One of the most important sections of a CV is the work history, experience or employment section. No matter what you call yours, the employer will often jump straight to this part to see what you have to offer.
Here is where you need to make your mark, and leave the employer wanting to know more. Your aim is of course to get to the next stage – the job interview. If you can provide a CV that demonstrates a proven track record, your chances of getting a call back are high.
To help you get through to the next stage, here are 3 essential tips on how to write the work experience section of your CV.
Tailor your skills
Your experience sections will likely have both relevant and irrelevant job titles, tasks and skills. It’s your goal to highlight and tailor the most relevant parts of your career, to show the employer that you are the right person for the job.
This doesn’t mean to say that you should embellish or lie about your career, but instead make sure the right parts stand out and are easy to spot. Consider tweaking a few job titles to bring them more in-line with the new role. Again, stick to the facts but ensure the employer can see that you’re on the same page.
Many job titles can be similar but have different names. ‘Customer Service Manager’ could also be called ‘Customer Excellence Manager’ or ‘Customer Experience Manager’. If you’re applying for a similar position you should look to amend the title your previous employer gave so it’s either the same or similar.
The tasks and responsibilities you list on your CV should relate to the new role. You shouldn’t take up valuable space with a huge list of tasks that have no relevance to the employer. Keep those job descriptions short and sweet if possible.
Tip – Every aspect of your application should be tailored to the role and the company. This means that your cover letter (if you choose to write one) should also follow suit. For more information on why you should tailor your cover letter, here’s a great article from Bright Network – Tailor Your Cover Letter to Every Application.
No employment gaps
When deciding what information to leave in and out, be careful not to remove anything from your timeline and create an employment gap. Gaps in your career can raise suspicion, and will not make a good impression.
The employer would always like to see a seamless timeline and a sensible career progression. If you do happen to have a lengthy spell out of work, you should always still explain that gap so the employer is aware of what happened.
A gap year, a personal health issue, or anything else should be explained as much as possible. Always put a positive spin on your employment gap and make it clear that it in no way hindered your career.
For some helpful advice on how to fill an employer gap, please go to Gradtouch and read this great article – 6 things you can do about an employment gap.
Show performance and results
What really matters to an employer is how well you’ve performed during your career. There will be lots of candidates who have all the right skills and qualifications, but that doesn’t mean to say they are actually good at what they do.
The work experience section of a CV is your chance to prove to the employer that you have what it takes. Your performance, results and achievements should be highlighted so the employer can instantly recognise you are a worthy contender.
Results can be displayed in many different formats; ranging from stats and figures, graphs and charts, to written descriptions of project successes. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and provide the employer with the necessary information to demonstrate your abilities.
Using the right words on your CV can help ensure you back up the skills you claim with examples.
“Use words like achieved, established, exceeded, supervised or surpassed when you’re writing about performance,” careers expert Martin Carline of CV Template Master recommends. “By using these types of words you are forcing yourself to backup the skills you’re claiming with actual real-life examples.”
Imagine how impressed the hiring manager would be to see an attached copy of your work showcasing your skills. Your CV would be unique and memorable – the two traits which are sure to bag you an interview!