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Detailing Your Work Experience on a CV

Detailing your career background and work experiences on your CV in the strongest way possible is absolutely essential to ensure you get noticed in a sea of candidates. This is always a challenge when you must try and keep within the ideal maximum length of 2 pages. We will guide you on best practice within this article and impart our knowledge to you as CV writers as well as past recruiters.

What is the Importance and Relevance of Work Experience on a CV?

Hiring Managers and employers are keen to understand what yor career and work experiences have been, mainly to assess your suitability for the job in question, as well as your professional knowledge, skills and expertise. If your experiences are related directly to the job you are applying for, then this is great and needs to be written in a clear way to exhibit the relevance of your background - this is what will help you to get shortlisted. Alternatively, if you are undertaking a career change, then your work experiences need to be written on your CV in such a way that all your transferable skills are demonstrated, especially your soft skills which are key to mention. Regardless of the type of position your are using your CV to apply for, highlighting your experiences in the best possible light is always beneficial and is what will ultimately help you to land a new job.

How to Write your Experience on your CV

It is great having career experience, however it needs to be written correctly and accurately on your CV, otherwise it will not have the strong impact that you need it to. As mentioned in a previous article on the length of a CV, this should be 2 pages maximum, irrespective of the number of years you have been working (earlier roles can be summarised succintly).

Always start with your most recent position, and then work your way backwards in reverse chronological order. In terms of structure, we recommend detailing in this order:

1. Job Title

2. Company / Organisation Name

3. Start Date and End Date

4. Key Responsibilities and Achievements (or Highlights).

Within the work experiences section, you can always separate out 'Achievements' and then detail 'Key Responsibilities'. This can be very beneficial, particularly for roles where you have quantifiable metrics, i.e. for a Sales Executive, Sales Manager / Business Development Manager, Account Manager with revenue / sales targets vs. targets or forecasts. Some individuals tend to say to include a line about the company you have worked for, however we tend to advise that this is not necessary - your professional CV should be written to focus on your background and what you bring to the table in terms of skills and experience. Reflect upon things which show your personal development and professional growth, and this is possible even on a graduate CV, i.e. you can highlight details of any academic projects or internships for example.

What Section Should Work Experience be within on a CV?

In terms of CV structure and format, this can vary as it is a subjective thing. Generally we tend to advise to first include your name and contact information (address, telephone number, e-mail address), then a Personal Profile (or Personal Statement as some like to call it), followed by an 'Expertise, Key Skills and Competencies' section, and then you work experience should be detailed in a section called 'Career to Date' or 'Career and Achievements to Date'. As mentioned, with a professional CV, there are many factors that can mean that you need to adapt the layout to tailor suitably, and this is why it is important to avail the services of a professional CV writer, who understands the market and expectations of employers.

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