About 70% of employers reject candidates even before reading their applications. Deal-breakers on the resume include errors, wrong information, or disregarding job posting instructions.
Your resume is an all-important document in a job search. The resume helps potential employers to get your details at a glance. They get to know who you’re and if your skills and experience match the position, you’re applying for.
Your job application can either be dismissed or go to the next level based on the resume. Thus, to increase your chances of job acceptance, you need always to keep an updated resume.
Every resume is unique in terms of education, professionalism, and position. However, there are various sections that every resume should have. Keep reading to learn 9 things you should include in your updated resume.
A great resume should have your name and contact information on top. While your phone number and street address are optional, it’s good to include them. But if you’re applying for jobs in another country, you can leave your address off.
When writing your contact information, ensure simplicity and clarity. Avoid using different fonts, colors, and sizes as they distract the interviewer. The recruiter might overlook the resume if you add too many distractions at the top.
The following are resume features to include in your contact information.
Apart from the contact information, including your websites or social media handles links. Here are relevant social media handles you can put on your resume.
LinkedIn: ensure your LinkedIn profile is updated before including it
Twitter: Your Twitter profile can be relevant if you’re applying for a sales or marketing job
StackOverflow: it’s relevant for developers, coders, and computer scientists
Medium: only for bloggers, writers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs
Ensure to include social media handles that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Avoid adding your photograph when rounding off your contact information. It might increase the chances of the interviewer being biased during the interview. Also, don’t include personal details like your marital status and birthday.
In most cases, this section comes after your name and contact information. It contains a summary of your skills, experience, qualifications, and achievements.
On average, it takes a recruiter about six seconds to go through a resume and decide whether to discard it or not. So, ensure to be brief and precise when writing your summary to avoid being wordy. It should contain two or three sentences to create a good first impression.
Your resume summary should contain the following information:
Also, you can include your job title in the resume summary. It helps to show the recruiter that you’ve got relevant experience in the field.
Nowadays, experts recommend writing a resume summary instead of an objective statement. Recruiters already know your goal is getting a nice job in a company that utilizes your skill-set.
So, you don’t have to lengthen your CV by including things that employers already know.
Employment history is also among the core sections of your CV. It’s a section where you list your experience, roles, and achievements in the previous jobs. So, it would be best if you wrote it properly, showcasing your outstanding work experience.
Here are the things to include in your employment history to make it stand out.
Job title: add a professional title, so the employers can know what your role was
Company details: add the company’s name, location, and a short description of what it does
Employment dates: include the period you worked for the company; year, and month
Core duties: add 4-6 bullet points showing the roles you performed in the company
Once the recruiter knows about your roles at the company, they’d want to know how you performed. They’d want to see the impact you brought to the company.
So, include your achievements to show the employer what you’ll bring to the table. Back them up with percentages and numbers to show you’d be an asset to the company.
If you’ve just graduated, you can include internships on your resume. Internships might be the only relevant experience you have at that time. But after working for some years, you should remove them from your CV.
When writing your employment history, follow reverse chronological order. That means you start by writing your most recent work.
Also, write this section within the top half of your resume’s first page. This makes the section visible and easily accessible.
Highlighting your skills in a resume is also very important. It helps recruiters to see if you’re a perfect fit for the position or not.
However, recruiters don’t want to see an endless list of all your skills. They want you to mention skills that match the position you’re applying for.
Listing your skills isn’t enough; show how you recently used them. Most recruiters check how your skills impacted your performance in recent jobs.
When writing your skills section, you can write them in categories. These categories include;
• hard skills or technical skills: these are the skills you acquire from work or I’m a college
• soft skills: these are your personal attributes like leadership skills
• universal skills: refers to skills that fit in most career fields
Experts recommend putting your soft skills in a cover letter and not in a CV. In the cover letter, you’ll have enough space to explain more about these skills. In a resume, recruiters focus mainly on hard skills and skills relevant to the job needs.
There’s no specific number of skills you should put in your CV. This depends on the period you’ve been working and the career field you’re in.
Go through the job description first to develop an outstanding skills section.
In this section, you describe your education in reverse chronological order. So, your most recent academic qualification starts on top.
Here’s the information you should add to this section.
Also, you can mention your GPA if it’s above 3.5. If it’s below that, it might not be impressive, so leave it off.
If you have a degree, don’t mention your high school diploma. Most recruiters won’t be interested in that, so it’ll take up unnecessary space.
If you’ve got any awards or certifications relevant to your career, put them on your resume. Add things like Java certification if you’re a software developer. And if you’re a digital marketer, add Google analytics and AdWords certifications, if any.
When writing this section, don’t limit yourself to the awards and achievements only. You can include other things that can offer more insight into your capabilities. Some of the things you can add include;
Things like this can make your resume stand out and land you your dream job.
But you don’t always have to create a separate section for your awards. Include it in the education section if you’ve got an academic award. And if you got an award from the previous job, include it in the employment history.
When winding up your resume, include the references section. References are the people whose details you give to the recruiters to vouch for your skills.
When writing your references, be careful about who you include in the list. Your recruiters will call or email them to collect more information about you.
Some of the possible references to add to your CV include:
Include at least two references in your resume. Provide their position, name, and contact information.
Adding testimonials to your resume is optional but helps create a positive impression. They allow employers to prove that you’ve got the skills and expertise you stated.
Not all testimonials are necessary for a resume. A relevant testimonial has the following qualities.
• comes from a respected source
• shares specifics about your work or value
• reiterates strengths related to the job or position you’re applying for
• it’s short and concise
• supports you
Add one or two testimonials to your CV. If you’re not sure of the testimonials to use, use the services of a professional resume writer.
Today, recruiters use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to identify phrases in a resume. So, if you don’t have those words in your CV, it might be disregarded.
Keywords can be things like job requirements and skills. However, this depends on the job you’re searching for.
Go through the job description and identify the keywords used. Then, use them throughout the resume to ensure the ATS flags it to employers.
Upgrading your resume is crucial as most of its features keep changing. But you should know what to include in the new resume to make it outstanding.
Above are key things you should include in an updated resume.
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