If you are considering changing your career or simply want a new job, you will most likely need to provide your prospective employer with a work history record. This provides details on what companies you worked for, what your responsibilities and duties were, and how long you were employed. You might also provide information about specific achievements you made, such as streamlining a particular procedure or saving the company a certain amount of money because of specific actions you took.
Employers want to know that the person they are considering for a job is trustworthy and has an established track record in showing up for work on time. Your work record shows that you spent five years in one location until the factory was shut down, for example, indicating that you were happy to work there and were doing a good job, and only left because the company went out of business. It’s always better to show that it wasn’t your fault when you left an employer, rather than letting future potential bosses think that you were fired for cause.
It’s important for you to maintain thorough and accurate records of your work history, beginning with your first job. When you keep track of the jobs you’ve held as you advance from one position to the next, it is much easier than if you have to rely on your memory or notes to try to reconstruct your work history from scratch later on.
If you have not worked before, you can get started establishing your work history record by applying for internship positions. This is most easily accomplished while you are still in high school or attending college, and preferably you will find an internship that matches your skills and interests. For example, if you are interested in the law, you could try to get an internship at a law firm or at a legal aid organization that provides free or low-cost services to low-income patrons.
Another good way to begin establishing your work history is by applying for the most menial or low- paying position at a company where you would like to someday advance. A classic example of this is when people get a job in the mailroom at a large company, such as a movie studio, and then rise up to become an executive. With patience and a lot of hard work, you’ll soon be filling out your work history document with plenty of interesting jobs.