When you write your resume, it can be tempting to write everything there is to know about yourself. It might sound great, but those on the hiring team only want to know one thing — that you’re the right person for the job. Knowing exactly what to include in a resume will allow you to narrow down your personal information to what’s most relevant.
There are different ways to write a resume, and it can be confusing to choose the type of resume you need. Fortunately, there are certain things that are common — and essential — in all resumes.
Here are the few must-haves to include in your resume:
The first thing employers should see is your identification including your:
- Phone and/or mobile number
- Email address
This section will allow them to contact you should they have any questions or other concerns. Be mindful of any spelling or typographical errors and provide a professional email address.
- Objective or Summary
A resume objective or summary helps to state what your career goals are. This can enhance your resume and give employers a quick lowdown of who they’re dealing with.
Be specific and concise — no more than 1 or 2 sentences with about 30 words or so. Include keywords from the job listing. Match your career goals to the job of your choice. State how you are the ideal candidate for that job. Make every word count.
The resume profile summarizes your experiences, skills, and goals that make you the perfect applicant for the job. Similar to the resume objective, this must be concise, too, while still informative. After all, writing a resume profile gives you the chance to highlight your relevant skills and experiences. Make sure to modify it so it fits the job you are applying to.
Employers also need to know your educational background. Show them all the degrees you have. List your most recent degree first. Include the name of the institution, its address, and the date of your graduation.
If it applies to the job, you can also list down your major or minor fields, your GPA, honours, projects, and publications. You do not need to include your high school degree unless you are currently a high school student.
This section shows what your career experiences are so far. Like the last section, you need to list your most recent experience first. It can also include internships and past jobs. If you are a high school student, you can also include sports teams and clubs if it applies to the job.
Include the names of the companies, your position, and the dates of employment. List down relevant skills, tasks, and accomplishments. If you have many years of experience working, you don’t need to include the jobs that are unrelated to the job listing.
You need to put your skills on your resume so employers can see if you are indeed qualified. Prioritize relevance. The closer your skills match what the job requires, the closer you are to getting that interview.
There are many good skills you can put on your resume — but you have to tailor them and, most importantly, be honest.
If you’re applying for an administrative position, for example, mention how you can use software programs. Here are other example skills you can list in your resume for an administrative position:
- Volunteer Work
This informs the employers on any volunteer experiences you have. Volunteer work develops certain skills that can be extremely useful for various jobs. This includes communication skills, leadership skills. interpersonal skills, ability to work with a team, and self-motivation.
List the name of the organization, the dates of your volunteer work, and your corresponding achievements.
- Interests and Hobbies
Include a section about your interests and hobbies if they are related to the job. If you are applying to work at a music store, then you should include your knowledge, skill, and experience in playing the guitar.
Additional Things You Must Remember
Give potential employers a good first impression of you by taking note of the following:
- Length of Your Resume
While you need to remember to be as concise with your resume as you can, its length also depends on the job you are applying for and the amount of experience you have. If you are an entry-level applicant, a single page is all you need.
However, if you are a mid-level applicant, this means you have accumulated more experience in your career. Your resume might consist of 2 pages, which you can use to list all relevant work experience you might have.
- Font and Size
While they may look aesthetically pleasing, using a cursive font might make your resume too difficult to read. Employers can go through hundreds of applications regularly and will not have the patience to decipher illegible submissions.Select a font that is easier on the eyes. Examples are Arial, Times New Roman, and Calibri.
As for the font size, it should be between 10 and 12 points. However, the size for your name and the section headings should be a little bigger. This way, employers can immediately pinpoint important information.
- Page Margins
The regular page margins word processing programs use is 1 inch on all sides of the page. It can affect the length of resumes. If you want to take up less space on the paper. decrease the margins to 1/2 inch on all sides.
When you arrange the sections of your resume, make sure it is formal, neat, and readable. The font and layout must be uniform and consistent. If you put one job title in bold, then you should also use bold on all the other job titles. Pay attention to spacing; use negative space wisely. Use tables to keep everything in place. Doing this prevents your resume from looking disorganized.
- Final Touches
When you think you are ready to send in your resume, pause. Double-check and edit your work. Look for any type of mistake you might have missed, such as spelling, grammar, and typos. Make sure that all information, especially names and contact information, is accurate and up-to-date.
Writing your resume does not have to be daunting. All you need to keep in mind is that you should include the important things employers would want to know from you. And make sure that every single thing you choose to include in your resume relates to the job you are after.
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