Your resume is the first impression you have on a potential employer so you want to ensure it’s as close to perfect as possible. The problem is that many job seekers neglect the importance of a well written resume. Many don’t even include the most basic information that every resume needs.
So what should be included in a resume?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll outline the 7 things that are absolutely needed on a resume today to land a job – fast.
Although this may seem obvious, many job seekers include the wrong contact information. Your resume should have your name, city/state, email, one phone number and possibly a link to your LinkedIn profile.
You don’t need to include your full mailing address on your resume as some employers may not even open it due to privacy issues. People used to include their full mailing address on a resume before email existed. It’s just not necessary anymore, leave it off your resume.
Here is an example of how to include your contact information on your resume.
You also don’t need to label it “Telephone” or “Email”, the reader knows which one is which. You should also include only one phone number and ensure you have a professional sounding email address.
You really need to ditch the resume objective and include a resume summary. The resume objective tells the employer what you want, not what they need.
Including it is outdated and very ineffective. The summary should be a bit about your background and skills that are relevant to the position you’re targeting.
We wrote a great post on how to write an awesome resume summary here.
The magic word here is “relevant”. Many job seekers make the mistake of including tons of irrelevant work experience on their resume. Your past experience should be worded in a way that tells the employer you’re a good fit for the position you’re targeting.
If you don’t have a lot of relevant work experience, you should keep it brief. You should always try to find relevant responsibilities and achievements from your old work experience that tie in closely to the position you’re after.
For example, if you’re going after a marketing position and you’re coming from a sales background, talk about the marketing and customer acquisition methods you used to make sales.
Every resume should have some quantifiable achievements. Look for specific areas where you could use numbers instead of words. Many will say, “My industry doesn’t really work with numbers”, and this just isn’t true.
You could find a way to quantify almost anything. If you were an office manager, you could mention the number of employees you helped manage. If you’re a nurse, you can mention the amount of patients you cared for on a daily basis.
What’s the importance of numbers?
Numbers really make the work experience more believable and effective. It also catches the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager. People love numbers, use them.
Most companies today don’t manually review your resume, it’s first sent through what’s called an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). ATS is a software designed to scan your resume looking for relevant keywords, education and skills. If it doesn’t find relevant keywords and feels like you’re not really a good match for the position, your application may be rejected and never seen by a human.
To get an idea of the keywords you should be using, check the job description. For example, if a job description states that some of the core requirements are Photoshop and WordPress, make sure those keywords are included in your resume. (If you are knowledgeable in them).
A good way to include keywords is to create a “Skills” or “Core Competencies” section where you can include them in bullet points.
You can see some good tips and how test your resume for an ATS here.
You could easily swap keywords in and out from this list depending on the position you’re applying for.
Include any certifications and licenses you’ve obtained. Make sure you spell out abbreviations as well as the ATS may not understand it. For example, if you’re a nurse and write “RN”, you should spell it out at least once (RN – Registered Nurse). This ensures that if the ATS is looking specifically for the keyword “Registered Nurse”, it would find it on your resume.
Make sure none of your certifications and licenses listed are expired. You should of course also include your education.
You really need to show the employer that you went above and beyond the everyday tasks you were assigned to.
Including a bunch of duties you were paid to do isn’t very effective when there are potentially hundreds of other job applicants. For example, instead of saying you were in charge of marketing, state the ROI of your marketing efforts.
“Implemented a Facebook campaign which resulted in a 140% ROI on ad spend”.
The 7 items that were discussed above are really what’s needed on a resume today. You want to stand out from the competition and not blend in. When there are hundreds of job applicants for a single position, blending in usually means you’ll never get a call back. Use quantifiable achievements, relevant experience and ensure your resume is optimized for ATS systems.
You can see how your resume does in an ATS scan with our Free Resume Review.
Good luck with your job search!