Getting a job interview is always a race against time as one tends to compete with other applicants for the same dream position. So, what can you do to emerge as a better candidate for these positions?
In today's competitive job market, having a well-crafted resume is essential as it helps you stand out while equally making a lasting impression on potential employers. Your resume is a snapshot of your skills, qualifications and experience. Therefore, it’s crucial to include elements that highlight your strengths and increase your chances of landing your dream job.
Moreover, if you’re considering a new step in your career, your resume is probably high on your mind. But how do you differentiate yourself apart from other candidates? Without the proper guidance you might find this to be a difficult task.
Fear not! This article will provide valuable insights and guidance on what to include in a resume to showcase your qualifications in the best possible light. Below are some of the things to consider adding to a resume.
Formatting and Structure
Before moving toward the answer of what to include in a resume, let’s explore some key points that are essential for resume structure:
1. Choose the Right Resume Format
The first step in creating a compelling resume is selecting the appropriate format. The three most common resume formats are chronological, functional, and combination. The chronological format is ideal for showcasing a strong work history, while the functional format emphasises on skills and accomplishments. The combination format combines elements of both the Chronological and functional format.
2. Start with a Clear and Concise Header
Your resume header should feature your full name, contact information and professional email address. Make sure to include your phone number and LinkedIn profile link if applicable.
3. Craft an Engaging Summary or Objective Statement
A well-crafted summary or objective statement can capture the attention of hiring managers and provide a concise overview of your qualifications. Tailor this section to highlight your relevant skills, experiences and career goals.
Essential Resume Sections
When recruiters and hiring managers review resumes, they often spend only a few seconds scanning each one. Therefore, making a positive impression right from the start is crucial. A well-organised and concise resume can effectively communicate your qualifications and catch the attention of employers. Here we’ve mentioned a few must-have things to include in a resume:
1. Contact Information
Include your full name, phone number, professional email address and LinkedIn profile link at the top of your resume.
2. Professional Summary or Objective
This section should briefly overview your qualifications, skills and career objectives. Tailor your summary or objective statement to align with the specific job you are applying for.
3. Work Experience
List your professional experience chronologically, starting with your most recent position. Include the company name, job title, dates of employment and a concise description of your responsibilities and accomplishments.
Include your educational background, starting with your highest degree. Mention the institution's name, degree obtained, major or study area and graduation year. If you have relevant certifications, licences, or additional training, include them in this section.
Highlight your essential skills and areas of expertise relevant to the job you are applying for. Use bullet points to make this section easy to read and scan. Include hard skills and soft skills.
6. Achievements and Awards
If you have received any notable achievements or awards throughout your academic or professional career, include them in this section. These accomplishments help demonstrate your strengths and add credibility to your qualifications.
7. Additional Sections (Optional)
Depending on your industry and the specific job you are applying for, you may include additional sections such as professional affiliations, publications, volunteer experience, or relevant projects. Only mention those sections that enhance your candidacy and support your career goals.
Now that you have gained some keen knowledge of what to include in a resume. Let’s move on to the next section. This section will serve as a guide to help you avoid mistakes while crafting a professional resume.
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Things To Not Include in a Resume?
When creating an effective resume, knowing what to include is very crucial. Equally as important is understanding what not to include. To help you avoid common pitfalls, we have compiled a comprehensive list of what not to include in a resume.Now,
Let's dive into some of the common mistakes we make when trying to create an outstanding resume.
1. Irrelevant Personal Information
Your resume should focus primarily on your professional qualifications and experiences. Including irrelevant personal information such as your height, weight, marital status or religious beliefs is unnecessary and can detract from the overall professionalism of your application.
2. Unprofessional Email Address
Using an unprofessional email address like "firstname.lastname@example.org" can leave a negative impression on potential employers. Creating a separate email account with a simple and professional address, such as email@example.com, is best to ensure a more polished presentation.
3. High School Information
Once you have gained professional experience, including information about your high school education is no longer necessary. Instead, highlight your college degree, certifications and relevant work experience. This helps to keep your resume concise and focused on the most recent accomplishments.
4. Unprofessional Fonts
Stick to professional and widely accepted fonts such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Avoid using overly decorative or hard-to-read fonts that can distract or confuse the reader.
5. Excessive Jargon and Technical Terms
While showcasing your industry knowledge is essential, excessive jargon and technical terms can alienate non-specialist readers. Aim for clarity and ensure your accomplishments are easily understandable to a broader audience.
6. Unexplained Employment Gaps
If you have gaps in your employment history, addressing them tactfully is essential. Finding gaps can raise red flags for potential employers. Briefly explain any gaps, highlighting any relevant activities or accomplishments during that time.
Including a references section in your resume needs to be updated. It is generally understood that references will be provided upon request. Save space and remove this section from your resume.
Landing a job requires skills regarding what to include in a resume and what not to. You can create an outstanding resume by following the key elements and best practices outlined in this article. Also, avoiding the above mentioned pitfalls while highlighting your qualifications and experiences is a great way to differentiate yourself from other job seekers.
Always tailor your resume for each application to fit the job description, focus on showcasing your relevant qualifications and also remember to present your information clearly and in an organised manner. With a well-crafted resume, you can confidently take the next step towards your professional goals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What to Include in a Resume Cover Letter?
A resume cover letter should include key elements such as your Contact information, Salutation, Introduction, Body Paragraphs, Closing, and Signatures. Remember to keep your cover letter concise, typically one page at maximum.
How Long Should My Resume Be?
A resume should be one to two pages long. However, if you have extensive experience, it's acceptable to have a slightly longer resume. Focus on keeping the content concise, relevant and easy to read.
Should I Include a Photograph on My Resume?
In most cases, avoiding to include a photograph in your resume is best, as it can increase the potential for bias. Focus on showcasing your qualifications and skills rather than your appearance.