Career Advice

Understanding Relevant Experience: Examples and Tips

When hiring managers or employers analyze resumes, they search for applicants whose professional backgrounds and competencies are pertinent to the open position. One of the key variables that recruiters frequently take into account when arriving at a hiring decision is relevant work experience. You can improve your qualifications and raise your chances of being chosen by including relevant experience in your resume and realizing how important it is for a work position. In this post, we provide answers to the questions “What is relevant experience?” and “How to describe it,” as well as advice on what to do when you lack experience, what qualifies as relevant experience, and how to emphasize your experience during the recruitment procedure.

What exactly qualifies as relevant experience?

Any work experience that qualifies you for a particular job is considered relevant experience. Your relevant experience is made up of the relevant number of years in your line of work. It could come from volunteer labor, full-time employment, freelance work, or internships. It equips you with the knowledge and abilities you might require to hold a position of employment. While having relevant experience might help you progress professionally, it can also give you marketable abilities that you can utilize if you decide to switch industries or jobs.

In order to be considered for a job, applicants are frequently asked to describe their relevant work history. You may provide your future employer or hiring manager with a better picture of your capabilities by mentioning them in your cover letter and CV. Employers or recruitment managers can swiftly determine whether you are qualified for the opening and what you might be able to bring to the firm if hired after analyzing your relevant experience.

How would you characterize your relevant work experience?

The following is how you can define your relevant work experience:

  • Take into account your prior work experience and tailor it to the demands of the position you are presently seeking.
  • Concentrate on and detail any pertinent responsibilities and tasks you performed at your former workplace.
  • To emphasize your job role, use action words, and then give a succinct justification of what you did afterward.
  • Describe what you did, why you did it, and how it helped your coworkers and the firm.

When should you use relevant experience?

You should use relevant experience when crafting various elements of your job search and career development, including:

  1. Resume: Your resume is the most common place to showcase your relevant experience. Tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for by highlighting relevant roles, skills, accomplishments, and responsibilities that align with the position’s requirements.
  2. Cover Letter: In your cover letter, mention your relevant experience briefly and explain how it makes you a strong candidate for the job. Use the cover letter to connect your past experiences with the specific needs of the employer.
  3. Job Interviews: During job interviews, draw upon your relevant experience to answer questions confidently and provide examples of how you’ve successfully handled similar challenges in the past. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your responses.
  4. Networking: When networking with professionals in your field or industry, discussing your relevant experience can help you make connections, build relationships, and potentially discover job opportunities.
  5. LinkedIn Profile: Your LinkedIn profile is an online representation of your professional background. Ensure that your profile highlights your relevant experience, including job descriptions, accomplishments, and skills.
  6. Career Development: When planning your career path, consider how your relevant experience can guide your choices. It can help you identify roles that align with your strengths and interests, making your career progression more purposeful.
  7. Performance Reviews: During performance reviews with your current employer, discuss your relevant experience in the context of your accomplishments and contributions to the company. This can be valuable when seeking raises or promotions.
  8. Job Search Strategy: In your overall job search strategy, focus on roles and industries where your relevant experience positions you as a strong candidate. Targeting positions that align with your background can lead to more successful job applications.
  9. Professional Development: When pursuing professional development opportunities, choose courses, certifications, or training programs that enhance your relevant experience and qualifications in your chosen field.
  10. Career Transitions: If you’re transitioning to a new career or industry, use your relevant experience as a bridge to connect your past roles with your desired direction. Emphasize transferable skills and achievements that are applicable to the new field.

In summary, you should use relevant experience throughout your job search and career journey to effectively communicate your qualifications, align with specific job requirements, and position yourself as a strong candidate. Tailoring your messaging and materials to highlight relevant experiences is a key strategy for career success.

How would you sum up your relevant experience to date?

List all of your relevant experiences that are necessary for the position and tally the duration of time you spent on each to determine how many years you have in that field. You may, for instance, list the work you’ve done in one column, such as volunteer work, internship work, contract work, freelancing, or teaching work, and then note the number of hours you put into each in the second row. You can get the required number by adding the numbers in the second column.

What happens if I lack relevant experience?

Even if you lack the necessary work experience, you are still eligible to apply for jobs. You might showcase your talents and experiences and demonstrate your intense interest in the position to catch the employer’s or recruiting manager’s attention. You need to be able to demonstrate how they can help you be a good fit for the open position.

For example, it may be beneficial to talk about your networking and communication abilities if the position demands that you often connect with clients, coworkers, and stakeholders. You can give specific examples of how these assisted you in your prior position, for example, by allowing you to bring in more clients and boost revenue.

How do you acquire relevant experience?

In professional or unrelated situations, there are several ways to acquire valuable experience. If you have made the decision to pursue a specific career and do not expect to alter your mind later, you can meticulously prepare and acquire the necessary experience to be successful in that industry. Take into account the following:

  • Research the sector: Learn as much as you can about the sector, paying close attention to changes in the job environment and sector advancements. You can use that to better understand your position and choose the best course for career advancement.
  • Read job postings: Even if you aren’t looking for a new job right now, you should read job postings to be informed of the needs of the labor market. You can learn about new skills and pick them up to make yourself more employable.
  • Gain experience: There are many ways to gain essential job experience, including internships, contract work, freelancing, full-time employment, part-time employment, and volunteering. It’s crucial to build a career-focused job history that demonstrates your dedication.
  • Work on your own projects: You may show hiring managers that you have the abilities, drive, and motivation they are looking for by working on your own projects from conception to completion in your own time. It also demonstrates that you are capable of working alone.
  • Become involved in extracurricular activities: By taking part in debates, plays, and other extracurricular events, you can develop important skills like speaking in public, communication, negotiating, organization, teamwork, and time management. Such involvement demonstrates that you have a well-rounded personality and a variety of interests.
  • Engage in continuing education: To enhance or acquire new abilities, many professional organizations provide industry experts with ongoing education certifications. You may constantly learn new things with these to stay current in the employment market.

What counts as relevant experience?

Relevant experience can include any prior employment-related knowledge you have acquired in a formal context or outside of employment that will increase your likelihood of landing the job. It’s crucial to emphasize the value of your relevant experiences for the particular job you’re applying for when listing them on your resume. The company needs to see that you have the necessary skills, dedication, drive, and motivation to complete the required work. Relevant experience includes the following:

  • full-time job
  • part-time job
  • freelance job
  • contract job
  • internships
  • Volunteering
  • independent projects
  • academic initiatives
  • programming initiatives
  • extracurricular pursuits
  • Coaching
  • entrepreneurship

How to pinpoint and emphasize your relevant experience

The following suggestions will help you locate and showcase your relevant experience:

1. Examine the position description

Take note of the duties, educational prerequisites, and talents that the company is looking for in applicants for the position as you carefully read the job description. These may assist you in determining any relevant experiences you may have that would be beneficial for the position. Consider the benefits you could bring to the employer’s business and what you can give them. Additionally, you can integrate some of the phrases and keywords from the job description into your resume by taking note of them. That may make it more visible to applicant tracking systems, which are widely used by businesses.

2. Contrast the job description with your current credentials.

After making note of the employment requirements, compare your most recent resume’s qualifications with those needs. You can build a list of those that match the employer’s requirements and a separate list of those that don’t. Make a third list of abilities that are needed but which you do not possess. These lists might help you choose qualifications that highlight your capacity for carrying out the duties of the position.

3. Highlight relevant experiences

You can showcase your fit for the position by listing job duties and achievements that are pertinent to the position in the skills and work experience sections of your resume. Take away anything that will not help you land the job. Consider how you can modify the language in the other relevant experiences to make them more specific to the job criteria as you review and analyze them. With it, you may demonstrate to the hiring manager or employer that you are interested in the position and are aware of their needs. Then, they might be more inclined to take you seriously and extend an employment offer.

4. Pay attention to your accomplishments and tasks

Many hiring managers are more interested in applicants’ past successes and job responsibilities than they are in their job titles. It makes no difference if you hold management or director positions. What you accomplished and had the ability to accomplish while in that position counts more. You may already possess abilities that the new company is looking for, such as verbal communication, negotiation, and problem-solving abilities.

You can utilize real-world examples to show how you’ve successfully applied these abilities in the workplace. In that case, the company might be open to taking a look at your application even if you don’t have the necessary qualifications, like an advanced degree or a certain amount of years of experience.

5. Use prior experiences and knowledge

Consider ways to use any abilities and experiences you may have that don’t quite fit the requirements for the position. For instance, a position that prioritizes sales might not call for programming expertise. However, if you say that you developed a sales application using your programming talents and describe how it helped your former company, the hiring manager might be intrigued.

The importance of Relevant Experience for a job application

Relevant experience is of paramount importance for a job application for several compelling reasons:

  1. Demonstrates Qualifications: Relevant experience showcases your qualifications and skills that directly align with the requirements of the job. It provides concrete evidence that you have the necessary expertise to excel in the role.
  2. Proves Competency: Employers seek candidates who can hit the ground running and contribute effectively from day one. Relevant experience demonstrates your competency, reducing the employer’s perceived risk associated with hiring and training a less experienced candidate.
  3. Increases Credibility: Having relevant experience enhances your credibility as a candidate. It shows that you have a track record of success in similar roles or industries, making you a more attractive and trustworthy choice for employers.
  4. Faster Learning Curve: Candidates with relevant experience typically require less time to get up to speed in their new positions. They are more likely to adapt quickly to the company’s processes, culture, and expectations, leading to increased productivity.
  5. Problem-Solving Abilities: Relevant experience often involves overcoming challenges and solving complex problems. Employers value these problem-solving skills as they indicate your ability to handle similar issues in the new role.
  6. Confidence and Competence: Having relevant experience boosts your confidence during job interviews and on the job. You can speak confidently about your accomplishments and demonstrate how your past experiences have prepared you for the challenges ahead.
  7. Reduced Training Costs: Employers may need to invest less in training and onboarding when hiring candidates with relevant experience. This can result in cost savings for the company.
  8. Immediate Impact: Candidates with relevant experience are more likely to make an immediate positive impact on the organization. They can start contributing to projects and goals without a steep learning curve.
  9. Competitive Advantage: In a competitive job market, relevant experience sets you apart from other applicants. It can be the deciding factor that leads to an interview or job offer.
  10. Long-Term Success: Employees with relevant experience are often better positioned for long-term success in their careers. They have a solid foundation to build upon, enabling them to pursue advancement opportunities and take on increasing levels of responsibility.

In summary, relevant experience is a key factor in securing job interviews and offers. It not only demonstrates your qualifications but also provides assurance to employers that you are well-prepared to excel in the role. Tailoring your application materials to highlight your relevant experience can significantly increase your chances of landing your desired job.


In conclusion, relevant experience is the cornerstone of a successful career journey. It encompasses the skills, knowledge, and accomplishments that directly align with the requirements of a specific role or industry. Whether you’re crafting a resume, preparing for an interview, or seeking career advancement, highlighting your relevant experience is essential. It not only showcases your qualifications but also demonstrates your ability to excel in your chosen field. By continually building and leveraging relevant experience, you can open doors to new opportunities and achieve your professional aspirations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Relevant Experience

  1. What qualifies as relevant experience on a resume? Relevant experience on a resume refers to any work, internships, or projects that directly relate to the position you’re applying for. It should demonstrate skills, accomplishments, or knowledge that make you a suitable candidate for the job.
  2. How can I gain relevant experience if I’m changing careers? If you’re transitioning into a new field, consider gaining relevant experience through internships, volunteering, freelance work, or online courses. Emphasize transferable skills from your previous roles that align with the new career.
  3. Should I include unrelated work experience on my resume? While it’s important to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for, you can include unrelated work experience if it highlights transferable skills or accomplishments that may be relevant to the position. Be selective and focus on the most pertinent details.
  4. What if I have limited relevant experience for a job application? If you lack direct relevant experience, emphasize transferable skills, such as communication, leadership, problem-solving, or project management, that are applicable to the role. Highlight achievements and experiences that showcase your potential.
  5. How should I address relevant experience in a job interview? During an interview, use specific examples from your relevant experience to answer questions. Describe how your past roles have prepared you for the challenges of the new position and provide concrete evidence of your abilities and accomplishments.

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