How to Write Experience in CV [+ Examples & Tips]

Experience in CV
Created by CakeResume

The importance of the experience section in your CV can't be stressed enough. This is where you not only present your employment history but also demonstrate your expertise and abilities. For that reason, the work experience listed on your CV needs to include relevant points and highlight your professional achievements to prove that you’re a qualified candidate. 

Different types of experience to include in a CV, such as: 

  • Volunteer experience - for CVs without work experience
  • Job experience - for job application CVs
  • Research experience - for academic CVs
  • Organization experience - for academic CVs or CVs for undergraduate students with no experience

Since this is the most important part of a CV, it can be pretty tricky to write, especially for those having limited or no relevant experience. 

But don’t worry! We'll guide you through how to structure the experience section in your CV and add achievements for a spotlight effect. We also include great CV examples for students with no experience for your reference. 

What Is Work Experience in CV & Why Is It Important?

The work experience section of your CV lists the history of your employment from the most recent to the oldest in reverse-chronological order. You can include any work experience into your CV as long as they're relevant to the position you're applying for. 

When screening a candidate’s application, the hiring manager will most likely scan through the job experiences on the CV first. They expect to see what responsibilities you have handled in your previous roles and what achievements you have accomplished in the field. Hence, they can somewhat evaluate your capabilities and qualifications for taking on this new role and determine whether you can bring value to their company.

With that said, there are different kinds of experiences that can be listed under the work experience section in a CV.

Below are 4 different kinds of experiences that can be listed on your job application’s CV, especially CVs for beginners with no experience:

Professional work experience

Professional work experience listed on your CV can include all paid and unpaid work with an aim to prove that you’ve gained relevant professional experience in the field. Hence, the hiring manager can assess your expertise and see if you’re suitable for the position. 

Internships

With little or no work experience, fresh graduates can shine by listing internship experience on their CV. By providing details on what relevant skills and knowledge you've acquired through the internship, you can get a leg up in your choice of profession.

Volunteer work

Volunteer experience refers to any unpaid work you’ve done that could be relevant to your application. Aside from showing your skills and abilities, volunteer experience on a beginner’s CV can also say a lot about an applicant’s personal traits. 

Part-time jobs

What else to put in a CV with no experience? If you're writing a CV for teenagers with no experience, you could include your part-time jobs instead. (Yes, it counts as working experience!). Even though some might be not relevant to the job, the employer can still assess your soft skills and personal qualities. 

How to Write Experience in a CV

Here are 6 components you need to include when describing experiences in your CV

  1. Section heading
  2. Job title
  3. Company (with location)
  4. Dates 
  5. Job responsibilities
  6. Key achievements

1. Section heading

Make sure to keep this short and clear with a larger font size so the hiring manager can spot it easily.

Acceptable section headings:

  • Work experience
  • Employment history
  • Professional experience
  • Internships
  • Volunteer experience

Unacceptable section headings:

  • History (too short and vague)
  • Personal background (too general)
  • Things I have done (too informal)
  • About me (too casual)
  • “Questions" & “Conclusion" (not suitable for writing CVs)

2. Job title

Simply put, this is the name that describes your job role or position in an organization/company.  For example, you can write “Volunteer of the Smile Foundation” if you're writing a CV with volunteer experience, or “Student Council Officer” in a CV for teenagers with no experience.

When listing job experiences in a CV, you can just use the exact name shown in the job ad if it's exactly the same or similar to your profession. That will be best to keep things simple and grab the recruiter's attention. If not, write an accurate job title as what you actually did. 

3. Company (with location)

It's quite simple to write it right - just simply follow the format below:

[Company Name], [City/Country] 

Depending on the space you have on your CV, you can provide a brief description of the company, ideally within 10-15 words. 

Note that it's okay to not include the location of the company/organization if you're listing a freelance work experience. 

4. Dates

Here, you'll need to list the month and year when you started and quit the job. The standard format looks like this:

[MM/YYYY] - [MM/YYYY]

If you are still working in the current position, you can list the work experience in your CV like this:

[MM/YYYY] - Present

Most importantly, use consistent formatting for every experience in your CV. 

5. Job responsibilities

Here comes the key details that the potential employer wants to read. Let us show you some great tips for getting it right:  

  • Utilize bullet points but no more than 5 points.
  • Add numbers for a spotlight effect.
  • Insert action verbs such as: develop, lead, implement, execute, result, boost, etc. 
  • Keep the verb tense consistent (past tense for former jobs and present tense for ongoing jobs).

Let’s take an application for a teaching position as an illustration.

Here’s an example of job requirements for elementary teachers:

  • Develop the school’s elementary curriculum to make sure it's consistent with the school's goals and objectives. 
  • Promote a classroom environment that is safe, fun, and conducive to both individualized and small group settings.
  • Develop daily lesson plans and instructional materials, and translate lesson plans into learning experiences in order to best utilize the available time for further instruction.

After knowing the requirements of the position, you’ll know how to write teaching experience in a CV: 

WORK EXPERIENCE

Elementary Teacher | Axis International School, Denver
July 2018 - Present

  • Developed and administered daily lesson schedules for the 3rd graders. 
  • Promoted a new teaching method that focuses on small group practice, leading to an increase in students’ comprehension by 25%.
  • Conducted a conducive classroom setting using tailored lesson plans and materials.

6. Key achievements

Listing achievements along with experiences in your CV allows the hiring manager to see how well you can perform at work and what contribution you've made to the organization, rather than what tasks you were expected to fulfill.

When well-written, key achievements in the experiences in your CV can make a great impression on the employer and give you an advantage over other candidates.

Accomplishments can be numbers like quantified results or a prize you're awarded in the field. 

📚 Further reading: How to Write Achievements in a CV? [+ Examples]

Work Experience in CV – Examples

Check out examples of work experiences in a CV below to help you understand the correct format and how to write the work experience in your CV perfectly.

Job experience in CV

WORK EXPERIENCE

IT Support Analyst | LABO Tech
Mar 2018 – Dec 2021

Job responsibilities: 

  • Installed and configured computer hardware, software, systems, and networks.
  • Planned and handled scheduled maintenance upgrades corporate-wide. 
  • Provided technical support to help resolve customers' technical problems. 

Achievements: 

  • Developed a new data center system for a Hongkong-based company, resulting in 85% usage efficiency.
  • Launched a new data management system for the Sales & Marketing Department within the company, boosting online sales by 25% in 3 months.

Research experience in CV

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

Research Assistant | Imperial College London
06/2015 – 07/2018

Job responsibilities: 

  • Identified cell changes under a microscope, determining cell counts on hemocytometers and colter counters with 98% accuracy.
  • Assisted in research projects that involve the isolation and purification of nucleic acids including DNA, RNA, and protein.
  • Conducted relevant experiments to over-express CRE protein and identify the causes of pancreas-specific cancer.

Achievements: 

  • Delivered a presentation on the enzymes that drive DNA replication at the Advancements in Microbial Biochemistry and Bacteriology Conference (Paris | April 10, 2018).
  • Published the “Methods in Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology” article on Chronicle. 

CV with volunteer experience

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

Student Council President | Nanyang Technological University Singapore 
Spring semester 2021

Responsibilities: 

  • Developed the agenda for and presided over the weekly meetings of the Student Council.
  • Organized, supervised, and evaluated all events and workshops for diverse student segments.
  • Developed PR campaigns for relevant events and activities. 

Achievements: 

  • Successfully partnered with the Student Government Association to develop strategic planning and vision for the 2021 heritage event.
  • Rebuilt the Student Council's online presence, growing Facebook fan base from 3500 to 7950 in 4 months.

How to Make a CV with No Experience

If you're a teenager or college student looking for a part-time job, internship, or volunteer work, you’re still probably (and understandably) still unsure of what to put in a CV with no experience. 

Let us show you how with 3 useful tips!

💡 Adopt the functional CV format. 

There are 3 common types of formats you can choose for your CV, including the chronological CV format, functional CV format, and combination CV format

A functional CV, also called a skill-based CV, emphasizes a candidate's skills rather than professional experience. For this format, the skills section is placed before the education or experience in your CV and is kept specific with detailed examples of how you utilized the skills in previous non-work experiences.

The functional CV format is a good alternative for those lacking relevant experience in the field such as students, recent graduates, and career changers.

📚 Further reading: List of Important Skills for a CV [+ How to Write & Where to Put Them]

💡 List volunteer and organization experience on your CV.

Don't worry if you haven't had any format working experience yet. 

Other experiences you've gained from volunteering and being an active member within an organization can also showcase your personal traits, skills, and qualifications. 

Here’s how you describe organization experience in a CV:

  • Led a team of 6 freshmen that is responsible for the club's online presence. 
  • Managed 3 social media accounts of the Sociology Student Association.

💡 Include your personal projects.

Have you done anything interesting in your free time that also benefits your future career? 

If so, feel free to add them to your CV. By doing so, recruiters can have a clearer picture of your skills and abilities. 

Examples of personal projects to in a CV for beginners with no experience

  • Writing blogs about travel and lifestyle 
  • Filming and vlogging 
  • Coding and programming

Experience in CV – FAQs

💭 How many experiences to put on a CV?

Depending on the amount of experience you already have, you can list a certain number of experiences on your CV:

  • Senior-level professionals: list no more than 15 years of work experience. 
  • Junior to mid-level professionals: only describe similar job roles in your field and be as specific as possible.  
  • Entry-level professionals: include both paid and unpaid work you've ever done. 
  • No professional experiences yet: List and describe any experiences you've acquired from internships, volunteer work, and part-time jobs. 

Regardless of your background, keep in mind the following things when writing the experience section in your CV: 

  • Use 3-5 bullet points of description for each experience. 
  • Include relevant experiences only, especially if you have worked in a variety of roles and industries before. 
  • Be as specific as possible.

💭 What to put in a CV with no experience?

Aside from experiences, these are other points that you could include in a CV with no work experience:

  • Hobbies & Interests 
  • Personal projects 
  • References 
  • Languages
  • Certifications

💭 How to make a CV for teenagers with no experience?

💭 How to make a CV for the first job?

  • Include an impressive career objective statement. 
  • Insert relevant keywords from the job ad and tailor your CV to that job. 
  • Put the “Skills" section at the top. 
  • Add references to your CV. 
  • Send a cover letter and a portfolio along with your CV.

💭 How to make a CV for students with no experience?

With CakeResume, you can easily create a resume online, free download your resume’s PDF formats, and utilize ATS-compliant templates to create a resume. Land your dream job, create your resume online (free download) now!

--- Originally written by May Luong ---

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