Whether you’re putting together a resume for your first or last job, there are several core elements that need to be considered when you are writing your resume. Modern technology has made it easier to apply to many jobs without much effort, which means that employers and recruiters are inundated with resumes when a job opening is posted. If you want the job, then you need to make sure that your resume outshines the rest.
You could try to do that with fire, water, earth and sky, but we’d recommend the 4 elements below instead:
- An Attractive Summary
You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of the hiring manager, so it is important to include a summary that entices them to continue reading your resume. The first section should quickly summarize your qualifications and is essentially an “elevator speech” on paper.
- Contact Information, And…
Your name, address, phone number, and (a professional!) email should be clearly listed at the top of the resume. Don’t forget, LinkedIn should be there too!
Just to be sure, don’t include personal information such as your social security number, race, marital status, health status, or birth date. This information is not relevant during the application process, and there is no reason for you to add the information on your resume.
- Remember the “3 E’s”
There are three main points that most hiring managers are looking for: expertise, experience, and education. It is a good idea to dedicate a section of the resume to each of these topics:
Expertise shows the unique skill set that you can bring to the company, in order to show that you are the right candidate for the job. Make sure to adjust each resume to align with the job description, because you can re-phrase your core competencies in a manner that speaks to the language used by the hiring manager. Experience should be focused around the accomplishments that you have achieved in your career. Many people mistakenly list their job duties without showing the way the experience shaped their skill set and education. Education provides the proof that you are qualified for the job based on the education requirements that were listed in the job description. The education section is also the perfect opportunity to share information about on-the-job training or continuing education that you received.
- Clean Formatting
Most hiring managers are quickly skimming through a stack of resumes and they won’t have the patience or desire to read resumes that are cluttered or confusing. Structure your resume in a way that makes it easy to read and understand, so that the important information pops out if someone is skimming the page. Since the hiring manager will be sorting through a large stack of resumes, it is important to keep your resume succinct. Limit the length to 1 – 2 pages and only share the relevant information. By limiting the length of your resume, it forces you to cut out the “fluff” in order to avoid over-sharing details that are not applicable to the job.
Those were the basics, for tips about how to fix (or prevent) common mistakes, check out this article – 5 Common Resume Weaknesses – and How to Fix Them