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How to Write a Work History Section

Published on: August 04, 2021

Writing a compelling and strong work history section is something anyone can do with the right guidance. At My Perfect Resume, we'll help you write your professional experience in a way that perfectly highlights your accomplishments, shows employers what you can do, and solidifies your value as a candidate.

Table of Contents

  1. 4 Tips to Help You Get Started on Your Work History Section
  2. How to Write Your Work History with Examples
  3. Consider Resume Formats, Resume Examples and Resume Templates
  4. How Our Resume Builder Helps You

4 Tips to Help You Get Started on Your Work History Section

Preparation is key. Having everything written beforehand will make the writing process easier for you. Follow these tips to get started!

  1. Make a list of your past employers, dates of employment, location, job title and responsibilities.
    Focus on your last 10 to 15 years of employment, starting from your most recent position and working backward. If you don't have formal work experience, think outside the box. Experience can come from internships, extracurricular activities (like volunteering), or personal projects.
  2. Write down notable work accomplishments instead of daily tasks.
    Consider what you're most proud of from your past experiences. Note how you tackled challenges and describe how your actions positively impacted your past employer.
  3. Customize your work history section to the job you're applying for.
    Even if it's for the same role, no two jobs are the same and you must be relevant to the job you want.
  4. Consider how applicant tracking systems (ATS) will read your resume.
    Many companies use ATS software to scan resumes for keywords hiring managers listed in the job posting. This is one of the reasons why it's important to tailor your work history section to the job you're applying for.

How to Write Your Work History With Examples

1. List your work experiences chronologically.

The standard method of organization of your work experience is in reverse-chronological order. Your first listing should be your current or most recent job, and next, you should include other jobs going backward in your professional experience.

2. Detail the essentials about each job.

Start each listing off with the job title you held. Include the company's name, workplace location (town and state), and the years or months you were employed. Underneath this basic information, provide bullet points which sum up your work accomplishments. Avoid focusing on everyday tasks.

3. Write using powerful action verbs.

The best way to bring life to your past experiences is by using powerful action verbs to describe your responsibilities and achievements. Strong action verbs like administered, organized, coordinated, designed, or developed will present you as a proactive, energetic employee. Some other examples of action verbs you can include in your resume:

A bulleted list of common resume action verbs

4. Include quantifiable achievements when you can.

Using numbers in your resume can better present your accomplishments — and give you a 40% boost over the competition. These metrics may be in the form of the number of people who worked under your supervision, a percentage your team helped improve an outcome or reduce a cost, or the average number of patrons you helped daily. Dollar amounts are another great metric to include if you brought in revenue or were responsible for sales.

5. Avoid including every job unless it's relevant.

Limit this section to relevant jobs from your past. You don't need to go back in time more than 15 years, unless you have professional history that dates back before then that directly relates to the new role.

Work history examples with two to five years of experience

One to two years experience with the same company

Food Server | Burger Shack Unlimited | Newark, NJ
2019–present

  • Greets up to 40 customers per hour and takes accurate orders on the register for menu items.
  • Prepares food items for a menu of 36 dishes using restaurant-supplied recipes by measuring ingredients and mixing items correctly.
  • Clears tables of dining plates, utensils and trash, and sets up tables for next customers.
  • Sends customer orders to the food preparation area or cook, and communicates special requests and food allergies to staff.
  • Uses the computerized POS system to calculate food order totals for customers, and takes payment for cash and credit card transactions.
  • Delivers friendly service to customers and addresses their complaints or concerns when necessary.
  • Follows all proper on-the-job safe food-handling procedures and cleaning regulations when working with raw ingredients and serving.

Two to three years experience with two companies, same job title

3D Animator | Newscape Studios | Chicago, IL
2020-present

  • Designs quality benchmarks for projects to maintain a 90.5% producer-satisfaction rate.
  • Collaborates with the motion capture department to collect and apply data for specific characters.
  • Works alongside writers and producers to create unique designs to translate artistic vision into a visual medium.

Assistant Animator | Newscape Studios | Chicago, IL
2019-2020

  • Collaborated with the motion capture department to collect data for over 100 specific characters and apply them to animations.
  • Completed first-rate hand-drawn animation on Adobe Animate CC for both television and cinematic use.
  • Combined technical and artistic abilities to accomplish challenging animation objectives.

Three to five years experience with two companies, different job titles

Dishwasher | Plank's Tavern on the Waterfront | Portland, OR
2020-present

  • Efficiently loads and unloads dishwashers, hand-cleaning large pots and utensils used by kitchen staff.
  • Washes and sanitizes dirty dishes by hand and by using the dishwasher.
  • Loads more than 100 glasses, silverware and dishes into the dishwasher each shift, running an average of 10 loads per day.

Cashier | Target | Portland, OR
2018-2020

  • Answered questions about store policies and concerns to support positive customer experiences.
  • Restocked, arranged and organized merchandise in front lanes to drive product sales.
  • Completed manual and machine counts of funds for transactions valued at over $100.

Work history examples with 6+ years of experience

One to six years experience with the same company, different job titles

Senior Copywriter | The Art of Digital Content | Anaheim, CA
2018-present

  • Creates high-impact messaging for all marketing media, contributing to increases in revenues and market share.
  • Provides editorial guidance to other departments, including marketing team, ensuring the delivery of top-quality content.
  • Authored online display ads, providing click-conversion rates of 2.35%.

Copywriter | The Art of Digital Content | Anaheim, CA
2013-2018

  • Edited content produced by senior executives, modifying the text to conform to company-wide branding standards and publication guidelines.
  • Wrote advertising copy for online content, adhering to employers' overarching brand identity and personality.
  • Incorporated between 11.5k and 30.3k SEO keywords into copy to increase search result rankings, producing high conversion rates.

Two to ten years experience with two companies, same job titles

Retail Pharmacist | Well-Drug | Tulsa, OK
2016–present

  • Fills more than 25 prescription drugs per hour in various forms, such as tablets, liquid medication, and more, for a popular drugstore chain.
  • Verifies patient medication and history to check for any potential adverse reactions.
  • Communicates with the patient's doctor when there is a verification question about prescriptions or side effects.
  • Uses extensive knowledge of pharmaceuticals to make recommendations for generic drugs whenever necessary.
  • Completes daily inventories of controlled substances and other drugs by counting supplies and tracking prescription fillings each day through a verification service.
  • Oversees a staff of seven pharmacists and four part-time pharmacy technicians by scheduling shifts and evaluating employment records.

Assistant Pharmacist | Aid Mart | Tulsa, OK
2011–2016

  • Educated patients about potential side effects, dosage information, and drug storage when dispensing any medicines.
  • Submitted paperwork and information to the insurance company for patients and verified coverage before filling medications.
  • Stocked inventory for additional non-prescription medication for behind-the-counter access, such as allergy and cold medicine.

Three to fifteen years experience with three companies, different job titles

Senior UX Designer | Peloton | Plano, TX
2012-present

  • Utilizes strong interactive and usability design skills to lead production and assessments for user-friendly interactions.
  • Develops detailed user flows, site maps and wireframes to communicate user flow and interaction clearly to relevant teams.
  • Leads team of seven through prioritizing work, problem-solving through production, and creating an open workplace environment to nurture new ideas and communication.

Junior UI Designer | Konrad | Plano, TX
2006-2012

  • Assisted in project production, debugging code and completing minor fixes for client approval.
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment running two to three different projects at a time.
  • Fostered a collaborative design process with product managers, user researchers, and engineers to work toward strategic goals and feature requirements.

UX Design Intern | imre, LLC. | Plano, TX
2005-2006

  • Sat in on meetings with project managers and clients to take notes, listen to client specifications and needs, and create storyboards to illustrate projects.
  • Hunted for new trends and up-and-coming technology through social media channels.
  • Assisted two project managers in creating detailed mapping and prototypes of clients in the fashion and e-commerce business.

Work history examples with management experience

One to six years experience with the same company, different job titles

Restaurant Manager | Chili's | Chesapeake, VA
2017-present

  • Maximizes employee morale and productivity, ensures staff are well-briefed and constantly motivated on all aspects of their work on daily basis.
  • Assists staff of 25 in taking customer orders, answering calls, and other daily duties when the restaurant is full to shorten waiting times and better handle customer flow.
  • Manages operations during scheduled shifts that include daily scheduling, planning and product quality and restaurant cleanliness.

Restaurant Administrator | Chili's | Chesapeake, VA
2014-2017

  • Generated new and innovative marketing ideas weekly that support company goals and the restaurant in its surrounding location.
  • Partnered with sales team to identify consumer gaps and needs to fulfill monthly restaurant quota.
  • Served as communication and logistics point of contact for reservations of over eight people as well as messages for cancellations or queries from customers and replied accordingly.

Two to ten years experience with two companies, same job titles

Senior Product Manager | NewCo. | Seattle, WA
2015–present

  • Creates product pricing plans and store placement for all new items, for large retail vendor with more than 100 new offerings each year.
  • Partners with other departments in marketing and manufacturing to get a better understanding of customer expectations and needs.
  • Develops product prototypes for new retail industry offerings by using customer feedback, budget information, and company resources.
  • Manages a team of 12 staff members on product development by delegating responsibilities and overseeing applications.
  • Organizes tasks and project details for each new product launch with other engineering, manufacturing, and marketing teams.

Associate Product Manager | OldCorp Systems | Seattle, WA
2011–2015

  • Discussed company budget needs and pricing with shipping companies and materials management to help reduce costs by 15% and increase profitability.
  • Communicated progress with new product timelines with upper management by preparing reports and data.
  • Brainstormed creative solutions to problems during the project by making suggestions and thinking outside of the box.

Three to fifteen years experience with three companies, different job titles

Property Manager | New Empire Corp. | Reno, NV
2011-present

  • Oversees daily maintenance with internal providers as well as outside vendors of five properties.
  • Schedules monthly maintenance appointments for 8-12 properties assigned to be supervised, and coordinates move-ins, site visits by vendors, and insurance documents.
  • Negotiates and secures all service contracts such as landscaping and snow removal services.

Assistant Property Manager | Way Finder PM | Reno, NV
2008-2011

  • Communicated via email, verbally, and in-person with potential clients and maintained past records of tenants and vendors.
  • Prepared and distributed daily memos, notices, and other correspondence to residents.
  • Coordinated with agents on assisting with daily duties as well as compliance deadlines and tracking of deposits for alterations/decorating agreements.

Leasing Agent | Cushman & Wakefield | Reno, NV
2004-2008

  • Developed relationships with potential residents from first interaction to lease signing.
  • Set weekly goals and determined the priority of vacant apartments or homes, based on several competing objectives with potential residents.
  • Met with 5-10 prospective residents a week, identified their housing needs, and interviewed them to determine eligibility based on each building's criteria.

Resume Formats, Resume Examples and Resume Templates

Resume Formats

There are three standard resume formats, and each of them organizes your work history section differently. Choosing the right format for you will depend on your years of experience.

Chronological

Chronological resume example for a geotechnical engineer position

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The chronological resume format is the most commonly used format, and it's ideal for candidates with more than eight or ten years of work experience. It organizes your work history in reverse-chronological order, starting with your current or most recent position.

Combination

Combination resume format for a technical writer position

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The combination resume format, also known as the hybrid resume, is best suited for candidates with three to seven years of experience. As the name suggests, it's a combination of the chronological and functional resumes, as it displays your work history in reverse-chronological order and your relevant skills.

Functional

Functional resume format for a medical assistant position

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Excellent for people with less than two years of experience, the functional resume format highlights your strengths by focusing on your skills and training.

Resume Examples

Need inspiration? Use our library of resume examples as a foundation to write your resume. Look for resume examples with the same or a similar job title and in the same industry. They will give you an idea of how to present your work history and other key sections of your resume.

Property Manager

Chronological resume example for a property manager position

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Sales Associate

Functional resume example for a sales assistant position

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Zumba Instructor

Combination resume example for a Zumba instructor position

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Resume Templates

To get the job you want, you need a good resume. Use our professionally designed resume templates to catch the employer's attention and keep your information well-organized. We have a large selection of professional, modern and creative styles for you to choose from.

Insightful

Chronological resume template for a purchasing manager position

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Simple but effective use of color makes this design's header stand out. Section titles are arranged in the left margin for quick reference.

Remarkable

Resume template for a radio professional position

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This layout utilizes box graphics for headings and a prominent header that highlights your name.

Original

Functional resume template for an assistant resident position

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This unique four-quadrant design helps you stand out from the crowd while also making it easy for employers to find information.

How Our Resume Builder Helps You

  • Step-by-step resume maker and expert suggestions.
  • A large selection of customizable templates for all types of jobs.
  • Organize your information easily and create different versions of your resume for different jobs.
  • Quickly check spelling, grammar and formatting mistakes with our tools.
  • Our Chrome extension matches your resume with the right jobs, helps you update your resume and auto-fills job applications.

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