Career Planning: Resume Writing- Work History

By Peterson's Staff updated on Friday, January 25, 2013

Provided by our partner ResumeEdge -the leading student resume writing services resource

Job responsibilities are the daily tasks that you do in a job or during volunteer work.  For a student or recent grad, volunteer activities are as important as professional experience and can be used inside of your work history section. What are the duties of your job or volunteer activity?  If you’re having trouble writing this part of your student resume, look at the job description you were given when you were hired, or the posting you answered when you applied for the job or volunteer opportunity.

Daily duties
Many students and recent grads mistakenly believe that all duties must be listed in a student resume or entry-level resume because this is what admissions directors and hiring managers expect.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

The duties you should include your student or entry-level resume are those that directly relate to the entry-level job you are applying for or enhance your candidacy for admission to school.

Work history that helps
When providing your work history, make sure you accentuate the positive, minimize anything negative and keep your information accurate. While you should be sure to never exaggerate your past roles, keep in mind that you can use enhanced versions of a job title to better represent yourself. For example, you can use the phrase "child care worker" instead of "babysitter" or "counterperson" rather than "order taker."

Let's say you're a high school grad who has held several summer jobs like babysitting, selling handmade crafts and working at a call center answering phones.  Now that you've graduated and want a full-time customer service job, you should make sure to list the similarities your previous roles have with the position you are applying to. Hiring managers like to know that your experiences in the past will help you considerably in what you will be doing in your potential new job.

Going beyond that, you should also include information that is unique to your career, field, or industry to indicate your skill set so your prior experience in the field is detailed.

Formatting your work history
To keep your work history easy to read, try the format below:

Name of the Company, Company Location (City, State)
Dates of employment (Months or Years)
Your job title (i.e.: Retail Clerk)
Bulleted list of your responsibilities


Winchell's Donuts, Palm Desert, California  June – August 2009
Summer Counterperson

  • Worked a full summer in franchise environment
  • Helped customers to make selections and rang sales
  • Kept counter and eating areas clean
  • Performed daily inventory counts

As you can see, there are certain ways to display and organize your past experiences that will make you a more appealing candidate for future positions. If you need help structuring your resume, take advantage of the many professional resume writing services like ResumeEdge available to you.

Want more information on resume writing?

Look at our articles on how to write a resume:

ResumeEdge - resume writing service

About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

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