What's the big deal with experience, anyway? - Part 2

Career & Education

What's the big deal with experience, anyway? - Part 2

Carolyn Marie Smith

Sunday, March 15, 2020

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Dear Ashley:

As promised last week, in this section you will be provided with guidance as to how you could use the “Experience” section of your résumé to demonstrate that you have relevant transferable skills whether or not you have had formal employment.

Consider the following strategies:

1. Make a list of each position you have held, including voluntary service, internship, leadership position, holiday employment, academic projects.

2. For each position, use a bulleted list to outline the duties and responsibilities you carried out and the outcomes of those responsibilities. Try to identify the skills and accomplishments that are relevant and which may be transferable to the field you desire to serve in.

3. Remember to include the period of service eg: June – July 2019, or three weeks Dec 2019.

4. Under each position try to include at least one accomplishment statement that shows the impact you made. An effective accomplishment statement will describe the actions you took and the corresponding results, coined to show the impact your actions had on the organisation (club, workplace, or service area).

5. Begin each bullet statement with a power verb such as, assembled, developed, executed, designed, led, planned, revived, led, trained, negotiated, spearheaded, built, achieved etc.

6. Actions – Describe the specific actions taken to achieve the objective or solve the problem.

7. Outcomes – Describe the results of your efforts.

8. Quantify – As much as possible, try to quantify your accomplishments using facts and figures e.g. percentages; currency (how much was made or saved); number showing scope, volume or increase.

Below are a few examples.


Internship (3 months)

• Reduced customer complaints of product malfunction by 20 per cent by launching more than 40 in-store demonstrations of the correct usage of the product.


Summer job

• Completed 40 hours of in-store supervised training in sales strategies and customer service.


Dormitory Resident Advisor

• Provided leadership and supervision to 30 residents and attaining best floor trophy for two consecutive years.


Academic Projects/Portfolio

• Won first place for highest return from phantom investment portfolio management.


Volunteer Service

• Provided 20 hours of translation service to six Spanish-speaking attendees at regional conference.


I trust you will find these guidelines and suggestions useful. All the best!


Yours truly,

Career Advisor


Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student services at Northen Caribbean University in Manchester Jamaica. Submit your questions to her at careeradvisor@ncu.edu.jm

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