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. 

Perfecting The One-Page Resume

Perfecting The One-Page Resume

You may have heard that it’s ideal to keep your resume under one page. And while that’s not always the case, it is a good rule of thumb for a lot of candidates! In fact, 66% of employers say entry-level workers should have one-page resumes, while 77% of employers say seasoned workers shouldn’t use one-page resumes. If you fall into the first category or somewhere in between, it’s worth a shot to keep your work history on one page.

So, let’s say you’re putting together your application and your resume is just over a page. You may have only a couple of lines spilling over onto the next page, or maybe even a whole section. Before you go panicking, here are a couple of tips that can easily make all of your experience and accomplishments fit on a single page.

Tailor Your Resume

It should first be noted that you should be tailoring your resume no matter how long it is! Take a look at the job description and consider the company. Then, leave only your most relevant skills and accomplishments highlighted. Keep an eye out for specific keywords you can incorporate (it just may help fast-track your resume to the “yes” pile!)

Cut Out Unnecessary Sections

There’s still some debate on whether a summary or objective is necessary to include on your resume. It depends on several things, including industry, experience level, and the specific job. If you find yourself in the category of not needing one, cutting it will save you some valuable space! Additionally, you should not include references or even “references available upon request.” Lastly, unless you are fresh out of school, feel free to remove relevant coursework, your GPA, or any other academic achievements. For the most part, employers will focus on your work experience and skills! (And you can always elaborate in a cover letter!)

Check Your Formatting

You would be surprised at how much space a few minor formatting changes can add! Here are a few things to check:

  • Margins

Your margins should be narrow, meaning 0.5” all around. (We wouldn’t recommend going any less than that in case of printing issues)

  • Font

Please note, we are not encouraging you to make your font teeny-tiny in order to cram everything on one page. You can maybe get away with a 10 pt. body font, but we want you to check out those headings! Sometimes heading fonts can be as large as 24 pt., so you can get away with significantly reducing those to save some space.

  • Layout

If you’re reasonably familiar with manipulating documents, try a different layout than the more traditional setup. Multiple columns or added text boxes can fill what would otherwise be wasted white space.

Keep in mind, your resume might not fit on one page (and that’s okay!) However, when it comes to job applications, the simpler the better. Looking for more resume tips? Check out the rest of our blog!

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!


The Best Way to Structure Your Resume


You, like many other candidates, have tons of great experiences, accomplishments, and skills that you want to highlight on your resume. However, there is often confusion regarding the order in which you should display all of these details. If you’re one of many candidates taking advantage of this tight labor market, here is the ultimate guide on how to structure your resume.

Contact information

First of all, you must include your contact information at the very top of your resume. Be sure to include your name, phone number, email address, and maybe even the link to your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters and hiring managers look at dozens of resumes each day. You want to ensure they can quickly identify you and find all your necessary contact details!

Resume objective/summary

If you feel so inclined to include a resume objective, this is where you should put one. Keep your objective or summary brief and to the point. An objective should illustrate what you wish to accomplish as a professional applying for the position. And if you include a summary, provide an overall summary of why you’re a strong candidate for this position. However, don’t get lost in the weeds! The rest of your resume should point out why you’re a great fit for the position.

Work Experience

Now, this is where the bulk of your resume’s content will be. You will want to display your work experience in reverse chronological order. In other words, you want to go in descending order, starting with your most current work experience. Some people argue that you should list your most relevant experience first. However, that can confuse a recruiter or hiring manager and make your work history look like a jumbled mess. Instead, list your work experience starting with your current position and only include details that are relevant for the job. That way, there is no confusion about your job history, and it will be evident to the reader that you are qualified for the job.


Now that you have all of your work history and accomplishments nicely displayed, your education goes next. Include the school you attended as well as the degree or certification you received. Don’t include your GPA unless you’re right out of school. Employers are more concerned with your work experience and degree than your grades.


After your education, list any certifications you have achieved. Whether it’s an SPHR or a Lean Six Sigma certification, this is where you’ll want to place those. All you need to include is a list of any certifications you’ve earned and the date you achieved them.

List of skills

Finally, you want to include a list of skills at the very end of your resume. This is optional, but we would highly recommend adding a concise list of your top hard and soft skills. The key here is to add skills that help you stand out as a great applicant for the position. With almost every employer or recruiting firm utilizing an applicant tracking system, it’s imperative that your skills are transparent.

Your resume is ultimately yours

Overall, this is an excellent guide for those looking to restructure their resume. Ultimately, your resume is your professional summary of your experience as an applicant. So you are, of course, free to create your resume as you please. However, if you follow the guidelines above, you will help position yourself as a professional applicant!

If you are looking for more resume advice, check out our list of resume recourses!

Why You Need To Customize Your Resume To Every Job

We can all agree that putting together a resume isn’t one of our favorite ways to spend our free time. Which makes the thought of creating a different version of your resume for every single job you apply to just a tad intimidating. If you’re actively on the market for a new position, it’s downright overwhelming. However, the key to landing your next job and advancing your career lies in a well thought-out and tailored resume.

Employers Are Looking For Specific Keywords

Many employers still use an ATS system to filter candidates. When they’re sifting through hundreds of resumes, it is the fastest way for them to identify those who are qualified. (Other than working with a recruiter, of course!) Knowing this, check out the job description and pick out keywords that match your qualifications. Be sure to highlight and feature those throughout your resume. This will push you right through the ATS system and onto the next round.

Titles Are Ambiguous

Just because two roles might have the same title doesn’t mean the duties and necessary skills will be the exact same. Job descriptions and duties can vary drastically depending on the industry, company, and seniority of the position. While you’re going through the job description looking for keywords, pay close attention to the subtleties of how this position may be different or similar to roles you’ve had in the past. Pull out experiences, quantified achievements, and skills that you’ve accumulated over the years that pertain to each specific listing.

Varied Skillsets Offer Unique Value

Just because your past experiences don’t exactly match the job description you’re applying to, doesn’t mean you should take them off your resume completely. Think about each role that you’ve held. Paint a picture of all the different skill sets that you have gained over the years and how they might pertain to this specific application. Many employers value a variety of past experiences and the depth of knowledge that brings to a team.

The couple extra minutes you put into your resume for each position will pay some serious dividends when it comes to securing that offer. Think of it as a precursor to the dedication you will put into the job once you’re hired!

under one page resume

Does Your Resume Have to Be Under One Page?

resume under one page

It’s simply not possible to fit all my experience on one page!

The rule of one-page resumes has been dead for a while. The best candidates stick to two pages as strong candidates know how to present their background and accomplishments concisely, drilling down their experience down to what matters most.

Now that every organization utilizes Application Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan and review resumes, it’s unnecessary to trim down your resume to one page. ATS analyze your resume to ensure they are relevant to the position. No hiring manager will see a resume without it being filtered through an ATS. And guess what? There are no features that weed out resumes over one page, so don’t be skeptical to go over a single page.

You don’t need every single detail

As you grow in your career, you will find that working experiences and skill sets on your resume that were once relevant, aren’t anymore. If you have been in your career for a few years, then it is unnecessary to list every single duty or responsibility you’ve had.

Also, there is no reason for your resume to go into detail about things you did 15 – 20 years ago.

Be strategic with keywords keeping it concise and quantifying your achievements. Your resume should be a high-level overview of your accomplishments and qualifications.

Here are a few tips for crafting a concise, yet effective resume:

  • Bring the most relevant information to the forefront, creating a strong impact on the top half of the first page
  • Use short sentences
  • Brief lists with bullet points
  • Use good organizational strategies
  • Quantify your achievements. If you increased productivity by 30 percent, highlight how you did so with a statement


Also, use the same font (readable type) no smaller than 10.5. All resumes beyond one page should be numbered, and don’t forget to include your name and contact information at the top!

The simpler the format  is, the easier it is for an ATS to scan it. If an ATS struggles to scan your resume, it will probably never reach the desk of the hiring manager.

5 things you must do before applying for jobs

5 Things You Must Do Before You Start Applying For Jobs

5 things you must do before applying for jobs

So, you’re ready to put yourself out there. You’ve decided that you are fed up with your current employment situation and you start looking for greener pastures. But WAIT – before you get too deep into your job search, there are a few things you should do first to ensure a painless and successful process that will end with you landing your dream job.

Decide What You REALLY Want

Before you start applying for jobs, it’s helpful to understand what your future goals are. What do you want out of your next position… an opportunity for growth? Something challenging that pushes your limits? Whatever it is that you want, narrowing it down before you submit applications will help guide you to apply for the right positions.

Update Your Resume

I know, I know, updating your resume is the worst! But it is so much easier to do this before you start searching for jobs. That way, when an exciting opportunity comes along, you can make a couple final tweaks to fit that specific position and submit it within a matter of hours. Pro tip: if your qualifications allow you to apply within a couple different specialty areas, create multiple resume templates.

Create a Cover Letter Template

Cover letters should always be customized to the position you are applying for, no exception. However, it’s helpful to develop a template with a general outline that you can follow every time you need to craft a cover letter. And remember, even if the job description says a cover letter is optional, submit one anyway! It may just be the one thing that sets you apart from your competition. (For more cover letter tips, check out “How To Write A Killer Cover Letter.”)

Put Together a Portfolio

This may or may not be relevant for all careers. If your previous positions or volunteer work has been at all visual, you’ll want to include a portfolio. Examples of your most impressive work can be a huge benefit when it comes to outshining your competition. To go the extra mile, create a free website on Wix or WordPress and include links to any press releases, social media examples, or writing samples. The more accessible you can make it in the digital age, the better!

Sign Up For Job Alerts

Visit your favorite job search sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and JSG’s Talent Network and subscribe to receive relevant job updates. That way, you’ll be the first to know when a job in your field pops up and you can submit your application right away.

4 questions to ask yourself before submitting your resume

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Submitting Your Resume

4 questions to ask yourself before submitting resume

Believe it or not, almost nobody enjoys writing a resume. And if you are customizing your resume for every single job that you are applying for (which you should), it can be easy to overlook a simple mistake.

Even the tiniest of mistakes can leave a lasting impression on a hiring manager, and unfortunately, cost you a job interview. So, how do you prevent yourself from making silly mistakes on your resume? Ask yourself these four questions before you submit your resume to a job vacancy.

Is it free of grammatical errors?

Obviously, everyone knows that it’s important to ensure your resume is free of typos and grammatical errors. However, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate your biases and catch your own mistakes. Even professional writers use editors to review their work!

Ask a friend or family member to take a few minutes to go over your resume. Even if they don’t catch a grammatical error, they may offer other suggestions to help improve a certain bullet point or statement to kick it up a notch.

After you have someone review your resume, print it out and read it out loud. You’d be surprised at how many typos or funky wording you’ll catch when reading your resume out loud to yourself.

Should I add my address to my resume?

Even in the year 2018, many candidates still include their address on their resumes. However, it is perfectly acceptable to leave it off our resume.

If the job you are applying for is out of town, we recommend leaving your address off. An employer may or may not offer relocation, yet oftentimes, local candidates can take precedent. By forgoing your location on your resume, you eliminate any local biases and you’re judged on your qualifications and experiences alone!

Besides, people no longer communicate via snail mail when applying to or responding to job applications. It’s the 21st Century. Everyone communicates via email or using a smartphone, so it’s no longer essential to include your address on your resume. We are all connected and if your address is needed later in the recruiting process, it can easily be sent to the appropriate hiring manager in seconds.

Is it in a professional format?

Nothing is a bigger turnoff to recruiters than a poorly formatted resume. Whether it’s the use of an unusual font or inconsistent margins, formatting mistakes generate the impression that you are not a very detail-oriented person. This may seem obvious, but it’s crazy how many resumes we’ve seen with silly formatting issues that ruin the appearance of the resume.

More often than not, formatting issues are caused by sending your resume in an improper file format. When submitting your resume to an Application Tracking System (ATS) or emailing it to a recruiter, the formatting may get messed up. Margins can look funky or fonts may look different on another device. To avoid these issues, you must submit it as a PDF to ensure recruiters see your resume the way it was meant to appear.

Is my resume written in the proper verb tense?

This is one of the biggest mistakes we see when candidates submit their resumes. Except when discussing your current position, resumes should be written in the past tense. We often see the wrong tense being used when using action verbs at the beginning of each bullet point.

For example, for an old position on your resume, you should say “Develop marketing plans to…” instead of “Developed marketing plans to…” Not only is this issue an easy fix for you to make, it is also obvious for recruiters to notice. Make sure you doublecheck it for proper verb tense before you send it off to a recruiter!

Having trouble choosing the right verb tense? Here is a helpful guide to get you started.

Fall FOWARD into your career

Fall Forward Into Your Career


Fall Forward Into Your Career

September is here, which means the leaves will be changing colors, sweaters will soon be worn, and pumpkin spice-something will appear on just about every menu.

Nights will start to come faster and the air will soon have a distinct crisp to it – the perfect recipe for hunkering down to find a new opportunity. So while you’re cozied up on the couch next to the fireplace drinking something warm, crack open that laptop and get to work on your job search.

But don’t worry… we’re here to help – the JSG blog is full of expert advice from those that really know best – our recruiters. Here are some of our best resources to help you fall forward into your job search and hopefully, a new career:

If you think it’s time for a change…4 Signs it’s Time to Look For a New Job

When you want expert advice…Want to Get Hired Through a Recruiter? Here’s How We Find You

To help you create a stellar resume…4 Non-Negotiables You Must Have on Your Resume

When things aren’t going as planned…This One Thing Is Completely Sabotaging Your Job Search

If it’s been a while…If You Haven’t Interviewed in Awhile, Here’s What You Need to Know

On what not to do during the interview…Avoid These Words in an Interview if You Want to Land the Job

To nail your interview…These are the Most Important Parts of Your Interview

When you want to get what you’re worth…How to Hack Your Job Offer and Get What You’re Really Worth

For all the insider secrets…10 Things Recruiters Wish You Knew