Looking for advice when adding work experience to your CV template? The work experience part of your CV is one of the first considered aspects of your CV when recruiters and employers will read it. It is likely to be the most scrutinised part of your CV if you already have plenty of experience on your belt. Recruiters are interested in your education but the workplace has its own rules and experience in certain areas that cannot be replicated through training. So while experience may not be a set in stone requirement for getting the job, it can be a major way to distinguish yourself from the rest of the field.
Experience is one of the first aspects that recruiters consider in the first stage of filtering applications. CV or Resumes without the required experience are often discarded in first place if the position requires a certain amount of experience in the sector. Thus, the professional experience part of your CV or Resume is thus one the most important parts of a CV. It is vital to understand this when writing your CV.
This article will help you answer some of the questions that you will ask yourself when redacting your professional experience on your CV. For example, what position do you put your professional experience in in relation to other parts of your CV? How to make up for lack of experience without lying? How to describe your work experience? We answer these with both this article and some of our CV templates available.
As with other aspects of your personal CV or Resume, your own personal situation determines the answers to these questions. For example, if you wish to highlight your professional experience above all else, you will want to put your working experience at second place in your CV. If your education is more relevant than any previous experience you will want to put it later down in the order.
Make sure when you are choosing our quality templates to keep in mind some of the tips about CV personalisation we provide. Some will also be more oriented towards graduates or high school seniors with no experience.
How do I describe my work experience on a CV?
You need to structure in your CV each work experience entry in the same way. It will not only make your CV look more presentable but it will also allow the reader to carefully compare the time you spent in the work experience and the skills you obtained or continued through your circuit through professional life. You will also want to separate your hard skills from your soft skills for this purpose.
As a graduate, you may want to start your work experience in chronological order : You want to put your latest experience first, clearly dated with month and year (so that, for example, 2016-2017 as a yearly interval is not interpreted as December 2016 to January 2017), the organisation you worked for, the branch location of the organisation, and your job title within the organisation all on the same line. Then beneath it you will start, in fine print, to describe your responsibilities, achievements and the skills you acquired by working there.
This part requires using active keywords that are professional and speak to the transferability of your skills. Because no two jobs, let alone two companies, are the same, transferability of soft skills especially is vital. You want to show that, even if your previous experience differs from the job you are applying to, the relevant hard skills that prove you are able to do the technical aspect of the job again and then your soft skills.
Try to target which skills are the most in demand on the job market generally. Then Remember that your employer may not only just be looking for the perfect fit but also the potential in you as a leader and a problem solver in places outside your comfort zone. So whilst its vital to keep the concise and brief nature of the CV intact, if you feel you have a skill that stands out, feel free to also add it.
Where do I put working experience in my CV
This is one of the core questions when talking work experience on a CV : where am I going to put work experience with respect to my skills, contact information and other parts of my CV. You usually put this part in second or third place, depending on importance. If your CV is mostly about experience : immediately after the personal statement and contact information section. If it is a more functional CV it is best to place it after your skills or alongside them.
Although both ways are suitable, putting your work experience in chronological order is often advised if you have only a little experience. For more experienced professionals, your most recent job is the one you want to put forward. You can also choose to separate by types of work experience. As long as the order of your working experience has a clarity, you can afford to separate by category.
How to handle redundancy on your CV?
The stigma of being made redundant has evolved over time, and gaps in your CV are often explained more in the interview process. Nevertheless it is advisable you try to “hide” gaps by using a different style of CV than a temporal-based one such as a functional CV.
Can I fake work experience in my CV?
Faking work experience is highly discouraged. Already creating a job experience out of thin air is immoral. But you are likely to be exposed by a simple background check from your protracted employer. Not only would this potentially ruin your reputation and immediately result in the withdrawal of your application to the job. You will also potentially incur criminal proceedings if there are allegations of fraud associated with your application.
Lying about skills is also frowned upon. Although you will feel that you have got away with it by obtaining the job, you will likely be exposed early on as not having the skills required for your post. This will lead to an immediate break down in trust in your work environment and a stalling of your development. People will also potentially ask you for help in a task that requires the skill you do not possess and then perceive you as unreliable when you are unable to step up to the task. It is far better to express an interest, in your CV or annexed documents, of skills you would like to obtain working at that company, than pretending to already have them.
Dos and Don’ts in adding work experience to your CV
- use the same structure for each job entry.
- Use concise and simple phrases or fragment to describe your tasks and responsibilities.
- Show your performance through key performance indicators or projects completed.
- emphasise your skills using key words
- Only emphasise work experience that is relevant to the job you are applying to. Whilst mentioning other work can be a good way do address gaps in your CV, try to keep these sections brief.
- Lie about your previous tasks : you will eventually be counted on to deliver on something you claimed to have already done in a previous work setting.
- fabricate work experience : Not only is it immoral, recruiters often can counter this by doing a background check. Make sure in periods of unemployment you instead highlight your training.
- Have a work experience section that does not make sense with regards to the job applied to. Whilst its increasingly normal as young graduates to have different sectors, specialisation is still valued. Even if you have had multiple jobs in different sectors, try to find the common theme that is related to the job you are applying for and sell yourself on that.
By following our advice you will be able to redact a professional experience that is clear, concise and relevant to the job at hand. Using our templates in combination with this will put your curriculum on the top of the recruitment pile. If you have any doubts about how to organise your experience in the curriculum have a look at our templates.