|Resume Section: Work
The work experience section of a resume is the section
that normally takes the most space on the resume, and for
good cause. It is where you, as a candidate, need to show
the employer that through your experience, you possess the
necessary qualifications to take on the job that needs to be
Typically, the work experience section is broken down by
employer. The name of the employer, the title of the
position, the location of the employment and the years of
employment are mentioned in the subheading. Following this
subheading, how you structure the rest is up to you.
Following are few suggestions based on what has been done:
- You can write one sentence that will describe the
employer. This is useful if the employer is a small
business that is not well known. This will give context
to your work description to follow.
- You can have a short paragraph that will describe
your responsibilities. This is sometimes done if the
candidate wants to give the employer a better idea of
his or her responsibilities on the job and the bullet
point format is not appropriate. Keep in mind however
that this paragraph can be followed by some bullet
points that will give more details on your
responsibilities or accomplishments on the job.
- You can simply jump right to using bullets and list
your main responsibilities.
As you set out to describe your work experience, make
sure to follow the following rules:
- Use the active tense. Each sentence in the list of
bullets should commence with a verb like developed,
analyzed, lead, researched, etc. For your current job,
make sure to use the present tense. For your past jobs,
use the past tense.
- Only list things that are relevant to the position
you are applying to.
- State the problem that you encountered, the action
that you took and the result that you achieved. These
are called “P-A-R” statements; Problem-Action-Result.
You don’t have to follow that order however. Here’s an
example of different orders:
- Saved ACB Electronics $5 million by designing
software program to resolve inefficiencies. The
order in this statement is Result-Action-Problem. By
mentioning the result first, you catch the reader’s
attention right away.
- Designed software to resolve inefficiencies and
saved ABC Electronics $5 million. The order in this
statement is Action-Problem-Result. By stating the
action first, you focus on the skills that you can
bring to the job.
- Resolved inefficiencies by designing software
and saved ABC Electronics $5 million. The order of
this statement is Problem-Action-Result. By stating
the problem first, you are emphasizing that you are
a problem-solver. This order may be relevant if the
money amount is minimal or not quantifiable.
- Keep your sentences short, clear and to the point.
- Under normal circumstances, you should spend more
time describing your more recent experiences on the
assumption that they are more relevant to the position
you are applying to.
- Do not go too far back in time if your work
experience back then will not advance your candidacy. If
you insist on mentioning that work experience, a
compromise is to have the subheading with a one-liner
summarizing what you have done. No need to go into
- If you have volunteering experience, add them here
too if relevant to the position. To be accurate, remove
the “work” out of the section heading and just leave
- If you have a gap in your work experience, read the
following articles. They will give you tips on how to
address that issue…
- If you do not have a separate accomplishment
section, you can list your accomplishments under this
- You can choose to regroup your experience under
headings if they are related.