Whether you’re new to the workforce or have decades of experience under your belt, writing your CV to reflect your level of experience is a skill that needs frequent consideration. While there are many advisable CV-writing tips that will help you get ahead, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for your entire career.
This is a guide as what to include or exclude in your resume depending on your years’ of experience.
2 years’ experience. With two years in the workforce, it’s likely you’re considered a junior in most fields of work. If you’ve only had one or two jobs in that time, consider including college achievements, society or club participation, or certificate training to demonstrate you are an enthusiastic and driven member of the community. Your CV should focus on your achievements such as helping to improve the ordering system at the café you worked at, or the participation at an event you organised at University.
5 years’ experience. Five years of experience is a significant period of time to master a set of skills, providing you’ve either remained in the same field of work during that time or developed a robust set of transferable skills. Similar to junior professionals, you may only have worked in a couple of roles, so you could bulk up your CV by including volunteer experience to help round out your general work experience and to demonstrate you have gained and developed the skills required for the job you’re applying for.
10 to 15 years’ experience. When you’ve had 10 to 15 years of work experience, it’s likely you feel confident in your skillset and abilities, and have a lot to show for your service to your industry. This is when summarising multiple roles, companies and responsibilities into a concise CV can become a challenge. Aim to keep your CV to two pages, and leave out any early roles in your career that may have no relevance to the job you’re hoping to land now. You may decide to only summarise your last three roles and simply list previous employers, highlighting key achievements to demonstrate the development of your knowledge and skillset.
20 to 30 plus years’ experience. Highlight key achievements under each role to make it easier for recruiters and employers to digest. You may also want to highlight programs or groups you have been involved in such as mentoring to a junior colleague or advice to a charity board. These types of experience help demonstrate application of your skillset within the wider community.
Regardless of which stage of your career you’re in, it’s important to remember that it’s not how long you’ve been in the workforce but what skills you can bring to the role. Make this clear in your resume, and you’ll be better positioned to secure your next great role.