How to Format Your Work Experience Section
Good presentation of your work experience section is vital, because the hiring manager needs to verify that you have the experience they’re seeking quickly. Follow these rules to make sure your resume formatting is correct:
List Your Previous Job Titles, Employment Dates, and Company Names
For each job you list in your work experience section, format it like this:
Company Name, City, State
Dates of Employment
- Four to five bullet points describing your responsibilities while working this job
List Your Most Recent Work Experience First
List your most recent work experience at the top of your work experience section, with less recent job titles below. The more recent the work experience, the higher it should be placed on your resume.
Listing your work experience chronologically on your resume shows hiring managers how you’ve progressed in your career, and lets them see how your skills have developed over time:
How to Describe Work Experience on Your Resume
Now you know how to format your work experience on your resume, we’ll show you how to describe that experience with bullet points that best highlight your professional background and skill set.
1. Include Achievements Instead of Responsibilities
Emphasize accomplishments on your resume instead of just listing job responsibilities. Accomplishments show you made positive contributions to your company’s performance rather than simply met expectations.
Compare these examples of work experience bullet points to see how effectively listing achievements can strengthen your resume:
Effective bullet point
Implemented a system for tracking business leads that boosted sales by 47%
Ineffective bullet point
Tracked business leads
The second example is better because it includes a number that shows the hiring manager how you’ll perform at the job if they hire you.
2. Write Bullet Points for the Job You Want
Create each of your work experience bullet points with the job posting in mind. Each bullet should showcase your skills and experience that’s related to the job opening.
You can also use specific keywords from the job description. These keywords are skills and qualifications you may have. Including resume keywords from the job posting ensures you address the hiring manager’s requirements.
It also helps you to write an applicant tracking system (ATS)–ready resume. An ATS is software that scans resumes for keywords and shows the hiring manager applications that include them.
3. Begin Each Bullet Point With Action Verbs
Begin your bullet points with descriptive resume action verbs that clearly show hiring managers how you handled work at previous companies. Using action verbs ensures the hiring manager sees you as an effective employee who can get work done.
Here are some examples of action verbs being used to effectively describe a job seeker’s work experience:
- Organized a work safety initiative that saved the company money on worker’s comp
- Developed new communications protocols that improved connectivity between the company and clients
- Optimized product delivery logistics that accelerated order fulfilment for customers
4. Add numbers to your bullet points when possible
Use numbers to describe your work experience whenever you can, because numbers give hiring managers a better idea of what you can accomplish.
Anything that shows how you measurably improved performance can be included on your resume.
Examples of how you can use numbers to describe your achievements include talking about:
- percent increases in something good
- percent decreases in something bad
- total money saved on something
Here are some examples of bullet points that include numbers:
- Increased annual sales by 30% by running a marketing campaign in a new market
- Saved company $280,000 per year on printing costs by purchasing two high-end printers and supervising user training
- Organized a series of community-focused events that resulted in a 200% increase in local engagement and earned $450,000 over two years
3 Resume Work Experience Examples
Customer Service Representative
Computer Company, LLC, Scottsdale, AZ
- Supervised customer service training program that grew customer engagement by 35%
- Implemented new office layout that enhanced communication between staff
- Won Employee of the Year twice (2017 and 2019)
- Earned highest performance ratings across 7 consecutive months for resolving customer problems
- Developed more efficient filing system for customer records
Children’s Middle School, Billings, MT
September 2011–June 2018
- Piloted reading initiative that expanded the average student’s vocabulary by 140 words
- Coordinated run–swim–bike events that raised $76,000 for local causes
- Established after-school gaming initiative that cut students’ screen time by 40%
- Introduced SMART boards as Chair of Technology Committee
- Led class to win Best Behaved awards 7% more often than colleagues
Wellness Hospital, Boise, ID
November 2001–June 2014
- Managed critically ill patients (20+ on my ward)
- Directed new nurses’ training program on practical ventilator function
- Cared for 1,000+ patients in ICU and provided pre-operative care
- Trained 15 team members to use Epic and Cerner patient management software systems