Resume writing requires careful consideration of every section, but the work experience section is undoubtedly one of the most crucial parts.
It’s a prime opportunity to demonstrate to hiring managers that you possess the necessary experience for the role and to showcase your accomplishments in your previous positions.
If you’re still getting familiar with crafting a resume, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are affordable resume writing services available to assist you in creating a standout resume. Make sure to present yourself in the best possible light to potential employers. Seek out professional help to ensure that your resume effectively showcases your skills, experience, and achievements. With the help of affordable resume writing services, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job.
By highlighting your achievements, you can present yourself as a top candidate who can add value to the organization. So, when crafting your work experience section, be sure to focus on both your relevant experience and your achievements to make a powerful impact.
In this article, we’ll talk about whether you should put work experience on your resume, how to do it effectively, what to do if you don’t have work experience, and whether gaps in your work history are really that bad.
Can You Omit Work Experience from Your Resume?
If you’re on the hunt for a new job, showcasing your work experience on your resume is crucial. This section is typically the first thing that potential employers look at, and it’s where they can quickly gauge if you have the necessary skills and expertise to perform the job.
On average, hiring managers only spend around 7 seconds scanning each resume they receive. So, it’s essential to ensure your work experience section stands out. This is where affordable resume writing services come in handy – they can help you craft a professional and impressive resume that highlights your strengths and experience.
If you’re up against a lot of competition for a job, demonstrating your prior experience in similar roles and how well you succeeded in those roles can give you a significant advantage. Even if there are 20 other applicants, a strong work experience section could be the key to landing an interview.
But what if you’re a student, a recent graduate, or have limited professional experience? Don’t worry, there are ways to create a compelling work experience section on your resume, and affordable resume writing services can help with that too. So, take your time pursuing your dream job.
How Much Work Experience to Include on Your Resume
One of the most important things is how much experience you should put on your resume. In fact, it depends on how experienced you are in your field:
For highly experienced or senior-level candidates, it is recommended to include up to 15 years of relevant work experience on their resume, along with detailed job descriptions. However, suppose you have only worked for a single company throughout your career. In that case, it may be beneficial to outline all the positions you have held there to demonstrate the progression of your promotions, which may exceed the 15-year limit.
On the other hand, if you have worked for multiple companies, it is essential to focus on the most relevant experience within the 15-year timeframe, even if it means leaving some gaps in your work history. This ensures that your resume highlights the most significant accomplishments and expertise that align with the position you are applying for.
Candidates with significant experience/intermediate level: List all positions you have held, detailing relevant positions and briefly mentioning other jobs (outside your desired field, internships, temporary work, freelance, etc.).
Candidates with little experience/beginning level: List all paid work you have ever done and include a detailed description, regardless of relevance. Include internships, part-time work, temporary work, freelance, independent projects, etc.
No Professional Experience: List and detail any unpaid work experience you have, such as internships, apprenticeships, volunteer work, roles in student or community organizations, etc.
Tips for Listing Your Work Experience on Your Resume
Now that you have an idea of how far back in time the experience section should go, here are some tips on how to list your experience on your resume:
Where to Place Your Work Experience Section
Choosing the right resume format is crucial for making a strong impression on potential employers. Suppose you opt for the reverse chronological format, which is the most popular and traditional choice.
In that case, your work experience section should be located at the top, just under your resume summary. This format is ideal if you have a good amount of relevant experience, as your work history will be the main focus of your resume.
To ensure that your work experience is presented in the best light, it’s essential to list it in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent job at the top.
However, if you have less experience, are changing careers, or have gaps in your work history, a functional or combination resume format may be more effective.
In this case, your work experience section will be placed below your skills section, drawing attention to your qualifications and certifications, which can help to mitigate any weak spots in your professional history.
For students and recent graduates, highlighting your academic achievements can be the best strategy. It’s recommended to place your education section at the top of your resume, followed by your work experience section.
This showcases your academic accomplishments as the primary focus of your resume. You can rely on affordable resume writing services to help you choose the appropriate format that best showcases your skills and experience in the most compelling way possible.
Information to Include
When it comes to listing your work experience on your resume, it’s essential to provide specific details for each job. This includes your job title, the company name, its location, and your employment dates.
You can arrange these details in any order you prefer, but make sure to maintain consistency throughout your resume. In terms of dates, the conventional format includes both the months and years, but you can also choose to use years only to downplay short employment gaps or exclude them altogether if you’re using a functional resume format.
For expert guidance on crafting a well-structured and impactful resume, consider utilizing the services of professional resume writing services.
Use Bullet Points
Now that you have an idea of how far back in time the work experience section should go, here are some tips on how to list your experience on your resume: Most hiring managers know from your job title what duties and responsibilities you performed, so instead of just saying what you did, show how well you handled those duties.
As mentioned above, in some cases, you only need to briefly talk about positions that are irrelevant to your goal, going into more detail about the relevant positions and your current or last position.
To increase your chances of getting an interview, target your work experience with bullet points to the specific job you’re applying for. Use keywords from the job description and mirror the language the employer uses.
This strategy will help your resume pass an applicant tracking system (ATS) scan. For instance, if you’re a customer service representative, but your current job title is “client success agent,” it’s acceptable to rephrase your job title to match the language used in the job ad. By doing so, you’ll demonstrate to the employer that you have the relevant skills and experience they’re looking for. For assistance in crafting a targeted resume that will make you stand out, consider using affordable resume writing services.
Gaps in Your Employment
Fortunately, in recent years, many employers have become more relaxed about gaps in your work experience. In the 1990s, if someone took more than a couple of weeks between jobs, it was considered serious cause for concern. However, it’s no longer a big deal, especially if you provide a basic explanation.
Employers may ask you about this gap in an interview, but being honest and giving a basic explanation is usually the best policy. Remember, many employers note that they are okay with gaps in a candidate’s employment history as long as the gap is followed by work relevant to the target position.
However, if you are uncomfortable sharing explanations or if the answers might be compromising, you can omit the dates in your work experience entirely, as mentioned above. While this may also seem suspicious to potential employers, it will allow you to focus on your skills and other qualifications instead of your extensive work history.
Creating a Resume with No Work Experience
If you need more professional work experience, don’t worry, there are still ways to create an impressive and captivating resume.
Consider using a functional or combination resume style that doesn’t rely solely on work experience. As a student or recent graduate, prominently showcase your education section, highlighting awards, honours, and other notable achievements.
To further showcase your skills, incorporate them throughout all sections of your resume. Additionally, write a compelling introductory paragraph, such as a resume objective, to demonstrate your enthusiasm and potential.
To ensure your resume appears well-spent, include additional sections like languages, certifications, hobbies, and interests. It’s also essential to format your resume correctly, use professional fonts and colours, and complement it with a strong cover letter that will capture the attention of potential employers. Need help creating your resume? Consider utilizing professional resume writing services for expert guidance.
Here we presented tips for organizing work experience on a resume. For Hospitality industry-specific information on organizing work experience, please check our hospitality resume tips. Work experience is one of the most essential parts of your resume, and it’s usually the one employers read first and sometimes the only one. Ensure your work experience section is stellar: Put it in the right place, use a consistent format, and include all relevant information. Quantify your accomplishments as fractional points, and target the work experience section for each potential job opening.