Bland To Brilliant: Transforming Your Professional CV Work Experience Section

Employers want to know what value you added and what potential value could you add to their organisation if they were to hire you.

They don’t want to read repeat after repeat on every single CV they read the daily tasks which were performed by 100 people who have worked in similar positions.

If you have 100 applicants applying for a sales assistant role, the hiring manager needs to find someone who stands out from the rest.

Remember your CV is a chance for you to stand out, not blend in. If you blend in you will be lost in the crowd of hundreds and thousands of Jobs Seekers all applying for the same role. 

The Big Question is “How do you stand out from the Crowd with your CV”?

The Key thing to remember when writing the Work Experience or Career Summary Section on Your Professional CV is:

List Key Achievements on Your CV Not Daily Responsibilities:   

The Key Difference Between a Key Achievements CV and A Responsibilities Based CV:

A Responsibilities based CV focuses purely on what tasks you carried out day to day.

A Key Achievements based CV is what did you actually achieve in measurable results.

A classic example of how much more impactful a Key Achievements based CV is this:

  • “Provided great customer service to all clients increasing sales”. (Responsibility)
  • “Increased sales from £600 per day to £1000 per day through providing an exceptional customer experience and taking every opportunity to upsell. (Achievement).

Another classic example:

  • “Supported in the reduction of leavers at Company X”. (Responsibility).
  • “Reduced employee turnover by 30% within a 6-month period through taking the lead on the implementation of a new health and wellbeing strategy across the business”. (Achievement).

How to Structure Your Work Experience Section on Your CV:

This section is a key section which allows you to display exactly the contributions which you have done within your previous work history accurately on your CV.

For each Job Role you should include Job Title, Company Name, Dates From and Dates To. This should then be followed by a brief intro into the company/role, followed by range of bullet points outlining you Key Achievements within each of the roles.

Ensure to put job roles in order of dates so the most up to date/recent at the top and then in order. To be clear the oldest roles which you started out in should be at the bottom of the list.

Example Layout:

JOB TITLE:                  COMPANY NAME:                                MONTH FROM – MONTH TO

INTRODUCTION: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  • (KEY ACHIEVMENT) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
  • (KEY ACHIEVEMENT) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
  • (KEY ACHIEVMENT) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
  • (KEY ACHIEVMENT) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Remember:

Do not simply list everything you have done on your CV. Instead list what you specifically achieved, what did you contribute and what was the result.

If you are a student just starting out and have not had a previous job, think about what you have achieved whilst at school or university.

  • Did you win an award?
  • Did you contribute to a project?
  • Did you join any clubs or societies?
  • Did you come up with an idea?
  • Think about it I am sure you have many, which you may not even realise.

If you are not a Student and have been employed previously here are some things to think about which you may have done within your career which you can list on your CV as a Key Achievement:

  • Did you increase something? (Such as Sales? Employee Engagement? Retention?)
  • Did you implement something? (Perhaps a new system or strategy?)
  • Did you decrease something? (Such as Employee Turnover? Delivery Times? Costs?)
  • Did you Spearhead something? (Such as a Project, A Team?)
  • Did you Innovate Something? (A New Product? A new Strategy?)

 

A great formula to use when writing key achievements for your Professional CV is:

What did you achieve? How did you achieve it? What was the benefit to the company?

 

Key Achievement Examples:

Here are some examples of powerful Key Achievements:

  • Significantly increased the overall training grade from 54% to 87% within 6 months through implementing a T&D strategy across the organisation.

 

  • Contributed towards a 50% reduction in leavers between Jan – June 2018/2019, through starting a social committee, focusing on development and wellbeing at work.
  • Pioneered a new Initiative “Just Run” whilst leading the team to exceed the daily record of £20,345, previously standing at £16,021.
  • Led a team of 14 employees to exceed hourly sales of £2875 compared to the previous result of £1545 three months after joining, through leadership, motivation and coaching.
  • Amplified a regional NPS score above 98% compared to the benchmark of 70% through seeking opportunities to continuously enhance the customer experience.
  • Accomplished an employee satisfaction score of 80% compared to the average of 65% last year, achieved through communication and providing progression opportunities.

When you are thinking about your key achievements try to make them as measurable as possible. If you can provide statistics and time frames. Keep each point to a maximum of two lines in length. This will help to keep the reader interested and the writing to be punchier.

Power words

Make your writing super impactful by using powerful power words.

Here is a list of some of my all-time favourites:

  • Spearheaded
  • Orchestrated
  • Bolstered
  • Initiated
  • Implemented
  • Innovated
  • Strategized
  • Collaborated
  • Influenced

Above are just a few which can be used.

Here is a fantastic site which has tons of Power words which you can use throughout your CV.

129 power words for your CV | Stand out from the crowd (standout-cv.com)  

Key Takeaways:

You need to stand out from the crowd. Do not blend in. Whilst you are writing your work experience section on your Professional CV ensure to include Key Achievements not just your daily responsibilities. Anyone who has worked in the same job role as you will have very similar day to day tasks, so you need to do something which differentiates you from the crowd. Use power words which will dramatically help you get noticed. Remember recruiters/hiring managers have to sift through hundred or even thousands of CVs per role. Tell the world what you have done and what you can do for their organisation.

If you need any support writing your CV feel free to contact me here and we can have a chat on how you can stand out from the crowd in your Job Search.

You can do this! If you have any questions at all that you would like me to cover in future blogs around Job Search drop me a message and I will do my best to cover them in future blogs!

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