How to Show Your Job Promotions on a Resume in 2021

How to Show Your Job Promotions on a Resume in 2021

Show off your achievements and highlight your growth by listing your job promotions correctly and catch the eye of the recruiter.

Written by Ed Moss • Last updated on May 27, 2021

If you have ever earned a promotion at a job, showing that on a resume will inform employers that you have initiative and are capable of growth within a company.

In this guide, we will be covering how to show job promotions on your resume, including how to format them, so that your resume stands out amongst the competition.

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How Do You List Promotions on Your Resume?

There are several different options when it comes to listing job promotions on your resume.

When deciding how to list promotions on your resume, you must first take into consideration what portion of your resume a particular company is responsible for.

For instance, let’s say you have worked at a company for a year and received a promotion following your entry into your second year.

Aside from this, you have other relevant work experience from other jobs you would also like to show.

In this case, you may list your promotions as a stacked entry so that room is left for other entries as well.

Comparatively, if you have worked primarily at one company in a multitude of positions with different responsibilities, you may choose to make separate entries for each position rather than a stacked entry.

In this guide, we will be discussing when and where to list promotions on your resume.

We will additionally cover the differences between stacked and separate entries to help you decide which best fits your needs.

If you are in a pinch and need to create a well-formatted resume quickly, consider checking out our many resume template designs!

Where to List Promotions on a Resume

Promotions show your ability to grow with a company – as such, it is important to make them easy to spot on your resume.

The general rule of thumb when placing promotions on a resume is to include them within your work experience sections as part of your job entries.

As we have mentioned, there are two primary formatting options – the stacked entry and the separate entry – which we will discuss later.

Regardless of which format you choose, these entries belong in your work experience section.

You will most likely be using the Reverse-Chronological format for your resume, which will place the most emphasis on your work experience section and, thus, ensure your promotions are close to the top of the resume and easy for hiring managers to see.

Hint: not sure what resume format to use? Read our guide on How to Choose the Correct Resume Format in 2021!
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Different Formatting Options for Listing Promotions on a Resume

We have established where to list your promotions on your resume.

Now, it’s time to decide which formatting option will best fit the jobs and promotions your are including.

As mentioned, there are two primary formatting options when writing out job descriptions that contain promotions:

  1. Stacked Entries: A stacked entry will be one singular entry for a specific company that lists all of your positions at the company. The most recent and highest position should always be listed first, as this is likely the most important one that you want hiring managers to see.
  2. Separate Entries: In some cases, it may be more beneficial to separate positions within the same company out into individual entries, rather than one combined one as is done with stacked entries. In this case, be sure to list your highest and most recent position first and follow with the other entries chronologically.

It is crucial to keep your entries relevant, concise, and organized, no matter which formatting option you ultimately decide to choose.

Here are examples of the correct way to write stacked and separate entries:

The Stacked Entry

When writing your stacked entry, be sure to include the dates in which you served in a position.

Additionally, list your most recent position first.

Incorrect:

Whole Foods, San Francisco, CA
Assistant Store Manager, July 2018 to June 2019
Head Store Manager, June 2019 to Present

I was promoted from assistant store manager to head store manager in 2019 and have held the position ever since.

There are two errors with this stacked entry.

First, the more recent and higher position is not listed first.

Second, the descriptive bullet point relays information that is inferable from the positions listed and dates.

While some scenarios may benefit from including descriptions that explain promotions, for the most part you will want to save your descriptions to explain your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Correct:

Whole Foods, San Francisco, CA
Head Store Manager, June 2019 to Present
Assistant Store Manager, July 2018 to June 2019


• Directed a staff of over 60 employees in day-to-day operations.
• Increased customer satisfaction rating by 10 percent.

In this example, the entry is correct because the positions are listed reverse-chronologically with the most recent position listed first and the descriptions outline the candidate’s strengths and responsibilities.

The Separate Entry

Stacked entries are great for saving space, but only allow you to really describe one of the positions you are listing.

Separated entries give each position their own space for descriptions.

Incorrect:

The Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga, TN
Ticket Attendant, January 2020 to January 2021

The Tennessee Aquarium
, Chattanooga, TN
Communications Coordinator, January 2021 to Present

In this example, the most recent position is not listed first and the entries lack descriptions.

Even if entries share the same company, they should always have their own set of descriptive bullet points if they are being written as a separate entry.

Correct:

The Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga, TN
Communications Coordinator, January 2021 to Present

• Organized social media campaigns to bring awareness to aquarium events.
• Networked with major magazines, such as National Geographic, securing big feature stories for the aquarium.
• Implemented new communication strategies that improved staff productivity by 20 percent.

The Tennessee Aquarium
, Chattanooga, TN
Ticket Attendant, January 2020 to January 2021

• Helped guests purchase tickets both in-person and virtually.
• Ensured guests followed proper health and sanitation protocols.
• Handled both cash and card payments using a Point of Sale system.

If you are having trouble figuring out how to format your work experience section as a whole, take a look at our guide on How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume in 2021.

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When to Use a Stacked Entry on Your Resume

Stacked entries on your resume are ideal for positions and promotions share relatively similar job responsibilities.

For instance, in one of the examples above a job candidate was promoted from assistant store manager to head store manager.

The head store manager position likely covers the same responsibilities as the assistant position, making it unnecessary to include descriptions of both.

Utilizing a stacked entry allows for you to show promotions while also saving more space in your work experience section.

This may be ideal for candidates who have other work experiences they would like to include that they will need the extra space for.

When to Use a Separate Entry on Your Resume

Separate entries are best used when you stayed within a company but changed positions or departments in non-lateral moves.

In the example provided above, the job candidate worked at an aquarium as both a ticket attendant and as the communications coordinator.

While these positions may have shared some similar responsibilities, ultimately, they are very different jobs with different responsibilities, thus warranting the use of separate entries.

It is important when writing separate entries that you emphasize the job title or position.

In some cases, it may even be beneficial to list the position before the company, like so:

Communications Coordinator, Tennessee Aquarium
January 2021 to Present

This makes it so that the first thing the hiring manager will see is the position, not the company – an especially useful tactic if you will be listing the same company multiple times.

College Student

Should You Make a Dedicated Section for Promotions?

In general, you will want to include your promotions directly in your work experience section.

However, in some cases you may actually be able to list them separately in a dedicated section.

This tactic will typically be used if the job and promotions in question were from 15 or more years ago.

It may still be beneficial to include this older work experience, but because it is not more recent it does not warrant a full entry and description.

A dedicated section for this kind of experience and promotions allows you to include it on the resume without making it the main centerpiece.

Final Takeaways

Promotions are often major accomplishments, and showing them on a resume is a fantastic way to inform future employers of your ability to dedicate yourself to a company and demonstrate growth over time.

Here are our key takeaways for listing promotions on a resume:

  • Always list the highest and most recent position first
  • Use stacked entries when the responsibilities are similar between positions
  • Use separate entries when the responsibilities are different between positions
  • When writing separate entries, it can be useful to list the position before the company name

If you are feeling lost or unsure where to start, check out our guide on How to Write the Perfect Resume in 2021, or any of our other useful, comprehensive, and FREE guides available on our site!

Ed Moss is an author for Easy Resume

Ed is a co-founder of Easy Resume. His background in scaling teams at tech startups over the last decade has given him extensive experience and knowledge around how to hire top talent and build successful teams. He enjoys mentoring, coaching, and helping others reach their career goals. When he's not writing about career-related advice, he's playing with his dog, Lilo, or going on long hikes in upstate New York.

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