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A Winning CV – The Work Experience Section (Exclusive)

This is the section that easily fails most job applicants in their CV review stage. With or without experience, this article will help you. These days, most job adverts require some slight work experience (Please refer to our article on years of experience). Have you ever been told that even an internship or anything close to it is still work experience? Someone with a real corporate experience can fail in convincing the panel with his format in this area while an internship candidate can. This only depends on how you have developed the section on your CV that describes your work experience.

This article is for people looking to create an awesome work experience section on their CV. Doing so is vital to job success because the work experience section describes your experiences and achievements. Failed to convince employers in this section? Then chances are you're not going to hear from them. Fortunately once you know the secrets creating a fantastic work experience section is simple. Read on then and discover the steps you can use to convince employers.

Here below, I underline the steps that can help you in making this section the winning type:

1.   Describe what each of your employers sells or provides: Simply write a sentence or two spelling it out. If they're an important company then spell out their status on the national or international stage. This is important because employers like some context knowledge about the people they're hiring. Knowing what you've done helps them figure out if you're the person they're looking for. Moreover if you've previously worked for an impressive employer this can seriously work in your favor. So try to include some impressive facts and figures about the places you've worked.
2.   State your former job position for each of the employers: These don't necessarily have to be your official titles. Instead write something more in line with your actual responsibilities. There's no point telling potential employers you were an IT manager for example when you spent your time in customer service.
3.   Spell out your responsibilities: These should be your biggest contributions to the company rather than your everyday responsibilities. You're trying to look impressive after all. ‘Bullet-point’ each responsibility so that the most important facts are near the beginning. This makes it easier for employers to find relevant details about you. In addition you've got about an A4 page to play with for the work experience section so you can elaborate. If you completed several responsibilities at the same company then use several bullet points.
4.    State what you achieved by fulfilling your responsibilities: At this point you're trying to convince potential employers you can contribute usefully to their business. So sound as impressive as possible. Think about the positive consequences of each of your actions at work. Perhaps you made a certain process more efficient or beat a revenue target? Whatever you write it should sound like a real accomplishment. If you can include figures then do so because these are always impressive.

This may sound as straight forward as it sounds but it is not. Most of the job applications that we receive for those of us in the human resource practice, will tell you the opposite. Every day I manage to look at over 200 CVs and trust me most people get this section wrong. Once you get it wrong, no call to you like I said earlier. Be careful especially if you are applying for a job that the employer has specifically outlined the experience he requires in the job advert. Try aligning your experience to the one in the job description (of the job advert) because this is the only way you can help yourself.

In this section, try using bold font for the job title and mix with italics on items like the department you worked in but the responsibilities and achievements should be in the font that matches to that of the rest of the CV. If you have worked in more than one company, make the section chronological, starting from the most current backwards. If this is the case, also make the items similar in font.

We hope that this helps you get it right in your CV.

We at HCC wish you all the best in your CV development.

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