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Ask Pongo: Which Heading Do I Use for My Experience?

Leslie Hicks and Kati BloomLeslie Hicks and Kati Bloom (pictured, from left) are Customer Support Specialists and Certified Professional Resume Writers (CPRW) at Pongo. They field many inquiries from members who need help writing their resumes and cover letters. You can contact them through Pongo's Customer Support page or through the Customer Support department's Twitter handle, Ask_Pongo. This post addresses an often-asked question: What kind of heading should I use to describe my work experience?

Our online Resume Builder gives you five different options for headings that identify your work experience. Since our templates are fully customizable, we suggest figuring out which of the five works best for you. In general, under any experience heading, you should list your achievements, accomplishments, and relevant skills that highlight your qualifications for your desired position. In other words, you don’t want to just list your past job duties, you want to show how you achieved results as well.

If you're listing only past experiences that relate to the position you're applying for, then you should use the Relevant Experience heading. Volunteer experience can also be listed under this heading as long as it's related to the job you're seeking.

If you’re a seasoned professional with many years of experience, then consider using the Professional Experience heading.

The remaining three headings—Experience, Work History, and Employment History—are similar and come down to personal preference. If you're listing all of your past work experiences, any of these will do.

And one last tip: If you’re including a job that has little or no relevance to the position you're applying to, try relating the skills you've learned from that job to the job you’re seeking. For example: You may not think that retail work carries much value, when in fact, the skills you learned can apply to a number of positions. In this case, the interpersonal skills you learned from dealing with irate customers can help you in hectic professional settings.

Do you have a question about listing your work experience on your resume? Ask us in a comment below.

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What Did You Learn from Your First Job?
Hiring Managers Look for Related Experience First
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