22 July 2014
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Writing about your career background

Impress potential employers with your career history. They need to know about your work experience, academic qualifications and any professional achievements. When writing about this use professional industry related language and make your career history readable, interesting and related to the job you are applying for.

Demonstrate to them that you have the work experience they are looking for.

Be truthful
Remember employers regularly check a candidates academic record and claims and will dismiss any employee who has lied during the recruitment process. Therefore tell the truth and be as accurate as possible when writing about your background. 

Employment history
Give details about your previous employers, include brief information about their products or services, how many people they employed etc. If possible try to make them sound similar to the company or organization you are applying for.

Also list your dates of employment, it is always best to list these on a month to month basis, for instance ‘Jul 2006 – Sep 2007’.

Start with your most recent job and then to work backwards. Include the employers name, their locations and also your employment date and period.

As a rule you only really need to give detailed accounts of employers you have worked for in the last 10 years. Just give very brief details of those employers prior to 10 years.

There is no reason for you to give your salary or reasons why you left previous jobs.

Defining your key duties and responsibilities
Give a brief description about the type of work you did, then give a bullet point list of your workplace responsibilities. Focus more on your current or recent jobs rather than employment you had a few years back. At the top of the list place those that you consider were the more important or relevant to the job you are applying for. Try not to write more that seven bullet points. Below are some point you could write about:-

  • Did you supervise or manage and staff?
  • Were you responsible for any budgets?
  • Did you ever introduce policies or practises that reduced company costs?
  • If you were involved in sales did you ever win any big contracts?
  • Your contact with senior manager or directors, for instance did you produce reports for them?
  • Did you receive any awards whilst at work?

Training
Provide details of any training or development courses that you may have taken. These are separate from your academic qualifications. For instance they could be first aid or health and safety courses that you have completed. You could also list any distance learning qualifications or in house courses you may have completed.

Potential employers can be impressed by those who are still trying to improve their skill sets. So if you are currently undertaking any courses then give details of those as well.

Professional membership
List details of any industry related membership you have of any professional organizations or trade bodies. These could be compulsory or trade associations. These type of organizations require their members to work to certain standards or to have taken professional exams. So by showing your membership you can demonstrate to potential employers your commitment to high standards.


Related topics:

Disclosing a criminal conviction on your CV
What not to put in your CV


Relevant academic links
Creative writing evening classes London


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