The work history section of a CV is one of the most important parts. The employer is going to be reading this section very closely to see which skills can be used within their company.
However, if you choose to go down the traditional route of listing all your previous roles along with the daily tasks and responsibilities, you are making a big mistake.
Here are the 3 reasons why your work history is letting your CV down…
No indication of performance
One of the main reasons why an employer reads the employment section of a CV is to find out how that person performed. If you only list your tasks underneath each role, this won’t provide any indication of performance.
Anyone can list the tasks they conducted on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean to say that individual excelled at those tasks. To get ahead of the competition you should provide as much evidence as possible of your outstanding achievements and performance.
This can be done in any number of ways, depending on the role you are applying for. An example could be – generated revenue, or sales stats. Possibly even customer service excellence or managed projects. Ultimately you are trying to think of a way to demonstrate your performance, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
Irrelevant work experience
Most job seekers have irrelevant work experience on their CV, but still decide to leave it there. Whilst you don’t want to have an employment gap on your application, you should also decide how important a role may be to a new employer.
Consider listing a previous role but leave the detail down to a minimum. There is no need to list all of the tasks and take up valuable CV space if you know the employer won’t benefit from that particular experience.
Focus upon the roles which are relevant, and go into more detail on those so the employer can directly see how that experience and the skills you’ve gained can transfer over to them.
You should always aim to have a fluid timeline and avoid any employment gaps. Even if you were out of work for a lengthy period of time, you should always look to explain this on your CV rather than simply have a gap between the dates.
No matter the reason why you were out of work, always look to put a positive spin on the circumstances. For instance, if you were unemployed due to personal health reasons, you could state this and go on to explain how you are now fully recovered and eager to get back to work.
You could also consider going into more detail on your cover letter as this is a great place to write a more personal message about your employment gap. A CV is a very formal document and doesn’t always allow the job seeker to fully explain a particular issue, or to even go into more depth about how you can benefit the company.
Here’s a great video from Andrew LaCivita which talks more about how to handle employment gaps: