What is the experience section of a resume?
The “Experience” section of a resume is a section where job seekers list their past work experiences. This section typically includes the job title, employer name, location, and dates of employment for each position held.
It is also where job seekers describe their job duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments in each role they have held being very important to be specific, quantifying accomplishments if possible.
The experience section is one of the most important sections of a resume as it gives employers an understanding of a candidate’s qualifications, skills, and work experience. It helps the employer to see if the candidate has the experience, skills, and qualifications that match the requirements of the job they are applying for.
Experience of a resume
This section can take many forms and can fall under a variety of headings: Volunteer, Internship, Relevant, Additional or Leadership Experience, etc.
You want to present your most relevant experiences first. If your most relevant experience is not your most recent experience, you can create a category – such as “Related Experience.” This allows you to highlight a past job that you feel will help you qualify for the position you are applying for.
This section can be labeled in a number of different ways – Professional Experience, Related Experience, etc. Appropriate experiences may include part-time jobs, internships, student teaching, work-study, or volunteer work. For each work-related experience, list the following:
- Name of the organization.
- Location of the organization. If this were relevant.
- Your job title/position.
- Dates of employment (mm/yyyy to mm/yyyy)
- Bulleted description of job duties, relevant skills, and accomplishments. Use positive action words to describe your duties and accomplishments. Be sure to include important keywords that are relevant to your activity.
Think: How? What? Results?
- Action/How – start each bullet point with an action verb (i.e. developed, created, produced, executed).
- Purpose/What – what was the purpose of your action, your responsibility, your assignment, project, etc.?
- Result/Why – what was the result of your action, and what did you accomplish?
Use the following questions to help analyze your experiences
- What skills did you develop/use? (Oral/written communication, organizational, problem solving, creativity, computer, etc)
- What were your responsibilities? Did they change and/or otherwise increase over time? Were you promoted?
- Did you work with co-workers? Demonstrate teamwork/team building.
- Did you train, supervise or assume leadership roles?
- Did you solve problems? Make decisions or recommendations?
- Did you gather and/or analyze information?
- How well were you able to meet deadlines and handle the pressure?
- Did you utilize and/or develop technical/computer skills?
- Did you produce documents and/or reports?
- Can you quantify the results of your work? (number of customers served, the percentage increase in sales, number of employees supervised, etc.)
Examples of experience on the resume
- Developed (action/how) an after-school program for elementary school children focused on reading comprehension skills (purpose/what) which resulted in the participation of 20 students (results/why).
- Created and compiled investment portfolio worth $50 – $2M dollars for clients and senior financial advisors.
- Scheduled, advertised, and hosted professional development workshops for approximately 200 students to prepare them to interview for various internship opportunities.
In conclusion, the experience section on a resume is one of the most important sections as it provides employers with a detailed understanding of a candidate’s qualifications, skills, and work experience. It gives employers an insight into the candidate’s job duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments, and it helps them to see if the candidate has the experience, skills, and qualifications that match the requirements of the job they are applying for.
A well-written experience section highlights the candidate’s achievements, and it also can demonstrate a track record of success through diverse professional experiences. It’s important that the experience section is tailored to the job the candidate is applying for, and that it is well-organized and easy to read. The experience section is a key factor in the hiring process, and it can make or break a candidate’s chances of getting an interview or a job offer.
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