Sep 21, 2017

What to Include in Your Resume

A resume is the first point of contact between you and your potential employer, so it’s always important to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward when submitting job applications. Here are some helpful resume tips.

First of all, it is important for your resume to be concise and to the point, clearly communicating why you are the best candidate for the job. To present an effective resume, carefully consider the information you plan to include. It is important to provide enough information about your previous work experience and educational background for the employer to understand your qualifications and abilities without overselling or repeating yourself. Aim on keeping your reader"s interest by using information and word choices that will help your employer form a positive opinion about you as a potential employee. While certain content should always appear in your resume, including other information is optional, depending on the employer and position. Most successful resumes typically highlight the following information, so include these official resume headers:


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Contact Information Make sure to always include your full name, permanent address, contact telephone number (including both home and cell), and email address at the top of your resume so employers can easily get in contact with you. To make yourself look like a more professional and serious candidate, use a professional email address free of any nicknames or unprofessional phrases. Many websites offer free email addresses. if you have a personal website that may enhance your chances of being called in for an interview, provide the URL along with your other contact information.

Keywords Many larger employers have started integrating automated systems that allow them to filter resumes based on the inclusion of important career-based keywords. For example, if you are applying for a nursing position, include phrases like "obstetrics" or "case management" in your resume, depending on your specialties and background. If you are applying for an entry-level position or are not sure what keywords to include, try to repeat the same keywords originally used in the job description.

Objective Being careful not to be too narrow or too broad, open your resume with an objective that effectively communicates the focus of your job search and what position you are particularly interested in. Develop a sentence or two that includes the following information: your preferred position and industry, skills that you have and want to utilize, and your short- and long-term goals. It is essential that you tailor your objective to specifically match whatever position you are currently applying for.

Professional Experience List your previous employers, starting with the most recent at the top. Highlight the name and location of the organization, your job title, and the dates of your employment. If you gained relevant work experience at an independent or smaller business, you may choose to write a 1-2 line statement describing whether the organization was public, private, local, regional, or national. To be successful, you must provide a good description of your experiences, as employers are interested in any responsibilities, accomplishments, skills you might offer their company. Be sure to describe the things you did, not the employer itself. To draw attention to your professional accomplishments, try to use past-tense action verbs such as "developed" or "organized" whenever applicable.

Education List your educational experiences, again starting with the most recent first. Provide relevant information about the institution, your degree, major or focus, minors, and the year of graduation. If you won any awards or were awarded any scholarships, make sure to point it out. You can also include related coursework, as well as any research or thesis accomplishments. If above 3.0, you might include your grade point average. If your major GPA is higher than your overall GPA, you could also provide that information.

Special Activities If you find that your resume is too short or doesn’t accurately describe your personal and professional strengths, consider providing some miscellaneous information to highlight your abilities, skills, and potential in various environments. Talk about your achievements in sports or community service. You might also mention any leadership roles, as well as your involvement with professional organizations. Always lead with your strengths and concisely describe your involvement in these activities.

Skills When listing your skills, focus on the ones that are specifically relevant to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a position that requires significant computer skills, list all computer applications, software and hardware that you are familiar with.

Additional Information If you find that your resume is still too short, you might listing some of your personal and professional interests, if they are relevant. You never know, but mentioning that you love traveling or playing an instrument might be good icebreaker during an interview!

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