Work Experience on a Resume - How to List It Right

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Imagine you’re an HR manager for a second, and someone sends in their resume for you to go over.

What section do your eyes jump to first?

If you guessed work experience , then you’re right.

And if you spot a few relevant keywords in the past job experience section, then you’d continue on their background , contact information , and so on.

When applying for a job, the number one thing most recruiters want to know is if you can really do it right .

And one way to know that for sure is to look at your past work experience.

So, we know two things: most HR managers spend on average 6 seconds to go through a resume. And the work experience is one of the most important sections you can have.

Where does that leave us with?

Basically, if you want to get that call back for the interview, your work experience section really needs to be top-notch. 

Now, when it comes to writing a resume - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Meaning, other sections need to be up to par as well.

But for now, we’re going to focus on arguably the most important section of any resume - the work experience.

listing work experience on a resume

How to Put Work Experience on a Resume [W/ Template]

How to stand out with your work experience section, 5 real-life work experience examples (for different fields), how to list other resume sections.

But before we dive right in, you’ll need the right tool to build your resume.

Want to save yourself the headache of trying to craft the perfect resume section-by-section from the ground up?

You can get a head start and use our resume builder instead.

work experience on a resume

Our templates were developed with recruiters and employers in mind, so that your resume format is easy to follow and scan. 

The work experience section is where you get to really sell yourself, so you have to make sure you really iron out the details and the formatting makes sense.

This is where you get to show off your best qualities.

Because, if the recruiter is going to pick between 10 different candidates, you know for a fact they’re going to narrow down the list starting with the most relevant experience.

To get your work experience to really shine on your resume, first, we’re going to cover the basic formatting , and then get to the best practices on how to stand out with your work experience section.

What’s that? You don’t have any experience to begin with? No problem!

Check out our no experience resume guide if you’re trying to get your first professional job.

Now, here’s what you need to know about structuring your work experience section.

Basic Formatting

A good resume tells a story of who you are, what your background is, and why you’re the perfect candidate for the job at hand.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should tell your whole life story, because after all, the ideal resume length is still 1 page .

Instead, this is where you sell yourself , brag about your past achievements and responsibilities.

When listing your previous job roles, you should follow a reverse-chronological order (though, also consider other resume formats ).

To make sure your resume is easy to follow, we recommend going with the standard work experience format, which looks a bit like this:

  • Job Title and Position
  • Company Name / Description / Location

Dates Employed

  • Responsibilities and Achievements

Or, here’s how it looks like in practice:

work experience on resume

Now, let’s explain what goes in each part:

Job Title / Position

Your job title goes first . 

When the HR manager scans through your resume, this will most likely be the first section they’ll check. 

Be prepared and make it easy for them to find this.

There is not a lot to say here except that your job title should be accurate to what you did.

To make things simple, you can use the exact name you saw in the original job ad.

  • Digital Marketing Expert
  • Online Marketing Magician

Company Name, Description, and Location 

If the position checks out, they’ll want to know more details. 

If the company isn’t famous, you can also describe in 1-2 sentences. And you should always mention the location of the firm, too.

Try to keep the total section under 3-5 jobs and only remove other job experiences if you’re running out of space and absolutely can’t remove any other part of your resume.

Achievements and Responsibilities

When listing achievements in your resume , you should add any specific change you made happen (we’ll explore how to do this more in-depth below) that the HR manager can apply to their company.

When possible, you should always list accomplishments over responsibilities. 

After all, the HR manager already knows what your responsibilities are - they’ve probably gone through similar resumes over 100 times now with the same bland responsibilities

  • Hit and exceeded monthly sales KPIs for 5 months in a row.
  • Carried out sales operations.

If that’s not possible because of the nature of the job (e.g. cashier , entry-level, etc.), however, you can simply list out your daily responsibilities and tasks.

While describing your job responsibilities, try to limit them within 6 bullet points at most.

Sounds obvious, right? 

Simply list how long you worked at your previous role for. And relax , if you don’t remember the exact day you got hired, you can give an approximate timeframe. 

The standard format for dates employed is mm/yyyy .

Digital Marketing Manager

06/2015 - PRESENT

June 20 of 2015 - PRESENT

If you decide to use the mm/yyyy format, aim for consistency and make sure your other work experience listings look the same way.

career masterclass

Work Experience Q&A

Have some questions on your work experience section?

Maybe you have a giant gap in your work experience, or you’re a recent graduate looking for a job with 0 work experience . 

In this section, we’re going to cover the most common questions about the work experience section...

Do You List an Internship?

Not sure if an internship belongs on your resume?

Well, are you applying for an intermediate or senior role?

If it’s either of the two, then you might want to leave out the internship you did 4-5 years ago.

Meanwhile, are you a recent college grad with not a lot of practical work experience?

If so, an internship is a great way to show some substance and that you’re serious about your career path.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you’re struggling to fill up your resume, you should definitely include any internships, even if you weren’t hired full-time afterwards, or the internship was in a completely different field.

What If You Don’t Have a Lot of Experience?

If you’re applying for an entry-level job haven’t worked a day in your life, you can focus on other ways to present yourself.

For example, you can focus more on your soft skills , university achievements , and other personal qualities .

If you’re a recent college grad, the recruiter is most likely not expecting you to have a whole page worth of work experience - so don’t sweat it.

Instead, you might consider including the following contents:

  • Summer Job - Ever worked a summer job? Include it! This can show the recruiter that you have SOME work experience, even if it’s not related to the job you’re applying for.
  • University Projects - Pretty much all team-based project exercises work. Created a mock product for a business class? Add it!
  • Personal Projects - Done anything interesting with your free time? Published videos on Youtube? Coded mini software applications? Add them to your resume!

How Do You List Gaps In Your Resume?

Gaps on a resume can be a red flag - only if you provide no explanation.

If the HR manager sees an empty gap in your work experience section, they’re going to assume the worst case scenario.

So, it’s better to ease their expectations and be honest.

In a line or two, explain what happened and move on, no need to dwell on it.

  • July 2018 - February 2019, due to my medical situation, I had to take time off to fully recover and focus on my health.

The good news is that you don’t have to tell the whole story, especially if it’s personal, but be prepared to briefly go over it if it comes up during the interview.

And now, if you really want to stand out from other candidates with your superior work experience listing, here’s what you can do.

Do you want to hear some good news?

When it comes to listing their work experience, many people simply mention their daily responsibilities and call it a day.

Want your application to stand out from the bunch? Do this:

Write Achievements Instead of Responsibilities

One of the best ways you can summarize your job experience is by showing your achievements .

In most cases, the HR manager can already guess what your responsibilities were. Especially if it’s anything like the one you’re applying for - they probably know the position inside out.

Instead, to stand out, what you can do is show your impact , in that role.

  • Increased landing page CTR by 4% in the first month through A/B testing and changing the copy.
  • Worked with email marketing and launched social media campaigns.

If you increased the overall revenue growth from 5% to 15%, and implemented a new marketing plan for the year, this is something recruiter will want to know.

They’re looking for information and any kind of quantifiable change that you can also apply to their company.

However, if you were in a position where you could not leave behind any notable achievements (e.g. sever in a restaurant, cashier in a supermarket, etc.), feel free to simply list your responsibilities and tasks .

Tailoring your work experience to a specific job

When reading a resume, the HR manager is looking for information relevant to that specific position, with its own unique requirements.

Because, guess what, if you send the same resume to every job ad you can get your hands on, it’s going to be very obvious that you’re using a generic resume, not optimized for any of them in particular.

To avoid that, show the recruiter that you actually took the time to read the job ad (which you should) , and that your resume is tailored to their requirements.

To do this, actually read the job ad in detail, not just give it a quick glance and call it a day.

For example, take this ad:

job ad example

They’re looking for someone:

  • With 5+ years of experience in creating digital experiences
  • Proficient in standard UX software
  • With specific knowledge of interface patterns for mobile, web, and responsive design (i.e. specific areas)
  • With good understanding of HTML, CSS , JAVA , and more

The point is that they’re looking for specific knowledge within the general position.

So in this case, they want someone with a B.A. degree , 5+ years of experience and with a good understanding of basic front-end development. 

You can mention how you excel at all this within your work experience entries…

  • Developed mobile applications with Java, optimized for both Mobile and Web

Now, with all that knowledge combined, let’s take a look at some exceptional real-life resume examples that work.

Not sure how to list work experience for your field?

Looking for some inspiration?

Here’s a few practical work experience examples:

Marketing Work Experience Example

marketing work experience example

As a marketer, you probably know all about the importance of tailoring your message to your target market.

So, your resume needs to reflect that.

Don’t be afraid of using some marketing-specific language and tools within your resume.

Look at your resume as an ad, with the intention of selling yourself .

The above professional experience section does a number of things really well.

They made sure to:

  • List their achievements in a clear way with a quantifiable number to it
  • Include only the previous positions that are relevant to marketing
  • Follow a clear, easy-to-read structure that the HR interview can skim through.

In terms of design, you might want to choose your approach based on the company. 

If they’re a tech startup that values creativity - you can use a template similar to the above one.

If not - go with a more conservative one.

Teacher Work Experience Example

teacher work experience example

Teacher resumes can be more complicated because of the formality behind it and the necessary certificates required.

Let’s take a look at the above example of a teacher resume applying and see what they did well:

In this example, everything under the teaching work experience is listed as responsibilities - which is fine, in this case .

Because, chances are, you won’t have a lot of achievements as a teacher.

  • Taught SO well that one of my students went on to become the president of the United States

Since the teacher’s only worked 1 job in this case, they also added a volunteering experience to the resume .

This is a great way to boost their chances and back up their qualifications. 

Though volunteering is not the same thing as teaching , it can still help you stand out from the rest of the applicants?

Cashier Work Experience Example

cashier work experience example

There are no essential credentials business owners expect to come up on a cashier’s resume .

Though, basic arithmetic and computer skills always help, so it’s a good idea to mention your educational background.

Customer service is another important area, which you can focus on in your work experience:

And this is one of those times where it’s perfectly acceptable to simply list out your daily responsibilities instead of any noteworthy achievements in your work experience.

The HR manager isn’t expecting a cashier to have changed the way the store works completely, increasing revenue by 20%. Instead, what they want to know is if you can do the tasks as expected.

Be direct and honest with your work experience here to show you’re qualified and you’ll be fine.

Software Developer Work Experience Example

software developer work experience example

Working within IT, there are also a lot of different ways you can list your work experience section - depending on the job, which might have been full-time or freelance work .

As an IT, you will most likely have to include achievements as well as responsibilities .

Though if you’re a developer, you might not be able to show your achievements through your code.

Instead, you can show the impact of your code (or software) through the frame of the bigger picture.

For example, let’s say you worked on an internal software project:

  • Developed a new internal HR approval software and significantly increased the speed for processing applicants in the company

Look into how you assisted the overall project development through your code.

When it comes to most tech jobs, your work experience is the single most important section on your resume.

Make sure you include all the relevant details, and try to keep your list of responsibilities up to six bullet points at most.

Feel free to also include any technical details and examples you can come up with (quantifiable data always helps), as the HR manager will have some knowledge of what you’re talking about.

But on the other hand, don’t fill up your work experience with jargon and buzzwords either.

For more examples, check out our guide to a software engineer resume .

Student Work Experience Example

student work experience example

Finally, what if you’re a student with not a lot of experience under your belt?

Then your work experience section might look a bit different, something like the above example. 

Yes, that’s only one listing under the work experience. And yes, that’s fine.

Why’s that?

Because no one’s expecting you to actually have 5+ years worth of experience as a recent graduate.

Your lack of work experience shouldn’t hold you back. Simply list any experience you do have , and move on.

Though, this is where your other type of experience can help.

Consider your volunteer experience or an internship you’ve gone through.

The HR managers typically are looking for people who are devoted and ambitious in student and graduate resumes .

So, don’t get too hung up on your actual work experience .

Your resume has other sections as well.

Here’s what you need to know about that:

While your work experience might be the single most important section of your resume, at the end of the day, it works in sync with all the other resume sections .

Even if they might not be relevant at first glance, your soft skills , personal qualities , and hobbies and interests can be the deciding factor between you getting the job or not.

There are going to be cases when the recruiter has to make a decision with candidates with near-identical work experience.

Here’s where the other resume sections come into play and how you can boost your chances of getting picked:

Conferences, Courses and Certificates

This can either go in your education section or in a category of its own, depending on the context.

Generally, your approach here should vary depending on the relevance and the importance of your certification or course.

For example, if you’re applying for a job in education , your certificates are probably going to be more important. Especially if you know you’re going to be working closely within those fields in your applied job.

certificates on resume

For example, if you’re going to be teaching social studies to high-school students, you might want to include your relevant certificates within the field.

Of course, any other general education certificated can also help.

The language section is particularly interesting, because while it might not provide any specific examples of how you do your job better, it’s still a good thing to have.

Simply because most companies are international nowadays, with clients all over the world. Being bilingual is a great way to stand out and offer a competitive advantage.

languages on resume

When listing your languages, consider how you can rate yourself. You can say that you are:

  • Intermediate

They’re not going to take up a lot of space in your resume, so you might want to include this section if you’re confident about your language skills.

Personal Projects

Everyone loves a side-gig.

It’s one of the best ways you can show your passion and dedication.

Any personal passion project you’ve been working on that is relevant to your current job position can help you stand out and show that you’re not making stuff up.

If you’re a student with not a lot of work experience, for example, you can use your personal projects section to back up your soft skills and your dedication.

personal projects on resume

How you spend your free time says a lot about you.

And if it’s spent focusing on what you’re truly passionate about, then the HR manager should know about it immediately.

Anything that’s not as relevant, however, like your 3rd grade lemonade stop project , should probably be left off to make space.

Key takeaways

To recap, your work experience section of the resume is arguably one of the most important parts of your resume.

So, you need to make sure you’re formatting it right and it’s easy for the HR manager to skim through it.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • First, stick to the following work experience order: job title, position, company name, description, location, achievements, responsibilities, dates employed
  • This ensures maximum readability and makes it easy for the HR manager to jump to the relevant keywords they’re looking for.
  • When listing your work experience though, make sure you’re custom tailoring it to the job ad and listing any noteworthy achievements whenever possible to stand out.
  • Within your job experience section, also consider if you’re going to include your internship , and how your other sections can help your overall resume format.
  • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to your resume. Meaning, you can’t rely on your work experience along to get you the job and your overall resume needs to be in sync as well.

Now, if you’re looking for inspiration on how to craft a beautiful resume, for your specific dream job, be sure to check out our creative resume templates .

And if there’s anything else you want to learn about the job hunt process, you can always check out our career blog for the latest news.

Suggested reading:

  • How to Write a Resume & Land That Job [99+ Real-Life Examples]
  • How to Pick the Best Resume Format in 2024 [+Examples]
  • What to Put On a Resume (To Get The Job You’ll Love)

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  • CV and Cover Letter
  • Work Experience for a Resume:...

Work Experience for a Resume: How to Add it to Get Hired

14 min read · Updated on December 20, 2023

Jen David

Present your work experience well and you'll blow other applicants out of the water!

For most professionals, the Work Experience section of their resme will be the most important part of their most important career document. This is the part that proves to a hiring manager that you have the knowledge, background, and experience to excel. But, given that it carries so much weight, how can you write and format it for maximum impact?

In this article, we'll examine how to lay out your resume work experience section, what to include, and how to word it. There are plenty of examples too, so that you can visualize how your resume could look. In short, we'll give you the crib sheet that teaches you how to produce a stellar resume that gets noticed for all the right reasons.

Where should I position my resume work experience?

While your work experience is likely to make up the bulk of your resume, that doesn't mean you should put it right at the top. Start with your contact details and headline , followed by a profile summary and your key skills .

Then, you have a decision to make. If you're a recent graduate , or you're aiming for your first job, your qualifications are probably more impressive than any work experience you have. Therefore, put your qualifications section directly under the key skills and position any work experience you have underneath that.

If you're established in your career, however, it's your professional experience that should take center stage. Relegate your qualifications to the bottom of the resume and promote your work experience to start just below your skills.

Pro tip: When you're writing a resume, put yourself in the mind of your reader. Make sure it's easy for them to find the most impressive and relevant information!

How to lay out your resume work experience

First things first – you need to create a basic layout for your resume work experience that you can then replicate for every role. You'll need the following elements:

Section heading

To ensure your resume is easy to navigate, begin with the section heading. You can choose from any of the following:

Work experience

Professional experience

Career history

Career summary

The heading should be in a larger font than the body of the text, so that a reader can immediately identify and jump to the section they're interested in.

Next up, you'll need a subheading for every role you've held over the last 10-15 years. Within that subheading, include:

Your job title. Ideally use your official job title, but if you're going for a similar role with a slightly different title, it's fine to tweak it, or to put the target job title in brackets. The key point is that the job title should accurately reflect what the job actually entails.

The name of your employer. Use their formal name, e.g. “Ford Motor Company” rather than just “Ford.”

The start and end dates of your employment. Just month and year will do – or even just year if you've held each role for a long time. Keep the format consistent, whether you chose “12/2023” or  “Dec 2023” or “December 2023.”

The location. Add the state or country you worked in, unless you've always worked, and will continue to work, locally - in which case location is less important.

When you've laid out this sub-heading, duplicate it for every role so that you have a uniform presentation that looks professional.

Role and responsibilities

Below the sub-heading for every role, you'll need to briefly explain your overall role and responsibilities. You don't need to go into much detail on this – 3 to 4 lines or bullet points should be plenty. The key here is to ensure that someone from outside the company, or someone unfamiliar with the role, can immediately understand what you were employed to do. Quantify whatever information you can, so that the reader can understand the scope of your duties, too.


Now we come to the star attraction of your resume work experience section – your achievements! Aim to list a minimum of 3 achievements for every role you've held over the last 10-15 years. Remember, an achievement in this context doesn't mean something personal to you, such as learning to use new computer software. It means a benefit you've delivered to the company.

Start every achievement with a dynamic verb , such as reduced, exceeded, improved, increased, won… the options are endless. Again, quantify everything you can so that the hiring manager can appreciate the impact you've had on the business.

Which work experience is listed first on a resume?

Always write your resume work experience in reverse chronological order – that means your current (or latest) job first, working backwards in time as you go down the page. By doing that, your most recent, high-level, and impressive experience will be the first thing the reader sees.

Resume work experience example

Let's put all that together to see how it works:

Professional Experience

Head of IT                                                                                                                       May 2015 – date

Big Business Inc.

Led a team of 25 Software Engineers and controlled a $30million annual budget to provide IT services to 5,000 users across 15 locations. Directed transformation projects and contributed as a key member of the senior leadership team.

Key achievements

Enabled $5million of savings by overseeing a project to implement a time management system for 2,500 staff

Reduced average support resolution times by 20% by upskilling and expanding the team

Reduced printing costs by $30,000 per year by renegotiating contracts with suppliers

Senior Systems Engineer                                                                                      Jan 2013 – May 2015

Small Business Inc.

Held full accountability for all IT requirements in 3 UK offices, supported 50 users and managed a portfolio of IT projects.

Improved data retention and retrieval by 4 hours per request by transitioning from tape to cloud back-up

Won Manager of the Year for 2 consecutive years

As you can see, the focus of the resume work experience section here is on the value added to the business. By quantifying the scope of the role and the achievements, it's easy for the reader to understand this person's previous experience and how they can make a positive impact in the role.

How much work experience do I put on my resume?

As you'll have seen above, we recommend using this resume work experience format for all the roles you've held in the last 10-15 years. That doesn't mean any earlier work experience is useless and should be discarded! No, it just means that this level of detail isn't required.

Recruiters are usually most interested in your most recent experience. Earlier roles can simply be summarized in an Early Career section, giving just job title, employer name, and years of employment (you can omit the years, or even your earliest jobs, if you're concerned about age discrimination).

Similarly, if you've held many roles in the last 10-15 years, you may want to change the cut-off point to 8-10 years. A resume is flexible! Its job is to show your suitability for the role, so if you're repeating yourself or adding less relevant information, you can start summarizing sooner – it will benefit both you and your reader. As a general rule of thumb, 4-5 roles in detail is usually plenty.

How to write a resume with no work experience

Everyone has to start somewhere! If you haven't started your first job yet, that doesn't mean you can't write an impressive resume. Consider these options:

Include volunteering. If you've worked in a voluntary position , that's ideal – your resume work experience can relate to both paid and unpaid work. Present your volunteering experience the same way you'd present paid experience, as we outlined above.

Create a skills-based resume. If you have no work experience to add, you can create a skills-based resume. Add sub-headings for your relevant skills, with bullets underneath giving examples of when you've used each skill (preferably outcome-oriented).

Leverage school and college experience. Were you the Captain of a sports team? Secretary of a society? Mentor for other students? Pet-sitter? If you lack professional experience, you can draw from every other area of your life to demonstrate to a hiring manager that you have the experience and attitude to succeed in their vacant position.

If you're worried that the work experience section on your resume is a bit light at the moment, now's the perfect time to get out there and beef it up. Ask neighbors if they need a babysitter, volunteer to tutor younger students, help out the elderly lady across the street – get creative in finding ways to build up this part of your resume!

Resume example for students with no work experience

The work experience section of a resume for students with no work experience could look like this:

Work Experience

College  Ambassador at XYZ College (ad hoc)                                                    2022 - 2023

Represented the Computer Science course as a subject ambassador, speaking with prospective students and parents about the course and the college. Answered questions politely and shared relevant information, with the course being over-subscribed following every open evening.

Assistant Golf Coach at ABC Golf Club (part time)                                           2022 - 2023

Assisted with coaching junior players aged from 9-15. Drove golf carts safely and with consideration for other players. Enabled players to progress, improve their skills and enjoy a new sport, resulting in additional memberships at the club.

How to tailor your resume work experience

Now that you've written your resume work experience section, you're ready to start job-hunting. But wait! Don't just fire off your master resume to every vacant job! You may have spent time perfecting the layout and the wording, but there's one final step before you hit send.

With the job posting in front of you, you'll need to tailor your resume work experience to your target role. What does that mean? Well, go through the advert and highlight the key requirements for the role, then make sure they're reflected back, very clearly, within your resume. Aim to use the exact words you've highlighted, so that your resume pops up when recruiters carry out a keyword search.

For example, you may notice that the role requires someone who can code in C#, but your resume currently states “programming.” Changing that one word to “coding in C#” aligns your resume better with the role requirements. Do this with every point you've highlighted and watch your resume fly to the top of the pile!

Resume work experience FAQs

Pulling together your resume work experience can be tricky, so we've pulled the most common questions together to make it easier for you.

Do employment gaps on a resume matter?

Employment gaps are a perfectly normal part of life, so embrace the gap! If you've had a break longer than a few months, though, it may help to positively (but briefly) address the gap on your resume. Here are some suggestions on how you could do that:

2020 – 2023 – Planned career break to raise a family

2018 – 2019 – Career break due to redundancy: time spent pursuing an online course and completing home renovations

2023 – 2024 – Career break due to illness: now fully recovered and fit to return to full-time work 

Should I include work experience that's not relevant to my target job?

Sometimes, life can blow you in unexpected directions. If you've had a role that doesn't align with your current career aspirations, it need not be a problem. Consider these suggestions:

Eliminate the role. If taking the role off the resume won't leave a gaping and unexplained hole, you can simply remove it, no questions asked.

Minimize the role. If removing the role would raise unnecessary questions, include it – briefly. Keep the same sub-headings as usual, but don't dedicate more than a line or two to your responsibilities and achievements, just mention the job and move on.

Reframe the role. Rather than focusing on the irrelevant aspects of the role, just write about the transferable parts.

Can you include volunteer experience?

Absolutely! Volunteering is generally very positively viewed. We described above how a student with no work experience can include volunteering on their resume, but what if you have a solid career already? You have four options here:

Use it to cover a gap. Volunteering can be used to cover a gap in your resume if you include it as part of your work experience section. Treat it as you would a paid role.

Create a volunteering section. If your voluntary work uses relevant skills that aren't coming through elsewhere on your resume, create a separate volunteering section, laid out in the same way as the work experience section. While you won't want to go into such great detail, it gives you the opportunity to highlight information that would otherwise go unmentioned.

Add a brief one-liner. If your volunteering doesn't add any relevant skills or experience, but you still want to mention it, you can add a brief line in your Further Details section – that's where you can include any information to support your candidacy that doesn't fit neatly anywhere else – for example, foreign language proficiency.

Ignore it. There's no obligation to include volunteering on your resume, so if you don't think it adds any value, just leave it off!

Can I leave jobs off my resume?

There are certain situations where it's acceptable to leave jobs off your resume. We mentioned irrelevant jobs above, but you may want to leave them off for other reasons. If you held a job back in the eighties, for example, it probably has very little relevance to your career today. A resume is a sales brochure, not a life story, so there's no harm leaving off outdated experience.

What if you were fired, or left on bad terms? Well, ideally a resume wouldn't have an unexplained gap on it, so you can either include it and hope they aren't asked to provide a reference, or you can take it off and find another brief way to explain the gap. The shorter the time in the role, the easier this will be!

Should I put a short-term job on my resume?

It's not unusual to take a stop-gap job to retain an income between permanent roles. Whether you choose to include it on your resume depends on how relevant it is to your current career aspirations. If it's relevant, there's no harm in including it. You could emphasize that it was a “short term contract” or “maternity cover” to pre-empt questions. If it's not relevant, however, you can pick the most suitable option above where we discuss irrelevant work experience.

How can I show a promotion on a resume?

Congratulations on your promotion, it's definitely resume-worthy! A promotion shows that you've performed well and received recognition from your superiors, and that's definitely something a hiring manager will want to know. Make sure that you include the company name within the sub-heading of every role, as that way any reader will be able to trace your progress within the business. 

You may also want to add a line into your achievements section, if there was a particular reason for your promotion – for example, “Achieved selection into a more senior role having reduced customer complaints by 50% in just 6 months.”

How do I list an internship?

An internship can be included just like any other paid, permanent role. Include the same details and focus on the experience you gained and any value you added to the business.

A little effort now can get you far

The work experience part of your resume is arguably the hardest part to write, but it can have a great impact if it's done well. By following our guidelines on including resume work experience, you'll soon have a resume to be proud of that opens doors for you.

Want to check you're hitting the right notes? Why not submit your resume for a free resume review by our experts? They'll make sure you're hitting all the right notes before you apply for your dream job.

Recommended reading:

9 Soft Skills Employers Want

How to List Education on Your Resume (with Examples)

How to Write a Targeted Resume That Lands You an Interview

Related Articles:

Guide to the Best Margin Size to Use on Your Resume

What to Say When Emailing a Resume (with Examples)

Empathic Listening: Definition, Examples, and Skills

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How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume in 2022 (Examples & Tips)

Your work experience is a summary of all your hard work, dedication and achievements over the years. Here's how to do justice to your work history.

Rohit Sahay

The work experience section of a resume will be the crown jewel that demonstrates to potential employers that you have the work history to back up your credentials.

In this guide, we will provide you with in-depth coverage for how to craft the perfect work experience section to help you land more interviews and job offers. 

Here's an outline of what we'll learn:

Including Work Experience on a Resume

What to exclude from your work history, formatting your work experience section, how to list achievements and accomplishments, add more experience with relevant certifications, use strong action verbs, how to show job promotions, addressing career gaps in your work experience, how to show volunteer work and internship experience.

  • How Far Back Should Your Work History Go?

Key Takeaways

For all the inside scope on each component of your resume, check out our comprehensive resume guides . 

Work experience is a major component of any successful resume.

However, it can be difficult to decipher what exactly you should be including in your work history. 

Each job applicant will have a differing amount of working experience under their belt.

The key is to not shove too much information into this section.

Instead, you will need to take the time to sit down and decide which information best highlights your strengths and gives you an advantage for a particular job opportunity.

It is important to keep in mind that you should be altering your resume to match the job description of each individual job you are applying to. 

By taking the time to re-edit your work experience section for specific applications, you will have a much greater chance of impressing hiring managers. 

In this article, we will help you craft the perfect work experience section.

Some key questions we will be answering include:

  • What should you be including in your work history?
  • What should you be excluding from your work history?
  • How should your work experience section be formatted?

Keep reading to learn more about how you can begin optimizing your work history section.

Beautiful resume templates to land your dream job

Real Estate Agent

What Information to Include in Your Work History?

Ultimately, your work history will contain the following:

  • Job Position ( e.g. "Bartender" )
  • Company ( e.g. "Red Lobster" )
  • Location (e.g. "Brooklyn, NY")
  • Start Date - Month & Year (e.g. "October 2019")
  • End Date - Month & Year (e.g. "January 2021") Note : You can list "Present" if it's your current job
  • Description (responsibilities and achievements)

Here's how that looks, you can also see an example of the Yoga Instructor resume here .

Yoga Instructor, January 2018 – Present Mellow Mushroom • Nashville, TN • Taught 40+ elderly clients basic yoga moves each day • Held 4 classes a day that differ in intensity, including beginner and intermediate • Advised modifications for yoga poses to ensure proper form, to meet clients' athletic abilities • Instructed clients on breathing techniques, such as Basic Breath Awareness and Retention • Developed body-mind-spirit awareness, mental clarity and physical flexibility and strength

However, when deciding which information to include within your work experience section, there are four main principles to keep in mind:

Here is a quick breakdown of each of these crucial factors:

1) Relevancy

When writing out your work experiences, it is important to consider how relevant your previous experience is to the job you are currently applying for

Your most relevant experience should always be the most emphasized and focused on, as it will be where you showcase the skills and achievements that qualify you for the position.

For instance, let’s say you are applying for an entry-level copywriting position and you have two major examples of work experience you would like to include.

These examples are:

  • Managed the front of house of a restaurant for four years.
  • Worked as a journalist at a local newspaper for one year.

Even though the management position may take up a greater chunk of your professional background, your experience as a journalist is much more relevant to the field of copywriting.

Therefore, you would want to place greater emphasis on your more relevant experience. 

2) Timeliness

Let’s say you are applying for a position for which all or most of your work experience is fairly relevant with similar importance in your roles.

How do you decide which of this experience is best to include on your resume?

When listing out your relevant work experience, it is recommended to showcase your most recent experience first and work backwards from there. 

As a general rule of thumb, it is good to aim to include work experience that you have gained within the past 5 years, though trying to include examples from within the last 1 to 5 years is ideal. 

Generally, work experience older than 5 years should be included on more in-depth resumes, such as on a resume for a job applicant seeking a senior position at a company.

Additionally, the academic resume format “Curriculum Vitae” – or CV – will typically include experience that spans across an even wider timeframe. 

3) Longevity

If you have held a relevant position for a long period of time, this kind of longevity can be highly impressive to hiring managers.

Showcasing your longevity at a previous job demonstrates your ability to commit to a company long-term. 

Moreover, showcasing positions you have held for a long period of time can also be a great opportunity to emphasize any promotions you may have received.

Showing your ability to not only commit, but to grow as well can be majorly influential on the impression your resume leaves.

4) Position

Different positions you have held within a field or industry may hold greater weight than others.

While it is still important to keep relevance, timeliness, and longevity in mind, it can also be useful to showcase your higher positions on your resume.

For example, let’s say you are applying for a position as an executive administrative assistant and you have the following work experience:

  • Office manager for small law firm 
  • Administrative assistant for a tattoo parlor

While both positions are relevant to the job you are applying for, your role as an office manager may have had greater responsibilities compared to your assistant position. 

Check out our Human Resources Resume Example to see how the work experience section utilizes all four of the above mentioned factors. 

Human Resources

When you are writing your work experience section, it is important to note that you don’t want to include every job under the sun that you have ever held.

A hiring manager won’t want to read through all of that, nor are all of your experiences likely to be relevant for the job you are applying to. 

For instance, short-term jobs that you left soon after being hired may not be the best to include, as this can lead to speculation and uncertainty as to why you held the position for so short an amount of time.

If you happened to work a job that was purposefully or contractually short-term but holds a high level of relevance to the job you are currently applying for, it can be useful to include a short note explaining why you were only in the position for a limited amount of time. 

Omitting Jobs from Your Resume

There may be a variety of circumstances that may lead you to wanting to omit certain jobs from your resume.

For instance, if you were fired from your previous position, you may feel inclined to try and hide this information out of fear of it leaving a bad impression on hiring managers.

However, even jobs you were fired from should be included if they are relevant working experience

Being fired from a previous job is not an automatic deal breaker in most cases, and including that position on your resume is oftentimes preferred over leaving unexplained gaps in your employment history.

Moreover, you do not have to explicitly state on your resume that you were fired.

Should this be a topic of concern, it will likely come up in a job interview at which point you can more clearly and directly explain what happened.

Keep Your Job Descriptions Simple

A common mistake that many job applicants will make is writing descriptions of previous jobs that are too wordy or long.

Although it can be helpful to include more information about your most relevant or most recent experiences, you still want to write in clear and concise sentences that are easy to skim.

In truth, it is unlikely a hiring manager will thoroughly read your resume – especially if there are many applicants for the position.

As such, you must optimize your resume to provide information clearly and quickly.

A hiring manager should be able to gain the most valuable information with only a short read-through or skimming. 

As mentioned, you don’t want to go overboard when writing your work experience section.

Although you should aim to include the best and most relevant details, you should strive to write in short and simple sentences. 

Here is the basic format to use when structuring your work experience section:

Position, Start Date – End Date Company Name, Location ‍ • Descriptive Sentence • Descriptive Sentence • Descriptive Sentence

Alternatively, you may also want to list the company name on the first line with the position title.

This can be especially true if you worked for a well-known and easily recognized company or brand.

The formatting would then look more like this:

Position, Company Name Location, Start Date – End Date ‍ • Descriptive Sentence • Descriptive Sentence • Descriptive Sentence

There are, of course, some stylistic choices you can make to help your resume stand out.

However, sticking to this straightforward and easy to read format is key. 

Here are a couple quick examples of correct and incorrect formatting:

1) Always use bullet points for your descriptions.

Long paragraphs can be hard to read and make your work experience section look too cluttered.

Restaurant Manager, 2018 – 2020 ‍ In this position as a restaurant manager, I worked diligently to help implement new point of sales systems that greatly reduced operational costs. I also managed a staff of over 20 waiters on any given day. Of my responsibilities, I was in charge of handling customer complaints and issuing refunds. 
Restaurant Manager, 2018 – 2020 Mellow Mushroom • Nashville, TN • Hired and trained over 20 staff members . • Implemented point of sales systems that reduced operational costs by 15 percent . • Reduced customer complaints and refunds by 25 percent . 

2) Be specific as possible.

When writing your work experience descriptions, try to be as specific as possible rather than providing vague descriptions of your work accomplishments in the position. 

Junior Graphic Designer, The Coca-Cola Company Atlanta, GA • June 2017 – July 2020 • Responsible for making creative designs for the company. • Created hundreds of different designs for a variety of projects. • Worked closely with top-corporate officials. 
Junior Graphic Designer, The Coca-Cola Company Atlanta, GA • June 2017 – July 2020   • Led the design, development, and implementation of a label design project. • Designed and implemented new branding materials, including a re-design of the logo.  • Presented key deliverables to executive level stakeholders. 

In the following Content Marketing Associate resume example, you can see how Sarah has emphasized each of her bullet points with specific relevant keywords.

Content Marketing Associate

When it comes to listing your achievements and accomplishments on a resume , there are several considerations to keep in mind

As a general rule of thumb, your job descriptions are the best place to showcase your greatest accomplishments within a position.

For example, let’s say you worked in a sales position and raised overall sales by 10 percent .

This is the kind of specific accomplishment you will want to list within your job description. 

As previously mentioned, you will always want to be as specific as possible when listing out your achievements.

Here are some examples of how to properly list your accomplishments within your work experience section:

If you have specific data to quantify an accomplishment, always provide specific numbers rather than generalized statements.

Incorrect: ‍

Increased productivity of staff immensely over the course of the position.
Improved staff productivity rates by 30 percent , leading to a reduction of labor costs by 45 percent . 

Awards are a type of achievement that can be particularly useful to include.

Keep in mind that a hiring manager may not be familiar with company-specific awards.

Thus, you should provide enough detail to explain the importance of the award. 

Earned the Departmental MVP Award in 2019.
Earned the 2019 Departmental MVP Award for increasing productivity and efficiency rates, as well as improving cross-functionality of the department. 

Depending on the quantity of achievements you have, it may also be beneficial to create a section devoted entirely to your professional accomplishments.

The key takeaway here, however, is that job descriptions are one the most useful places to showcase your job-specific achievements. 

Although certifications may not be direct work experience, they often times are major indicators to employers of how qualified the candidate is for a position.

To earn a certification, you will typically be required to complete an accredited course successfully.

It can be tempting to include every certification you have ever earned on your resume as a way to help add some extra detail and interest.

However, when you are including certifications you should still be keeping relevancy as your top priority.

As such, only the most relevant certifications should be showcased. For instance, let’s say you have a CPR and First Aid certification.

If you are applying to become a school nurse, these kinds of certifications are not only important but are likely required.

Comparatively, if you are applying to a position as a content writer, these certifications hold no relevance. 

If you have earned a certification as a result of working a previous job, then you would likely want to include that certification in that specific job description.

Otherwise, your certifications may be better suited in their own devoted section.

Additionally, working to earn relevant certifications that you can list in tandem with your work experience section can help you to greatly stand out from other job applicants.

Here is a quick list of a few well-known certifications that would be useful to include on a resume:

  • PMP: PMP is a Project Manager certification and is given to professionals with a four-year degree, a minimum of three years of project management experience, and the successful completion of the PMP exam and hour requirements. 
  • NCLEX-RN: The NCLEX certification is the required certification for nursing professionals put forth by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. 
  • PHR: The PHR certification stands for Professional in Human Resources and is earned through successful completion of an exam upon confirmation of eligibility. 
  • SERVSAFE: ServSafe certifications are used in the restaurant industry to certify that kitchen and waitstaff are following all proper food and drink protocols. 

For more information on how to best show certifications, check out our guide on listing certifications on a resume.

When you are writing your resume, you want the words you use to engage the person who is reading it.

Chances are that the hiring manager reading your resume will read hundreds of other resumes that all contain similar words, verbs, and phrases. 

When choosing which words to use in your resume, it is important to remember that you don’t want to tell the employer why you are a great candidate.

Instead, you want to use the words to show the employer why you are the best candidate. 

This is where strong action verbs come in.

In your job descriptions, rather than saying something boring like “ managed a staff of 50+ members ” —  instead use a stronger action verb such as “ delegated ” or “ directed .”

Here are a couple quick tips for using strong action verbs on your resume:

1) Always lead with your action verb

Don’t bury your action verbs or make them difficult to spot.

Start your sentences with a powerful action verb instead.

I helped senior executives with important administrative tasks.
Assisted senior executives with administrative tasks, including managing travel schedules and optimizing file organization systems. 

2) Make it contextual and supporting

While it is important to use action verbs, don’t just use any word that comes to mind.

The words you use should make sense in the context of how they are being used to describe a job. 

Prohibited operational costs from exceeding budgetary restrictions.
Maintained low operational costs according to budgetary restrictions. 

Though both of these statements essentially say the same thing, the latter is much more clear and better represents your professional achievement. 

For more ideas on which action verbs to include on your resume, check out our list of 350+ Action Verbs to Make Your Resume More Effective.  

If you have worked in a previous job for a longer period of time, chances are you have received a promotion or two along the way.

Keeping track of these promotions and showing your professionals growth is essential. 

There are a couple different ways to show promotions within a job description.

When showcasing different roles you have held within the same job or company, it is important to list your highest position first and work backwards from there.

As an example, let’s look at two different ways a job candidate could list their promotion from office assistant to office manager on a resume:

1) Stacking job promotions

Use stacked positions to show your growth over time, with the most recent and highest position at the top.

Office Assistant, Tennessee Valley Authority Nashville, TN • January 2015 – January 2016 ‍ • Promoted to current position of Office Manager in 2016.
Office Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority • January 2016 – November 2020 Office Assistant , Tennessee Valley Authority • January 2015 – 2016

This kind of stacked formatting is an easy way to show you growth within a company without having to detail each position.

This is a good format option for when you want to focus solely on the highest position you earned.

2) Listing job promotions as separate entries

This format is useful if you served in each position for several years with different responsibilities in each. 

Office Assistant and Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority January 2015 – November 2020
Office Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority January 2016 – November 2020 • Job Description & Achievements Office Assistant, Tennessee Valley Authority January 2015 – January 2016 • Job Description & Achievements

The choice to format promotions as two separate entries should be reserved for instances where most or all of your work experience has been in different positions within the same company

Otherwise, the stacked format allows you to feature other work experiences with different employers as well. 

Legal Assistant

In some cases, a job applicant may not have very much relevant work experience or they may have large career gaps.

If this is the case for you, it can be useful to consider utilizing different resume formats to help fill in those gaps. 

The worst thing you can do is try to hide these career gaps from hiring managers.

These are the types of details they will be looking out for, and signs of deception are likely to get your resume thrown out immediately.

Instead, you should consider the different resume formats that may be better suited to showcasing your skills rather than your experience.

Here are the three main types of resume formats and how we'd rate them from best to worst for addressing career gaps:

1) Functional (best)

Functional formatted resumes focus more on skills and unpaid experiences, making them well suited for applicants without a strong work history.

2) Hybrid/Combination (good)

Hybrid resumes will combine elements of both reverse-chronological and functional resumes, making them good to use when you have career gaps. 

3) Reverse-Chronological (worst)

‍ This format focuses on making the work experience section the main component of the resume so it won't be the best choice for you.

Though having limited work experience or large career gaps can certainly make the resume writing process more difficult, it is by no means impossible to create an effective resume in spite of this.

Check out our guide for writing a resume with no work experience for more advice on how to create a resume when you have limited experience or career gaps.

For some applicants, especially those who may still be in school or are recent graduates, you may lack paid working experience but have several good examples of volunteer work and internships. 

Generally speaking, your internship experiences can go in your work experience section, as these are still technically professional experiences you applied for and earned based on your academic credentials.

Volunteer work, comparatively, should often be listed in a separate section as this is not typically considered “professional experience.”

Nonetheless, volunteer work can still hold a good amount of value, especially if it is directed related to the job you are applying for.

For instance, an IT professional may have volunteered their time to work on a not-for-profit software development project.

Though this experience was unpaid, it provided the applicant with experience working directly with software developers.

This kind of experience will still be crucial to share with potential employers. 

Consider an Alternative Format

If your work experience is limited to internships and volunteer work, this may be another good opportunity to utilize the functional or hybrid resume formats.

This will allow you to showcase the unpaid experience you have, while also sharing the focus with other sections such as skills and academic accomplishments. 

How Far Back Should Your Work History Go?

We’ve covered the importance of timeliness and longevity when deciding which previous jobs to include in your work experience section.

The reality of how far back you should go ultimately depends on the position you are applying for.

For applicants who are applying to entry-level or lower-level jobs, keeping your work experience section concise and focusing on jobs you have worked in the past 1 to 5 years is likely to be preferable. 

Comparatively, if you are applying for a senior-level position, or for a position in the fields of science or academia, it is recommended to showcase more of your professional background.

For instance, applicants who are seeking positions in academic fields will likely want to use a CV format which typically will cover most – if not all – of both their professional and academic background. 

Not every job is the same, nor is every applicant the same, so how much you include on your resume will depend on the situation at hand.

Luckily, there are many resources to help, such as our guide on on writing the perfect resume.

By now you should feel a much greater sense of confidence for how you should be writing and formatting your work experience on your resume.

Here are five key takeaways to remember as you embark on your resume writing journey:

1. Relevancy is Key

When listing out your work experiences, keep in mind which of your previous jobs are the most relevant to the position you are now applying for.

You don’t want to weigh down your resume with too many jobs and job descriptions, so narrowing down to the 3 – 5 most relevant experiences is key. 

Do keep in mind the other three factors we discussed as well: timeliness , longevity , and position .

You want to showcase how your prior work experiences have given you the skillsets to make you highly qualified for the job you are seeking. 

2. Show, Don’t Tell

When writing your job descriptions, avoid using statements such as “I did this” or “I accomplished this.”

Instead, word your descriptions in a way that showcase your achievements and strengths within the position.

Employers don’t want to be told what you can do because words only mean so much without the evidence to back them up.

‍ Show hiring managers what you are capable of by providing clear and quantifiable examples of how you have excelled in your previous positions. 

3. Use Strong Action Verbs

Begin each of your bullet points in your job descriptions with strong action verbs that clearly represent the action or accomplishment you are showcasing.

The use of these verbs not only helps to clarify your work experience section, but also helps emphasize key points, tasks and achievements.

However, be wary of using these verbs just for the sake of using them.

Always make sure the verbs you are choosing relate back to the statement you are making so you don't not accidentally cause any confusion.

4. Keep it Simple 

Bullet points and simple sentences are your friend. Most hiring managers are not going to read through your resume in its entirety.

Thus, having bite size and concise descriptions that effectively represent your abilities, skills, and accomplishments is key. 

5. Determine Which Format is Best for You

If your work experience is limited, you may want to consider using an alternative resume format.

To help determine which format best suits your needs, take a look at our guide for choosing the correct resume format . 

Closing Thoughts

Your relevant work experience can make or break your opportunity for landing an interview with the job of your dreams.

Figuring out the best and most concise way to list your experience is, thus, crucial. 

To learn more about how to craft the best resume possible, check out our comprehensive guides and resume templates to get started making your perfect resume today. 

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Rohit Sahay

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resume work experience format


Work Experience Section on the Resume

How to demonstrate your career trajectory

Lauren Hamer

Career Expert

CV template Auckland

The experience section is the core of any resume and the most important metric for explaining your career path to employers.

Listing work experience on a resume can be a tricky task. You may have never worked in your life or have had so many past jobs that you don’t even know which you should include.

In either case, there’s a right and wrong way to create this section.

So, which parts of your professional experience should you include? Which parts should you exclude

This guide offers tips on exactly  what experience to put on a resume  and how to write a work experience section that will attract a potential employer’s attention.

How To Show Your Professional Experience On Your Resume

This core part of your resume can be titled in a variety of ways. A few common examples are:

Most employers  deem the work experience section the most vital part of your resume , as your career path is often the clearest, most efficient way to explain your skills. It lists companies you’ve worked for, industries you are familiar with, skills you have acquired, and the contributions you’ve delivered along the way.

Here are some ideas for section titles:

  • Work Experience
  • Professional Experience
  • Relevant Experience
  • Work History

Choose a title that is most appropriate for your experience. For example, students may include internships or part-time positions, which qualify as “work” experience but are not related to their target roles.

A title such as “Work Experience” or “Work History” would suffice in this case, to show that you have consistently been employed.

As a cheat code try using an  online resume builder  which includes helpful examples and practical tips for adding the experience section on your resume.

What To Include In A Resume Experience Section

It’s best to collect all of your work histories first before starting to write your experience section.

For most job seekers, their work experience will be true professional jobs/positions. But for students or recent graduates, relevant work can also include:

  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Study abroad programs
  • Leaderships in clubs or community teams

Next, it is time to detail your experience. Start with your most recent position and work backward.

Each job post should include the following elements:

  • Employer/company name
  • Location (City, State or “remote”)
  • Dates of employment
  • Details of your accomplishments and contributions

Some of these details are unnecessary in functional resume layouts. For example, in cases where you may have large gaps in your job history, a functional resume layout can help downplay the scattered timeline of your employment and highlight the skills you’ve learned and will bring to the next position.

Most importantly,  each job post should include a brief paragraph , or more commonly, a bullet-point list of your responsibilities. Each position listed should prioritize your achievements and contributions to the role. Do not simply list the “responsibilities” or “daily tasks” of the job.

Include quantifiable examples of your success, as  34% of recruiters won’t consider applications that are not specific to the role ,  according to CareerBuilder .

Keep your experience section as focused as possible and only list those statements which are relevant to your target jobs.  Forbes Magazine suggests  limiting yourself to five bullet points per position.

Action verbs can significantly increase the impact your resume content has on the reader, enticing them enough to reach out for an interview. Include a variety of action verbs in each of your bullet points.

Examples of effective action verbs to use on your resume:   launched; implemented; spearheaded; coordinated; directed; increased; restructured; acquired; grew; saved; cut; identified,  etc.

How To Write The Work Experience Section On Your Resume

One of the easiest ways to capture the attention of a hiring manager is to list your professional experience in a clear, concise, and visually interesting manner.

your work experience section should always follow a reverse chronological frame, regardless of the resume format you choose ( chronological ,  combined , or  functional ).

It’s essential to know exactly how to write experience in a resume. To start,  begin with the most recent position held  and work backward in time.

How you display this information is crucial. An inconsistent, out-of-order format will only confuse the reader and earn your resume a trip to the trash bin.

As with every section on your resume, make sure to  highlight information that explains your past accomplishments , successes, contributions, and learnings.

For example, these can be:

  • Customer satisfaction percentage or score
  • Total sales you made
  • Clients attended to

Anything that you can show you were a success will look great.

The more your past triumphs can relate to the position at hand, the better.

What Is an Example of Work Experience?

You may be wondering how one of your former positions, duties, and accomplishments should look on a resume. It’s critical to not only get the right format but  not mention too much or too little info .

Here are some  work experience examples  you can use to boost your own resume:

Senior Project Manager, XYZ Corp, San Francisco, CA — June 2018-Present

  • Led a cross-functional team of 15+ members to deliver 20+ high-value projects, each with budgets exceeding $1M, on time and within budget.
  • Implemented Agile project management methodologies that improved team efficiency by 30% and cut project delivery timelines by 20%.
  • Negotiated contracts with key vendors, reducing project costs by 15% and strengthening strategic partnerships.
  • Introduced a risk management process that identified potential issues early, reducing project delays by 25%.

Project Manager, ABC Inc, San Francisco, CA — July 2014-June 2018

  • Managed 10+ mid-scale projects with budgets up to $500K, consistently meeting key performance indicators.
  • Coordinated with various teams including design, engineering, and marketing, ensuring seamless collaboration.
  • Implemented a new project tracking system which increased overall project visibility and improved on-time delivery by 10%.
  • Conducted regular project status meetings and provided updates to stakeholders, improving communication efficiency.

Junior Project Manager, DEF Co, San Francisco, CA — August 2011-June 2014

  • Assisted in the management of 15+ projects, developing key skills in stakeholder communication, budget management, and team coordination.
  • Created detailed project schedules and plans, contributing to an overall 15% increase in team efficiency.
  • Developed and maintained project documentation, improving record keeping and accountability.

This section has it all. It effectively uses action-oriented language to depict the individual’s responsibilities and achievements.  Each achievement is quantified  to make it tangible and impressive.

Additionally, the roles exhibit  a clear progression in skills , showing off the candidate’s career growth and capability to handle higher-level responsibilities.

Tips For Writing Your Previous Work Experience

We’ve amassed a list of easy-action tips for including your past positions on a resume to help you get started.

  • Write in the present tense for your current work positions only  and past tense for all prior experiences.
  • Tailor your work entries for each job,  mentioning the most relevant and appropriate experience. This may include creating one or more versions of your resume if you are targeting different career sectors.
  • Explain gaps in your work history briefly.  Most reviewers appreciate additional context explaining your gap in professional work. A quick sentence is all that is needed to detail full-time parenting, study leave, traveling, family complications, relocations, etc.
  • Include internships and education/professional development courses  in your resume, either in your work history or education section.
  • Include voluntary or part-time work  where appropriate, especially when you have little on the job experience or are changing careers.

These tips on how to complete a work experience section on a resume should help you get started. You can also use our AI-powered suggestions in our resume builder and come up with more ideas to show off your past jobs and achievements in different ways. 

How Far Back Should Experience Go on a Resume?

If you had a  job from what feels like ages  ago you may be wondering if it’s worth adding to your resume. While there is no strict rule, it’s generally recommended to focus on the  most recent 10–15 years  of your work history.

If you have any doubts about  omitting jobs from your resume , keep the following in mind:

  • Relevance:  Prioritize recent experiences that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Focus on showcasing your current skills and qualifications.
  • Career Progression:  Highlight positions that demonstrate career growth, increased responsibilities, or promotions.
  • Industry Norms:  Research industry standards to gauge how far back professionals in your field typically go with their experience. Tailor your resume accordingly.
  • Early Career Highlights:  If you have exceptional early experiences highly relevant to the position, include them, even if they fall outside the recommended timeframe.
  • Resume Length:  Keep your resume concise and focused. Including extensive work history can result in a longer resume that may remove the impact of recent experiences.

What Do You Put on a Resume With No Experience?

Are you a recent college grad looking for your first job? Or are you changing your profession? In either case, building a resume with limited professional experience can be challenging.

However, all is not lost!

By taking advantage of any relevant experiences, high grades in related coursework, and transferable skills, you can create a compelling resume.

If you’re an entry-level candidate you should remember to add:

  • Relevant coursework in your education section
  • Transferable skills
  • Experience with relevant duties

Internships and past jobs look great if you can find ways to relate them to the job you are applying to so don’t be scared to apply for a new position.

What you shouldn’t do is:

  • Add irrelevant experiences
  • Include generic statements
  • Forget to mention relevant positions or courses

By adding the most relevant information and your transferable skills you can give yourself a good chance of landing an interview and a job without any experience.

How To Format The Experience Section On A Resume

You may do everything in your power to write a work experience section that wows, but if it is not formatted correctly, your resume could end up in the “no” pile. Consistency throughout your resume is key for allowing readers to digest your information quickly.

Here are a few tips to  ensure this section is formatted properly .

  • Format each work entry the same.  List the details: job title, company name, location, dates of employment, and list of responsibilities.
  • Use the same font throughout the resum e  and no more than two styles (i.e. one font for job titles and another font for the contextual information.
  • Align each section equally in a consistent manner  (i.e. job titles and company name left-aligned and employment date ranges right-aligned)
  • Align each section header the same using one font and a consistent method for implementing bold, italics, and underline  effects. This will ensure the highest level of readability.

If you have any doubts about how to format work experience on a resume you can use  handy online templates . These tools can save you lots of formatting time, as these resources usually have a preset document structure already in place.

ResumeCoach  offers a range of resume samples and an online resume maker filled with guides, advice, and extra resume help when you need it most.

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Previous Work Experience Examples for a Resume

By Biron Clark

Published: February 12, 2024

Biron Clark

Biron Clark

Writer & Career Coach

If you’re looking for previous work experience examples for a resume or job application, and the exact steps to write your own experience section, you’re in the right place.

I’m going to walk you through:

  • Why employers care about your work history and what they want to see most
  • How to write your resume employment history including every piece of info to include and what format to put it in
  • 3 previous work experience examples from real resumes written by  professional resume writers
  • The  biggest mistakes to avoid when writing professional experience on a resume

Why Employers Care About Work Experience on Your Resume

Here’s what I’ve discovered after years of working as a recruiter…

If you have work experience (e.g. if you’re not entry-level or a recent graduate),  your recent work experience is the first place a hiring manager or recruiter looks on your resume  to see if you’re a good fit for their job.

So you want to put it front-and-center, and make sure your  bullet points  and other employment history details are GREAT.

For 95% of job seekers, there should only be a few things that come before your work history on your resume: You should put your name/contact info, a brief resume summary section , and that’s it.

After this, you should be diving right into the employment history on your resume, because it’s what employers want to see right away on your resume. 

What Should You Include in Your Resume Work Experience Section?

Your experience on a resume should include employer names, locations, dates of employment, job title held, and the professional experience you gained in the role.

You should provide detailed experience on a resume in terms of not only duties assigned and skills used, but also what you achieved and accomplished in this job.

You can do this by beginning sentences and bullet points under your work experience with verbs and power words like “Led,” “Increased,” etc.

Along with company names, locations, job titles, dates, and accomplishments, also consider including any promotions and awards you received at any previous company.

Awards and accolades are important achievements that show you’ve performed well in your career and handled the responsibilities given to you, which will excite employers.

Write your work experience in reverse chronological order, meaning that your most recent companies and job titles appear at the top and then you work downward, ending on the first role you ever held.

Formatting Your Previous Work Experience to Impress Employers

The best resume format for job seekers is the reverse chronological format , which means you should begin your experience with your most recent role on top and then work backward through your professional career.

For each position, include the job title, dates, and company name, and then describe your professional experience and achievements in that role. You can either use a brief paragraph to describe the role and then bullets, or use only bullets. However, you should not use only paragraph format when writing your work experience section.

This is a mistake that many job seekers make, and it leads to their resumes being skimmed over by recruiters and hiring managers.

Bullets do a better job of catching attention and getting an employer to closely read your experience section.

If you held multiple jobs in a company over time, list each job with its own dates and relevant experience.

It’s a huge mistake to not show each specific job title under a company, because this shows that you were promoted and advanced.

As a final step, as you write your previous work descriptions and bullet points, glance at the job description to ensure you’re covering the important skills that employers seem to want for the job you’re pursuing.

This is known as tailoring a resume.

3 Previous Work Experience Examples

Now that you know the basics of how to write the work history section of your resume, let’s look at some good employment history samples from real resumes.

I invited a couple of experts to share their resume work history examples for this section.

I’ll share two resume work experience examples from them, and then I’ll include a very simple/plain example that I’ve used in the past with a lot of success.

Resume Work Experience Example #1

resume employment history example

You can use bold text like the example above to highlight key accomplishments on your resume. You can also use bullets, checkmarks, and other simple graphics to make sure your best work is noticed.

This resume work history also has a separate section for “Select Accomplishments”. This is a unique way to put all of your best accomplishments from each role in one place that’s likely to get noticed and read by hiring managers.

Contributed by: Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES, Career Coach at

Resume Work Experience Example #2:

resume work history sample

This is another employment history sample showing a great balance between attractive styling, but not going overboard and making it too “busy” or distracting.

Only one color is being used: blue ( research has shown  the color blue is calming and is associated with credibility and dependability, so it’s a good color to use). And the styling is simple enough to keep the reader’s attention on your accomplishments.

Contributed by: Virginia Franco, Founder of  Virginia Franco Resumes  and Forbes contributor

Resume Work Experience Example #3:

sample resume work history

This is a very plain format, but if you’re in a field like accounting, finance, sales, data entry, customer service, etc., it could be a good choice.

They’re going to interview you and hire you for your skills and what you’ve done for past employers, not for a fancy resume design, right? So a simple format highlights exactly what they want!

If this is a little too plain for you, I’d recommend adding some blue like the two previous examples we looked at. That’s the first change I’d make to this if I were re-doing it today (this is a resume format I’ve used very successfully in the past).

By: Biron Clark, former recruiter and Founder of

Grammar and Wording

Next, I’m going to share two critical tips for how to phrase and set up your work experience section to sound professional.

First, avoid talking in the first person, with phrases like, “I am a Customer Success Manager”.

Simply say “Customer Success Manager” to lead off a description of your past or current job.

Example: “Customer Success Manager leading seven support associates and…”

And next tip: When writing bullet points and paragraphs to describe your recent roles, I recommend using the past tense when it comes to your verbs.

You can see this in the resume samples above. For example, the second bullet in resume example #3 above:

“Built key ‘C’ level relationships…”

Built is a past tense verb.

This is how I recommend approaching your resume writing overall.

This sounds better when you describe job experience, versus writing, “Building” or “Build”.

So keep these small tips in mind when writing your job history and try to match the resume examples above.

Using this tone to describe past positions will impress your next prospective employer and sound professional and clear.

Colors and Design of Your Work History on a Resume

The first rule to follow when you write your employment history is to keep it simple in terms of style and formatting.

If you’re not a professional designer, your resume format should not have fancy graphics and colors. 

That’s true of  every section of your resume .

Pick one accent color at most (for example, some headers in dark blue if the rest of the text is black), one or two fonts total, and one or two header sizes.

You’ll notice all three resume employment history samples above keep colors to a minimum and focus on the content itself. That’s what you should do as well.

You want the employer’s focus to be on your past work experience, not on the styling and colors of your resume, so don’t distract them too much.

Further reading: The best colors for your resume.

Customizing These Work Experience Examples

Now, you could just copy and use one of the formats above, from the three previous work experience examples that I just gave you.

However, I also recommend adjusting it to fit your situation. I’ll explain…

Depending on how often you’ve changed jobs and how long you’ve been working, you may want to list months and years, or only years for your dates of employment.

Be strategic and decide what’s best for you. If you held a job for only a few months, it might be better just to list everything in terms of years, and not include months.

And… you can also leave a job off of your resume entirely. This is not a “work history” section of a job application where you’re required to list all previous jobs.  It’s entirely up to you what goes on your resume).

Whatever you do, stay consistent with the same formatting for every job.  That’s very important. Remember, you want this to be EASY to read for the hiring manager.

So use the work experience examples above to create your own, but also make sure you’re doing what fits your career and experience!

How Far Back Should Your Employment History Go?

My advice here is the same advice I give for how back to go with your story when they ask, “ tell me about yourself ” in an interview.

If you’ve been working for less than 8-10 years, I’d go back to the beginning of your professional work history, and try to tailor everything to be relevant to the jobs you’re pursuing now.

You might be thinking there’s nothing in common between your prior professional experience and the jobs you want now, but there’s usually an angle you can find!

Here’s an example of how you may have relevant experience in your background even if you’re an entry-level job seeker or applying to a totally new type of position:

When I was in college, I worked in customer service at Whole Foods Market. Not too glamorous, right?

But I became a supervisor, and  you’d be amazed how many interviewers asked me about this job , even after 4-5 years had passed (and for office jobs that seemed unrelated to working in a supermarket).

So don’t assume something isn’t relevant. If you showed advancement/growth, leadership, or other impressive traits, employers will love it. It’s your job to  make the bullet points impressive  and show them how it’s relevant.

Now, on the other hand, if you’ve worked more than 10 years, and/or if you are a Manager/Director, etc., consider starting your resume work history at the point you became a manager.

If you’re 45 years old and have been a Manager for 15 years, most employers aren’t going to want to look back and see how you got started as an individual contributor 20+ years ago. They’ll want to see where you started as a Manager, and how you progressed since then. So start there – how you got into your current line of work.

Where To Put Your Work History Section on Your Resume?

Short answer: If you have any work experience at all, this section is the #1 most important thing on your resume – and the first place hiring managers and recruiters look. It should be on the top half of the first page.

Don’t put your Skills section before it. No hiring manager or recruiter wants to see a general list of your skills (with no idea how recently you’ve used each skill, or how) before they see your work experience. You can read more about how to write your resume Skills section and where to list it here.

Don’t put your Education section before it, either, unless you are a Doctor or have a Ph.D. and are in a profession where this educational background is a hard requirement to obtaining any job in the field.

For everyone else, which is 95%+ of people, just put your name and contact details centered at the top of your resume, then put a one-paragraph career summary , and then go right into your work experience.

You can label the section whatever you want: Work History, Employment History, Work Experience, etc.

The point is that your resume work history should be extremely easy to find, without the hiring manager needing to scroll down or search much.

Make Sure to List Specific Accomplishments in Your Work History

With the examples above, it’s important to list accomplishments on your resume work history, not just duties/responsibilities.

There’s a big difference between saying, “I was responsible for handling 50 customer requests per day”, and saying, “I successfully responded to 50 customer requests per day, while keeping a 98% customer satisfaction rating”.

In the second one, you’re phrasing it as an accomplishment instead of simply talking about what you were responsible for or “supposed to do.” And you’re adding a great data point – 98% customer satisfaction.

Try to do this whenever possible when listing accomplishments on your resume. Keep that in mind when you copy the examples above.

If you want more help with this, detailed examples and instructions are  here .

Tailor Everything!

After using these resume work history examples to write and  format your resume , don’t forget to tailor your accomplishments and bullet points to match the job description for the role you want. This is one of the quickest ways to get noticed and get  invited to an interview .

(And if you skip this or don’t bother doing it, you’re probably going to lose out on the job to someone who did this – seriously! If you aren’t doing this, it’s a big reason  why you haven’t found a job yet ).

Here’s how to  tailor your resume for a job before applying . (<< Fastest, easiest method)

The general idea is if the top 2-3 bullet points on the job description talk about a certain skill or piece of experience, you should do everything you can to reorganize your achievements on your resume to highlight those same areas.

So do your research (the best place to start is the job description), and then re-order your bullet points to show off the exact experience they want, whenever you possibly can. Don’t make them go digging and searching for it or you run the risk they’ll move on to someone else’s resume instead.

Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Resume Work Experience

We’ve now looked at tips for writing your employment history, samples from real resumes, and more. I want to leave you with the mistakes to make sure you avoid when you put together your own resume work history section.

Mistake #1: Having Your Employment History Start Below the First Half of Page 1

You’ll notice in the work history samples earlier, this section starts early on the resume. Making a hiring manager or recruiter go digging in your resume to find this section is a big mistake.

Put it front and center (on the top half of page 1). You want your recent experience and achievements to be dead easy to find for any company you send your resume to.

That’s one of the best tips I can share in general: Don’t make employers go digging for your recent responsibilities and achievements on your resume. It should jump out of the page at them because it should contain a lot of content compared to other sections, and it should appear high up.

Mistake #2: Rushing Through Your Work History to Write Other Resume Sections

There’s no section on your resume more important than your employment history. You should be spending 40-50% of your time on just this section. So don’t rush through this. You only need to do it once, but it needs to be GREAT if you want to  get interviews .

Mistake #3: Not Putting Facts, Numbers, and Accomplishments

If your resume employment history is full of phrases like, “Responsible for…” then you’re missing a big opportunity to impress employers.

They want to see specific accomplishments in a past position, for example:

Led a team of 4 people to reorganize client onboarding program, resulting in a 23% increase in client retention year-over-year.

Here’s  how to write great resume bullets like this.

Mistake #4: Thinking it’s all about you and not about the employer

The average job seeker thinks their resume work history is all about them. They decide what THEY want to write, what THEY care about, etc.

That’s a backward approach, believe it or not. (Assuming you want to get more interviews).

The best way to approach writing your resume employment history is to think of the employer. Look at their job description. What are their needs? What skills do they care about?

That’s why I mentioned “tailoring” your resume in the previous section. It’s incredibly important. Don’t write your previous work experience without a few job descriptions in front of you… for the jobs you want to get!

That’s how to make sure what you’re writing will get you interviews.

Most of the mistakes above should be a review if you’ve read the entire article above. If not, go back and make sure you’ve read everything.

You only get one shot to impress employers with your resume, and  they’re looking at your previous work experience within 10 seconds of opening your resume. 

Use These Resume Work History Samples to Get More Interviews

If you follow the advice above and use the employment history templates and samples to write your own resume work history section, you’re going to get noticed by more employers and get more interviews.

It’s worth taking the extra time to do a great job on your resume experience section and ensure that you’re listing detailed achievements within your experience. Focus especially on your two or three most recent positions since that’s the experience an employer will focus on first when reviewing your career.

This one piece of your resume is sometimes all a recruiter will look at before deciding “yes” or “no” on whether they want to interview you, so it’s key to a successful job search.

Biron Clark

About the Author

Read more articles by Biron Clark

More Resume Tips & Guides

Crafting the perfect resume for teens (template & expert advice), how to put direct and indirect reports (and other data) on your resume, what makes a good resume 9 ways to know, 11 common resume mistakes to avoid, career change resume: examples and tips from experts, how to improve your resume in 7 steps, the 3 best colors for a resume, how to tailor your resume to a specific job description, chronological resume: the best format (and how to write it), how to beat applicant tracking systems with your resume, 1 thought on “previous work experience examples for a resume”.

I have been off working for more than a year due to family emergency. Now I am ready to get back to work. During the time when I needed to take care of my family, I took some online courses and part time classroom classes to upgrade myself and keep connected to the job market.

I want to know if I should mention this one year gap in my resume. If so, can you give me some examples how to write it will make my resume look more professional and convincing.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Comments are closed.

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How To Write High School Student Resume With No Work Experience

So you're a high school student, and you don't have any work experience. How are you supposed to write a resume? Don't worry; we'll show you how!

This blog post will tell you how you can write High School Student Resume With No Work Experience.

We will also provide tips on how to fill out the resume and make it stand out. Follow these steps, and you will be able to create a resume that will impress employers!

What is a Resume For High School Student?

A resume for a high school student is a document that enumerates the student's skills, education, and experience. It can be used to apply for jobs, scholarships, and other opportunities.

The resume should list the student's contact information, as well as their education and work experience. It is essential to list any notable achievements or awards that the student has received. The resume should be formatted in a way that is easy to read and understand.

Why Would A High School Student Need A Resume?

A resume is an important document whether you are a high school student. It summarizes your education, work experience, skills, and other qualifications.

A resume can be used to apply for jobs, scholarships, and other opportunities. It is also an excellent document to have when you are networking. You can use your resume to help build relationships with people in your field or industry.

Applying for jobs

Applying for scholarships

What To Include In A High School Student Resume?

When you have no work experience, your resume should focus on your academic achievements and extracurricular activities.

Here are the things that a high school student should use to make a resume:

Any awards or recognition you've received in your academic career

Clubs, sports, and other extracurricular activities that you participate in

Any leadership experience you have from your extracurriculars or school organizations

Volunteer work or internships (if any)

Skills relevant to the job you're applying for (computer skills, languages, etc.)

How to Write A Resume For High School Student With No Work Experience?

As a high school student, you may think you don't have any skills or experience that would make you stand out to potential employers. But even if you've never held a paid job before, plenty of things still show you're the right person for the job.

Here is how to write a resume for a high school student with no work experience sample:

Step #1: Brainstorm Your Skills

Even if you don't have paid work experience, you still have developed various skills that can set you apart from other candidates. These are the essential skills to focus on:

Communication: Whether you're writing or speaking, communicating is essential in any job.

Organization: Keeping yourself and your work area organized shows that you can manage multiple tasks simultaneously.

Leadership: If you've ever been in a position of responsibility, such as captain of a sports team or club president, potential employers will see that you can lead others.

Teamwork: Working well with others is another essential skill in any job.

Customer service: If you've ever had a job dealing with the public, such as working in a retail store, you know how important it is to provide excellent customer service.

Step #2: Highlight Your Skills on Your Resume

Once you've brainstormed your skills, it's time to start creating your resume. Remember to include your skills in the following areas:

Objective/Summary statement: This is a brief statement at the beginning of your resume that summarizes your skills and experience.

Skills section: This is a dedicated section towards the end of your resume where you can list all of your relevant skills.

Step #3: Use Action Verbs to Describe Your Skills

When describing your skills on your resume, it's important to use action verbs. These are words that describe what you did, such as developed, managed, or created.

Using action verbs makes your resume more powerful and shows employers that you're capable of achieving results.

Some examples of action verbs you can use to describe your skills include:

Step #4: Get a resume for high school student with no work experience sample/template.

If you're unsure how to write your resume or want to see what a professional resume looks like, there are plenty of resume samples available online. You can also find resume templates that you can use to create your resume.

Below, we share some of the best templates available.

Step #5: Edit and proofread your resume.

Once you've written your resume, editing and proofreading it carefully before sending it to potential employers is essential. Check for grammar and spelling errors, as well as any typos.

Having someone else look at your resume and give you feedback is also a good idea. They may be able to spot errors that you missed.

When you're finished, your resume should be a polished and professional document that showcases your skills and experience.

Congratulations! You have created your first resume with no work experience!

Tips For Writing Better Resume

Now that you know how to write a resume with no work experience, it's time to give some tips that can help you improve your resume.

Keep It Short and Sweet

As a job seeker, one of your most important goals is to find a job that matches your skills and experience level.

However, another equally important goal is ensuring that your resume catches the attention of potential employers. One way to do this is to keep your resume short and sweet.

In today's competitive job market, employers are often inundated with resumes and don't have the time to read through pages and pages of text.

By keeping your resume concise, you can increase the chances that it will be read in its entirety.

Highlight Your Accomplishments

Even if you don't have any work experience, you probably still have some accomplishments that you can highlight on your resume. For example, if you've won any awards or participated in extracurricular activities, mention them. These things will show potential employers that you can accomplish tasks and complete projects.

Use Keywords

Using keywords is one of the best ways to ensure that your resume stands out from the crowd. These are the words and phrases that potential employers will be searching for when looking through resumes.

By including these keywords in your resume, you can increase the chances that it will be found when employers are searching for candidates with your skills and experience level.

Not sure which keywords to use? An excellent place to start is by looking at the job posting itself. Use the keywords included in the posting to help guide your keyword selection process.

Format Your Resume Properly

Lastly, you must ensure that your resume is properly formatted. This means using an easily readable font such as Times New Roman or Arial and using headings and subheadings to organize your information.

Remember, employers will be skimming through your resume, so you must ensure that it is easy on the eyes.

Use a Premade Template

If you're unsure where to start or don't have the time to create your own resume from scratch, there's no shame in using a premade template.

There are plenty of templates available online that you can use to create your professional-looking resume. Find one you like, download it, and fill in your information.

It's that easy!

Following the tips above, you can write a high school student resume with no work experience to help you stand out from the rest. Good luck!

Benefits Of Writing a Good Resume

There are plenty of benefits to writing a good resume. It will help you to:

Stand out from other candidates.

This is the most definite benefit of having a well-written resume. If you have a resume different from the rest and tailored to the specific job you are applying for, it will help you stand out.

Make an excellent first impression.

Your resume is often the first thing an employer sees about you. This makes it your first chance to make a good impression. If your resume is well-written and includes all the relevant information, it will help you to make an excellent first impression.

Give You an Edge Over Other Candidates

Having a well-written resume will give you an edge over other candidates who have not put in the same effort. This can help you to get the job you want. Mostly, people don’t give much time to create their resumes. But they don’t know how important it is. So you can easily beat them!

There are many benefits of writing a good resume. By taking the time to write a well-written resume, you can give yourself a better chance of getting the job you want. So, what are you waiting for? Start writing!

Resume For High School Student With No Work Experience Sample

Now you know how to write a resume; you need a sample to get started.

Here's a Resume For High School Student With No Work Experience Sample:

Name: John Doe

Address: 123 Main Street, New York, NY 10001

Phone: (212) 555-1212

Email: [email protected]

A recent high school graduate is seeking a position in customer service. Experienced in working with the public through my part-time job as a cashier. Quick learner and works well under pressure. Looking for an opportunity to learn and grow in a company.

High School Diploma, June 2014

New York High School, New York, NY

Work Experience

Cashier, September 2012-present

XYZ Store, New York, NY

Responsible for handling customer transactions and answering any questions they may have.

Strong communication skills

Excellent customer service skills

Ability to work well under pressure

If you're a high school student with no work experience, don't worry! You can still write an impressive resume. Just follow the tips above and use this sample as a guide.

Resume Templates From WPS Template Store

WPS template store is full of great resume templates. Here are just the three best templates:

Universal Blue Resume.doc

If you're looking for a clean, modern resume template, consider the Universal Blue resume template from WPS Template Store.

This template features a blue header and footer with white content in between. The content is laid out in an easily readable format, making it ideal for those who want their resumes to be easy to scan.

In addition, the template is compatible with both Microsoft Word and Google Docs, so you can use it regardless of which word processing program you prefer.

Best of all, the Universal Blue resume template is available to everyone, so you can download and use it without spending a dime.

Simple Creative Resume.docx

This resume template is an excellent choice if you're looking for something straightforward. It features a clean design with bold headers, making it easy to skim. And it comes in both Word and Photoshop formats, so you can edit it using your preferred software.

Beige Resume for Graduates.docx

If you're a recent graduate with limited work experience, this resume template is a great way to showcase your skills and education. The simple, beige design is easy on the eye, and the layout is organized and concise. This template is also fully customizable, so you can add or remove sections as needed.

In conclusion, if you want to write a high school student resume with no work experience , there are still ways to make your resume stand out.

By focusing on your skills and highlighting your achievements, you can create a resume that impresses potential employers. And don't forget the all-important cover letter!

Check out WPS Academy for free templates and instructions if you need more help putting together a high school student resume without work experience.

If you can't discover the free templates you're searching for on WPS Academy, download WPS office .

  • 1. How to Write a College Student Resume with WPS Office (Step-by-Step)
  • 2. Free Resume Samples For High School Student
  • 3. The best free resume builder for high school students
  • 4. Expert Tips on How to Write a Sample CV for Freshers Graduates Who Have Yet to Gain Experience
  • 5. Medical School Resume Example For High School Students
  • 6. How to Write a High School Resume (Step-by-Step)

resume work experience format

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  • Resume Tips

Writing an Outstanding Resume with No Experience (+ Examples)

Elizabeth Openshaw

It might seem like an uphill struggle, or something that’s impossible to achieve. A resume with no work experience?  After all, the whole point of a resume is that it’s all about showcasing your work experience and career progression–isn’t it?

Well, yes–your resume is usually a succinct history of your career, skills, and qualifications.

But we all have to start somewhere in the world of work. We don’t want to have a Catch 22 scenario where you can’t get a job because you haven’t got any experience, and you haven’t got any experience because you can’t get a job!

So, don’t worry; help is at hand. Crafting a resume with no experience is not as daft as it sounds. It can certainly be done, and in such a way that means you’ll be snapped up in no time, if you follow ZipJob’s guidelines when applying for entry-level roles.

What can I put on my resume if I have no work experience?

It’s a real conundrum. How to fill a page with relevant information when you’re barely out of shorts, and certainly have no idea where to start?

We’ve got you covered, with a list of sections and the sort of information to include on your resume with no work experience.

The best way to start is by splitting the page up into different areas, and concentrating on each… one at a time.

Summary for a resume with no experience

The Professional Profile is the first bit of writing that a hiring manager will read, positioned just underneath your contact details. Try to avoid cliches and buzzwords . Instead, emphasize your transferable skills and what you can offer the organization, in a paragraph format, three or four sentences long.

Skills section

Underneath is the skills section. As you have little or no experience, chances are you’ll need to focus on soft skills here, such as polished communication, organization, time management, and decision-making. If possible, use examples of when you have used these to great effect within your resume with no work experience.

Education section

If you’ve graduated within the last year or two, your education section should come next since it’s the most recent thing you’ve achieved. Detail out your GPA if it’s high and include modules covered, with percentages of any exams taken.

If you achieved any extracurricular accolades while at college or university, include those as well.

Volunteer work section

There are many fabulous skills you can glean from volunteer work –from teamwork to collaboration and project management, so really go to town here with blowing your own trumpet.

Additional sections

This is the place where you can add anything else that hasn’t already been covered, such as relevant hobbies and interests , societies that you belong to, language ability, or internships.

Can ChatGPT build resumes?

One last word of advice, and it’s about ChatGPT . While it might be really tempting to let this AI tool do the work for you, resist! It has limited responses to any prompts, and will just splurge out generic fluff, without a thought for your individual achievements.

Craft your own resume, using ZipJob guidelines, and by looking at the three examples for inspiration.

First time resume with no experience samples

Check out our examples of resumes with no experience below.

1. This first one is an undergraduate looking for his first foray into the world of work. His resume is angled towards becoming an Actuary. Note how he focuses all his achievements and accolades towards this goal, detailing Math awards and other relevant skills. His core skills section is a bit further down the resume with no work experience, as relevant information and achievements are considered more relevant in this case.

resume work experience format

2. The second example is a client with literally no work history at all, having spent all her precious time bringing up her family. She has opted to use first person for a more informal approach. See how she details out her skills, learned from being a homemaker, as well as emphasizing many transferable soft skills that should give her traction to land a role as a cleaner, which is her aim. 

resume work experience format

3. Our final example is a school leaver, looking to enter the environmental sector by showcasing relevant volunteer work and further attributes. Here, the skills matrix, relevant information, and a voluntary post are the focus.

resume work experience format

Writing a resume with no experience can be a daunting task to tackle on your own. Check out what ZipJob’s professional resume writers can do for you.

Recommended reading:

99+ Essential Keywords and Phrases for Impactful Resumes

10 Best College Grad Job Search Sites (Updated for 2024)

19 Essential Skills for Resumes: Examples Included

Elizabeth Openshaw, Editor & Content Writer, Elizabeth Openshaw, Editor & Content Writer

Elizabeth Openshaw is an Elite CV Consultant with over 12 years of experience based in Brighton, UK, with an English degree and an addiction to Wordle! She is a former Journalist of 17 years with the claim to fame that she interviewed three times Grand Slam winner and former World No.1 tennis player, Andy Murray, when he was just 14 years old. You can connect with her at Elizabeth Openshaw | LinkedIn .

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  1. How to Add Work Experience to Your Resume (With Examples)

    1. Create a dedicated section for your professional experience. First, choose an appropriate title like "professional experience" or "work experience" for the section of your resume where you'll list your past jobs. For each job, include the following information: Job title. Company name.

  2. Your Resume's Work Experience Section: A Complete Guide

    For most job seekers using a chronological or combination resume format, you should list your past jobs within your experience section (or sections) in reverse chronological order. For each item you list—full-time jobs or other types of experience—include the following: Position details: List your job title, company name, location, and ...

  3. Work Experience on a Resume

    Here's how you can do that: First, stick to the following work experience order: job title, position, company name, description, location, achievements, responsibilities, dates employed. This ensures maximum readability and makes it easy for the HR manager to jump to the relevant keywords they're looking for.

  4. How To List Work Experience On A Resume (20+ Examples)

    1. Put it under a clear, legible heading. Make sure your work experience section is clearly visible and has its own heading. You can name this section "Work Experience", "Experience" or "Employment History". 2. Place it right under the resume summary or objective.

  5. How to Show Work Experience on a Resume—Full Guide

    So, here's how to list work experience on a resume, step by step: 1. Make the Section Heading Stand Out. Label your resume work experience section with one of the following titles: Work Experience. Experience. Employment History. Work History. Make the section title larger than the rest of your job descriptions.

  6. How to Write Work Experience on a Resume

    Every resume format has a work experience section but each displays it differently, depending on your goals. Consider what you want to highlight on your resume before selecting one of the following formats: Chronological: The chronological resume format is the most commonly used resume format. A chronological work history section organizes your ...

  7. How To Highlight Work Experience on Your Resume

    Video: Resume Formatting Best Practices. Sinead explains how to format a perfect resume including margins, font types and sizes and tips for passing an applicant tracking system (ATS). 2. Format the resume work experience section. Here are three effective ways to structure the job experience section of your resume:

  8. How to write your work experience on a resume [+ examples]

    Focus on results of your job history in the past. Only list work experience on a resume that is relevant to the job you're applying to. Stand out with strong action verbs. Get specific: use numbers, facts, and figures. Speak in the past tense when the job is complete, present when you're still doing the work.

  9. Work Experience on a Resume: Job Description Examples & Tips

    1. Name the section "Work Experience," "Work History," or "Professional Experience.". Write the section heading in bold and make it slightly larger than the rest of the contents. 2. Use reverse-chronological order. Start with your current or most recent job, follow it with the one before it, and so on. 3.

  10. Work Experience for a Resume: How to Add it to Get Hired

    If you've worked in a voluntary position, that's ideal - your resume work experience can relate to both paid and unpaid work. Present your volunteering experience the same way you'd present paid experience, as we outlined above. Create a skills-based resume. If you have no work experience to add, you can create a skills-based resume.

  11. How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume

    Format the resume work experience section Here are three effective ways to structure the job experience section of your resume: Chronological format In a chronological resume, you will list your work history with your most recent job at the top. This is the most widely used format because it shows clearly how you progressed through your career.

  12. How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume in 2022 (Examples & Tips)

    Generally, work experience older than 5 years should be included on more in-depth resumes, such as on a resume for a job applicant seeking a senior position at a company. Additionally, the academic resume format "Curriculum Vitae" - or CV - will typically include experience that spans across an even wider timeframe.

  13. Work Experience on a Resume: What to include and How

    Tailor your work entries for each job, mentioning the most relevant and appropriate experience. This may include creating one or more versions of your resume if you are targeting different career sectors. Explain gaps in your work history briefly. Most reviewers appreciate additional context explaining your gap in professional work.

  14. Work experience

    Maya calls her work experience section Professional Experience: There are several points to note about this section: For a resume format, Maya chose a combination style (chronological with functional headings). This works well because: She has a steady work history, with no break between jobs. Both of her jobs are administrative assistant ...

  15. Best Resume Formats for 2024 [8+ Professional Examples]

    The 3 best resume formats in 2024. Now that we've gone over some more specific ways to format your resume, here are the three most common resume formats used by job seekers today: Chronological resume format (aka the standard resume format) Functional resume format (skills-based resume) Combination resume format.

  16. Top Resume Formats: Tips and Examples of 3 Common Resumes

    Resume format 1: Chronological resume. Image description. A chronological resume lists your work experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent position at the top. This is the most traditional resume format and for many years remained the most common.

  17. How to Describe Your Work Experience on Your Resume (With Examples

    Tips to describe your work experience on your resume Showcasing your work experience and education puts you in a position to be hired for a job or move on to the next round of the interview process. However, be sure to keep these tips in mind when describing your work history: Research the company you're applying for.

  18. Best Resume Format for 2024 [Guide & Examples]

    The chronological resume (also known as the reverse-chronological format) is the most popular format and the best resume format for experienced candidates. The chronological resume emphasizes your work history section, where you list information about current and past jobs with the most recent job first. Visual Example.

  19. Best Resume Format: Templates & Examples (2024)

    1. Reverse-Chronological Resume Format. The reverse-chronological resume is the most popular resume format. Using it, you list your relevant work experience, starting with the most recent one. You continue to list your positions and achievements going backward, placing them in reverse chronological order.

  20. How To Write Experience In A Resume (With Examples)

    Just mentioning the city and the state is sufficient. If any of your past work experience was work from home, you can either mention your current location or simply write " remote work " in the job location part. 3. Specify the dates of employment. Next, you should mention the start and end dates of each employment.

  21. Guide to Writing Work Experience on a Resume [+ Examples]

    Now, let's take a look at how to effectively write work experience in a resume. 1. The work experience format you utilize in resume matters. Irrespective of the resume format being used, your work experience column/section in resume has to be generally ordered in a reverse chronological order.This means that the most recent role is at the top.

  22. Previous Work Experience Examples for a Resume

    Resume Work Experience Example #1. You can use bold text like the example above to highlight key accomplishments on your resume. You can also use bullets, checkmarks, and other simple graphics to make sure your best work is noticed. This resume work history also has a separate section for "Select Accomplishments".

  23. Best Resume Format for Experienced Candidates With Sample

    Sample work experience section in a resume format for experienced candidates. Right; Senior Software Engineer. Spark Software Solutions, Mumbai. September 2018-Present. Key Qualifications & Responsibilities. Built innovative mobile and web applications using Java, JavaScript, and Python for international clients, including 4 Fortune 500 ...

  24. Executive Administrative Assistant Resume Examples

    The following work experience examples will help you identify the do's and don'ts of writing this essential resume section. ... The format you should select for your resume is based on your years of work experience as a executive administrative assistant. How to choose a resume format. 0-3

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    Learn how to add work experience to your resume with downloadable resume, industry-wise work experience samples, and FAQs. Why Is It Important to List Technical Skills for Resume. This blog talks about technical skills for resumes. From what is a technical skill to technical skills examples and why is it important to add technical skills in a ...

  26. How To Write High School Student Resume With No Work Experience

    Resume For High School Student With No Work Experience Sample. Now you know how to write a resume; you need a sample to get started. Here's a Resume For High School Student With No Work Experience Sample: Name: John Doe. Address: 123 Main Street, New York, NY 10001. Phone: (212) 555-1212. Email: [email protected]. Summary

  27. Writing an Outstanding Resume with No Experience (+ Examples)

    First time resume with no experience samples. Check out our examples of resumes with no experience below. 1. This first one is an undergraduate looking for his first foray into the world of work. ... His core skills section is a bit further down the resume with no work experience, as relevant information and achievements are considered more ...

  28. Driver CV Examples & Writing tips 2024 (Free Guide) ·

    Outline your driver work experience: getting into gear. Utilise the reverse chronological format when listing your employment history in this section of your CV so hiring managers can easily skim through your most recent experience. While you may think that the more experience you have, the better, the space in your CV is finite.