What Is Cognate Experience?

Cognate experience can give you a huge advantage over the competitors when you’re applying for a job, but not everyone knows what cognate experience is or how it can help them. Find out what is cognate experience and how to use it in your job search!


Choose from the best-paying jobs in Nigeria on Jiji


1. Meaning of cognate experience

The definition of cognate experience in today’s job market is simple: it’s the experience that is relevant to the specific job description. In reality it’s a very broad concept that can include not only work experience, but also professional and soft skills, as well as prior education.

The experience can be called cognate when it’s extremely close to the job description given by the employer. For example, if a company is looking for a nurse with 10 years of working in the hospital and you are a nurse who spent 12 years in the hospital, your cognate experience is a perfect fit for the job.

2. Post qualification cognate experience

In your job search you can also come across an employer mentioning post qualification cognate experience in their job description. Don’t worry, the meaning of post qualification cognate experience isn’t that different from cognate experience and there is a good chance you already have it!

Post qualification cognate experience means cognate experience you’ve acquired after your last period of study. This type of experience will often be shorter than your overall work experience, but it can be even better for your chances of landing a job, since it will demonstrate your determination to become better at your profession.

3. Cognate experience format

The most important tip for including your cognate experience into your resume is to separate the cognate experience from the work experience that is irrelevant to the job you’re applying to. For example, you can list the cognate experience under a Professional Experience title and list the rest of your past jobs under the Other Experience title.

The cognate experience section of your resume should only include jobs you’ve held in the last 15 years – anything prior to that goes into the Other Experiences. This is the format to keep to when listing your cognate experience in the resume – you’ll find it in any cognate experience samples:

PHILIP MORRIS, Lagos, Nigeria

Account executive, 2009-2018

Manage the complete sales cycle, from finding a client to signing the deal. Create comprehensive business plans to help the company reach their short-term and long-term goals. Find new clients through various means, including networking, and maintain a working relationship with existing customers. Provide after-sales support to strengthen the connection between the customer and the company.

Ready to find your dream job using cognate experience? Browse the best jobs from Nigerian and international companies on Jiji!


Improve your life with the free Jiji app

My name is Inna. I am a content writer with an English and literature background. As a mother of a 3-year old son, I love learning about children’s health and development, as well as finding new interesting toys and activities for my little one. I am also in love with all things tech and always keep my finger on the pulse of new smartphone and gadget releases. Another big passion of mine is beauty and makeup – every day I read about new trends in skin care and makeup and always look forward to trying them. Plus, I love pop culture, travelling, crafts, and anything that can make our daily life more thrilling!