What Four Things Should You Include in Your Employment History?

John Krautzel
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A robust employment history section in your resume demonstrates how well you're qualified for a particular position. Make sure to include four specific things in your history section to create a standout resume that gets noticed.

Accurate Information

Accuracy is vitally important in your employment history. Otherwise, a hiring manager thinks you're either lying or making errors on your resume. Neither prospect bodes well for landing an interview. Accurate information allows HR to verify your employment and ask your previous managers for a glowing job reference.

Show the month and year of employment at each workplace to give the hiring manager a timeline for your work history. Spell the company's name correctly, and check for typos. A sloppy resume with spelling mistakes can also doom your chances of getting a job.

Keywords from the Job Posting

Keywords in your employment history should align with what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Examine the job posting and see what language you can incorporate into your specific situation. For example, say the job description wants someone with copywriting and copy-editing experience. Make sure to use those exact terms when writing about your tasks and duties with previous employers.

Matching keywords is important because many employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to sift through hundreds of resumes they receive for each open position. Having the correct keywords in a resume can boost your ranking in this type of automated system. A higher ranking increases your chances of having a resume read by human eyes and also receiving a phone call from an employer.

Action Verbs

Action verbs in your employment history add depth and descriptiveness to your document. Dynamic action verbs also make you stand out from other applicants. Rather than standard verbs such as "managed" or "led," go for "chaired," "initiated" or "strengthened." Words should be appropriate to a particular situation, such as when you improved employee retention of your team by developing an automated feedback system that tracked responses to employee questions and concerns.

Results and Hard Numbers

Mentioning hard numbers and quantifiable results in your employment history demonstrates exactly how you contributed to a previous employer's bottom line. Impactful results highlight your level of expertise and the success you had in roles with past employers. For example, a prospective employer can learn how you "adapted your team of 15 salespeople to use new CRM software that increased sales by 10 percent quarter-over-quarter for 15 straight quarters at Acme Brick." This statement not only shows precisely what you did, but how you made your previous workplace better because of your actions. Showcasing results lets a potential employer see how the company can earn a return on its investment by hiring you.

Your employment history clarifies why your expertise, qualifications and experience make you the right candidate for the job. Make sure to include the correct keywords, employment dates, results and verbiage as best practices for a fantastic resume. How do you create a work history section that stands out from other candidates?

Photo courtesy of everydayplus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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