format promotions on resume

Wondering how to show a promotion or multiple jobs within the same company on your resume? The short answer: there’s more than one way. How you format promotions on your resume depends largely on your specific job history, current goals, and the experience you want to emphasize.

Here are three different ways of formatting promotions on your resume, whether you’ve had a few very similar positions at the same company, very different positions or just a whole lot of jobs over many decades.

List resume promotions via stacked entry

A stacked entry is when you create one entry encompassing your entire employment at one company, stacking each position below a single heading. This option makes the most sense if the positions you held at a company shared common skills and responsibilities.

How to set it up: After the company name and location, list each job title, one on top of the next, with corresponding dates. Always format dates on a resume in reverse chronological order with the most recent position at the top.

If you received a promotion, but your day-to-day role did not change dramatically, you can

Beneath the entire entry, you can list all accomplishments you’ve achieved at the company.

ATS Tip: We tried out stacked entry in Lever ATS, and we found that while the ATS put all skills and responsibilities beneath the earlier, more junior position. This format is not ideal for an ATS-optimized resume.

format promotions

Show multiple positions or promotions using separate entries

Separate entries are formatted the same way you would typically format different jobs at separate companies.

If you held positions with varied responsibilities and accomplished notably different achievements, separate entries for each role are appropriate. This option allows you to detail your promotions and career progression without deemphasizing your first jobs within the company.

One benefit to separate entries is that it’s is more likely to be accurately parsed into a digital applicant profile within an applicant tracking system.

How to set it up: List the varying positions beneath separate headings, including the comany name as well as location, job title and dates for each entry.

If a promotion led to a substantially different role, use separate entries for your time at a company.

Because many employers are wary of job seekers they perceive as job-hopping, it’s a good idea to include a line mentioning your promotion in the section for your most senior role.

ATS Tip: We tried out separate entries in Lever ATS and found that the ATS parsed the information well and made the positions visually appealing, making each stand out on the resume. This format works well for an ATS-optimized resume.

format promotions

If You’ve Been with the Company for 15+ Years: Separate Experience Section

If you have professional experience that dates back more than 15 years, create a separate section labeled “Prior Professional Experience” to list positions at the same company.

This method allows you to demonstrate your career progression while still keeping your resume super concise. With a separate experience section, you can focus your attention (and space) on the most recent years of employment.

How to set it up: Create a separate section, listing your job titles and the appropriate dates, without the detailed list of accomplishments. You can put this section beneath any recent positions at the same company.

Save the detailed job history for the most recent 15 years of your career, and list earlier positions in a separate section.

If you have particularly notable achievements from this time period, consider highlighting them in a separate achievements section.

ATS Tip: Lever ATS did not differentiate between the “Experience” and “Prior Professional Experience” sections. However, it did place jobs in order of date. This method works fine for ATS and it is worth using since hiring managers may still look at the un-parsed resume.

Note: the “Prior Professional Experience” section in this example was formatted as a stacked entry.

format promotions

ATS-Friendly Formatting Tips

Regardless of which method works best for you when listing promotions on your resume, your work history section always needs to be as “up to code” as possible for ATS. Follow these rules below to make sure you can beat those resume robots.

Include Month and Year

Always include both the month and year of employment for each position–even if it makes an employment gap more obvious. ATS need all the information they can get to parse length of time correctly.

Use Only Standard Bullet Points

Believe it or not (yes, that’s sarcasm) ATS also have a hard time with non-standard bullet points! Starts, hearts, diamonds and other types of bullet points can contribute to incorrect parsing by the good ol’ resume robot.

Don’t Separate Sections with Columns

Many ATS have a hard time parsing information from tables and columns, which means important details of employment history could be left out and not make it to the hiring manager. It’s best to keep your employment history separated by sections with headings and just not mess with columns and tables at all.

How you format your promotions on a resume depends entirely on your unique employment history. From the list above, choose the format that is the best fit for you and use Jobscan to make sure it is ATS optimized.

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