Adding work experience to your CV

Work Experience is one of the most important sections of your CV so its essential that you when describing your previous experience and responsibilities, you should use pro-active descriptions such as: Achieved, Formulated, Planned, Broadened, Generated, Managed, Represented.

What to include

If you have the equivalent of at least 3 years full-time work experience, then you probably do not need to include any part-time jobs, vacation jobs, voluntary work or unpaid work experience unless, this work is relevant in terms of the position you are applying for.  For example, if you are applying for a Casino Marketing Executive position and you worked part-time for three years as a dealer in a casino during your study, then, you should include this because you understand the ‘product’.  Of course your post-study work experience will be the prevalent factor and you will need to have the right marketing skills but, in this case, this part-time work is relevant and should be included and may give you the edge.

If you have just started studying and it is relevant, list the details including when it commenced, what you have completed to date and when you intend on finishing.  Do not add irrelevant studies.

Charity work could be included in your interests.  You should especially include these jobs if they covered a period of unemployment, illness or any other period of time when you were not working and the experience you gained could be relevant.

Roles

List your most recent (last) job first and work backwards.  For each position held at each company record the dates you held those positions (recording an internal promotion is equ ally as important as if you were to change employers).  Where you held more than one position, you should highlight the company once with the total time you have been with that company.  Ideally you should also state your job title and the job title of the person you reported to.  

For example;

Made Up Gaming
October 2003 - Present (as below)
Head of Online Marketing (Reporting into the CEO)
March 2006 – Present

Online Marketing Manager
August 2004 - February 2006

Marketing Executive
October 2003 - July 2004

Provide the name of the company and include a brief description of the service they provide - this should be no longer than a sentence just to give the employer an idea.  Include the company's website too so they can find out more information if they wish.  

Ensure that you always provide an accurate account of the dates employed in each position by stating the month you started and finished each role.  Where a role was temporary or a fixed term contract, state this in brackets to avoid giving the false impression that they were permanent jobs which you only held for a short time.

Key Achievements

Begin with providing your Key Achievements (KAs) first.  KAs are where you made a quantifiable or qualifiable difference and are separate to your Duties and Responsibilities (DRs). DRs are your daily (weekly, monthly etc) tasks as set out in your job description.  The best way to differentiate yourself is through listing your KAs.

For example:

Key Achievements:

  • Increased annual departmental turnover by 180% while maintaining cost at same levels for previous financial period.
  • Entered three new markets in Spain, Italy and Germany establishing local partnership arrangements which allowed for immediate brand penetration.
  • Organised the 2006 Made Up Gaming Poker open which attracted 422 participants and was broadcast on national UK television.

We encourage you to use percentages when discussing increases/decreases in revenue or costs for example as this gives an idea of how well you performed but without giving away sensitive information about your existing employer.  

You should list at least three but ideally five KA's for each position, especially for your most recent job.  All KA's are relevant as they give some indication of the type of person you are and an indication of your enthusiasm, reliability, dynamism and creativity.

This section is very important as it allows you to 'stand out' from the crowd and gives the employer reasons as to why they should consider you for the vacancy.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Don't assume that the people reading your CV will automatically know what you did on a day-to-day basis.  The best way to approach the 'what to put in and what not to put in' subject is to pretend you are explaining your job to someone who knows nothing about your field or the industry you work in

Your DRs are usually what is listed in your job description and form a further outline of what your normal everyday tasks are.

For example:

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Research and analyse new markets for their viability including competitive and legal analysis, financial considerations such as payments methods and other.
  • Management of a team of four including a Research Executive, Marketing Executive, Payments Executive and Affiliate Manager
  • Responsible for a marketing budget of £2m.

See Do's and Don'ts for writing your CV for more help on writing the "Work Experience" component of your CV.

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