According to Experts, You Should Have These 5 Things on Your Resume

Nancy Anderson
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Your resume presents your best accomplishments in an easy-to-read format. This isn't easy to do when you're trying to cram 10 years of experience into a one-page document for a recruiter to see. Discover five things to put on a resume, plus a few things to avoid when trying to make a great first impression.

1. Summary of Career Aspirations

Summarize how the role applies to your overall career. You can state this in a Career Summary section, where you outline how this position will take your career to the next level. Listing aspirations on your resume communicates that you're willing to grow with the organization.

2. Key Achievements and Accomplishments

Place top-level achievements and accomplishments toward the top of your resume. Quantify your accomplishments with verifiable numbers, such as the number of people you managed, the sales growth percentage, the amount of money you saved a previous employer or the man-hours you saved by investing in office technology. Hard numbers allow a hiring manager to see how your skills turn into results and provide context for your skill set.

3. Conciseness of Your Resume

Your document should be short and to the point, yet it must have enough information to give a hiring manager a good snapshot of what you would bring to the organization. Include enough data to showcase your skills, but leave room for the hiring manager to call you to find out more information. Describe what you have to offer, but do not clutter your document with too much information.

4. Customized Information

Customize your resume to each employer. For each position, input keywords used in the job description, and make sure the position fits your credentials, skills and experience. This shows that you paid attention to the job listing and researched the company before applying.

5. Correct Spelling and Grammar

Employers love candidates who pay attention to details, which is why your polished resume needs to be free of grammar and spelling mistakes. Resume errors communicate to employers that you lack the skills necessary to pay attention to critical details when creating important documents.

Four Things to Avoid

When constructing your resume, it's important to avoid four things. First, avoid copying and pasting, since this demonstrates lack of effort. Second, never inflate your accomplishments. If your boss finds out about your lies, you might get terminated. Third, never add Irrelevant Information. Only include the most important information in your document, and leave out any extraneous words or accomplishments that do not relate to the position. Fourth, do not address your cover letter to the wrong person. If you don't know the name of the hiring manager, simply use "Dear Hiring Manager" as your greeting.

Your resume should be a short document that captures the attention of a hiring manager. These five things can help you make a great first impression and just may help you land an interview.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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