WHERE do I place the employment history on my resume?
The role and importance of your employment history section will depend on the type of the resume you choose to write. Depending on where you’re in life, you should write either a chronological or a functional resume:
- Chronological resume revolves around the employment history section. Great for professionals with several years of work experience. The most commonly used resume style.
- Functional resume revolves around the skills summary section. Great for fresh graduates, students, and people who are changing careers who might already have some skills but lack experience.
For more useful info on resume styles, don’t forget to check out our quick guide to writing your resume skills section or visit our blog.
HOW do I write my employment history on a resume?
This section is the heart of your chronological resume so make sure you write it well. Follow these simple guidelines:
- Don’t include the job description. Instead of listing what you were supposed to do, tell your potential employers what positive results did you produce.
- Show your problem-solving skills. In the end, hiring managers want to know how effective are you going to be in solving real problems. There’s no better way to prove your problem-solving ability than to briefly describe how you solved difficult problems in the past. Follow the PAR scheme: What was the Problem? What Action did you take? What was the result?
- Quantify results. A number is worth a thousand words, as managers love measurable results. Don’t say you “increased the company’s revenue significantly.” Instead, don’t be afraid to brag about “increasing the company’s revenue by 20%.”
- Use bullet points. Bullet points help you structure your sub-sections with next to no effort on your part. Still, you want to use them in moderation. Use them in combination with short paragraphs. First describe the scope of your responsibilities, then use bullet points to list your top contributions for each job.
- Avoid buzzwords. Some phrases have been used so much in resumes they became meaningless. Avoid words such as “thinking outside the box,” “creative,” or “problem solver.” These words always sound insincere. You want to inspire confidence.
- Use action verbs. As opposed to buzzwords, there are some power words you DO want to use. These include expression such as “achieved,” “advised,” “negotiated” and others. See the pattern there? Instead of adjectives, use verbs you can support with evidence.
- Keywords. Reread the job description and carefully pick the most important keywords. These are the words that best describe the position you’re applying for. Pack your resume with it.
RESUME EXAMPLE: Employment History (Recent graduate)
Marketing Intern, Resume Revolution Inc., Colorado Springs, CO, 2015 to 2016 – Designed the content management strategy which increased readership by 20% in 2 months. – Ran 4 digital marketing campaigns. Increased revenue by 12% over 6 months.
Volunteer Marketer, Charity Books Store, Portland, OR, 2010 to 2013 – Prepared 30+ monthly newsletters. – Created and administered the store ’ s eShop and web site. – Visual merchandising.
Writer and Translator, Freelance, Portland, OR, 2010 to 2015 – Wrote 500+ blog articles for clients from tech and food industries. – Edited 6 ebooks with 100,000+ downloads in total. – Translated 10+ websites into Spanish and German.