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March 10, 2009

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Your work history is the most important element of your resume, and the section whereyou have some flexibility in how you present your information, depending on your needs.For most people, the chronological resume format is best – an applicant describespositions he or she has held going backward in time. (The most recent positions are listedat the top, the oldest at the bottom.) Here are some tips on how to put together yourall-important work history.

Dates

The dates of employment you give should be listed by year only. Don’t includemonths. Not only are months no longer expected in resumes, they’re can be adisadvantage. By using years as your only record of time, it’s possible to eraseembarrassing unemployment blemishes while representing your experience in the largestpossible time frame. Instead of a truncated work period, such as "November1998-February 1999: Senior Designer," you get the much smoother and more impressive"1998-1999: Senior Designer."

Title

Each work history paragraph should be titled with either the name of your formercompany or the title of your job, depending on which one you feel will be most impressiveto the employer. In most cases, that would be your title. Whichever you choose, the formatmust be consistent throughout your resume, so make this decision with your entire jobhistory in mind.

Achievements

After your job title, list of your achievements: your responsibilities, thecontribution you made to the company’s success, the skills you learned, thedistinctions you earned. Remember that the point is to play yourself up as a candidatethat will fit into the company’s future. Don’t let your resume read like thechronicle of a once-promising worker.

The main question every statement in your Work History should be answering is,"How did my skill positively effect my company?"

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Promotions

Promotions are the greatest forms of recognition an employee can receive. It’s astatement that says you were so good at your job that your employer decided to increaseyour level of responsibility (and give you more money!). When you list promotions on yourresume you need to do it in a way that shows off this accomplishment. One way of doingthis is to list the company name first, followed by job titles in separate paragraphs toplay up the promotions and individuality of each position. If you’re restricted byspace, you can include this information within the body of your job description.

On a similar note, job awards, no matter how paltry they may have seemed at the time,are an excellent way of distinguishing yourself from the drones. Be sure not only to listthe name and date of the award, but to indicate of what the award was for. Many times,awards come with official descriptions you can quote, but if you can’t recall theboilerplate, just describe the award as authoritatively as you can.

Specificity

The more specificity you use in your resume, the better. If you’ve dealt withother companies as part of your duties, name those companies. Company names give thereader a much clearer idea of the type and scale of work you did – and you never knowwhen you might share a connection with a prospective employer. If you’ve dealt withspecific regions, name the locations exactly: the more chances you give the reader to finda connection to you, the better.

Name whatever technical equipment you’ve used as well, as long as they’rerelevant to the position you’re after. When possible, using figures and facts is agreat way to grab the attention of the reader, because numbers offer concrete statementsabout your productivity.

The Lingo

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