Goodwill Career Center | How To Effectively Highlight Your Job Experience  

Job experience is one of the most important components of a resume. This is where prospective employers look at your information to find out just how well qualified you are for the job they need to be filled. If you need to write a resume, there are a few key things to know about this component of the process. Our team at Goodwill wants you to put your best foot forward with tips like these.

Factual Power Words

When you are writing your resume, we recommend using power words in the description of your job experience. It’s important to note that when you are writing these, you want to make sure they are as accurate as possible.

Power words are those associated with skills. They should be written with some type of skills in action format. That is, you want to ensure your job experience clearly states what you did in an actionable way. For example, you may have “Operated machinery” or “Managed 10 people.” Follow this with a brief description of what you did. That allows for would-be employers to fully understand what you did at your last job.

Focus on action verbs as much as possible. For example, consider words such as:

  • Secured
  • Managed
  • Designed
  • Collaborated
  • Coached
  • Conceptualized
  • Reduced

Focus on the Benefits You Offer

Another important process is to focus on the benefit of your job experience. If you want to get hired, you need employers to see the value you bring to them (not just to your previous job). What did you help accomplish or achieve by performing those activities?

You may want to say something like “Saved company 10 percent by reducing waste.” “Grew profits by 20% year-over-year.”

People naturally want to know what the benefit to them is in any situation. When you communicate to your would-be employers about what you did at a previous job, they may see that as an opportunity you’ll bring with you to your new job.

Stay Concise But Don’t Repeat

Each component of your job experience should be about something different. Even if you do not have a lot of job experience to include, be sure every part of this section of your resume is new info. You don’t want to focus on the same things over and over again.

What if you did the same job but at different companies? One way to use this to your advantage is to focus on your job growth from one company to the next. For example, at your first job, you may have performed key tasks. In your second job in the same field, did you teach others to do those tasks? Did you improve your skills in those areas to be more efficient? Perhaps you managed others who provided those tasks?

Look for ways to show that you may have had the same job position but there was definite growth from one point to the next. That’s going to show employers you have the potential to continuously improve.

Write Resume Details in an Appealing Manner

Another way to make sure you write your resume in an appealing manner is to focus on your strengths. Here’s an example.

You may not be able to show any real growth in your skills from one job to the next. That does not look good to an employer. Instead of focusing on listing just one employer after the other on your resume, switch things up.

You can write a resume that focuses on your skills instead. List where you received those skills under what they are. When trying to organize your resume in this way, be sure to list the most valuable skills you have, based on your experience in the field, at the top. For those without a lot of job experience, this is a key component of the process.

What If You Have No Job Experience?

Is this your first job? Perhaps you do not have a lot of job experience at all. That can seem very overwhelming. With no job experience, you may feel like you cannot find a job that is going to be something you want to do. That’s not always the case.

Just as noted above, sometimes job experience is not the only thing or the best thing to showcase on a resume. Instead, why not focus on the skills you have that can help you get hired?

Write down a list of skills you have that you think will help you stand out. You can list skills you have as well as those you’ve learned over time by being involved in various activities or groups. Really dig in here. Make a list of skills that you know an employer can offer.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself that may offer some insight:

  • Do you take deadlines seriously? Demonstrate how timely you are.
  • Are you a responsible person who does not miss an appointment? Note your reliability.
  • Do other people tell you that you are a people person? Perhaps they like listening to you.
  • Do you feel that you are an honest person? If that’s one of your skills, list that.
  • Do you have specific computer or app experience that may be helpful to your employer?
  • What type of hand-working skills do you have? Are you specifically good at repairing things?

Work at this and perhaps get someone else to help you by providing ideas to you. Your goal here is to write resume details and skills that you think employers will value.

Know What Your New Job Requires

Another way to write a resume that can help you find a job is to include words and phrases that you know are important to your soon-to-be-employer. Again, you need to be honest here and ensure you are not embellishing your resume.

However, you should take a good look at the company’s job listing. What are they looking for in an applicant? They may be looking for specific computer or language skills. They may be looking for someone with a specific license or degree. If you do not have these, don’t say that you do.

If you do have those skills, make sure to include them in your resume. That is what is going to give your employer-to-be a reason to take a closer look. You also have to remember that many employers use software that helps them find people who list specific terms on their application and resume. If you fail to include these, no person will actually ever see your application.

Look at a few different listings if you are applying to numerous positions or companies. Your goal is to ensure you are getting the right information that these hiring managers are looking for in resumes.

At Goodwill, we know it can be hard to find a job when you are looking at a new industry or trying to navigate changing job climates in your community. That’s why we believe you should write resume details in such a way as they stand out no matter how much your career changes and flexes.

What else can you do to ensure you have the best possible outcome when applying for a job? By utilizing our career services at no cost to you.

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