Correctly formatting your resume can be a challenge. You want to be sure the layout of your CV is professional and highlights the most important information. You want to stand out. One piece of that is ensuring you have the appropriate experience for the job. Here is how to format the experience section of your resume.
First, you should narrow down what does and does not belong in the experience section. It doesn’t necessarily need to only include traditional nine-to-five work experience, though that is typically the main source of experience for most candidates. Be sure to include internships, volunteer work, temp jobs, freelance work, and projects you’ve completed. All of this counts as valid experience too as long as the experience you are including is relevant to the position you’re applying to.
Now you’re probably asking yourself what constitutes relevant experience. Simply put, it is the experience that can be directly applied to the job you’re inquiring about. So, if you worked as a temp as a paralegal in college, you probably won’t want to include it in your application 15 years later for an IT job.
If you are changing careers, consider what transferable skills you have to bring to the table. For example, if you have recently worked in food service but want to pursue an administrative assistant job, you would focus on your communication skills. You might also highlight other skills like scheduling, multitasking, and listening. Just think about your previous experience and responsibilities and dig for anything useful in the new position. This helps you tailor your resume to each job.
Gaps in work history are common. Plenty of people have taken a break and successfully returned to their careers. You may want to address a gap in your work history if it is longer than six months. Add an entry in the experience section explaining what you were up to and what experience you gained during that time.
On the same note, you shouldn’t go back too far into your work history either. For the most part, employers are not interested in anything further back than 15 years. Keep things to a single page, and don’t dwell on everything single position you’ve ever held.
Since you’re privy to the information that needs to be included, how do you format the experience section?
You’ll first need to title the section. Label it simply with “Experience” or “Work Experience” or “Relevant Experience.” You can also label it with words specific to the job you are applying for. So, if you are applying for an admin job, you might label it with “Administrative Work Experience.” This is where you will include all of the relevant work history and skills that you have.
Sometimes you might want to highlight the experience you’ve had that isn’t directly related to the position you’re applying for. This may be because you held a leadership position or made a major accomplishment. Whatever the case may be, include this experience in a separate section with a title like “Additional Experience” or “Other Valuable Experience.” Here is where you want to include volunteer work, internships, leadership roles, and other relevant information.
Professional recruiters can help you polish your resume and find a job that fits your experience. Contact PrideStaff St. Pete Clearwater to get connected with one of our recruiters.