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7 Key Elements Every Resume Needs

7 Key Elements Every Resume Needs

Having a well-crafted resume is essential to landing your dream job. Your resume tells your future employer exactly why they should hire you, so take this time to let your skills shine! What exactly should be included on your resume is very dependent on the job you’re applying for. However, there are a few crucial things to include regardless of the industry or seniority of the role. 

7 Key Elements Every Resume Needs

Contact Info at the Forefront

You would be surprised at the number of people who leave the most important thing off their resume—their name and contact information. How can your future employer give you the great news that you scored an interview if they don’t know your name and how to contact you? This should be front and center of your resume, making them remember your name! 

Education & Experience

Your education and experience demonstrate to a hiring manager that you’re a good match for the job! Your focus in these areas obviously depends on the job. The education section should be short and sweet. Include the school where you received your degree, the dates of attendance, and other details if they apply to your job (i.e. certifications, honors, GPA, relevant coursework). Moving on to experience, this section is often the most important part of a resume. Make sure you place the most relevant and important experiences at the top. Highlight your strong suits with impactful numbers, measurable career achievements, and varying experience with different companies. 

A Hint of Soft Skills & Technical Skills 

Highlight your soft skills and technical skills in your experience section of your resume. Soft skills are becoming more and more important, so show off examples of your leadership, communication, and adaptability in your career experience. Depending on the job, technical skills are needed just as much as soft skills. Illustrate your technical skills through things that you have accomplished and what sets you apart from others. 

Active Verbs

Replace passive verbs with active verbs in your resume if you want to stand out. Using active verbs displays your career accomplishments more effectively. Some examples of active verbs to include are: directed, generated, influenced, managed, and implemented.

Exceptional Formatting

Formatting is everything when it comes to your resume. If the format is too creative, it can distract hiring managers from your qualifications and experience! Having a resume that is clean, clear, and organized will always be the most successful. 

Perfect Spelling

Some hiring managers consider just a single typo on a resume an automatic veto and trash the resume right then and there. And most perceive any misspellings or grammatical errors as a sign of poor attention to detail and a lack of care. Make sure you proofread your resume multiple times and maybe even have someone else look over it with fresh eyes. 

Awards, Achievements, & Certifications

Displaying your awards or certifications is very dependent on if they relate to the job you’re applying to. If you don’t have anything relevant, don’t be afraid to skip it! This section is optional, but it can definitely be a space to impress with the right qualifications.

And Lastly, Avoid Resume Clichés!

Exaggerating your skills is a cliché that will come back to bite you in the butt. Although you want to show off what you’ve got, overselling yourself does not help in the long run. Another cliché would be including irrelevant skills to the job. Employers will just look past this and it just fills up crucial resume space.

Include all these resume essentials, but also remember to customize your resume for every job. Read the job description and find a way to tailor your skills and experiences to more closely match the job description. 

resume objective, resume summary, resume

Should You Include A Resume Summary Or Objective

resume objective, resume summary, resume

A highly contested topic in the world of recruiting and hiring is the use of an objective or summary on a resume. Should you include one with your job application or not? First of all, let’s breakdown what a resume summary is. Essentially, it’s an “elevator pitch” at the top of your resume. Consider it a place to highlight your most relevant experiences and skills to quickly prove value. Now, let’s consider the pros and cons of including one or not.

When you should forgo a summary statement or objective

In most cases, you should leave the summary statement or objective off of your resume. The primary reason being that it takes up valuable space! The first section of your resume is prime real estate, and you don’t want to fill it with unnecessary reiterations of your resume. In many cases, it can detract from what is most important. If your objective is too general or doesn’t include a clear call to action, it will distract from your qualified experience and skills.

When you should use a summary statement or objective

There are a few limited situations in which a resume objective or summary is necessary. One instance is if you are a seasoned professional with quite a few years of experience. If this is the case, a summary can be great for tying together multiple roles with a common theme.

Another instance in which you’d want to use an objective would be if you have a varied background. For example, if you’ve had jobs in multiple industries utilizing a wide variety of skill sets, a summary or objective can provide clarity about the direction you’d like to take your career. You can maximize this space by focusing solely on your work history.

How to write a great summary statement or objective

The key here is to keep it simple and straight to the point! Be as specific as possible and clearly state your goals and how they relate to the position to which you are applying. Here is a great example:

“Objective: To utilize my 15+ years of experience in Mechanical Engineering, along with my passion for Project Management in a leadership role at a growing industrial company committed to sustainability.”

And as always, keep in mind that your resume is your own. Focus on what works for your experience and future career goals!

Tailor your Resume

Resume: How to Tailor Your Resume to Each Job

Tailor your Resume

When it comes to writing a resume, it can sometimes feel cumbersome but, it gives every person we hand it to a first impression of who we are as a future employee. A resume is not something you want to rush to do; it’s certainly not something that is cookie cutter and can be done once and used forever. In this blog, I’ll discuss how to tailor your resume for every job you apply to, so you not only get in for an interview but hopefully get the job as well.

Be Specific

When you tailor a resume for the specific job you’re applying for, it’s imperative to ensure that you’re specific in what you’re looking for. Whether that is calling out the name of the position you want in your resume objective or why you’re the perfect fit, this will make your resume stand out. Again, it shows them that you’ve specifically created this resume just for this position and illustrates your interest. Being specific is the one sure way to tailor your resume and help you get the job.

Use Keywords from the job description

Any job description is your best friend when it comes to making a resume specific. Every job description has the keywords and skills they are looking for in a great candidate. So, if you have what they’re looking for and you use those words and skills in your resume, you can almost guarantee you will get through an ATS system and land on a hiring manager’s desk. Which let’s be honest, that’s the biggest hurdle when applying for positions you want.

Tailor your work history

When you’ve decided to apply for a new job, your work history is everything. It can get your foot in the door or illustrate that you may not have enough experience. So, to ensure you show the correct experience, make sure to tailor your work history to the job you’re applying for. The way to do this is by only adding relevant positions that pertain to the experience they want you to have. Pointing out how your jobs are connected and how it makes you a perfect fit for this new position will be a big win on your resume.

If you’re well into your career, you no longer need to add that pizza delivery postion you had for a summer during college. Only include positions that are relevant to the job you’re applyif for if you truly want to stand out.

Quantify your achievements

You want to include your achievements on your resume. However, it’s important to only include achievements that are essential to the position. These accomplishments should support your experience and match up well with the job description. And you need to ensure to quantify these skills. Putting how many of these projects you completed or how much money you saved your department makes your achievements stand out to hiring managers.

Design

Simple designs on resumes make it easy to read. It’s good to be creative and maybe adding some color can make it pop. But doing your best to not make it “too much” is necessary. You must remember that a resume should be easy to skim through and find your experience and skills quickly. This way, hiring managers don’t lose interest or get lost reading your resume.

Tailoring your resume for the specific job you’re applying for is critical to you successfully landing a job interview. Good luck and happy hunting!