How to Show Promotions on Your Resume: Guide + Examples

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Promotions are achievements. Find out how you to highlight yours on your resume today.

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A promotion is proof that you’re a valuable team member whose work is noticed and appreciated by your employer. Putting a promotion on your resume can be an effective way to highlight your professional accomplishments to future hiring managers. 

How do you actually show a promotion on your resume? And, how do you format promotions so that the automated systems scanning your resume can read them without trouble? 

Ultimately, the way you put a promotion on your resume is dependent on the nature of the promotion itself. In this article, you will learn three approaches to putting a promotion on your resume: 

  • By stacking job entries under one company header 

  • By separating positions into separate sequential entries under different company headers

  • By separating positions at the same company with an entry for a position held at another company, if you left and returned to a company

You will also learn how each approach responds to the applicant tracking systems (ATSs) used by many hiring managers to filter resumes. 

How to show a promotion on a resume 

The following three approaches for listing promotions on your resume will help you decide the best strategy for your circumstances. You’ll also learn how well each strategy responds to the ATS. 

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, by reviewing these strategies you can decide what approach works best for you. 

Stack job entries under one company header.

Stacked entries are job titles stacked on top of each other under one company header, with bullet points beneath that elaborate on your work experience.  

Who is this approach best for?

This method is well-suited to promotions in which your title changes but your day-to-day activities remain the same. This might occur when an employer decides to adjust someone’s title to more accurately reflect their responsibilities and duties or when an employee’s contribution to the workplace is acknowledged with a title change that doesn’t alter their daily work. 

How well do automated systems read stacked entries? 

Stacked entries are not always the best for automated systems because the ATS can sometimes scan the postings inaccurately and mistakenly reformat them. Use this approach strategically when the benefit of stacking job titles outweighs the risk, such as when you are trying to keep your resume down to one or two pages.

Read more: Resume Keywords: How to Find the Right Words to Beat the ATS

How to do it? 

1. Use one header for all the sequential positions you held at the same company.

2. Organize the job titles in reverse chronological order with the most recent at the top and the oldest at the bottom.

3. In a single bullet point, describe the concrete achievements that led to your job title change.

4. Use the rest of the bullet points to describe your duties and responsibilities. 

Example of stacked promotion entries

TemplateExample
Company name, Years workingBetty’s Baking Depot, Nov. 2017 - Present
Title 1, Years workingStore Manager, Dec. 2019 - Present
Title 2, Years workingAssistant Manager, Nov. 2017 - Dec. 2019
• Promoted due to {concrete achievements}• Promoted due to excellence management during peak holiday seasons, improving overall store efficient by 20%
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty

Use separate entries for each position under the same company.

Another method for showing promotions on a resume is to create separate sections for each position with different headers for the same company. 

Who is it best for? 

This method is well-suited to promotions that include both a title change and a change in the duties and responsibilities performed. Typically, this promotion shows career progression. For example, a common scenario for this kind of promotion is when someone moves from an entry-level position to a low-level managerial position or from middle to upper management. 

This method is also suitable if you have made lateral moves to positions outside your normal wheelhouse, such as when a web developer at a tech company becomes a project manager in another department. 

How well does the ATS read it? 

This method is well-suited to automated systems because most systems find it easier to read separate entries than combined ones and will not accidentally reformat them.

When using this method, make sure to consider whether the benefit of potentially crowding your resume with titles outweighs the dangers of stacking them in one entry. 

How to do it

1. Turn each job into a separate entry with the different company headers, titles, and years employed in the role. 

2. Describe why you got the promotion in a single bullet point, focusing on concrete achievements that led to your job title change

3. Use the bullet points to describe duties and responsibilities 

Example of separate sequential entries 

TemplateExample
Company name, Title, Years workingBetty’s Baking Depot, Assistant Store Manager, Dec. 2019 - Present
• Promoted due to {concrete achievements}• Promoted due to excellence filling in management gap during peak holiday seasons, improving overall store efficiency by 20%
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty
Company name, Title, Years workingBetty’s Baking Depot, Cashier, Nov. 2017 - Dec. 2019
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty

Use separate entries for promotions after returning to a company. 

Separate entries can also be used for promotions if you left a company but returned.

Who is it best for? 

This method is best for people who left one company for another but returned to the first company at a later date. For example, a junior copywriter who left their employer for another ad agency but returned to their former employer as a senior copywriter could use this approach. 

How well does the ATS read it? 

Because it uses clearly differentiated entries, the ATS will most likely not have difficulty reading promotions listed in this way. 

How to do it

1. Turn each job into a separate entry with the different company headers, titles, and years employed in the role. 

2. Use the bullet points to describe duties and responsibilities 

Note: In this method, you don’t need to describe the reason for your promotion. The sequence of different positions will illustrate how you advanced. 

Example of separate entries, non-sequential

TemplateExample
Company A name, Title, Years workingBetty’s Baking Depot, Store Manager, Dec. 2019 - Present
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty
Company B name, Title, Years workingDan’s Cooking Outpost, Assistant Store Manager, Nov. 2017 - Dec. 2019
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty
Company A name, Title, Years workingBetty’s Baking Depot, Cashier, Sept. 2016 - Nov. 2017
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty
• Duty• Duty

Next Steps 

You can never be too prepared for a new career. As you are conducting your next job search, you might consider taking a projected-oriented course on how to Write a Resume offered by SUNY Online. In just five hours, you can have an eye-catching resume that lets your professional strengths shine. 

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