How to order your work experience on your resume

If you’ve ever wondered about the order in which you should list your work experience on your resume, this blog post will provide you with the answer.

It’s typical for communications and public relations (PR) professionals to list their work experience in reverse-chronological order. This means that your most recent or current job is listed first, followed by the other jobs you’ve had in reverse temporal order. The work experience section then ends with your first communications and PR job.

This is the format that hiring managers and recruiters usually see when reviewing the resumes of communications and PR professionals, so it’s best to ensure your resume jives with the industry standard.

Another reason to use reverse chronological order to present your communications and PR work experience? Using a different order would likely raise curiosity or red flags for hiring managers and recruiters. It could make them skeptical about you as a candidate for a role, or take you out of the running altogether if other candidates have used the preferred reverse-chronological format on their resumes.

This advice goes even if you’re just starting out in communications and PR and have no relevant work experience yet, or, if you’re making a career change from working in another industry and moving into the communications and PR field. If you’re in either of these situations, you should still use reverse-chronological order for listing your work experience. Be sure to highlight your education, training and volunteer experience, as well as transferable skills gained in past roles that would be critical for the communications or PR job you’re applying for. 

In case you’re curious, other formats for presenting work experience on resumes are:

  • Chronological order, which lists your first job at the top, and your most recent or current job last. 
  • Listing roles based on their relevance, which involves featuring jobs that match to the specifics of the one you’re applying for closer to the top of your resume, regardless of when in your work history you had them. The dates spent at jobs are still noted, but don’t influence the position of the job on the page. 

Since you’ve made it to the end of this post, I invite you to take a mini-challenge! 

Take a minute and peek at the latest version of your resume to make sure your work experience is in reverse-chronological order. If it is, high five! If not, take another few minutes and use good ol’ copy-and-paste to adjust your work history into reverse order based on dates, starting with your most recent or current job.

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