How do I describe my work experience on my CV?

What work experience should I put on my own CV?

Work experience is relevant experience. What does “relevant” mean?

The term is used to describe past work, training and courses that are related to the position for which you are applying.

You cannot be successful at your job without relevant experience. So employers will only look for relevant experience on your CV. There’s no point overloading them with unnecessary information. However, you must be sure to find out which experience is relevant.

Is it necessary to state non-core experience on a CV?

  • Let’s look at this question with an example:

An applicant is looking for a job in customer service, so he has added relevant experience to his CV. Everyone would have done the same, wouldn’t they?


At the start of his professional career, he worked as a waiter for two years. The applicant did not feel the need to include such information in his CV. After all, “customer service representative” is not the same as “waiter”.

Still, the two professions have a lot in common. Experience in serving people, albeit in a different area of knowledge, matters. Naturally, if it is presented correctly: you can state on your CV that, let’s say, ⅔ customers left an above-average tip and were happy with the service. And in the cover letter, state that your first job as a waiter helped you understand and develop your ability to communicate with customers.

  • Tip: ALL of your knowledge, abilities and credentials listed in the “work experience” section of your resume must match the requirements of the position you are applying for.

Work experience on a CV: how many years count?

This is a personal question.

Work experience on your CV if you don’t have any

List all paid work you have ever done, including internships, part-time work, temporary work, freelance work.

For mid-level professionals

Include a detailed description of the relevant positions before the educational information and a short narrative about other work if it is not very relevant to your field.

Experienced applicants

Check the CV section first for 2-3 more principal merits, then move on to describe relevant experience, but less than the past fifteen years. Initial education is no longer as important to you, so list continuing education/training/certificates first and put the “Education” section at the very end.

  • Tip: Do not exceed this limit, even if you have stayed in the same position for a decade.

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