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As hiring managers wade through resumes, one area that receives a lot of focus is the employment history section. You can learn a lot about a candidate just by browsing through this brief section. If you’re finding that you are sending out a lot of resumes and not getting the response you want, your employment history may need to be revised.

It’s all too common to whip through your history and list some basic job descriptions. That’s not what hiring managers are looking for. While it is helpful to know what your past duties included, they want to know more about you.

You can give them a winning picture of your past employment just by changing and highlighting a few things.

First, instead of listing your past duties, focus on the skills you acquired while working at that position. You may need to think and find a creative way to cast a very dull job. For example, if your job included endless filing, instead of stating just “filing” on your resume, put “developed strong organizational skills.”

When you are writing a resume, quite often it’s not what you say, but how you say. As the above example illustrates, you can turn any dull description into a useful skill that you learned. Even if you feel stumped, think about what you did at your past jobs and what you took away from them.

Next, if you achieved anything during the course of your past work, this needs to be highlighted and placed at the top of each past job history section. If it is a very large achievement, don’t be afraid to call attention to it by placing it in bold type. It’s ok to toot your own horn when you’re writing your resume.

Lastly, never fall victim to the temptation to pad your resume. It never ends well and nine times out of ten, you’ll be the one that gets caught in a lie. It’s much better to be honest than to lie and have it snowball on you down the road.

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