Did you know that on average an employer spends only six seconds reviewing a resume before they move onto the next?
You can’t waste time having useless information on your resume.
But how can you judge what’s needed and what’s not?
We've got you covered.
This article will give you resume writing ideas so that you will know exactly what to include in a resume and what not to include when applying for your next job.
Contact Information Section
Always include detailed contact information on your resume.
Without contact info, no matter how great your resume is, the employer will have no way to get ahold of you.
1. Your Name: First & last name.
If you would like to include your middle name or initial go right ahead.
2. Home Address: City & state only. DO NOT provide your exact address.
This can be a privacy/security issue since just about anyone can access your resume on job boards.
3. Phone Number(s): Include your phone number as well as the type of phone.
4. Email Address: Make sure to use a professional email address.
5. Personal Website Or LinkedIn: Add your personal website or LinkedIn URLs to your resume.
You can even hyperlink your name to include this info.
(Check out our article on how to customize your LinkedIn profile).
Professional Summary Section
This is your opportunity to grab the employer’s attention by summarizing your job desires and the relevant skills that you bring to the table.
6. The Summary: Tailor your professional summary to the specific job you’re applying to.
An employer is definitely going to know when you are using a general summary to apply to multiple jobs.
Below are a few examples of good resume summaries:
- “Aspiring Test Engineer capable of performing inspections and testing of incoming components, in a processed product and finished products within the manufacturing arena to ensure compliance with established specifications and departmentally defined time frames.”
- “Inside Sales Representative with a strong work ethic, exceptional sales skills, and a successful track record of growing sales revenue.”
- “Driven Executive Assistant adept at developing and maintaining detailed administrative and procedural processes that reduce redundancy, improve accuracy and efficiency, and achieve organizational objectives.”
(For more information on your resume summary, check out How To Write A Great Resume Summary Statement.)
7. Keywords From Job Postings: Remember to include specific keywords from the job posting in your resume.
You will not only want to do this in your summary, but also in your work experience section.
The better you get to know the job posting(s) you are applying to, the easier it will be to know what to include in a resume.
(For more on keywords, check out How To Use Resume Keywords When Applying For Jobs.)
Key Skills Section
The skills section is your opportunity to brag a bit.
Tell us what you are good at.
Focus not only on your top skills but the ones most relevant to the job.
8. Key Skills: List six to eight skills that you want your future employer to know you possess using relevant keywords from the job description.
Try to avoid personality traits, and focus on technical skills.
Work Experience Section
This might be the most important part of your entire resume.
Knowing what work experience to include in a resume is absolutely crucial to your success.
Employers want to know when, where, and how you worked at your current or previous jobs.
9. Relevant Work History: Make sure you are not wasting the employer’s time including irrelevant information for your work history.
List only the relevant duties, achievements and accomplishments that relate to the job you are applying to.
10. Internships, Projects, Volunteer: If you don’t have any relevant work history, the next best thing would be to add internships, projects, or volunteer experience that may relate to the position.
11. Metrics: Whenever possible, make sure to use metrics when describing your work experience.
Instead of simply listing out the things that you did at your job, talk about your achievements, successes, and accomplishments.
Increased revenue by 40% and the number of guests by 35% through promotional marketing channels and improved customer experience.
Responsibilities included increasing company revenue through promotional marketing channels and improved customer experience.
(For some more tips on the work experience section, read 4 Tips To Write Your Resume Work Experience Section.)
When figuring out what to include in a resume, the education section can be somewhat tricky.
Your education can be very important if you are a recent graduate or early in your career.
However, the more work experience you gain, the less important your education becomes.
12. Education: If you went to school, add your education and degree.
If your degree goes beyond high school, please do not include the HS you went to on your resume.
Note: If you are a new or recent grad, your skills and qualifications are going to be highlighted in your education section. Therefore, this section should be before your professional experience.
(Find more information about when to take your graduation year off of your resume).
13. GPA: Unless you have graduated with a very high level of honors such as Magna Cum Laude, do not list your GPA on your resume.
There can be exceptions depending on your major but for the most part, this is not necessary.
Finally, this is your opportunity to set yourself apart from other resumes.
Include some interesting information that shows involvement, success, and makes you unique from your peers.
14. Additional Information: This could include but is not limited to publications, affiliations, honors, awards, websites, clubs, organizations, and certifications.
15. Professional References: Do not include references on your resume.
Do not even write "References Available Upon Request."
If you are personally asked for references, provide them.
Believe it or not, recruiters will take the contact info from your references (usually hiring managers) and use it to solicit new business for their agency.
(Check out this article to learn more about How to Choose a Powerful Job Reference.)
16. Resume Writing Services: Knowing what to include in a resume can be difficult.
Why do it yourself? Leave it to the professionals!