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10 work history resume writing tips
Employers have the daunting task of sifting through piles of resumes, many with poorly
written work histories. Make sure yours is not a casualty.
Kim Isaacs, Monster resume expert
Use these tips to capture the
attention of hiring managers.
Hiring managers have love-hate
relationships with resumes. They
need resumes to find candidates
to fill job openings, but they
often have to wade through piles
of poorly written work histories.
If you give a hiring manager the
information needed to make
a quick decision about your
credentials, you will have an edge
over other applicants.
Here are 10 ways you can jazz
up your experience section to
capture the attention of hiring
managers.

1. Ditch the job description
One of the most common
mistakes is to write experience
sections that read like job
descriptions. Some job seekers go
so far as to copy job descriptions
word for word. The result is
a boring recap of job duties
with no indication of actual job
performance.

2. Prove your value
Hiring managers scan your
resume looking for clues about
what type of worker you are. If
you show that you consistently
produced positive results for
previous employers, you will be
seen as a desirable candidate.
The key is to emphasize your
accomplishments and provide
proof of your potential value.

3. Quantify results
Which statement has more
impact?
A. Significantly increased
revenues and grew client base
between 2018 and 2019.
B. Increased revenues from
$250,000 in 2018 to $1.5 million
in 2019 and tripled client base
from 2,500 to 7,000.
In both cases, the candidate is
trying to convey he increased
revenues and expanded the client
base, but statement B measures
how well he achieved this growth.
Wherever possible, include
measurable results of your work.
Note that not everyone can
release company performance
figures. If presenting this
information is a breach of
confidentiality, find another way
to present your accomplishments.
For example, use percentages
rather than actual dollar figures.

4. Are you up to PAR?
PAR stands for Problem Action
Results and is a good starting
point for thinking about your
accomplishments. What types of
challenges did you face? What
actions did you take to overcome
the problems? What was the
result of your efforts, and how
did your performance benefit
the company? Write down a list
of your accomplishments and

incorporate the most impressive
ones into your resume.

5. Lead with your work’s
outcomes
An effective strategy is to write
the result of your work before
listing the problem and action.
This allows you to lead with the
most compelling aspect of your
accomplishment.
For example: Reversed an annual
$2 million decline in market share
by streamlining the benchmark
process and building a top-flight
sales team.

6. Make it readable
Some resumes use bullets to
outline work histories, but
this tends to blur duties and
accomplishments, which dilutes
the impact of achievements.
Other resumes use a narrative
style to describe work history,
which tends to be cumbersome
to read, especially for hiring
managers who are quickly
scanning resumes to extract key
information.
Instead, use a combination of
paragraphs and bullets. For
each employer, provide a brief
paragraph that details the
scope of your responsibilities.
Then create a bulleted list of
your top contributions. The
bullets draw attention to your
accomplishments, while giving
the eye a place to rest. Preface

accomplishments with a heading
such as Key Accomplishments or
Significant Contributions.

7. Target your experience to
your goal
Resumes are marketing tools.
Your employment history should
effectively market you for your
current job objective. Focus on
accomplishments that relate to
your goal and remove job duties
and accomplishments that don’t
support your objective.

8. Use power words
The quality of the writing makes
or breaks your chances for an
interview, so select your words
carefully. Avoid dull or stale
phrases such as “responsible
for” and “duties include.” Go for
action verbs.

9. Be honest
Studies indicate that job seekers
often lie about their work
experiences on their resumes.
But with honest and well-written

employment histories, even
job seekers with less-thanperfect backgrounds will secure
interviews. The best strategy
for your resume is to always be
truthful about your background.

10. Have a trusted pair of
eyes review your resume
Knowing what to highlight in
your resume’s experience section
is one thing; actually writing it
in a way that is clear and concise
is another. Not only should this
section emphasize your skills,
it should also convey the value
you’d bring to a company. Could
you use some help putting
that down on paper? Get a
free resume evaluation today
from the experts at Monster’s
Resume Writing Service. You’ll
get detailed feedback in two
business days, including a review
of your resume’s appearance and
content, and a prediction of a
recruiter’s first impression. It’s a
quick and easy way to put a little
extra professional polish on your
credentials.

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