There are a number of names for this very important section of your resume, professional experience, work experience, related work experience, etc. Whatever title you prefer really doesn’t matter, what matters is what and how you list your work experiences. This section of your resume is the focal point. It should explain in detail your experience and how you accomplished specific tasks. A general statement like “Typed letters” or “Entered data” doesn’t tell the employer anything and it doesn’t make you stand out from the other 500 applicants applying for the same position.
You should note any accomplishments, awards, acknowledgements, and achievements based on your job performance that contributed to the success or goals of the company, department, or team. Remember, your goal is to grab the reader’s attention, interest, desire, and action. If your professional experiences grab the reader’s attention it will enhance their interest, give them a desire to learn more about you, and move them into actually calling you for an interview.
Be specific and give details that are impressive. General, vague information about your job duties doesn’t impress the prospective employer or grab the reader’s attention, interest, desire or action. The best way to describe your job duties is to look for information that matches your job duties. The first place is to get your company’s current list of your job description. Next, find job descriptions that are similar to your own from classified ads and websites. Gathering information about job descriptions similar to yours will help give you an insight into what employers are looking for in the work or professional experience section.
Some employers don’t like to read a small manuscript when going over a resume. Some employers want all relevant work experience and will question (openly or secretively) why you left it out, if you get an interview. So, how far back do you list your work experience? Include work experience that goes back for 10-15 years. Be more specific with work experiences within 10 years, be less specific with work experiences 10 years and longer. Remember to keep the number of pages to no more than 2 pages, unless you are submitting a CV.
This sounds simple enough but there is a better way in writing or listing your job descriptions instead of writing long paragraphs. First, try to keep your descriptions to no more than five lines. If unable to, make sure you break the paragraph making two paragraphs. Two paragraphs are enough, any more and things start to look too crowded. Another good strategy is to use bullet points listing each description in chronological order and in order of importance. Lump similar tasks together. Doing this will help the reader better understand what your duties are and help identify your strong points making your resume much more impressive. Remember, your goal is to gain the reader (prospective employer) attention, interest, desire, and action.