Guide to Writing Work Experience on a Resume [+ Examples]

Created by CakeResume

Employers require job candidates to submit their resume to eradicate unqualified candidates for advertised roles. Smart candidates know that their resumes have to be customized to help the prospective employer determine if they are qualified for the job.

Why Work Experience in Resume Is Important?

A well-written work experience column/section in a resume has to quickly highlight a candidate's suitability for the role. A well-written work history on a resume is crucial because it demonstrates that the candidate possesses the necessary qualifications to be an asset to a prospective employer. Additionally, it can offer substantial information concerning the candidate in a concise manner.

Numerous employees view work experience in resumes as perhaps the most integral aspect of a resume. To have a brief overview of a candidate's employment history, the work experience section is the first section read by a prospective employer. Getting an interviewer hinges on the work experience column/section in a resume is very crucial and this is why it has to consist of relevant points which prove that you are indeed the most qualified candidate for the role out of the hundreds applying for it. 

To this end, you have to create a work experience section. This section contains all paid and unpaid work. However, it is important to highlight paid work first before delving into any volunteer opportunities you have had. 

How to Write Work Experience in a Resume?

Before we move on, there are a couple of things essential to your work experience in resumes that have to be included. 

  • The names of the organizations where you held employment
  • State of the organization
  • Any titles or positions you previously held - list the most recent position held if you were promoted during your stay at the company
  • Start and end of the employment period for each role - this should be written as Month/Year
  • A brief description of the skills you applied to meet your responsibilities, as well as your accomplishments

It is best if your resume is a page long. It can be two pages if you are applying for an executive role or you have a lot of experience. The reason why your resume should not exceed one page is simply that it has to be concise. 

An important aspect of your work experience section is to find the most effective manner to list the contributions you have made to that organization. Be concise and accurate. Highlight the most important information pertaining to the prospective role and work your way down. Ensure your responsibilities are under 10 bullet points, however, this is dependent on how long you retained the role. Try to avoid hyperbole and wordiness. Generally, employ brevity.

📚Further reading:  How Long Should a Resume Be? - Ideal Resume Length, Guide & Tips

Now, let's take a look at how to effectively write work experience in a resume.

1. The work experience format you utilize in resume matters

Irrespective of the resume format being used, your work experience column/section in resume has to be generally ordered in a reverse chronological order. This means that the most recent role is at the top. When your work experience is listed out of order, it can become quite difficult for any HR manager or recruiter to get an overall idea of your experience trajectory.

You should have subheadings for your work experience and they must contain the information below:

  • Organisation
  • Job location
  • Role title
  • Beginning and end dates

There are numerous ways this information can be arranged. Some formats require you to highlight the job role and period first, for instance:

Content Manager, July 2016 - Present

XYZ Corp, New York

For most ATSs, it's best to keep the main heading simple and concise; 'Professional Experience' or 'Work Experience' will suffice. Additionally, using a subheading sequence tends to work most effectively for the majority of systems. Using the job title, company name, job location, beginning and end dates in a MM/YYYY format.

💡Pro tip: There are certain ATSs (applicant tracking systems) automatically parse resume information, transforming it into a digital candidate profile. The moment an applicant tracking system is unable to accurately understand a resume, the application and the candidate can slip through.

You could choose to make the line at the top bold, right-align the dates, or use any other formatting options. Regardless of what you do, it should remain consistent. For instance, if you decide to use a Month YYYY format (June 2000), you should not switch to a YYYY (2020) or MM/YYYY (07/2016) format down the line. This might not seem like anything of importance, however, it can be a warning to recruiters. How you present your work experience on your resume and its quality is important as it tells recruiters some insights about you.

2. Ensure that work experience on your resume is carefully tailored to the prospective role

It is important to understand the difference between a CV and a resume. On a resume, It is not necessary to list everything you have done. What you should instead do, is concentrate on the work experience in resume that best suits the role you are applying for. The majority of job applicants tend to write out everything, leaving it to the HR manager to sort throughout. Rather than creating your work experience with the mindset of "here are the things I have done in past roles" you should have the mindset of "I believe I am the most qualified individual for this role due to the following accomplishments and skills”. This is a subtle change but it can make all the difference.

Your job experience on resume should be able to answer what the job description asks of you. This means it is important that you highlight the experience and skills that HR managers will view as most valuable to solving the organization’s issues.

You should analyze the job description to discover the most pertinent resume keywords. It is these keywords or skills that hiring managers and recruiters search for when skimming the resume or entering search terms into the ATS.

3. Work experience in resume should highlight your accomplishments, as they sell

You might wonder how to add work experience in a resume. For one, there is nothing wrong with including your daily duties in the work experience section. However, to create a strong job experience resume, you should ensure to add numerous relevant accomplishments. When you effectively list your accomplishments in the correct work experience resume format, you can frame your experience in terms of time or money. These are measurable and quantifiable. Things such as percentages, time-span and dollar amounts can help quantify the accomplishments you have made. 

Here are a few work experience in resume samples with accomplishments:

  • Maintained a 98% satisfactory rating over 36 months in a customer service role. 
  • Developed an organisation culture initiative that increased employee satisfaction by 30%.  
  • Fulfilled more than 5,000 warehouse orders maintaining a 100% safety record and a 96% accuracy rate over 24 months. 
  • Reduced data processing time in half by creating new data infrastructure, which led to timely insights.
  • Increased email subscriber list from 200 to 1,800 during 7 months without increasing monthly expenditure.

4. Highlight your professional trajectory on your resume

Recruiters and hiring managers alike are extremely curious concerning your career path. Most recruiters look to see the pattern or logic in your progression from one job to another. Generally, if the hiring manager is not the individual responsible for sorting through applications, that individual in charge has to create a narrative which effectively sells a worthy applicant to the hiring manager. What this means is that you have to create a work experience section on your resume that effectively tells a story.

Ideally, one's professional trajectory has to show things such as a narrowed professional focus on or an increase in responsibilities. When creating your resume work history, you have to bear in mind that anyone reading it should be able to guess why you switched jobs. This, however, does not mean you should write things such as "My supervisor made my work life unbearable and that is why I needed a change”. What it does mean is that you need to highlight the benefits and growth opportunities of every new job.

📚Further reading:  Career Changer Resume: Writing Guide & Template

5. Create an impact using short sentences and intense action verbs

You should maximize the impact your resume work experience can make by beginning your sentences using action words. Doing so enables you to appear as a results-oriented individual. It shows that you can get things done. A great tip you should imbibe is eradicating as many instances of "was" from the resume.

For instance, rather than writing "was responsible for creating new safety protocols" you could instead write "Developed and implemented improved safety protocols". This change of voice enables you to look like a candidate that is more capable and confident.

Your sentences should be concise. Recruiters and hiring managers often skim through resumes, which can cause them to miss important information buried in long paragraphs or sentences. Bullet points should be used as they can help increase readability as seen in the example above.

💡Pro tips: 

  • Present tense should be used when you are writing about you current work. Highlight your role by adding the number of years you've worked at that organization. If you still work there, then you should list the month and year which you began as your start date, while your finish date should be signified by “Present”. Also, your responsibilities and duties should be listed using bullet points and with action words.
  • When it comes to previous work experience, it is always best to write in past tense. Past tense should be used to describe roles and organizations that you do not currently work in and at anymore.

Dos and Don’ts of Work Experience on a Resume


  • Be consistent in the heading formatting.
  • List the most recent work experience first.
  • Concentrate on highlighting the most relevant experience rather than listing everything.
  • Highlight accomplishments with previous duties to show a result-driven character.
  • Attempt to portrait a reasonable career development path.


  • Write out every duty from your last job.
    ➡ Instead, place emphasis on the most transferable skills and work experience.
  • Tell lies in your work experience.
    ➡ Instead, aim to tailor your work experience without conjuring details.
  • Erroneously use massive block paragraphs or long sentences.
    ➡ Instead, strong verbs, bullet points and short sentences are the way.
  • Include over 15 years of experience.
    ➡ Unless you are in an industry that requires you to add all your experiences up, it is not necessary to include them.

What to Write in Resumes for Students with No Work Experience?

It can be difficult to create a work experience section or a resume with no job experience. While you might believe that recruiters and hiring managers are interested in seeing 2 pages worth of information, this is a perfect time to apply the “less is more” philosophy. Follow the steps below to create a befitting resume and work experience section when you lack job experience. It is important to follow the work experience format in resume.

1. Leverage your education

The most pertinent qualifications on a resume for students with no experience can highlight is the education section. Certifications, diplomas and degrees are exactly what prospective employers want to see. Ensure that this is highlighted in your resume. It is not necessary to place too much emphasis on the school, but focus more on the degree, relevant coursework you've done, and academic activities you've taken part in.

2. Include your internship

Your internship experience is important in lieu of full-time paid working experience when creating a first-time resume with no experience. Typically, graduates are to have undergone some form of an internship. Highlighting your internship can show any prospective employee that you have real-world experience in the field. It can help place you above a similarly educated candidate, who doesn't have any internship experience.

3. Adopt functional resume format

When you are a student without work experience, it can be quite confusing to know what you need to add in the work experience section of your resume. To this end, you can concentrate on adding relevant hard and soft skills you have gained from school, extracurricular activities, and volunteer work. These skills can provide you with experience which can impress employers. To do this, you need to mine your academic achievements and life experiences to show any hiring manager that you can be an asset to their organization, regardless of the fact that you do not have any formal work experience.

How to Add Volunteer Work on a Resume?

When highlighting your volunteer work on resume, you should treat it as your paid work experience. This means if you happen to have an extensive catalog of volunteering experience, only the most relevant and recent ones should be added. When you write in your volunteer work, it is best that you identify the role you played as a volunteer. For example, if you held a leadership or management position as a Project Leader, you should write "Volunteer Project Leader".

If your volunteering experience on resume happens to be unrelated to the prospective job, you can choose to incorporate it under a different category such as "Volunteer Work" or "Community Service". The majority of organizations tend to look favorably on employees that positively contribute to their community. It not only reflects positively on the organization but also provides employees with an opportunity to network on behalf of the company.

Work Experience Resume Samples

1. Volunteer Work

Volunteer Fundraiser|Community Service Organization

New York, April 2018 - April 2020

  • Coordinated fundraising and trained volunteers.
  • Developed and promoted fundraising events which resulted in over $90,000 in pledges.
  • Raised contribution rate by 30% compared to the previous campaign.

2. Business Analyst

Business Analyst at XYZ Corp

New York, June 2017 - Present

  • Executed and validated test cases.
  • Served businesses and customers by generating reports.
  • Prepared flowcharts, diagrams and business models.
  • Created analytical solutions based on customer-behavior data reports.

3. Accountant

XYZ Accounting Firm.Cleveland, OH

Auditing Accountant.May 2015 - May 2020

  • Conducted audits of time-sheets and maintained error free payroll.
  • Collaborated with auditors to develop training presentations.
  • Created and executed SQL based queries to perform tests.

4. Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer, Engineering CO

Atlanta, GA, Nov 2018 - Present

  • Undertake research on evaluating customer data to establish stature of the suitable industrial parts.
  • Test and measure system performance of mechanical devices, engines and components.
  • Solve complex problems by formulating a more efficient field measurement system.

5. Graphic designer

Lead Graphic Designer|ABC Design Firm|Los Angeles, CA

April 2015 - June 2019

  • Developed innovative packaging for software products.
  • Spearheaded creative content for print and web departments of tech companies.
  • Delegated design tasks to design team including editing, image manipulation and pagination.

6. Teacher


High School Teacher (August 2015 - May 2019)

  • Taught 9th Grade English and assisted with Yearbook publication.
  • Served on district’s committee to revise English curriculum, updating novels and reading materials.
  • Developed lesson plans to help students improve effective communication and leadership skills.

7. Data Scientist

Data Scientist, AG Data Inc.

Dallas Texas|December 2015 - Present

  • Create predictive models on large datasets by using machine learning, advanced statistical modelling, and other data mining techniques.
  • Document recommendations using presentations and written reports to customers.
  • Evaluate statistical information to determine non-compliance or risk.

8. Marketing Specialist

Marketing Specialist|SMarketing Company

New York.December 2016 - May 2018

  • Optimized website pages by improving readability and format, as well as by using relevant keywords.
  • Assessed email bounces to eradicate irrelevant and invalid contacts.
  • Boosted email open rates and deliver-ability by 70%.

9. Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant, Feb 2018 - Present

ORG Company, Detroit (MI)

  • Provide ongoing administrative support to executives.
  • Serve as first point of contact for customer/company relations.
  • Plan and coordinate travel arrangement details, as well as business development events.

10. Software Engineer

OneZeros Comp (NY).December 2018 - May 2020

Entry Level Software Engineer

  • Analyzed user needs and created software solutions to address said needs.
  • Supported testing of software and released bug fix reports and upgrades.
  • Assisted in engineering application software maintenance.

With CakeResume's free online resume builder, we provide free resume templates download & resume examples for talents to demonstrate your best qualifications. Let us help you land your dream job with a strong resume!

--- Originally written by Adam ---

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