Applying for your dream job? Here we share with you what to include in a resume so it highlights why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Bonus material: Class is in session. Learn game-changing lessons from world-class experts like Chris Voss, Marie Forleo, James Clear, and more.
You’re ready to crank out your resume for a job application of your dream. 47 minutes later, you’re still staring at the screen.
Nothing … Nada … You have no idea what to include in your resume.
We’re here to help!
The goal of your resume is to highlight why you’re the right person for a job. In this post, the team from Rezi will be showing you the seven key sections you need in a resume to help you stand out and get hired.
1. Contact Information
Your name should always be at the top of the resume in a large and readable font. Directly underneath is where you can add your contact information. At the minimum, your contact information should include the following:
- Email Address. Pick a professional address you check often and make sure it’s easy to spell.
- Phone Number. Always include an area code and make sure it’s still in service. We also recommend you use your mobile phone number.
- Location. You don’t need to include a specific address but make sure you have your city and state/country.
You may want to include additional information like LinkedIn URL, personal website (make sure it’s professional and related to the job application), a link to your work portfolio, and Skype ID.
2. Work Experiences
When you’re writing a resume, the experience section provides detailed information about your employment history. This is the real heart of your resume, and you will have to decide which positions to include and which to leave out in this section:
This section of your resume is where employers will look to see what jobs and job titles you’ve held in the past. Also, it gives employers a sense of your best accomplishments.
Formatting the Experience Section
You do not have to include every detail of your role but you NEED to include the information below for every position you have on your resume:
- Your position title. Do not change your job title! Use the title that you were hired for.
- Name of the company. Spell the simplest version of the name. Example: use “Google” instead of Google, Inc.”
- Dates of employment. Spell out the full month and year. Example: December 2015 – June 2016
- Location of employment. Include the city and state of each company. Example: Palo Alto, CA
Writing the Experience Section
The content in this section is the most important part of your resume. Elaborating on the details of what you’ve done is how you make it great.
Take some time to think about accomplishments for your past jobs, list the specific activities and duties that you were responsible for. Next, craft exciting and concise bullet points representing those activities.
Most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems which are software used to help manage application profiles. It’s important to include content that helps the ATS find your resume. This is why it is crucial to tailor the content to match the keywords in the job description.
Pro Tip: Each bullet point should contain enough information to make a complete thought. Do not exceed two lines of text per bullet point.
You can rely on answering WHAT, WHY, and HOW, to create a well-thought-out and complete bullet point.
- “What” explains what you did for your duties. Try to add numbers to quantify results.
- “Why” explains the purpose of the duties and the impact that your actions had.
- “How” gives details on the specific tools you’ve used for the duty. Answering “how” is your chance to include hard keywords from the job description.
This is where you have the choice to add non-organizational achievements to your resume. Think about self-directed side projects, publications, or class projects that you’re proud of.
Employers are very interested in learning about these. On your resume, discuss the project, your involvement, and the outcomes.
Include details about your role in the project. Describe the project itself and results from your research. Outline the title and nature of the project, for example, if you collected data or carried out the research.
Including projects in your resume offers several unique advantages to help you stand out:
- Past projects establish you as a successful professional in your field.
- A track record of projects demonstrates a proven history of success.
- Project experience demonstrates leadership skills and initiative.
For many job seekers, the education section is the easiest section to write on their resume. They simply list their school name, degree, and graduation date. Here’s a shortlist of what to include in this section:
- Degree & major
- School name
- City, state of school
- Graduation (month, year)
- GPA if above 3.0
However, there are many other things to consider. When it comes to including the details of your education on your resume, the information you provide will depend upon your education history and your current job goals.
Below we’ve listed a few different scenarios and how we recommend tailoring your resume’s education section.
You Have a Degree
Hiring managers expect to find information about any degrees you’ve received such as a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, Ph.D., law degree, and so forth, on your resume.
If you’ve earned a degree that’s valuable for your field of work, include the acronym for the credential in addition to including the details of the degree at the bottom of your resume in the Education section.
You’re Still Pursuing a Degree
If you’re still attending college for your undergraduate or graduate degree, you can simply add an expected graduation year to the education section. We also recommend adding any completed courses that may be relevant to the job you’re applying for.
You Have a High School Diploma
If you don’t have a degree, and the jobs you’re applying for specifically list a high school diploma or equivalent as one of the job requirements, be sure to include your high school diploma or GED information.
Coursework is an optional entry-level resume section that includes class projects you’ve completed related to the job you’re applying to. Additionally, this section can include academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and even volunteer opportunities.
If you are a student or a recent graduate, including coursework on your resume is a great way to showcase your expertise even if you don’t yet have professional experience. Here are the three things you can add:
- The course name
- The skill learned in the course
- How the skill was applied
There is no need to list every single course you completed, only those that are most relevant to the type of position that you are applying for.
For example, if you are applying for a role related to data, you should include any courses that you’ve taken that are relevant to the data field.
Use the Coursework Section to display any technical skills that have been acquired through relevant coursework. We can translate coursework into resume-ready skills that employers take seriously.
Whether you just graduated from college or you are trying to improve a seasoned resume, adding involvement in clubs and organizations can give you a competitive advantage in your job search. An involvement item should have:
- Organization name
- Location of organization
- Duration of involvement
- Position name
- Description of involvement
Incorporating these extracurricular activities into your resume will complement and highlight any skills you may not be able to include due to a lack of experience.
Whether you’re writing a high school student resume or creating a college student resume, mentioning extracurricular activities is one way to round out your application. Similar to including volunteer work on your resume, extracurriculars can help you compensate for a lack of professional experience.
Not sure which skills to include on your resume? When you’re adding skills to your resume or reviewing the skills required for a job you’re interested in, there are two types of skills that are relevant.
- Soft Skills: These are skills that apply to every job. Think of soft skills as your people skills — interpersonal skills, communication skills, and other qualities that allow you to be successful in the workplace.
- Hard Skills: These are the qualifications required to perform a specific job requirement. Hard skills are teachable abilities that can be defined and measured more so than soft skills.
The type of skills to include which mirror the requirements of the targeted job description.
With our Rezi software, you will know exactly which skills hiring managers are searching for. You can then add these missing skills to your resume and cover letter to improve your chances of being selected for an interview.
Resume Optimization Tips (Infographic)
Remember your resume is a document to highlight that you’re the right person for the job. Be sure that it reflects your unique background; with that in mind, here are 6 tips to ensure your resume is optimized and mistake-free.