A simple guide to writing about work experience in your CV.

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CVs are very valuable documents and they can be crucial in helping us secure our dream job. . Looking at your CV and trying to guess what to include can sometimes be scary and daunting. An attractive work experience section is an essential part of your CV it shows that you have the relevant skills and that you will be of benefit to your future company.

I’ve put together a few tips to make sure you’re maximising your experience in your CV in order to captivate recruiters and secure your next job.

Work History

Start with your most recent role and work backwards. Include all experience. All experience should be mentioned on the CV even if it is not relevant, every experience is beneficial and ensures that there are no gaps. Relevant roles should include 6-8 duties approximately, less relevant roles should be named but may have no duties included or 1 or 2 if relevant to the role you are applying for.

The more relevant the role, the more duties you include and vice versa. State the dates that you have been working in the company. State your job title first, then the company name and short location as well as a brief outline of what the company does if it is unclear.

Dec 2011 – Mar 2017             Publicity and Marketing Executive

Bestsite , Lisbon, Portugal (A Computer Accessories Sales Company)

Duties that are easy to read impact the reader

Always use bullet points

Stay away from long paragraphs. Each duty should start with a dynamic verb. You can use either the past (ending in ‘ed’) or the continuous form (ending in ‘ing’), whichever tense you use, keep it consistent using the same tense throughout.  A consistent pattern will help the reader scan through the information quickly and with ease.

Look closely at the advertisement

See what duties are involved in this role and try to match the duties that you have done before. Volunteer work / Freelance work / Internships and

Additional Experience

Work Placements, helping out in the family or a friends business, minding children, travelling can also be mentioned here if they are relevant to the position or if you do not have work experience / have not worked in a while / do not have Irish experience. You could also mention hobbies where you have a role of leadership / responsibility e.g. being a soccer coach.  Experience can involve personal projects too, for example; setting up social media campaigns / page / writing your own blog or forming a hobby / interest group.

Show Achievements

Employers are always looking for the candidate who will be the best value for money and the best investment. When mentioning duties it is important to mention the specific achievements that you had within the work place i.e.:

  • Projects undertaken
  • Awards received
  • Publications and presentations made
  • Deadlines reached / Targets exceeded e.g. resulting in an increase in sales of 10%
  • New strategies or ideas that you implemented
  • Improvements that you made to the working of the company or department
  • Promotions received / Extra responsibilities that you took on
  • A work placement or internship that you completed
  • Relevant seminars attended
  • Training in new staff

 Give Proof

Facts, figures and statistics are a clear way of proving that you did the job well. Instead of saying, “exceeded targets”, say what the targets were e.g. “Exceeded the €2000 daily sales target by 15% by using up selling techniques”. Instead of saying “met deadlines”, give proof;

  • Calculated payroll for over 60 staff on a monthly basis using SAP software.
  • Responded to approximately 30 calls daily, solving customer’s queries regarding their tourism packages i.e. accommodation, flights, prices and availability.
  • Provided customers with support and solutions related to mobile phone charges in under 3 minutes
  • Sourced, negotiated and secured an average of 3 welding or fabricating projects monthly with an average contract value of €25,000.
  • Assisted the team leader with evaluating and supervising a team of 35 people, helping with shift rotation and replacing people on sick leave.
  • Initiated an audit and review of all suppliers, based on performance history and geographical location and reduced suppliers, cutting costs by 30%.


Top Tip: Turn all of your duties into achievements. Think about the results and purpose of your work. Use numbers and specific details personal to your experience and only mention the duties which are important for the role you are applying for or that demonstrate achievement.

Breda Hegarty is a career counsellor with the EPIC Programme run by Business in the Community Ireland. EPIC is a free programme supporting people from migrant backgrounds to gain employment. If you are interested in participating in one of the free programmes contact Livia Bartolomé  on 01 8743842 / 086 8391313 or epic@bitc.ie

You can contact Breda Hegarty directly on bhegarty@bitc.ie.


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