This section can be called “Employment History” or “Work History”. The difference is this:
- “Employment History” implies that you were employed and paid for all the roles you mention in the section.
- “Work History” should be used if you are detailing voluntary work or have a gap in your CV.
Whether you are doing a Chronological, Functional or Combined CV, you should include the dates, employer and job title. A note in brackets if the role was temporary or contract is useful. Everything should be detailed in reverse chronological order.
If you are doing a Chronological or combined CV then go into further details. Underneath each employer include a brief sentence about the type of company or department you work in. Then use bullet points to list your duties and responsibilities, projects you’ve worked on – especially any which were interesting or particularly challenging. Include achievements you are proud of.
If you have held more than one position at the same company, list each job title separately under the company name and follow each job title with its own bullet points.
If you are technical include a subheading and detail the technical environment and skillset you used. This is VERY important as it achieves a number of things:
- It helps maintain readability of your CV whilst getting in the important technical keywords.
- It will make your CV very search engine friendly and very friendly.
For positions held over 10years ago, just list the dates, company and position titles. We recommend you go right back through your career as this highlights the depth of your experience and can show a steady career progression.
Don’t leave gaps in your history. Choose to either change to a functional CV structure or put the gaps in with dates and an explanation for example: caring for a relative; volunteering; seeking employment following redundancy; timeout travelling; bringing up a family; recovering from an accident or illness.
Employers and recruiters will find the gaps anyway so you may as well mention them briefly. It shows an open and honest attitude.
Our top 5 tips for writing this section are:
- Choose to highlight skills which are relevant to the role you did.
- Prioritise the skills bearing in mind the roles you are applying for. Remember, people automatically assume the ones at the top are your strongest skills.
- Paragraphs are acceptable but don’t make the too wordy.
- Use bullet points because they are easier and faster to read.
- Try to start each bullet with a power word, include numbers, percentages and works like First, only, most, best, highest.
Give tangible outcomes for your work efforts. The ultimate goal for this section is to tell the employer or recruiter what your skills are and what you have accomplished.
Our final point is that it should be as relevant as possible to your target position and it must reflect your accomplishments and not be just a list of duties.