What do you include as ‘professional experience’ on your resume, or how do you go about wording it? This is perhaps the most important section of the document, and what every employer wants to know. Everyone knows what jobs they have held, and what duties they performed in those jobs ‘ they just don’t know how to put it into words. When you build your resume, you want to include a strong professional experience section.
Employers are impressed by a resume that is well laid out and easy to read. They want essential information related to the job for which you are applying, in the shortest form possible. Highlight your accomplishments and skills with action words when possible.
Professional experience outline
First of all, you will want to list previous employment in a reverse-chronological order. This simply means you start with your current or most recent job, and work your way back. Many employers prefer that you use a date format of years (2003 ‘ 2006) rather than months and dates (April 2003 ‘ June 2006). With each employer, explain briefly your daily tasks and responsibilities. If this information is presented elsewhere in your resume, do not repeat it.
After entering the name of an employer and dates worked, enter a functional title on the following line. Write this in a way that demonstrates your skills, such as Project Manager or Marketing Specialist. Do not use official titles that may be meaningless to the potential employer.
Use bullet points to demonstrate responsibilities and tasks
Once you have listed the employer name, address, years worked and functional title, your professional experience section should be completed with a bulleted list of the duties you performed, as in the example below:
‘ Managed accounting department
‘ Increased productivity
‘ Reduced overtime by increasing efficiency of staff
Of course, what you include in your professional experience will be related to the industries in which you have worked and your accomplishments in those industries. If you are a good leader or work in a team environment, include this type of information. Many employers usually lean toward those who have a knack for communicating, researching or exceptional leadership skills.
Additionally, you can get ideas on how to best handle the professional experience section of your resume by jotting down your past career information, such as job titles you have held. Search online at sites like Career One Stop for great tips and resources that will help you create a winning resume.
If you decide to use a functional or combination resume, you will still basically use the same information in your professional experience section, just in a different light. In the functional resume, people often highlight more in terms of what they know than work experience. With the combination resume, both knowledge and work history are used. No matter which type you choose, it is essential to include your professional experience in a way that catches the attention of a potential employer.