What is Relevant Experience? Resume Advice for 2022

Have you ever been thrown off on a resume or job application where it asks for your relevant experience? 

Relevant to what, right?  

Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you might think to look like a rock star when describing your relevant experience.

This area helps you highlight your best qualifications, no matter what your past professional background looks like. 

The following information reveals vital tips for how to use relevant experience on your resume and within a job application.

It also provides examples of relevant experiences to help guide you when writing out your own. 

Let’s get started!

What Is Relevant Experience

What is Relevant Experience


Questions Answered:

  • What is relevant experience?

  • How to identify and use it within your resume

  • Relevant experience examples


What is Relevant Experience?

The best way to define relevant experience is by saying it’s any employment experience that shows future employers that you’re qualified for a specific position. 

Including these experiences on your resume helps hiring managers determine whether you’re a great candidate, even if you don’t yet have deep expertise in their specific industry. 


How to identify relevant experience and use it within your resume

Several methods exist to discover whether your previous job responsibilities and overall skills match your next desired job. 

1. Pull up the job description

Scan the job description and take notes on exactly what it says regarding:

  • Job responsibilities

  • Desired skills

  • Education requirements

Putting this to paper aids you with getting a sense of whether you can make yourself look attractive to the employer.

2. Use the Required skills areas

Now dig into the description’s skills and professional experience sections a bit more.

Cross out any accomplishment, skill, or responsibility that won’t help you get this particular job.

3. Compare qualifications to the job description

Make a chart that reveals all similarities and differences between what the hiring manager wants and what you offer from a skills and experience standpoint.

4. Add to your resume

Next, brainstorm how to re-write your skills and accomplishments in ways that align with the qualifications needed for the position.

You’ll increase your opportunities for advancing through the hiring process if you tailor your resume to the required qualifications and skills.


What If I don’t Have the Correct Relevant Experience?

Employers place more emphasis on your past achievements and responsibilities than they do on the exact roles you’ve previously worked. 

Let’s assume you want to work as a marketing coordinator, but your only previous job was that camp counselor job you had during college summers.

List how you had to market the various camp programs to parents, persuading them to put their kids into multiple programs or mention the specific revenue increase you helped the camp achieve.

Avoid the tendency to leave out your past education, skills, and professional experiences because you don’t think they apply to the current situation. Instead, advantageously use them as relevant experiences.

Examples of universal experiences that translate into skills you can mold and rephrase to fit well with the job description’s listing include:

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Communication skills

  • Sales skills

Review the requested skills and ask yourself how you can pull from past experiences in unique ways that show employers why you’re the perfect fit, even if you don’t have experience in their specific field



Example #1: Your Experience is in a Different Area

What if you’re applying for an HR career, but your experience exists in the marketing field? Let’s look at how you might adjust your resume’s professional area to fit the new role more appropriately. 

Currently, your resume says that you worked as a marketing specialist running paid ads. The current responsibilities on your resume might say that you:

  • Strategized client needs with sales and marketing teams

  • Determined new campaign strategies by doing market research

  • Monitored social media profiles for clients

The HR position wants candidates to conduct screening interviews, perform recruiting duties, and write relevant job listings

You might adjust your resume to list your past relevant experiences and responsibilities as:

  • Reduced client turnover by 17% by brainstorming unique marketing methods

  • Improved customer engagement by 13% by writing better copy

  • Engaged customers via social media

Example #2: Your Experience is Limited Overall

If you just graduated from college and can only point to several part-time positions on your resume, then you might feel troubled applying for an accountant position. However, you previously worked in a retail store as a sales associate. 

Your current resume might list your responsibilities as:

  • Helped shoppers learn about products and where to find them

  • Used a point-of-sale system to process sales transactions

  • Did inventory counts and restocked items

Your desired accountant job wants its candidates to step in and find financial errors, manage financial transactions, and help with tax preparation responsibilities. 

Your new resume might list your responsibilities in this manner to match the accountant role more effectively:

  • Uncovered order undercharges and overcharges by reviewing invoices

  • Helped prepare employee tax documents for the owner

  • Counted each drawer at the beginning and end of every shift

You see in these two examples how customizing your past work experiences and applying them to the new position helps you highlight how relevant those experiences are to what each hiring manager needs to see in new applicants!


“Lack of confidence during the interview is why 40% of interviewers don’t take a candidate past the first stage.” - Twin Employment


Wrapping Up | What is Relevant Experience in a Resume

You’re likely applying for this next position because you see yourself as the perfect fit, even if it’s not readily apparent based on your past work history.

The most important task to perform before/while applying to that new opportunity is to prove that you have what it takes to thrive in this role. 

How do you do that?

By highlighting your relevant experience through past jobs, volunteering, internship and other forms of professional experience/training.  

You have what it takes. Package it up in a way that excites your new employer and you’ll soon walk into your dream job’s new office!

Good luck!


Title: What is Relevant Experience? Resume Advice for 2022

Category: Resume Resources

Tags: relevant experience meaning, relevant work experience, how is your previous experience relevant to this role, what is relevant experience, what does relevant experience on a resume mean


Author: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He's an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author.