Put First Things First

by Lisa Fife

Your work experience is a vital component of your resume and usually one of the first things a hiring manager will review. The first thing to remember is to tailor your work experience section in a way that relates to your objective and the positions you are seeking out. Highlight job duties and accomplishments that are applicable to the role and type of organization you are applying for. Keep this in mind: you may need to create multiple versions of your resume. You can tweak each for individual applications for various roles.

Be careful not to include only your job duties for each of your previous positions, but also show your performance and contributions in those previous roles. Articulate your accomplishments. Show how you made valuable contributions to your previous employers. This will help the hiring manager see the type of worker you are and how you can be valuable to their organization. Where applicable, include quantitative results. For example, if you were a youth pastor at a church and helped grow the youth ministry, instead of saying something like "Increased the size of the youth group." say something more specific like "Increased the youth ministry from 50 youth to 250 youth in 2 years." Being specific will have a greater impact on showing the true value of your accomplishments and help you stand out.

Lastly, most employers will want to see all of your work experience. If there are gaps in some of your work history, be prepared to explain the reasoning for the gaps, if necessary. Above all, be honest with your work experience and background.

Posted in Resume Tips