set the story around a challenge you faced. However, you'll need to include other elements of the STAR formula to have a clear and concise overview of your experience.

  5. How to List Resume Work Experience + 18 Examples

    1 Include your job title or position. Your resume work experience will include the jobs you've held in the past 10 years. These job titles should appear in reverse-chronological order, meaning you put your current or latest job first and work backward.

  6. Your Resume's Work Experience Section: A Complete Guide

    For most job seekers using a chronological or combination resume format, you should list your past jobs within your experience section (or sections) in reverse chronological order. For each item you list—full-time jobs or other types of experience—include the following: Position details: List your job title, company name, location, and ...

  7. Writing an Effective Resume Work Experience Section

    Tips on writing your resume work experience. Consider using the following tips for a resume work experience section that works: Structure your resume to avoid gaps. Strong resumes show a consistent flow from one job to the next. Use the standard format that lists the month and year to show the start and end dates of each job, such as May 2015 ...

  8. How to Add Work Experience to Your Resume (With Examples)

    1. Create a dedicated section for your professional experience. First, choose an appropriate title like "professional experience" or "work experience" for the section of your resume where you'll list your past jobs. For each job, include the following information: Job title. Company name.

  9. How To Highlight Work Experience on Your Resume

    1. Include detailed and relevant information. The work experience section of your resume should contain specific information about your employment history, including: Companies you worked for. Provide the full, official names of the companies for which you've worked starting with your most recent followed by the next most recent, and so on.

  10. How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume in 2024 (Examples & Tips)

    1. Relevancy is Key. When listing out your work experiences, keep in mind which of your previous jobs are the most relevant to the position you are now applying for. You don't want to weigh down your resume with too many jobs and job descriptions, so narrowing down to the 3 - 5 most relevant experiences is key.

  11. How to Show Work Experience on a Resume—Full Guide

    So, here's how to list work experience on a resume, step by step: 1. Make the Section Heading Stand Out. Label your resume work experience section with one of the following titles: Work Experience. Experience. Employment History. Work History. Make the section title larger than the rest of your job descriptions.

  12. Work Experience on a Resume: Job Description Examples & Tips

    1. Name the section "Work Experience," "Work History," or "Professional Experience.". Write the section heading in bold and make it slightly larger than the rest of the contents. 2. Use reverse-chronological order. Start with your current or most recent job, follow it with the one before it, and so on. 3.

  13. How to Add Work Experience to Your Resume in 2024

    Step #1 - Organize your work experience section. Step #2 - Format the job information correctly. Step #3 - Use bullet points. Step #4 - Start each bullet point with an action verb. Step #5 - List accomplishments as well as duties. Step #6 - Use numbers and metrics. Step #7 - Tailor your work experience to the job.

  14. How to Describe Your Work Experience

    The work experience section is where you list your most relevant previous roles to show employers your employment history and career development. This section gives hiring managers an idea of where you've been and how you got to this point in your career. It also enables you to describe how you performed in your previous roles and what skills ...

  15. Work Experience for a Resume: How to Add it to Get Hired

    If you've worked in a voluntary position, that's ideal - your resume work experience can relate to both paid and unpaid work. Present your volunteering experience the same way you'd present paid experience, as we outlined above. Create a skills-based resume. If you have no work experience to add, you can create a skills-based resume.

  16. How to Write Work Experience & History on a Resume

    Step 1: Prepare your information. Preparing your work experience for your resume is just as important as writing it in your job history section. Here's how to prepare your work experience: Make a list of your past employers, job titles and responsibilities. Focus on your last one to 10 years of employment.

  17. 35 Examples: How To Highlight Work Experience on a Resume

    Start by listing 2-3 skill sets, followed by specific examples of your achievements in each area. For example: Project Management Skills. Coordinated a team of 6 developers to complete a software project 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Successfully managed a budget of $50,000 for a marketing campaign. Programming Skills.

  18. How to Describe Your Work Experience on a Resume (With Example)

    How to include your work experience in a resume. Here's how to include work experience on your resume: 1. Include detailed and relevant information. The work experience section of your resume should contain specific information about your employment history, including: Companies you worked for. Provide the full, official names of the ...

  19. Work Experience on Your Resume

    Resume work experience almost always needs to be presented in reverse chronological order—starting with your most recent position and working backward. Each entry needs to include the basics: company name and location; job title; start and end dates. It's also essential to include bullet points describing your duties and responsibilities.

  20. How to Make a Resume for a Job in 2024

    3. Summarize your experience and skills with a resume summary. Quickly communicate why you're the right person for the job with a short but concise resume summary. A professional resume summary provides a snapshot of your primary qualifications by emphasizing your most impressive achievements and skills in 2-3 sentences.

  21. Resume Work Experience: How to Write the Most Important Section on Your

    1. If you still need to sign up, create a free Teal account. 2. Next, log in to your account and click the "Resume Builder" icon in the left navigation bar. Then, select the resume you want to work with or click "New Resume" at the top right. Create a new resume, or work in an existing document.

  22. How To Write Work Experience on a Resume (With Tips and Examples)

    The work experience section of your resume has relevant information about your employment history. It covers details like your previous jobs, positions held, employers, period of work, skills, and achievements. How much work experience you list in this section is up to your discretion. However, one thing remains true: be honest about your work ...

  23. How To List Your Work Experience On Your Resume

    As you might have guessed, your work experience should be listed in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent job at the top. If you have less experience, you are looking to make a career change, or you have gaps in your work history, you may wish to use a functional or combination resume format.

  24. 30 Smart Answers: 'Tell Me About Your Work Experience'

    30 Examples of Smart Answers: 'Tell Me About Your Work Experience'. 1. "I've been in digital marketing for the past five years, mainly working on social media campaigns and content creation. I love how your company is always at the forefront of marketing, and I'd be thrilled to bring some fresh ideas to the table.". 2.

  25. How to describe work experience on your resume (with examples)

    1. List your work experience in reverse chronological order. Your job experience section on your resume should always be in reverse chronological order. That means you'll start with your most recent jobs and work backward to your earliest work experience. Using reverse chronological order is important because hiring managers are typically the ...

  26. Work Experience on a CV

    3. Include other relevant experience. Your CV's work experience section doesn't have to only include professional experience. If you're writing a CV as a recent graduate or a school leaver, you can include entries on many other life experiences such as: volunteer work. your hobbies and interests.

  27. 15 Key Skills You Can Gain from Work Experience

    Both technical and soft skills are crucial to your career success. Here are 15 workplace skills gained through work experience! 1. Self-reliance. To an extent, university also helps you develop self-reliance. You're encouraged to find your own answers and build your own path.

  28. How To Answer "What Are Your Salary Expectations?" In 2024

    1. Understand Why They're Asking "What Are Your Salary Expectations?". First things first. You need to know why the interviewer—whether hiring manager or recruiter—is posing this question. It ...

  29. How to Craft an Optimal Learning Experience for Your Company

    You can make learning more accessible through online learning experiences. This way, all you need is a device, such as a laptop, and an internet connection to learn on your own from anywhere. This flexibility makes it possible to fit learning into a busy schedule and work through the material at a pace that works for various circumstances. 2 ...

  30. New Atlassian research on developer experience highlights a major

    Thankfully, we have moved on from a time when a positive developer experience meant buying a few ping-pong tables and ordering pizza on a Friday. Leaders understand that improving developer experience is about removing friction from the developer's daily work and is a key input to productivity and retaining talent.