One of the fundamental elements to your job search is your resume – a document summarizing your skills, education, and work experience for potential employers.
Your resume is often a hiring manager’s first impression of you. This is the first thing potential employers will look at when considering candidates for a job, so it’s important to make sure your resume is well-written, comprehensive, and includes the right information to help you stand out from the hiring pool.
Unlike an interview, your resume is a controlled opportunity to put your best foot forward, without the added pressure of interview anxiety or time constraints. By investing sufficient time in curating your resume early on, you can tailor your resume to specific positions and focus your attention on other aspects of your job search, like applications and interviewing.
To increase your chances of qualifying for the interview stage, certain topics should always be included in your resume, while others should be avoided. Let’s take a closer look!
What to include in your resume:
- Your contact information, including your name, address, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL. For some industries, websites or portfolios are appropriate to include in your resume.
- Your education, including the name of the schools you’ve attended, the degree you earned, and relevant coursework (optional).
- Your work experience, including the name of each company you’ve worked for, your job title, location, dates, and a bullet-point list of your accomplishments and responsibilities. This section can include any type of relevant experience: paid or unpaid, internships, volunteer, or leadership.
- Any relevant skills or certifications, such as technical abilities, professional certifications, or industry-specific skills.
- Any relevant awards, such as Dean’s list, scholarship, or department distinction.
· Tailored information based on the position you’re applying to.
What to avoid in your resume:
- Errors or typos. Always proofread your resume carefully or use free proofreading software to make sure your document is free of grammatical and spelling mistakes.
- Personal information, including age, gender, ethnicity, or marital status.
- Photos. Unless you’re applying for an acting or modeling job, do not include any images in your resume.
- Irrelevant work experience. For example: jobs you held in high school or positions that aren’t related to the role you’re applying for.
- References, unless specifically requested. Instead, you can list your references on a separate page that you can provide upon request.
- Unprofessional communication channels, such as “email@example.com” or social media accounts.
- Hobbies or interests that aren’t relevant to the job.
- Exaggerated or false experience and qualifications.
Overall, a well-written resume is an invaluable tool for job seekers. To maximize the weight of your resume, positioning the right information can give potential employers a sense of what you’ve accomplished and how you can be an asset in the position you’re applying for. By following these guidelines, you can curate a resume that will help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting the job you want.