Experience Synonyms for a Resume: How To Choose and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 9, 2022 | Published September 29, 2021

Updated August 9, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you apply for a job, one of the most vital parts to discuss on your resume is your experience. The experience section is important because it helps employers determine whether you would be a good fit for their company. Understanding how to use synonyms for "experience" may help you portray your qualifications more effectively on your resume and prove your value to your potential employer.

In this article, we discuss the reason to use experience synonyms for a resume, explain how to write an excellent professional work history, and provide you with some examples to serve as a guide.

Related: How to Describe Your Work Experience on a Resume

Why should you use experience synonyms for your resume?

Using experience synonyms for your resume instead of the more generic term "experience" can be a great way to show employers how much specific knowledge you have been able to gather at your previous jobs. Experience synonyms are words that share similar meaning with the term "experience" but provide a clearer understanding of what it actually entails. Here is a list of some experience synonyms you can use:

  • Exposure

  • Familiarity

  • Proficiency

  • Competence

  • Insight

  • Resourcefulness

  • Mastery

Rather than being general about your experience, it's important to explain what you did to gather such knowledge and skill. To do so, you can use experience synonyms and active verbs. For example, saying that you are experienced in generating client reports is not as strong as using active verbs to state that you created six customized daily reports to examine repeat client sales activity, which offers your employer a greater notion of what you have done to accumulate such experience.

How to choose the best experience synonyms for your resume

It's important to be precise and clear when you write about your experience on your resume because employers usually prioritize essential information to help them decide if you're suited for the job. In order to do so, you need to choose experience synonyms that can display your credentials effectively. Here are some steps you can follow to choose the best experience synonyms for your resume:

1. Review the job description

Emphasize keywords that apply to your skill set or professional qualities. This can include hard skills, soft skills, tasks you've done before, your level of education, and other factors. Reviewing the job description can help you choose experience synonyms or active verbs that best emphasize your skill level or professional qualities.

Related: Resume Tailoring: Definition, Benefits, and How-to

2. Consider two to three of your most outstanding achievements

Consider a few of the most significant contributions you made in each of the roles you held, using keywords from the job description as a guide. By doing this, you can choose an experience synonym that can properly describe how valuable you were to your previous organizations. Employers are more interested in the value you have demonstrated than the tasks or job duties you were in charge of.

Related: Tips for Adding Value at Work (Plus a How-to Guide)

3. Measure your impact with numbers

Include numbers that display the exact value you were able to provide to your organization. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to assess your work:

  • Did you lead a group or facilitate a task?

  • Did you boost processes or achieve specific results?

  • Did your efforts result in increased sales, revenue, or cost savings?

Answering these questions may help you choose the right experience synonyms that accurately explain how much value you provided to your previous employers with quantifiable data.

Related: How to Measure Success in 7 Actionable Steps

How to structure the work experience section in your resume

After you've determined your most important experiences, list them on your resume in an easy-to-read format. Include the employer's name, your job title, years of experience, and a few bullet points highlighting your most significant, relevant accomplishments. When listing your duties and achievements, it's important you use active verbs. These active verbs help you focus on how you accomplished your tasks. Try to choose active verbs that fit your industry and can serve as synonyms for experience.

Here is a step-by-step guide to including professional experience on your resume using experience synonyms:

1. Label the section

The first step in structuring your experience is to label the section. Consider using a clear heading such as "work experience" or "career history." To improve the hiring manager's ability to scan your resume, consider bolding the subheading to make it stand out.

2. Include details about each experience

For each job you add, include the name of the company, your job title, and the period you held the position. You can also include details of your previous jobs using experience synonyms that describe what you contributed to each role. If you changed jobs or received a promotion within the same company, you can include this information as well.

3. List your experience by starting with your most recent position

The most commonly used style for resume experience is reverse-chronological order. This system is the best for your resume because it's easier for your potential employer to understand what position you held most recently. In this style, you can list your current or most recent employment experience first, followed by other relevant roles you held.

4. Include relevant achievements using experience synonyms

Under each job you list, include three or four bullet points that outline your most noteworthy achievements in that position. The most detailed job description can be for your most recent position. In this section, you can use experience synonyms or active verbs to highlight your achievements. For instance, using active verbs such as coordinated, classified, empowered, effected, earned, and inspired may help you properly explain what you have achieved in your previous roles.

Tips for writing your resume work experience

If you want your resume to impress your prospective employer, consider the following tips:

Keep it brief

Try to keep your resume to one page if possible, with your experience taking up around half the page, depending on how many roles you're including. Hiring managers only have time to scan over your resume and look for important information. This means that lengthy resumes and work experience sections may be overlooked. Only include the information the employer requires, and use bullet points to make things as concise and easy to read as possible.

Related: What is the Right Resume Length?

Check for grammatical and spelling errors

To make a good first impression and present yourself as a professional, it's important to write an error-free resume. Before sending your resume, double-check it for errors, especially if the position requires you to be attentive and communicate well. You can use online editing tools and have a friend or family member proofread it to identify mistakes you might have overlooked.

Use a template

There are many free resume templates available on the internet. Consider using one to help find a format that is organized and easy to read. You can also make your own template to use and update every time you apply for a job. Make sure that your headers are bold and that your stylistic elements are consistent. Templates can be attention-grabbing, but they need to maintain a professional appearance. You can achieve this by using a plain, 10- to 12-point black font.

  • Related: The Best Fonts for Your Resume

  • Related: How to Select a Good Resume Design (And Why It's Important)

Address prospective employer's needs

For each job you apply for, try to update and tweak your resume. After reviewing a job posting, make a habit of using active verbs to specify the skills and experience the business is seeking. This shows the employer that you're the best applicant for the job.

Make yourself noticeable by using active verbs

Consider the abilities and experiences that distinguish you. You may have acquired specialized training or awards, for example. Since hiring managers typically get numerous resumes for each job opening, by using active verbs, you can make yours unique and more noticeable.

Related:

  • 14 Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land a Job

  • How to Use Resume Adjectives (With Examples and Tips)

Examples of effective work history sections

To help you effectively discuss your work history on your resume, it may help to look at examples. Here are a few examples of work history sections for various job titles that show the results of what a candidate has achieved in their previous roles:

Example 1

Warehouse supervisor
Sky Tech
March 2016–July 2020

  • Classified and confirmed count of new deliveries, leading to a 25% decline in counting errors

  • Established computerized inventory system that made sure product levels supported the demand to prevent congestion

  • Led the development of sturdy, stable pallets for shipping

  • Created backup training on automated inventory system, leading to a 35% decline in onboarding time

Example 2

School counsellor
Skyview Junior High
December 2017–January 2021

  • Formulated intensive guidance and counselling programs in collaboration with other staff members for 900+ students

  • Organized career awareness classes and met individually with students and parents to analyze education options based on career targets

  • Instituted and conducted Career and College Day, introducing 900 students and parents to 70 colleges, companies, and universities

Example 3

Restaurant manager
The Sugar Diner
June 2015–December 2020

  • Performed 35 store audits in accordance with sanitation and safety regulations to ensure the fastest and most efficient modes of service

  • Introduced training programs for 500 employees in accordance with government and company requirements, decreasing training time by 20%

  • Reviewed scheduling for four departments and decreased labour needs by 7%

Example 4

Lead writer and editor
Diego Publishing Co.
January 2016–April 2021

  • Recruited and prepared three new writers every week to handle the company's growing workload

  • Edited new and old writers' work and provided constructive feedback for improvement

  • Handled outstanding writing tasks to ensure all tasks were completed on time

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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