The first step in getting your foot in the door for a job interview is having a resume that grabs the hiring manager or recruiting team’s attention. One of the first items they’ll look for is relative work experience.
As you create your resume, you might think, “What should I include in my resumè?”
Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered!
Start with your current work experience
First and foremost, employers want to see your current roles and responsibilities. It’s best to put your current position and responsibilities at the top of the experience section. Even if you haven’t held a full-time job, you can include internships, research or study programs, or even participation in charity or nonprofit events.
With each position, you should include 4-6 essential items such as major accomplishments, projects, responsibilities, or anything you believe might help you stand out from the other potential applicants.
You should then list all other work histories in chronological order, so your current and most recent experiences are at the top of your resume. This helps the reader see your career development and progression over time.
Relevant work history
Not every position you apply for may align perfectly with your previous employment record, and that’s okay. Chances are you’ve acquired the relevant skills needed to take on the new responsibilities in the position you’re applying for. Still, it may help to tailor your resume to the position you want.
Reference the job postings required and preferred qualifications, then incorporate those items into your resume under your previous roles or skills.
For example, if you are pursuing a manager position in a sales office but have leadership experience from an operations background, you may want to include the managerial experience you had and add in a couple of technical competencies.
These interpersonal skills can easily carry over to any job, and the hiring manager might be looking for candidates that can reinforce a positive work culture.
How far back do I go, and how long should my resume be?
A strong resume does not necessarily mean you have to list every single job you have ever held in your life. But you should establish a solid record to show that you are deserving of the position.
If you have over ten years of experience, you should list all relevant work experience. Meaning the roles you focus on provide insight into your ability to succeed in the role you want. Focus on the roles and responsibilities from your most recent three jobs. After that, you should only highlight relevant experience from older positions. You want to try to keep your resume at two pages maximum.
For individuals with less than ten years of experience, their resumes should attempt to be consolidated into one page. You’ll still want to list all relevant experiences, even if they came from internships or college projects.
Why your resume is important
Writing your resume should be a time of self-reflection on your professional work experience. Employers sometimes have different criteria or formatting that they are looking for, so make sure you read the job posting requirements to meet their formatting needs.
If you are having difficulty building your resume, you can find resume templates online that may help you put your experience into words.
Resumes are an ever-changing document and should be updated yearly, or if you feel you’re not getting the response you want.