Writing a resume: what to write when the work experience is long?

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It seems that for people who have a lot of experience, writing a resume should not be a problem. After all, they have something to say about themselves. However, no matter how often this is repeated, people follow the wrong rule and mistakenly think that the more the better. This hurts them in the selection, because an excessively extensive description will be difficult to understand.


Another problem is that people who have experience do not know how to present it, even if their work achievements are impressive. This can put them off and they may encounter unexpected difficulties when looking for a new job, even if they are qualified for the jobs they are applying for.


It is not enough to have a career and expect others to recognize it. It requires the ability to express clearly about it. Even if someone has seven or more years of experience, it does not mean that they will automatically be recognized as a qualified candidate. It is therefore worth repeating a few key rules when writing a resume, even if someone has a lot of experience.


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Writing a resume is done for each job separately

The most common temptation of people with a lot of work experience is to write one version of their CV, which they then send to various open positions. In other words, they use the same resume repeatedly for every vacancy with minimal changes. This is done by 99% of people and is the biggest mistake made when writing a resume, but is especially problematic with people who already have a lot of work experience.


A resume written for everyone is good for nothing. People who read a resume that is not tailored for the job will recognize a lot of things about the person in it, but not what they are looking for in an employee. Thus, someone can conclude from the CV that the candidate is a photographer, athlete, and construction worker, but not that he is, for example, the journalist they need.


If someone is applying for a job, writing a resume needs to be done for each job anew. At the same time, care should be taken to ensure that the work experience is shaped in such a way that it is directly important for the desired position. These are recommendations for shaping work experience:


  • the title of the CV should state the position for which the application is being written. People don’t do this very often, but it’s a small thing that helps the impression significantly. In addition, it shows the person reading the resume that the person has applied for a specific position.
  • when a person has a lot of work experience, it should be kept in mind that the most recent work experience is most important to a potential employer. That is why all work experiences should not be described in the same detail, but the most recent experiences should have as much detail as possible. At the same time, it should be emphasized that only the details relevant to the position the person is applying for should be emphasized, and not every work task and every work achievement should be described. The person reading the resume does not want to separate the irrelevant from the important information himself, but the person writing the resume has to do it for him.
  • when writing about other work experiences, people should be concise. If older work experiences are not important for the current career or were very short, it is better to leave them out or combine them into one shorter entry (like, for example, a freelance writer). However, even then, it should be noted that unimportant work experiences should be briefly stated if they are the most recent so that candidates do not have gaps in their recent experience. Other gaps can be discussed in more detail during a job interview.
  • in addition to work experiences, you should also pay attention to the sections on work skills and read them several times and refine them. Only those relevant to the job should be left among work skills. It doesn’t matter if a person has organizational skills if the job they are applying for doesn’t require work skills. Moreover, such skills may lead recruiters to think that the candidate is overqualified for the position.

Writing a resume requires up-to-date information

When writing a resume, it is necessary to make sure that all information is current and correct. This does not only mean that you have the exact date of your last work experience. You should pay attention to several things:


  • a very common problem that is forgotten is contact information. People change their mobile number or email address, but forget to change it in their CV. Because of this, employers cannot invite the candidate for an interview because their contacts are not working. Also if references are included, make sure their contact information is still current and they work in the same position.
  • if a photo is included, it would be good if it was as recent as possible, so that based on it, the employer would not misjudge the candidate’s age or be surprised at the interview. People often have one good photo that they use for years and years, but it would be good to change it at least occasionally.
  • skill lists often don’t change after initial compilation. In addition to the need to change it to adapt to each job advertisement, people sometimes forget to add new skills they have developed in the meantime or deepen old ones.
  • every time someone completes a new course or obtains a certification they should update their professional profile and CV to include the new qualification. But it turns out that people often add information to LinkedIn and forget to add it to the old resume they keep using.
  • people tend to describe their first work experience in detail, and then describe new work experiences with less and less detail. It should be the other way around. The most detailed should be the most recent work experience, and the least detailed should be the initial experience. It is often forgotten to change this and detailed old information is left behind.

You should describe your work achievements when writing your resume

The main difference between experienced workers and those without much experience is that experienced workers have something to brag about. However, people often forget that they should emphasize their work achievements and write only the years of experience spent in a certain workplace.


Anyone with experience should highlight a few work accomplishments when writing their resume in their experience description, which should ideally be quantified or presented in some tangible way. For example, it is good to point out that a 20% increase in sales was successfully achieved or that the target number of clients was exceeded by 25%. It is ideal to highlight such achievements in the form of short notes. Thus, expertise in a certain field is proven by work achievements, and not by years of experience.


When describing work achievements, one should avoid too general phrases like: “the project was completed in a short time.” It is better to reformulate this information into a fact like: “with the successful organization of the project, it was completed one month before the planned deadline.”


Another example is to avoid a phrase like: “the efficiency of the department has increased” and it is better to write: “by applying management skills, the costs of the department have been cut by 15%.”


The third example is not to write: “I worked in human resources” but rather to write: “an internship project was successfully implemented thanks to which three new juniors were employed” or “the professional onboarding of six newly employed seniors who continued to work for a long time in the company was successfully implemented. ”


In conclusion about writing a CV

There is a lot of advice on CV writing, but the main recommendation is that people don’t fall into the trap of using an existing old CV. It is necessary to make sure that all the information in it is 1) current 2) has the most details about the most recent experiences and 3) is phrased in the form of work achievements, not just years of experience.


It is necessary to focus on the key aspects that differ according to each job, and therefore it is not enough to just update the CV with the latest information, but if necessary, write the CV from scratch. By listing only years of experience, people risk having a shallow resume that does not inform the employer why they are the best candidates for the position. Writing a resume does not imply that it is enough to update the resume occasionally, but that time and effort must be invested in its thorough design and reflection.


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