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Work experience

This is a tricky part of your CV if you either have very little work experience, or a lot of it! In one case, you might struggle to find enough to write about; in the other, you’d need to be able to summarise the experiences and match them to the job requirements. It is important to find the best possible way of presenting your experience clearly, so that the employer would immediately see what you’re good at.

What things might you include?

Depending on the job you are applying for, think about what relevant experience you would like to include. Focus on your most relevant jobs. Employers are only interested in what they need, not how experienced you are in something else.

Here are some ideas of what you can include:

  • Internships
  • Part-time work
  • Work shadowing
  • Transferable skills – for each position, try to give a brief description of your main duties and which skills you acquired/improved


Try to match specific experiences in each job to the job for which you’re applying. That means you need to use keywords - words that recruiters will scan in order to match them to the job description. They will not spend much time reviewing your profile, so make sure these are clear and noticeable. Organise them to catch the eye of the recruiter with those that link most clearly to the job first.

Employment Gaps

  1. Turn a potential weakness into a strength, for example, by stressing the skills you gained from your voluntary work overseas!
  2. Using years instead of months/days is perfectly acceptable.
  3. Honesty is the best policy. If a gap is something you’re worried about, then address it yourself. This gets it out of the way and lets you move on to your strengths.
  4. Write about what you did do during the gap. Learning a language. Voluntary work.
  5. Be positive in the way you phrase any gaps, for example, by stating that, ‘re focusing my career objectives and time frames’ sounds better than, ‘I just couldn’t find any work,’ or ‘I’ve been caring for a sick relative’ rather than, ‘Personal problems’, or ‘I had a serious illness, but I fought through it and I’m eager to work, rather than ‘I have health problems so it’s not easy for me to hold down a job.’

Now look at the activity attached as a pdf at the bottom of the page.

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This article is from the free online course:

Net That Job: How to Write a CV Online

The University of Glasgow