How to Format Promotions on Your Resume

how to show promotion on resume

Showing your devotion to a company as well as your ability to be promoted internally can be impactful for your future employment opportunities. It shows that you are passionate about solving business challenges once you get into the workplace and that you deliver results. But how do you show and format promotions on your resume?

Before we start discussing how to format your promotions in a way that makes it easy for your hiring manager to comprehend your promotions, let’s talk about why promotions are important to list on your resume.

Why Promotions Are Important on the Resume

Promotions are important to show on your resume because they allude to your commitment to a business or a business challenge. In 2019, more than 45% of the U.S. population changed jobs within two years.

This means that it is more common to experience employees moving in and out of a position in a short period of time. For job seekers, this might feel like a great way to climb the corporate ladder. For employers, this can be a challenge as they’re constantly having to replace Human Resources.

When you show your promotions, you show your commitment. And that can be a powerful way to communicate to your new employer that you’ll “stick it out” with them through and through.

Best Method for Listing Promotions on Your Resume

Before we jump into the methods for listing your promotions, it’s important to note that even when you list promotions on your resume, the best way to ensure that they have impact is when you list at least three bullet points which speak to your achievements when you were responsible for that position.

This is a great way to ensure that your hiring manager or future employer understands that you were promoted because you were able to deliver impactful business results as part of your employment.

Whenever you list previous work experience, be sure that you list them in reverse chronological order. That means that your most recent employment history is at the top of the page and your oldest employment history is at the bottom of the page.

There are three methods for listing promotions on your resume. The first method is the most common. It is when you list your promotions in a way to where they seem like they are new positions. Because they are. This would be separate previous work entries under your previous work experience.

Not only is it the most common but it is also the most effective. This is because you have the opportunity to show your hiring manager, in a more clear way, what caused you to get promoted.

Here is an example of what that would look like:

Google
Software Engineering Manager - May 2012 to May 2019

Google
Software Engineer - May 2011 to May 2012

The reason why this is impactful is that it shows a linear progression of your career. And it is the easiest to read and comprehend for your hiring manager.

Alternative Methods for Listing Promotions

The two other methods are less common. And most likely will not be for you, the regular job seeker who may have experienced a promotion.

This method is best used for those who have a large amount of experience within one company. Though, I would urge you to continue to look at the first method, even if your employment history with the company was longer than 10 years. And simply challenge yourself to keep your achievements terse.

The second method looks like the following:

Google
Senior Software Engineer - May 2012 to May 2019
Software Engineer - May 2011 to May 2012
Software Engineer Intern - May 2010 to May 2011

In this situation, you are simply listing your employment history with one company and showing a vast amount of commitment and linear job title progression within the company.

The reason why this method is less effective is that it takes up a considerable amount of space on your resume simply listing when and what job title you performed within the company (or in our example, Google).

The last method is to simply restate the fact that you were part of the same company but with a new job title. Once again, this last method is less preferred and is not as effective as our first example.

Here is what that looks like:

Google
Senior Software Engineer - May 2012 to May 2019

Google
Software Engineer - May 2011 to May 2012

Google
Software Engineer Intern - May 2010 to May 2011

Accompanying this would be one list of bullet points that speak to your entire work history with the company (or Google in our example).

The reason why this is less effective is that it creates a singular accomplishment summary for your employment history with that company. And that can mix together your career progression, which can be confusing and often less effective for hiring managers.

Preferred Method

The preferred method is to try and keep your resume history terse and simply state every piece of work history that is effectively speaking to the job title you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a position as a Software Engineer, it’s best to leave out your Starbucks Barista work history.

Use this method to show your career progression, promotions, and work history in a way that’s effective for the hiring manager and easy to scan or read.

Google
Software Engineering Manager - May 2012 to May 2019

Google
Software Engineer - May 2011 to May 2012

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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