The Resume Experience Section Explained

On average, a hiring manager will sift through a resume in the matter of seconds. How in the world does anyone impress a potential employer in that time frame merely based on their resume? The trick is to make sure the top third of the page is not only well-written, but also unique.

Every hiring manager looks through hundreds of resumes a day, keeping an eye out for various differentiators in candidates. What sets you apart from the Joe Shmoe next to you? The real key is to focus your time carefully on each section.

Experience is the crux of a resume, the portion that employers look to in order to understand where you have been prior to applying for this position. There are so many elements that go into your experience that will highlight your true skills and abilities that fit with a job description.  For instance, you can outline the skills you have learned along the way through your past jobs. In addition, you can use this section to show how truly fit you are for that specific position. Let’s explore further by going over some tips on an actual resume template:  

 

Related Experience - This section can come with many titles. “Experience,” “work history,” “employment experience,” “job history,” you name it. The title you choose will simply reflect the past work experience you have!

Job Title – Date

Medix Location, US

  • Start with your most recent job experiences.
  • Only keep experiences that are most relevant to the specific position. For instance, when applying for a nursing position, it’d be more useful to include past internships and medical experience rather than babysitting or lifeguarding. Make sure to alter each bullet point for each job you apply for!

Job Title – Date

Medix Location, US

  • Outline the most important responsibilities that you held in this position.
  • Describe the skills that you obtained during this position.

Job Title – Date

Medix Location, US

  • Begin each bullet point with an eye-catching action verb. Here are a few: conducted, directed, researched, compiled, verified, etc. After the action verb, add more details.
  • Relate skills back to the job description that you are applying for. For example, if you previously worked at a restaurant and you are applying for a staffing firm, describe the fast-paced environment! This is a common thread between a restaurant atmosphere and a staffing firm environment.

Job Title – Date

Medix Location, US

  • Quantify experiences when possible. This will show potential employers the direct impact during your job. For instance, “led and instructed 10 writing classes” is more impactful than “taught writing.”
  • Make your experience well-worded and concise. Drawn out bullet points may break the attention span of the reader!  

While every section on a resume is important, your experiences shape the candidate you truly are. By following these simple suggestions, each bullet will properly outline your past experience and show employers you are up for the task at hand! Be sure to focus enough time on your experience to explain your qualifications, skills learned and aptitudes. Even though your resume may not necessarily make or break a potential job, it could get you in the door for an interview!  

If you have any more advice on the experience section of a resume, please share below:

 

6 thoughts on “The Resume Experience Section Explained

  1. what about experience that doesn’t relate to the job you are applying for? Is it worth utilizing the space to describe things that aren’t relevant?

    • Yes! The trick is to find ways to apply the lessons you may have learned in one role to another. For example, while specific skills gained while working at a coffee shop might not transfer to a healthcare setting, the customer service lessons learned are widely applicable.

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