How to List Job Experience With the Same Duties

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An unimpressive resume will not get you the interview.
An unimpressive resume will not get you the interview. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

The 30 seconds or so that an employer glances over your resume may determine whether you get your dream job, so knowing how to make your resume stand out is crucial. This can be difficult when you've worked at several different jobs but have had, essentially, the same duties. However, having the same duties for each job isn't necessarily a bad thing -- in fact, it can show employers that you're experienced, focused and dedicated. Still, it's important that you list this information on your resume without being repetitive.

Write a skills resume that highlights your duties rather than your positions. After listing your education, write "Skills." Create a section for each of your most relevant and mastered skills or duties. For example, you might have a section labeled "Event Coordination" or one labeled "Employee Training." Use bullet points to list specific examples of those skills or duties. For example, you might write, "Planned and staffed educational technology convention while working at ABC School," or, "Implemented and conducted online customer service training for 500 employees at XYZ Corporation." This allows you to highlight between three and five skills or duties that you've performed in multiple jobs.

Prepare a more traditional chronological resume that lists your jobs in order, beginning with the most recent. List your duties under each, but be specific and use different action words to describe your duties. For example, for each of your jobs, one of your duties may have been to oversee the customer service desk. Think about what made this duty a little different at each job. Perhaps you had to use different software for each. Maybe one employer required that you also ring up merchandise. Another job may have had you train new employees. List these specific duties as bullet points under your job title. For example, you might write, "Oversaw customer service booth and handled customer's financial transactions" under one position. Under another, you might write, "Coordinated customer service desk and trained new representatives."

Use keywords. Repeat key terms from the description of the job for which you're applying, and use action verbs when describing your duties. While you should never repeat the exact phrase under more than one job description, repeating words such as "customer service," "implemented" or "designed" can help potential employers see that you're experienced or accomplished.

Write a cover letter that shows employers how your similar duties among jobs make you experienced and focused. Use sentences like, "I have 10 years of experience in human resources, and collaborated to create a positive work environment at XYZ Company, ABC Corporation and QRS Incorporated." Describe yourself as a person so skilled at performing these duties that you can do them in any organization.

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