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Resume Work Experience

By Steve Burt

______________________________

Work experience is the true heart of your resume. To be effective, this section of your resume has to demonstrate to prospective employers that, not only do you know how to do the job, but that you're good at what you do.

The evidence that demonstrates how good you are at the work you do is the accomplishments you've made at your jobs. It's one thing to tell prospective employers in your resume's work experience section what you did. It's something else to show them how well you did it.

What I'm referring to when I talk about accomplishments in your resume's work experience section are those things you've done in your work that have made a difference. For example:

  • Have you delivered superior performance on a special project?
     

  • Have you done anything to improve the way outsiders perceive the company and its products and services?
     

  • Have you saved the company money by developing ways to trim production costs or perform certain tasks more efficiently?
     

  • Have you made the company money by working on specific projects that directly increased the bottom line?
     

  • Have you changed office operations, improved employee moral and retention, increased productivity, or done anything else that improved operations or made things run more smoothly?

To make your accomplishments especially strong, include specific  quantitative information (dollar value of projects, increased revenues resulting from your efforts, etc.) For example:

  • Developed and implemented sales strategies that resulted in a 10% increase in annual revenues.

The following is an example of a resume work experience entry. Note that the entry starts off with a short paragraph that discusses the responsibilities of the position followed by a bulleted list of accomplishments. This presentation gives a strong focus to the accomplishments while still providing a description of the job duties:

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Apex Corporation

January  2001 to May 2004
Mountainview, California

Write a short paragraph describing your duties, your responsibilities, the number of staff members you supervised, etc.

Accomplishments for Apex Corporation included:

  • List your accomplishment #1 here.

  • List your accomplishment #2 here.

  • List your accomplishment #3 here.

  • Etc.

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