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Dos and Don'ts When Writing Work Experience on Resume 


It is a common secret that recruiters would like to hire talents with work experience, including when it comes to fresh graduates. NACE Job Outlook survey revealed that 91 percent of employers prefer to hire candidates that have work experience, and 65 percent of the total group indicated that they prefer their candidates to have relevant work experience. More than half of the survey respondents prefer that a candidate’s job experience come from an internship or co-op. 

Based on the survey result above, we can learn that having work experience is a vital element that will catch recruiter’s eyes besides educational background and skills. In writing a resume, no matter what format you choose, it is important to pay attention to how you include work experience because it could be a weapon to land that dream job of yours. 

See also: 5 Tools for Modern Job Searching 

Writing work experience on resume 

There are several guidelines jobseekers need to follow if they want to appeal to employers and recruiters. First, job seekers need to look carefully at each section of the job description and write down specific examples of how previous experiences match the job description. Prepare and pick the best experiences and include them in the resume. 

Next, below the job description section, you should attach some work description so recruiters will know what your responsibilities were in the previous roles. Writing this description can be tricky. Not only should you write it creatively, but the description should also be nicely written to pass a resume screening machine system (ATS). 

Here are the dos and don’ts when jotting down work experience on resume: 


  • Find some keywords on the job description ad and use it to describe your experience

  • Provide your former title, company, name, location and employment dates for each previous position listed. For example, Customer Service Specialist, Joe’s Print Shop, Jan 2013 - Nov 2020

  • Carefully select the experiences, responsibilities and achievements you share - align it with the job ad 

  • Keep it short while being as detailed as possible 

  • Include specific details about what you achieved in your former role(s) 


  • Include anything that occurred 15 years ago because it’s outdated

  • Create a generic list that could easily apply to anyone 

  • Forget to read and re-read for spelling and grammar errors 

  • List more than five former jobs 

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