If you have ever Googled, “What should I put on my resume?” you were met with a dizzying array of information and advice about what works best. So how do you make sense of it all? What information should you include on YOUR resume? No matter your experience level or what kind of job you are looking for, there are universal things your need to know to build a compelling resume. Luckily, our recruiters have shared their “insider tips.”
This may seem obvious, but take an extra minute to review the information that you have included. Your name, email address, and telephone number should be at the very top of the page. There is no need to include your home address – gone are the days of sending any job info via the pony express. Instead, replace it with the URL to your LinkedIn profile. And if you never answer your home phone, don’t include it in your contact information. Make it easy for the hiring manager to understand how to best connect with you.
Keywords from the Job Posting
The “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work when it comes to resume writing. Plan on having several different versions of your resume, tailored towards the jobs you are applying for. There is a really easy way to do this – Include some keywords and phrases from the “Requirements” and “Description” sections in the job posting, keeping in mind to only use the ones that are relevant to YOUR experience and qualifications. If you don’t know how to use Microsoft Excel, leave that one out. But if “Monitor billing orders and identify and resolve reconciling issues” perfectly describes what you did in your last role, include that verbiage.
Metrics help employers determine if a candidate is capable of taking on their challenges. So it is important to quantify your achievements whenever possible. In this competitive job market, it is no longer enough to state that you “increased sales or productivity.” You need to back it up with quantifiable data. Your most relevant and critical skills and achievements should be the top 3 bullet points under each position description.
Consistent Formatting and Proper Spelling
If you are bullet-pointing your most recent job responsibilities, make sure your other work experience follows suit. If you are italicizing your current job title, all of your previous titles should be italicized as well. In other words, keep your formatting and spacing consistent. Make sure to check every line for spelling and grammatical errors. It helps to let a trusted person in your professional network review your resume as well. Misspelling could easily cost you a second look!
Depending on the field or position you are applying for, it may be beneficial to include links to your work, (articles you’ve written, websites you’ve designed, etc.). Writing too much in your “Career Objective” or “Qualifications Summary” section is generally the most common mistake hiring managers see. Instead of describing every article you have ever written, include 1 or 2 URL links to those articles. This way, the hiring manager can view your actual work, as opposed to a lengthy description.
No hiring manager has the time to review a lengthy resume, so keep in mind that size matters. Limit your information to one or two pages, depending on your job experience. If you can submit an outstanding resume that tells your “career story” in a succinct, easy-to-follow way, it is very possible to capture the right attention and make a great first impression. To put all of this in perspective, a recent study by Business Insider shows that on average, a hiring manager looks at a resume for just 6 seconds. Look at your resume for 6 seconds …. Did you get a call back?