When writing a resume, many people are uncertain as to exactly what types of experience should be listed. Actually, any experience, whether compensated or uncompensated, can be cited as long as it is pertinent to the job being sought. This experience could be in relation to previous employment, or it could be practical experience as part of coursework in education. If it has relevance to the position, it can be used to substantiate a candidate’s qualifications for employment.
Compensated and Uncompensated Experience
Unfortunately, many individuals fail to list some of the most outstanding experience they have. Somewhere along the line experience got translated to job history, and as a result, other educational and life experience was never mentioned. Compensated experience generally refers to job or work history. Uncompensated experience can be gained as part of an educational curriculum or from volunteer work and/or civic activities. For instance, a student enrolled in nursing school would do clinicals near the end of studies. This work can be listed as experience. On the other hand, individuals who volunteered at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and are seeking a job in social work could list those activities as experience.
How to List Professional Experience on a Resume
Professional experience is listed on a resume according to the name of the company, the location, dates of employment and position held. Most often, jobs are listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent topping the list. Immediately following the job, duties and responsibilities are itemized. A receptionist might list answering phones, greeting clients as they arrive at the office, scheduling appointments and other responsibilities that gave him/her experience on the job. Be as concise, but descriptive, as possible when listing professional experience. This is one area that a prospective employer will inspect carefully. Especially in a downward economy, businesses seek to cut operating costs by cutting back on training. Better qualified applicants have the advantage.
How to List Educational or Volunteer Experience on a Resume
Educational experience would be listed immediately following the degree or certificate mentioned on the resume. While many individuals don’t itemize experience in this portion of the chronological resume, it is not uncommon to cite specific areas of study and experience gained from them. An example of this would be a student in graduate studies for Behavioral Sciences might list experience gained when placed at a local youth shelter under a social worker. Volunteer work would most often be referenced under the qualifications and skills area of a resume. However, many resumes have a concluding section immediately following education where civic and volunteer experience can be highlighted.
Whether new to the job market, or new to the job being sought, it is good to know that experience can be gained in a number of ways, and all kinds can be listed. There are resume samples online for virtually any occupation. In order to get a better understanding of how to list experience, and even what types of experience to list, take the time to browse through several selections before you sit down to compile your own resume.
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