Your personal employment history is the evidence employers are looking for that you have been employed, and are employable!
Your work history is also an opportunity for you to promote your capabilities to an employer or recruiter.
Other headings you can use when creating a resume, which provide exactly the same type of information include:
This important information should not be just a collection of facts and figures of what you've done in your working life.
Many people also assume that you have to tell all about your past employment experience - this is definitely not the case.
One of the key tips on resume writing is you have to exercise some judgement about what past employment history information to include.
And......the information you include about your career history, and the way you describe this will also depend on the resume layout or style that you have chosen
Here are some key questions to ask yourself when deciding what aspects of your professional employment history or experience you will include in your resume:
Another tip when creating your resume is that you will need to put the appropriate emphasis, or "spin" on your past employment history.
Note: Jump ahead by clicking on the link if you are more interested in how to put the right sort of ''spin' on your employment history.
It depends on the style of resume are you writing. The style options you have are:
You will have chosen this resume style because you are following a fairly predictable career path....you're taking the next steps in your career.
So, the personal career history you will need to provide will include, in reverse chronological order, (i.e. give details about your most recent position first, then second most recent and so on):
You have chosen a functional style because you are changing career completely, or are seeking a change in role emphasis in your current career path.
The past employment history information you supply in this style of resume is very different:
In a functional resume, the details about your past employment history will also be listed in reverse chronological order.
For this style of resume, you'll note that there is an absence of detail for each position you decide to include.
You're merely showing when and where you have been employed.
The personal employment history information you're providing here is basically to show you have had a consistent employment record.
By minimising information about each job in your work history you are drawing the attention of the reader to your skills and possibly your overall career achievements
Your skills and achievements of course will be prominently profiled on the first page of your resume, rather than being included as part of the specifics of each position in your work history.
So, to summarise.....in a functional style resume you provide minimal detail about each of your jobs under the heading "Employment History" or "Professional Experience".
And......the skills you've used or developed in your previous employment will be concisely profiled on the first page of your resume.
It's also possible to include on the front page of a functional resume a summary of selected, relevant achievement quotes. This is recommended if you have an extensive and impressive record of achievement in your career.
This style of resume works best for people who are pursuing the same or a related career path who have both substantial professional experience, and substantial accomplishments or achievements to write about.
The information about your personal employment history will be similar to the reverse chronological style resume, but with some slight variations:
This will depend on your purpose, but usually 5-7 years, no more than 10 years.
However, if you have important and relevant history older than 10 years simply insert another heading in your resume such as "Summary of employment prior to 2003".
Then below this heading write a brief explanation about your past employment history that you want the reader to know about.
Your explanation can be confined to the type of work that you did. Or.....it might be an explanation of the diversity of jobs or sectors of industry where you have been employed.
No need to mention specific job titles, employers, or dates of employment.
It was mentioned earlier that you will often need to emphasise or put some spin on parts of your background. How do you do this?
Let's say that you've been working in a general management position but have decided that you want to move your career into a more specialised niche like training - but it could be something like occupational health and safety, or quality assurance.
You've decided to do this because you've done the occasional project in your capacity as a general manager in this particular area. And.....you want this to be the main focus of your future career direction.
You could put the appropriate spin on your personal employment history in these ways:
So, even though you've been doing a general management role, you are specifically giving prominence to your training (or other niche) career interest.
When documenting your personal employment history, and in particular your achievements, your task is to not only explain the results you've produced, but also to give the reader:
There are various writing formulas you can use so that your achievements and contributions make compelling reading - for example:
This link career highlights explains in great detail how to write in a compelling way about your achievements or contributions.
Follow the links below to other areas where you need some resume writing tips:
Even better, if you want an answer to a specific question about how to write about your personal employment history, or any other part of your resume go to resume helper