CV Writing Tips : How Best To Highlight Your Work Experience
By Selipha Kihagi
Most candidates make the mistake of rushing into writing their CVs, such that they forget to sort out what they should include, what they should leave out and how best to articulate their work experience.
Quickly listing down the places you have previously worked and listing your duties & responsibilities in a careless manner may be the reason your CV was rejected, even when your skills are impressive. Employers are looking to hire candidates who are keen on their applications to identify what is relevant and what is not.
So, how do you highlight your work experience?
“Your work experience is basically the jobs you have had in your career so far and includes your duties and responsibilities in the positions, but how you present it on the CV will matter greatly to the hiring company,” says Florence Mukunya, a Professional CV Writer at Corporate Staffing Services.
To best convey your experience that makes you a suitable candidate, consider the following;
1. Your work experience should always be current
When writing your work experience, the very recent position should always be at the very top of the list. Employers or recruiting personnel receive large numbers of applications and will not be pleased if they have to read in between the lines to see where you worked last.
Employers are more interested in what you have been up to in the last 6 months, not 8 years ago. So, emphasize on your recent job.
2. Focus on the Major Duties, not each and every responsibility
You may want to show the hiring personnel that you are well qualified for the position by listing every single duty you performed in your previous job, but this can also be interpreted differently. To avoid misleading the employer, highlight only your major duties.
What does this mean? If you are applying for an accounting job, it is not necessary to include front office duties that you helped out with at your former company.
Focus on what the job requirements are, and also avoid repeating the same duties in the different positions. Where possible, leave out similar roles.
3. When your experience is too long, it’s okay to summarize
If you have worked at various companies and held different positions for a long time, it is okay not to include it all. For example, if you have held 8 or more positions in your accounting career, chances are that the duties & responsibilities are the same across the positions save for a few.
In this case, detail your duties for only the most recent positions then summarize the rest by just mentioning the position you held and the period.
Highlighting your work experience on the CV is not a difficult task, all you need is to understand what the employer is looking for (know this depending on the job description) then carefully list duties that are relevant and avoid too much repetition.
Let the employer know you took time in writing the CV by including something different for every role and using key words depending on your profession.