How to Create the Perfect ‘Work History’ Section on your Construction CV
One question that we are asked a lot in Euro Executive Recruitment is “what’s the best way to show my work history on my CV”. So whether you are a graduate, have 5 years of experience or 20+ years, there are common elements and formatting that everyone can use in the work experience section of their CV.
1. Why is ‘Work History’ section so important?
The ‘Work History’ section is priority for employers and recruiters and will be the first section on your CV to be reviewed. The recruiter or employer will want to see how many years’ experience you have under your belt, your previous companies, roles, skills and responsibilities. When well written and presented correctly, this section is your biggest selling point.
2. What is my ‘Work History’?
First off, let’s define your work experience. It is essentially all of the jobs which you have held in your working life. Now this does not necessarily mean that you need to put all of your previous employment on your CV. Instead, think about what previous experience is the most relevant for the job that you are applying to.
A tip would be to read the job description carefully and look for any words, skills and phrases that match your own background and previous roles. If you feel that you are a good match, you should begin to update your CV with these words and phrases to reflect the job description that you are applying to.
If you are a recent graduate or have had various roles, you can break up your experience into professional experience and other experience.
Other experience could be roles that you have done part time, while travelling or during periods of career changes and this will fill in any gaps in your CV. It’s okay to add all these extra jobs in very short synopsis section to your CV as it shows your employers what you were doing throughout your career so far and if you were travelling.
3. Don’t include photographs of past projects in your CV
Some people struggle with how much or how little to include in this section, and how to present this information in the correct way. Believe it or not we have seen CVs that have photographs of past projects instead of a description of a previous role. While it might seem like a good idea at the time, this does not adequately convey the duties, responsibilities and skills that were needed for the job that you did. However, if you wanted to create a portfolio instead as a separate document, that would be a great resource to have.
4. How to layout your Work History
In your Work History section, you need to have these five sections. See the example below for layout and fomatting:
[Company Name] ABC Ltd.
[Start and finish dates] January 2015 – October 2017
[Job title] Quantity Surveyor
[Name of project – if relevant] New Build Project
Formatting – very important.
- Keep all headings in bold and in the same font.
- Start with your most recent position
- Always keep dates to the right-hand side
- Always List your relevant responsibilities in bullet points
- Always refer back to the job description for the job that you are applying to and make sure you address the key points by showing relevance to your own experience
- When explaining your responsibilities, avoid using words such as us & we, and try stick to ‘I’
- Don’t always use the word ‘responsible for’. Try to change use other words such as: