What To Put On A Resume: 11 Expert Tips
The optimal resume length is 1-2 pages. With such constraints in space, you need to put on your resume enough information to draw attention of your dream company. Is this even possible? Yes - provided that you know exactly which items to include on a resume and in what order.
People scanning resumes spend mere seconds reviewing each one. The statistic says that 40% of hiring manager spend less than a minute in each application. Therefore, the resume content should be relevant to the job and distinguish you from the competition.
Worries aside - the resume experts of ResumePerk.com have prepared actionable tips for you. If you include all details as suggested below, your applicaiton is sure to get noticed. And, if you want a truly powerful document, consider hiring a resume creator. Our company has dozens of experienced and certified writers who can build a custom resume based on your requirements and professional goals.
11 things to put on your resume right now
While everything looks obvious with this section, give it a second thought. If you're an international candidate, consider including a Skype ID or a messenger instead of a regular phone number. If you look for jobs in another state, it makes sense to use a local address or ditch the address whatsoever. Email should be professional - "email@example.com" can cost you an interview. If you're a senior-level professional, consider investing in a personal domain.
Persuasive resume summary or objective
Resume summary is the first thing that a recruiter sees, and it needs to 'wow' them. So, no vague self-descriptions like "Proactive problem solver and natural leader". Brag your biggest professional attainments and skills in this section. If from the first lines the recruiter discovers that you have two recognized certifications in your field, worked with big corporate clients and consistently cut expenses, they'll be eager to read the rest of the resume to learn what else you have to offer. Keep it crisp and short - no more than 4 sentences.
Well-structured Skills section
Skills is one of the most debated section, and you may hear conflicting opinions. However, our resume consultants insist that you should list skills for two reasons. Firstly, hard and soft skills can be used as keywords, and will help you pass ATS selection. And secondly, a bullet points list of skills will catch the hiring manager's eye. To serve these goals, every skill should be relevant to the job description. And, unless you're a college student, stay away from obvious skills like Microsoft Word, social media, teamwork, communication, and work ethic. On the contrary, the must-have skills include project management, language proficiency, data analysis, and software/applications.
A section with accomplishments
This isn't a mandatory section for a resume, but if you have enough impressive accomplishments under your belt, make them pop. Include on your resume 5-6 biggest accomplishments or awards using bullet points. Use figures, percentages, and numbers. Here are some good examples of accomplishments:
✔ Distributor salesperson of the year award
✔ Ran a team of 5 software developers in modifying software applications that improved user experience by 35%
✔ Initiated the development and implementation of an employee scheduling plan, improving work efficiency by 25%.
Concise employment history
Professional experience is the core of any resume, and it deserves most of your attention. Avoid listing the employment history in its entirety. Focus on 4-5 most recent jobs, and don't go back more than 15 years. No need to describe each and every responsibilitiy either: for each job, include 5-6 bullet points that are most relevant to the job description. During the initial screening, hiring managers briefly review job title and employment dates. Pick the accurate titles that reflect your responsibilities best, and use accurate dates in consistent month/year format.
Relevant education section
For many jobs, degrees are crucial. List all degrees you have (even incomplete ones) in the respective education section. You can put them in a reverse chronological order, or start with the most advanced one (PhD, then MA, etc.). Hiring managers pay attention to the name of instituion too, so listing college name and location as well. If you proceeded to a college degree, omit the high school information. Unless you're a university graduate, coursework and academic accomplishments arent the things to include, as recruiters are now more interested in your experience section.
A link to your active LinkedIn profile
70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. Why not use this trend to your advantage? Attach the link to your completed LinkedIn page that lists your hard skills, comprehensive work history, shows culture fit for the job you're applying and exposes your personality. Moreover, LinkedIn is itself a helpful tool for job search as it allows job-seekers to be found by recruiters. Many companies source talent via LinkedIn in the first place, so it makes perfect sense to make your profile searchable for them.
Volunteer work history and internships
When in doubt what to put on a resume to make it more marketable, consider unpaid work and projects. Listing volunteering not only shows your willingness to contribute to your community, but also counts as paid experience, for example, if you're a student or changing careers. Internships serve the same purpose - they prove your qualifications dream position you're trying to get. Both should be listed exactly like in work history section: with the job title outlined, bulleted list of responsibilities, and accomplishments.
Hobbies and interests relevant to the job
Personal interests, if non-trivial and relevant for the job you want, can set you apart and improve your marketability. For example, if you're a Digital Marketer, such interests as reading psychology books, non-fiction writing or coding will add value since they directly relate for your target career. Generic hobbies, such as reading, listening to music or walking are best to leave out, as they don't serve the resume objective and don't distinguish you from the similarly qualified candidates.
Powerful action verbs
Many great professionals overuse 'responsible for' and 'managed' on their resumes, which makes the resume look dull. The solution? Make sure your resume include powerful action words that emphasize your input, not downplay it. Compare the "Managed fundraising for educational initiative" and "Spearheaded fundraising efforts, increasing an average gift size by 52$ which led to successful program launch". The latter sounds more impressive, doesn't it?
Matching cover letter
Not exactly an element of the resume, a customized cover letter should be attached with each job application (unless the job ad explicitly says they don't want a letter). The letter is a great place to specify certain experiences from your career history, show your personality and motivation. Moreover, you can use it to address any shortcomings in work history (such as quitting jobs after a few months, big career gaps or dramatic change of the industry). Moreover, 45% of employers will reject a resume for not including a letter.
5 things you should avoid listing on a resume
1) Signs that you are overqualified. Are you willing to take a step down in your career because of industry slowdown or for better work-life balance? Remove any advanced degrees, high-profile responsibilities or accomplishments, focusing on more tactical and practical tasks. Tailor your resume for the role using the same language.
2) References. Once upon a time, references were included at the bottom of the resume, but now it's considered obsolete. Prepare references for a new job on a separate sheet to provide them if requested.
3) Personal information. The US resumes should be free from any instances of personal details, such as age, gender, ethnicity and religious beliefs. Any company typically rejects such resumes to avoid discriminatory claims.
4) Reasons for quitting. As a rule, explanations why you left the most recent job or position are not included. However, there are exceptions. If you were dismissed after two months only because of Covid or company shutdown, you can mention this reason to avoid being labeled as a 'job-hopper'.
5) An out-of-date objective statement. "Looking for a challenging job with a rapidly growing startup" makes no sense. Replace such objective with a summary or remove it whatsoever.
Still hesitate about what to put on a resume? Consult a resume expert
Whenever in doubt about resume content, style of writing or formatting, it's best to seek professional help. Resume writing pros of ResumePerk. com can create a custom resume which is perfectly targeted for the position. We will make your resume adatped for applicant tracking software and appealing for human recruiters. We guarantee delivery within 24 hours and unlimited edits until you are satisfied. Stop puzzling over resume writing - order an effective resume with a 20% discount today.