How to write work experience on a CV (Tips and example)

Updated 31 July 2023

A well-written work experience section is an essential element of an effective CV. If you know how to present your professional experience on a CV, you can show the recruiter that you've got the required qualifications for the job. It also helps you stand out as a qualified applicant who'd potentially help the company succeed. In this article, we explain how to write work experience on a CV and why it's important to do it, provide an example work experience section to help you write your own and list essential and optional elements of an effective CV that may help you get the job of your dreams.

Related: Work Experience: Definition, Importance and Tips

How to write work experience on a CV

Knowing how to write work experience on a CV is a useful skill that can help you increase your chances of getting a job interview invitation. Here are some basic steps that can help you organise and format your employment history on a CV:

1. Make a list of your employment history

Making a list of your former companies and roles is a great first step that can help you better organise your work experience section. Consider taking a minute or two to reflect on each position and how it helped your professional growth. Practising gratitude like this is a great way to notice the most important elements of each job and make your experience stand out in the next recruitment process. Be sure to write down the following:

  • your job titles

  • companies you worked for

  • locations of the companies

  • employment dates

  • your primary responsibilities

  • promotions

  • any important work accomplishments or awards

2. Choose the information you want to include on your CV

Once you've analysed your employment history and made a list of your former companies, it's time to decide what to include on your new CV. One of the best techniques is to highlight those jobs and responsibilities that are closely related to the position you're applying for. This way, you show the recruiter that you've made yourself familiar with the job description and took some time to analyse the opportunity. It's also a great method to make your CV unique and position yourself as the best-qualified applicant.

Related: How to write a CV for year 10 work experience (and example)

3. Format the work experience section

Sometimes, structuring your work experience the right way can help the recruiter notice important facts about your employment history. Here's how you can format your experience section:

Include it in the top half of your CV

The first step in formatting your experience section is knowing where to put it on the page. If you've got an employment history that you want to highlight, your best option is to place this section on the top half of the page, right under your contact details and professional summary. If you're applying for your first job, you may want to consider including your education section first and then follow that with a list of your volunteering experience or seasonal jobs that make up your work experience section.

Related: Writing a CV with No Experience

Put it in reverse chronological order

Employers and recruiters typically require that you put your work experience in reverse chronological order. This means that you start with your most recent position, follow that with your second most recent one and so on. Seeing your most recent role and responsibilities on top of the section allows them to quickly see where you're coming from and if you're familiar with the specifics of the job you're applying for.

Consider functional CV formatting

In some cases, you may want to consider choosing functional formatting for your CV. A functional CV highlights your skills and competencies, which may be a better option for applicants with limited employment history or recent graduates. To create a functional CV, you may want to include the skills section above your work experience section. Be sure to list the name of the skill and follow that with an explanation of how you've used it to succeed in the past, for example:

Time management: I consistently met project deadlines as a junior marketing manager and helped the digital team increase the interest rate by 25%.

Related: CV Format Guide: Examples and Tips

Why it's important to include work experience on a CV

For many employers and recruiters, the work experience section of your CV is one of the most important things to check. It helps them determine if you're a qualified applicant who'd make a good fit for their company. The information that you include in this section also allows them to see if you've got the desired training and professional experience for the role you're applying for. Getting a quick idea of your employment history allows them to understand your career path better, see how long you've worked in your previous roles and what skills you managed to improve in those roles.

Work experience section template

Here's a simple template that can help you organise your professional experience section:

[Position at the company]
[Name of the company]
[Company location]

[Dates of employment]

[Responsibilities and professional accomplishments]

Related: CV Template for a Successful Application (With Example)

Example work experience section on a CV

We've prepared an example of work experience sections to help you draft your own:

Social media marketing manager
SoMe Happy Profiles Ltd.
London, UK
January 2020—Present

  • Managing content for over 20 clients

  • Designing and implementing SEO strategies for lifestyle and beauty brands

  • Developing brand identity ideas

  • Leading a small team of two junior social media managers

Junior marketing manager
Market Me Company
London, UK
June 2019—January 2020

  • Assisting with brainstorming marketing ideas for the company's clients

  • Analysing web traffic for active campaigns

  • Preparing campaign reports for weekly team meetings

Elements of an effective CV

Once you've got your work experience section figured out, you can pay attention to the rest of your CV. There are many required and optional elements that you can include on it to make it more effective:

Required CV sections

Most employers require that you include the basic information about yourself and your work on the CV. This includes:

  • Your contact information: Your contact information typically includes your full name, postal address, email and phone number. Be sure to put this information at the top of your CV so the recruiter can quickly find it if they want to invite you to a job interview.

  • Employment history: Employment history is an essential element of a CV because it allows the recruiter or employer to understand your background better and see where you worked before making the decision to apply for a role at their company.

  • Education: In some cases, your education history may increase your chances of getting a job. Consider listing your highest level of education, such as a diploma or degree, and including GCSE, A levels or equivalent.

  • Skills and competencies: Your skill section shows the recruiter how well you're prepared for the role you're applying for. Be sure to include evidence that supports your skills, such as relevant professional accomplishments that you achieved while using the skill.

  • Professional qualifications: Here, you can outline any relevant professional qualifications, such as certificates or licences.

Related: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your CV Stand Out

Optional CV sections

To complete your CV and help it stand out, you may consider including the following optional sections:

  • Professional summary: A professional summary is typically two to three sentences at the top of the page that briefly summarises you as a candidate. It gives the recruiter a general idea of your professional goals, employment history and skills you've worked on to date.

  • Explanation of employment history gaps: In some cases, you may want to explain to the recruiter why there are employment history gaps on your CV. Consider using this section to do that if you had to take time off, for example, to care for a relative or after your child was born.

  • Hobbies and interests: Although your hobbies and interests are typically not an essential part of your CV, listing them may help you stand out and impress a potential employer. Including this section is especially useful if your hobbies are closely related to the field you'd like to work in.

  • Publications and achievements: Relevant industry publications, such as articles or research papers, show your commitment and interest in the role. In this section, you can also list other professional accomplishments, such as employee-of-the-month or other awards.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


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