Career Advice

What exactly is an employment history? (With suggestions for what to include and FAQs)

Your employment history is crucial to the process of applying for jobs or simply upgrading your CV. Your professional responsibilities are listed in your job history, which is an excellent reflection of your experience, knowledge, and talents. Your employment history can reveal a lot about you to people and prospective employers, so it’s critical to understand what it entails and what to include. In this post, we define employment history, discuss its significance and usual components, as well as address some frequently asked questions.

What is the definition of employment history?

Your CV is the best resource to use when trying to grasp what a job history is. This is the main document that contains the specifics of your employment history, making it one of the most significant ones in a job application. Even though most employers request this information from applicants via an online degree format, it’s often a smart option to have a standard, up-to-date CV on hand in case the online form is not an option. This is a comprehensive list of every job you’ve ever held.

These could be regular employment with a salary, unpaid internships, or even volunteer work. The crucial thing is that you have been able to contribute significantly in these roles and that they were a component of your career development. If you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer, you can be doing something for an organization or yourself.

What makes employment history significant?

Employers, recruitment managers, and future employers often look at your employment history first when evaluating your application. Your employment history reveals whether you’ve met the experience criteria for many jobs. Your employment history can also demonstrate to prospective employers that you have particular skills and even reveal personal information about yourself. For instance, a recruiter might assume that you are concerned about climate change if you routinely work for companies that value the environment. In contrast, people could question your dedication if you frequently switch employers after just a few months.

Your employment history may also improve your chances of finding employment if you’ve held positions with well-regarded companies. These businesses may be highly renowned for their successful training programs, for presenting difficulties to workers, or for their selective employment practices. Such details can significantly boost a prospective employer’s confidence in your abilities as a candidate.

Employment history is a significant aspect of a person’s professional profile for several reasons:

  1. Demonstrates Experience and Expertise: Employment history showcases a person’s experience in various roles, industries, and organizations. It provides evidence of their skills, expertise, and depth of professional knowledge.
  2. Chronicles of Career Progression: A well-documented employment history reflects a person’s career journey, showing the progression from entry-level positions to more senior roles. This progression is essential to understanding their growth and development.
  3. Proves Consistency and Commitment: A stable and consistent work history can demonstrate a person’s commitment to their field and their ability to maintain employment over time.
  4. Highlights Achievements: Employment history is an opportunity to highlight specific achievements, accomplishments, and contributions made in previous roles, which can set a candidate apart from others.
  5. Reveals Transferable Skills: It illustrates the range of skills acquired and developed in different positions, some of which may be transferable to the job for which the person is applying.
  6. Provides a Reference Check: Potential employers often contact previous employers to verify a candidate’s work history and performance. A documented employment history streamlines this process.
  7. Helps Assess Cultural Fit: Understanding where and how a person has worked can provide insights into their ability to adapt to different work environments and corporate cultures.
  8. Allows for Targeted Resumes: Tailoring a resume to specific job opportunities is more effective when you can draw on your employment history to match relevant skills and experiences.
  9. Supports Career Planning: Reflecting on your employment history can help you set goals and make informed decisions about your career path.

In essence, employment history is a valuable tool for both job seekers and employers. It helps employers make informed hiring decisions, and it allows job seekers to present themselves in the best possible light, demonstrating their qualifications, track record, and potential contributions to a new organization.

What to put in your employment history

You can add various levels of information to your employment history, based on your field of expertise and the structure of your CV. Some pieces of data are often included. The following list of details should be included in your employment history, your CV, and other documentation:

Job roles held

You are allowed to list the job role that was given to you by your company at the time for each job that you have held. Most job roles are rather conventional or widespread across industries, and they can be a simple method to figure out what your position and duties are. Even without reading the more in-depth description below, it can serve as a demonstration of your abilities. A prospective employer would think that you have strong organizational, leadership, and communication abilities if you worked as a project leader, for instance. Additionally, they could presume that you hold a degree or other credentials in the field, like the PRINCE2 certification.

Names of companies you’ve held positions with

The job position you held and the company where you held it is typically included side by side on a resume. According to the employment contract, this refers to the name of the business or other entity that hired you. Your former employment contract might help guarantee that you’re providing the correct organization’s name because most organizations have parent corporations that own them or are somehow affiliated. Even with no further thorough explanation, this information may be a sign of abilities, connections, and experiences based on the organization’s reputation.

Duration of the work

The job role and the name of the organization you worked for might either come before or after this detail. Included are the beginning and ending dates of your employment with that company. You can just give the commencement date and indicate that you are still employed by the organization if you are still there. Your tenure working for many companies might be a sign of your commitment and dedication, which are both desirable qualities. The start and finish dates can be given by day or month, but you must always add the year.

Descriptions of jobs

A concise summary of your responsibilities and tasks for each job you’ve held should be included on the majority of CVs. This is helpful because it enables you to draw attention to crucial traits and abilities that are pertinent to the position you’re going for, which may improve your chances of landing an interview and, ultimately, the job. This material can include a combination of your formal responsibilities as outlined in your job contract, additional responsibilities you undertook, lessons you learned, and any noteworthy accomplishments.

Include a list of your duties and accomplishments in the form of bullet points if possible. This makes it simpler for employers and other readers of your CV to scan through it and locate the crucial details. Additionally, it helps ensure that your resume appears more organized.

When to use employment history

Employment history is typically used in various professional contexts where individuals need to present their work experience and career progression. Here are some key situations where employment history is commonly used:

  1. Job Applications: When applying for a new job, candidates are often required to submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that includes their employment history. This document helps employers assess the qualifications, skills, and relevant experiences of applicants.
  2. Interviews: During job interviews, candidates discuss their employment history to provide specific examples of their work experience, achievements, and how their skills align with the job requirements.
  3. Networking: When networking with professionals in your industry or at career events, sharing your employment history helps others understand your background and can open up opportunities for collaboration or job referrals.
  4. Career Development: Individuals use their employment history to set career goals, identify skill gaps, and plan for further education or professional development.
  5. Promotions: When seeking a promotion within an organization, employees may present their employment history to demonstrate their qualifications, accomplishments, and readiness for advancement.
  6. Performance Evaluations: Employers use employees’ employment history as a basis for performance evaluations, promotions, and determining salary adjustments.
  7. Reference Checks: Potential employers often contact previous employers to verify an applicant’s employment history and performance. A documented history is vital in this process.
  8. Legal or Immigration Purposes: In certain legal or immigration processes, individuals may need to provide a detailed employment history to establish eligibility or compliance.
  9. Reskilling and Career Changes: Individuals changing careers or seeking further education may revisit their employment history to identify transferable skills and experiences that are relevant to their new goals.
  10. Self-Assessment: Reflecting on one’s employment history can be valuable for self-assessment and career planning, helping individuals identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

In essence, employment history is a versatile tool used throughout one’s career journey, from job searching and professional networking to personal development and career advancement. It plays a crucial role in showcasing a person’s qualifications, skills, and career progression.


Making sure the employment history you list on your application for a job matches the information on your CV and LinkedIn page is helpful advice. Ensure there are no contradictions that can cause employers to become suspicious.

Frequently asked questions about employment history

The following list of frequently asked questions about employment history is accompanied by the corresponding responses:

  • Where should I put my employment history?

The ideal place to put your employment history is typically in your CV. There may be other options available. For instance, some businesses use online forms in which you enter information about your work experience and use different text boxes to enter specifics about your responsibilities and skills. It’s simple to copy information from your CV into these sections if you have it ready to go. Your employment history can be mentioned in other documents, such as a cover letter or a letter of motivation.

  • Are there any other ways I can demonstrate my successes and talents in the workplace?

Yes. You can add more details to your employment history based on the type of job you do. If you work in an area that involves design, for instance, you can create a professional portfolio that showcases some of your best or most effective work. You might also mention or refer to any accolades, certifications, awards, or other qualifications you may have attained.

  • What types of work am I allowed to include?

You are allowed to list any professional experience, including voluntary work and internships, that you feel is pertinent to the job application you are submitting. You might want to omit some positions that aren’t relevant, based on the position you want. When deciding which occupations to include, keep in mind that it’s crucial to minimize any unexpected employment gaps. This is due to the potential for misunderstanding employment gaps. You can deal with these pauses in a variety of ways, such as by emphasizing other worthwhile things you engaged in during those times.

  • Should I include every job I’ve ever had in my employment history?

It’s generally not necessary to include every job you’ve ever held in your employment history, especially if some roles are not relevant to your current career goals. The key is to focus on positions that showcase your skills, achievements, and qualifications for the job you’re applying for. However, be prepared to discuss any gaps or missing roles during interviews or provide a full employment history upon request.

  • How should I handle gaps in my employment history?

Employment gaps can occur for various reasons, such as personal reasons, career changes, or periods of job searching. When addressing employment gaps, it’s important to be honest and transparent in your resume and during interviews. You can explain how you used that time to acquire new skills, pursue education, engage in freelance work, or engage in relevant activities. Demonstrating the value gained during these gaps can alleviate concerns for potential employers.

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