How to Write a Work History for Resumes

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One important part of your resume is the work history section. In this section, you will list your current and previous jobs in chronological order. Depending on the amount of space you have, some work history sections list duties performed at each job, and some just list the position. Read on to see how to write a work history for resumes.

  • List your current position first. Then list each previous position in chronological order, starting with the most recent and working backward in time. If you have a lot of positions (more than four or five), you may want to consider grouping some together. For example, if you were an elementary public school teacher in Missouri and taught several grades in different schools almost twenty years ago, you could write: Various elementary teaching positions, Missouri public schools, 1985-1990.

  • Format each job the same way in your work history section. You need to make sure your resume looks consistent and professional.

  • Write duties for each job. The number of duties will depend on the amount of space you have. If possible, try to fit at least two duties/responsibilities for each job when you write a work history for your resume. These need to be written with an action verb in past tense as the first word. If you were responsible for scheduling all academic adviser appointments at your last job, then you would write: Scheduled all academic adviser appointments for the business department. If you were a remedial reading teacher, one of your duties might have been: Informed parents of their child's progress on a weekly basis.

  • Make your duties fit the required skills for the open position. This means you may tweak your resume for each open position you apply for, but it will be worth it when you are called for an interview.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are going for a career change, your work history section is less important. What is important are the skills you learned or responsibilities you had at each job that will fit with the current career you wish to pursue. Concentrate on this when you write a work history for your resume with a career change.
  • If you tweak your resume for each open position, make sure to save each version of your resume in a different file.
  • If you have large gaps in your work history (such as you stayed home with your children or you went to college), make sure you explain this in your cover letter. Your work history section is not the place to list the reasons why you didn't work from 2001-2007.

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