What Goes On the Relevant Experience Section of a Resume?

Relevant Experience Section of a Resume

As of May 2022, 5.7 million people who didn’t have jobs were actively looking for work. When you factor in the unhappy workers and the people looking for career development opportunities, it’s clear that the job market has become an extremely competitive place.

In this professional environment, companies aren’t just looking for candidates with experience. They want you to have relevant experience.

How can you mine your working career for the right kind of job experience? What can you do to showcase this experience on your resume? Keep reading to find out.

What Is Relevant Experience?

In basic terms, relevant work experience refers to previous jobs you’ve had that are directly related to the position you’re applying to.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say that Joe Smith is currently employed as a marketing director. While browsing LinkedIn one day, he sees an opening for another marketing director position that will double his salary. Assuming he’s spent a few years in his current position, he’ll have a ton of relevant work experience.

For employers who want to hire the best of the best, relevant experience lets them know that you have a track record of performance in similar positions.

How to Write Your Relevant Experience Section

Alright. We’ve gone over the basics of relevant experience. Now it’s time to whip up a relevant work experience section of your own.

This part of your resume should include:

  • Names of past employers
  • A general overview of your responsibilities
  • Employment dates
  • Titles and positions
  • Your accomplishments in each position

A lot of this is basic Improving Your Resume 101. But here’s the bottom line:

Don’t just tell them what you’ve done. Dazzle them with what you’ve accomplished.

How Much Job Experience Should You Include?

On the one hand, you want your resume to be chock-full of relevant experience. But at the same time, you don’t your resume to be the same length as War and Peace.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to include work experience from the last 5 to 10 years. If you’ve held an extremely relevant position, you may want to reach back a little further. Regardless of the exact timelines involved, you’ll want to showcase the jobs and projects that align best with the qualifications listed in the job description.

What Happens If You Have No Direct Work Experience?

Let’s say you’re a new grad or someone who’s attempting to change careers. In these situations, you might not have a ton of direct experience. If you can identify your transferrable skills, however, you can frame seemingly unrelated positions as relevant work experience.

Did you work in retail or as a cashier? You’ve got people skills.

Were you an administrator? Microsoft Office works the same in healthcare as it does in tech.

You may need to get creative. But once you understand the power of transferrable experience, you’ll be creating rockstar resumes in your sleep.

Land Your Dream Job With a Killer Relevant Experience Section

If you want to stand out in a sea of resumes, you need to have relevant experience. Once you’ve gotten used to showcasing your experience and transferrable skills, however, you’ll be surprised at the number of offers you’ll receive.

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