Optimise your CV by adding on your promotion

You've done the hard work and been rewarded with a promotion. All that effort, prep, blood, sweat, and tears has finally paid off. You've been shown to add real value to the company. Now it's time to kick back and enjoy the benefits - more responsibility, more money, more kudos. Oh, and probably a lot more hard work too! But it'll be worth it in the end.The conundrum comes when it's time to look afresh at the job market and see if there's anything else out there that takes your fancy. How do you then show promotion on your CV?

Even if you're not looking for a new goal at this time, it's still worth updating your CV every so often. All those achievements, no matter how small, might get lost or forgotten about as you strive ever forward. And showing promotion on a CV is certainly something you want to be shouting about. It's a huge achievement. Securing a career promotion is what it's all about, so displaying it on your CV is an absolute must. 

What exactly is a promotion?

Simply put, it's when an employee applies for a role within the company they work for that is a higher position, level, or rank than they're currently at, and the promotion comes when they secure that role. It ultimately means more responsibilities, maybe people management, and hopefully more cash in your wallet.

But why go for a promotion, putting yourself through all the angst of a palm sweating interview and / or a complicated application process? The reasons are normally two-fold - the salary will make up for having more to do but, more importantly maybe, it's a progression of your career. As you get better at what you do, it's great to get out of your comfort zone and aim for the next level.

Showing your promotion in the correct way can mean you're a strong contender for even more senior level roles in the future. It doesn't matter whether you've been promoted from Shop Assistant to Assistant Shop Manager, Data Management Associate to Data Research Coordinator, or Vice Principal to Principal, you'll want to show that career promotion on your CV, so it's there in black and white for all to see when you apply for your next position.

How do you list different positions at the same company?

Back in the day, a job was for life. Many workers remained in one company and hopefully worked their way up the career ladder to gain many career promotions. So if you've enjoyed a long and illustrious career at the same company, then showing your career progression over time will prove to whoever's reading your CV that, not only are you loyal, but you've set your sights on greater things throughout your working life and haven't just been stuck at the same level for years.

Bear in mind that a professionally written CV is designed to show off your key skills and achievements, making you sound impressive, and a promotion certainly falls into that category!

The steadier you climb that ladder, the more you'll have to be ruthless with your CV, its content, and its length. If you keep getting promoted, and therefore adding more roles and responsibilities, the longer your CV becomes. Keeping it to the optimum length is advised, normally two pages, though there are exceptions, of course.

See the end of the article for examples on how to show promotion on a CV.

How to show promotions on a CV from different companies

The workplace set up and how workers approach the job market are more fluid nowadays, with many employees choosing to flit from one company to the next. While you might not want to be viewed as a job hopper, it does have its upsides, showcasing your flexibility and proactive nature and always being up for a new challenge or opportunity. And if you get promoted along the way, with each move, that's a real bonus!

The layout should be set out in the usual CV format and in reverse chronological order, stating the company name, your job title, and the dates you worked there. Once you've added your duties and achievements, list the previous company in the same way.

Examples of how to show promotion on a CV

Below are examples of how to show promotion on your CV.

How to show promotion on a CV at the same company

Citing specifically why you were promoted, and the key skills you bring to the new role, is top tip when detailing promotion on a CV, as in the example below:

CARPHONE WAREHOUSE                                                                   Apr 2015 - Jan 2022

Acting Assistant Manager                                                                Apr 2016 - Jan 2022

  • Swiftly promoted to Acting Assistant Manager due to exceptional customer service qualities, staff engagement skills, and team motivational techniques

  • (List other responsibilities here)

Sales Consultant                                                                             Apr 2015 - Apr 2016

  • Ensured displays and visual merchandising adhered to the corporate image of the company

  • Delivered an excellent level of service to customers at all times by easily and immediately building a rapport

How to show promotion on a CV for a similar position

If you've been promoted by title but the scope of your responsibilities remains roughly the same, then you can stack your job titles with the duties underneath in bullet format:

Heavy Plant Company                                                        Apr 2009 - Jan 2015      

Plant Manager                                                                                 Mar 2014 - Jan 2015      

General Manager                                                                             Apr 2009 - Mar 2014

  • Ownership for the focused management and coordination of all plant operations with the aim to consistently meet and exceed client expectations

  • Adhered to all labour, safety, environmental, and corporate policies and regulations

  • Managed 15 staff and checked they were suitably trained, qualified, and licensed for the various tasks and jobs assigned to them 

If you're applying for a role where the likelihood is that the business will be using an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), then it's wise not to list positions one on top of the other, as you want to present an ATS-friendly CV at all times. This is because the ATS will probably only detect the first job title, missing the others, and therefore potentially downgrading your CV. If that's the case, the safest bet is to list separate entries for each role - i.e. move General Manager to under the responsibilities of the Plant Manager position.

How to show promotion on a CV at different companies

You might find yourself in a situation where you left a company for a promotion at another business, but then returned a few years later to take on a more senior position. If this is the case, it's perfectly acceptable to list the same company twice, with the other organisation in between, like so:

Bank House - Head of Document Management                             Aug 2017 - Present

  • Full ownership for the strategy, transformation, portfolio management, and operation of inbound mail, with an annual budget of £40m

Building Society - Senior Project Manager                                         Aug 2009 - Jul 2017

  • Overall remit to manage the strategy for back office processing and telephony services for up to 2,000 members of staff

Bank House - Document Assistant                               Mar 2008 - Aug 2009

  • Accountable for updating, controlling, and issuing both electronic and hard copy documents

The key takeaway

Spending time to showcase promotions on your CV can really pay dividends in the end, as it highlights your strengths and capabilities, such as leadership and management skills. It really is a win-win situation as, once you're promoted, it could pave the way for more promotions to come.

If you're still not 100% sure how to show promotions on a CV, turn to the experts for help. Start by uploading your current CV for a free CV review, where your CV will be analysed and scored on its layout and content.

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