You want to make clear that you are well suited for a particular job. But is the phrase extensive experience too worn out to include in your resume?
We’ll discuss the appropriateness of this phrase below. Moreover, we’ll show you how to say you have a lot of experience with 10 great alternative words and phrases.
Is “Extensive Experience” a Good Resume Phrase?
Extensive experience is a popular resume phrase. It uses professional phrasing to explain that you have training or years of practical knowledge in a particular field.
Thus, you can use it in a CV or cover letter when you are applying for a new job that relates to an industry in which you have prior experience.
Let’s look at two samples showing how you can use this phrase in your resume or cover letter:
Having extensive experience in the field of environmental law, I have decided to pursue a more hands-on role in environmental sustainability.
I have extensive experience in project management and consultancy.
Next, we’ll look at a grammatical variation of this phrase:
Variation: Using the preposition “with” instead of “in”
- Correct: I have extensive experience in data analytics.
- Correct: I have extensive experience with AI tools.
We generally follow extensive experience with “in.” However, you can follow this phrase with “with” if you are referring to the experience you’ve gained using certain tools or engaging with a certain clientele.
Finally, to avoid any embarrassing grammar mistakes, let’s look at a common error people make when employing this phrase:
Mistake: Saying intensive instead of extensive
- Incorrect: I have intensive experience in marketing.
- Correct: I have extensive experience in marketing.
“Intensive” refers to something being high pressure. Therefore, this is a malapropism of “extensive,” which refers to having a broad range of experience with something. It will look a tad absurd in a resume.
So, we know that extensive experience is an appropriate phrase for a resume. However, the high quality of this phrase has made it rather standardized and overused in practice.
To come across as more unique in your job applications, you can use one of the alternative phrases we’ve compiled below.
10 Synonyms for “Extensive Experience” on Your Resume
Have a look at our list of 10 great phrases that you can use to talk about your work experience:
- Considerable experience
- Highly experienced
- Longstanding career
- Comprehensive knowledge
- Specialist knowledge
- Well-established vocation
1. Considerable Experience
Another word for “extensive” is “considerable.” Therefore, you can replace the common phrase extensive experience with considerable experience to do away with the most common buzzword in this phrase.
Like the original phrase, considerable experience means having a notable amount of knowledge or a long background in a particular industry.
It is formal and professional enough to include in a cover letter, regardless of the job you are applying for.
Therefore, let’s see an example making use of this phrase:
I have considerable experience in customer service, as evidenced by my previous employment at [Business/Company Name].
2. Highly Experienced
The phrase highly experienced is a great descriptive phrase that you can include in your personal profile (this is generally the “about me” section in your CV).
Some of the other alternatives on our list refer to the experience you have in your given field. However, this is a better phrase to use if you want to make it clear that you are an experienced professional with years of work, training, and knowledge under your belt.
In short, this is a good option if you are applying for a more senior role at an organization and want to emphasize your expertise in your given area.
I am a passionate and highly experienced cinematographer with a successful background in film production.
3. Longstanding Career
A different way to show that you have plenty of experience in your field is to talk about your longstanding career in your cover letter or resume.
This is a great way to illustrate your extensive experience without using the original phrase directly. Moreover, it maintains a suitably formal and professional tone for a variety of types of jobs and industries.
Let’s see this phrase in a sample resume snippet:
I have enjoyed a longstanding career as a book editor, and I have decided to try my hand at ghostwriting as a means to broaden my skill set and engage with my clients’ content more creatively.
You can describe yourself as competent in a given role or using certain tools if you have fewer years of experience but practical knowledge from your studies, nevertheless.
There’s nothing wrong with being new to the working world! So, if the phrase extensive experience doesn’t quite fit, there are many other great phrases that you can use in your resume to talk up your skills.
Have a look at how we’ve used this alternative in a couple of examples:
I am a competent bookkeeper as a result of my studies at [School/College/University].
I am competent in Microsoft’s productivity software, including Excel and PowerPoint.
5. Comprehensive Knowledge
Another phrase you can use if your experience is more theoretical than practical is comprehensive knowledge.
If you’re a recent graduate, your head is probably full of excellent knowledge that’s ready to be put into practice. This is great for employers to know and is a huge mitigating factor if you lack work experience in your chosen field.
See the example below:
I have a comprehensive knowledge of Constitutional Law and US civil procedure. Thus, I would be keen to gain more practical experience through this training.
Another synonym for extensive experience is expertise. After all, in order to become an expert, you need a combination of training, knowledge, and years of experience in your chosen profession.
Therefore, talking about your expertise implies that you have both relevant experience and a refined understanding of your industry. Thus, you can add value to whatever organization you are applying to.
Check out this example:
Over the past five years, I have made use of my expertise in training and consultancy to redesign the business models of three prolific companies.
Calling yourself proficient is another way to illustrate that you have extensive experience without saying so directly.
This makes it a great professional synonym since employers would often prefer to hear what skills you have gained through your experience rather than being told how experienced you are.
After all, becoming proficient in anything takes a great deal of time and practice. Therefore, this term is sure to impress a prospective employer without being too vague.
I am proficient at using several kinds of graphic design software and was responsible for the recent brand redesign by [Company Name].
8. Specialist Knowledge
Specialist knowledge is a great formal synonym for extensive experience. Therefore, you can use this phrase if you are applying for a high-level position within your industry.
Essentially, specialist knowledge means you have a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge in a specific discipline.
Obtaining this knowledge takes many years, so the years of experience are implied when you use this phrase in your application.
Have a look at the example below:
In 2020, I used my specialist knowledge in machine learning to develop an AI-based phone application, which has now been downloaded by over 700 000 users.
9. Well-Established Vocation
Another way to say extensive experience on your resume is a well-established vocation. A “vocation” means your main area of employment or occupation. However, it also hints towards your inherent suitability for your career of choice.
In other words, you can talk about your “vocation” if you have always felt particularly drawn to a given field. This will show prospective employers that you are devoted and highly interested in your specific industry. Always a good sign!
Let’s see a snippet from a sample cover letter that includes this phrase:
For over 20 years, I have enjoyed a well-established vocation as an ICU nurse.
Another single-word alternative that you can use to exhibit your skills and knowledge in respect of your chosen profession is the word adept.
To be adept at something means that you are highly skilled, often to an expert level. Therefore, calling yourself adept at anything will imply that you have a number of years of experience and a combination of both theoretical and practical knowledge.
However, adept can also be used to refer to a natural ability that you have. This is great to mention if you are new to the working world and want to set out your natural skills.
Therefore, let’s see this term in our final example:
I am adept at public speaking. Therefore, I am confident that I would thrive in a litigation role.