How to Create an Experience Map for Your Career Development

How to Create an Experience Map for Your Career Development

Knowing your life experience is essential as it serves as a visual guide for your career. It helps you get an overview of the growth of your skills and the direction of your goals. But, it's hard to see the trajectory of your life and work if you don't first take the time to review it. A way to help you gain perspective on your career is to create an experience map.

If you've asked, "What is an experience map?" this article will guide you on what it is and how to create an experience map of your own.

What is an Experience Map?

An experience map will allow you to access all the information you need to build a strong resume and reframe the story you tell recruiters. When you ask, "What is an experience map?" you can think of it as your CV, where you plot your experiences, certifications, and milestones along with a timeline or spreadsheet on a roll of graph paper.

Learning what an experience map is and how to create an experience map will guide you on your job search.

How to Create an Experience Map

Creating an experience map can take a few days to finish, so it's best to take your time.

  1. Use one roll of paper

    Creating an experience map on one roll of graph paper provides you with a convenient view of your life so far. When your past is laid out on an experience map, it's easier to spot patterns in your life's journey.

  2. Prepare to layout your experiences in work

    When you ask, "How to create an experience map," it'll involve laying out important bits of information, such as your:

    • Jobs
    • Titles
    • Education
    • Key classes
    • Milestones
    • Personal stories
    • Addresses
    • References
  3. Highlight the milestones in your life

    While an experience map is a guide in creating your resume, it shouldn't just contain professional details. An experience map can also touch your personal milestones. These can include the time you bought your first apartment or started a hobby you're now passionate about.

    Did moving to the city boost your resourcefulness? Did you gain coding skills from designing your personal blog? A well-rounded life experience timeline can give a better overview of when you've adapted certain skills.

  4. Nail down the details

    When people wonder, "What is an experience map?" they often think of a simple line from point A to point B. While that may be true, the strength of how to create an experience map is in the details. Part of learning how to create an experience map is adding personal stories you can share during the interview and sources for character references.

  5. Let it stew

    When you're learning how to create an experience map, memories may flood your mind—or not. The key to an experience map is to take your time with it. When you let your experience map sit while creating it, you'll slowly remember things that didn't cross your mind before, such as names of people or milestones you've glossed over.

  6. Review it the next day

    Those that ask, "What is an experience map?" don't realize that it can take some time to finish creating an experience map they're proud of. Knowing how to create an experience map means you won't complete it in a day. You should also sleep on it and approach it the next day with fresh eyes.

Follow the Map to Your Next Opportunity

Developing your career is challenging if you aren't sure where you're going. Learning what an experience map is and how to create an experience map is a great way to take a step back and see what kind of story you're telling yourself and recruiters. After tracing your past experiences on an experience map, visit to find where you can take your life next.

Written by Career Specialist Jun 19, 2023
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