Resume Series: Part 4 – Work History

This is day four of a week long blog series that provides tips on how to develop each section of your resume. Previously, the focus has been on the heading, objective, and summary. Today will focus on work history. This series is to help prepare for the kick-off of our “Getting People to Work” series. As part of this project we will focus our efforts to bring together community resources, provide workshops in our offices and in our communities and plan hiring events in targeted geographic locations. We hope that you find this series helpful and that you will join us at one or more of our events!

In-Office Workshops
Community-Based Workshops
Hiring Events

Resume: Work History

Typically, employers want to see the last ten years of your work history. And, employers initially prefer a one-page resume customized to the job lead you are applying for. Here are some tips to help keep your work history brief.

Format

List your recent job first.

Include the following information:

Company name, Job title, City, ST, dates of employment
• Accomplishment
• Accomplishment
• Accomplishment
• Accomplishment
• Accomplishment

If you held two or more job titles within the company:

Company name, City, ST
Job title, dates for this job title
• Accomplishment
• Accomplishment
• Accomplishment
Job title, dates for this job title
• Accomplishment
• Accomplishment
Job title, dates for this job title
• Accomplishment
• Accomplishment

Also, follow the format and wording tips found in part 3 of this series, “Resume: Summary”:

Omit personal pronouns – I, me, my, mine, we, us.

Avoid words like “responsibility(ies)” and “duty(ies)”.

Begin sentences (accomplishment statements) with action verbs – present tense if you’re still working and past tense if you’re not. (List of action verbs)

Quantify whenever you can.

Omit the following words if sentences still read well without them: a, an, the, all.

Drafting Your Work History

Start by typing everything you can remember about what you did at each job within the last ten years. List your accomplishments with bullets. Keep in mind that this is your draft resume. Write everything you can remember. At this point, don’t think about how long it’s going to be. Also, continually add to this draft as you recall more things.

Customizing Your Work History

As you’re reading a job description, ask yourself, “When or where have I done that?” especially when requirements are prefaced with “must have”, “requires”, “desires”, or “prefers”.

On your draft resume, keep any accomplishments in your work history that relate to the job description and delete the rest. Modify the remaining accomplishments to one or two lines, if needed. Save As “Your Name, Job Title, Company Name.doc”.

If you’re tempted to want to keep most everything on your draft resume then ask yourself, “How can this be beneficial to the company?”

Check back in tomorrow for the final post in this resume series: Education.

Josie Toth is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. She conducts job search skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast region. After serving in the military, Josie utilized Workforce Solutions’ services. Her desire to help people led to an employment counselor position with Workforce Solutions, which she held for four years, until she found her niche as a Regional Facilitator.



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