Your resume is one of the most important aspects of your job search, as it helps form the hiring manager's first impression of you as a potential candidate for employment. Before you mail out this ever-important document, make sure you always include these nine elements of a successful resume.
1. Your Contact Information
Present your contact information prominently in the header of your resume so it's easy for the hiring manager to reach out to you. Include your name, phone number and email address. Experts agree that your home address is not necessary.
2. A Career Summary
Forget about the tired objective statements of resumes past; focus on a well-written career summary instead. In a few sentences, demonstrate what makes you unique by explaining your skills, experience and job interests.
3. Well-Chosen Keywords
Scan the job description, and pick out some of the most common keywords and phrases. Sprinkle a few of these keywords throughout your resume, illustrating how you used those skills in previous positions. This ensures your resume fares well against applicant-tracking software.
4. Notable Achievements
Let the hiring manager know what you can offer his organization by discussing the significant contributions you made to previous employers. Include service awards you won or sales goals you exceeded.
5. Quantitative Data
Back up your resume-worthy achievements with some impressive metrics to quantify your accomplishments. Rather than just saying that you broke a sales record, explain how you increased department sales by 200 percent in the third quarter.
6. Action Verbs
Action verbs help to illustrate your unique job skills and demonstrate your past accomplishments. Rather than including a bulleted list of job duties, be sure to use strong action verbs to describe your previous work. For example, replace "responsible for marketing projects" with "spearheaded successful marketing projects to boost company sales."
If you hold certifications or credentials that are relevant to the position for which you're applying, certainly include them on your resume. To make sure it gets noticed, add the appropriate acronym, such as MBA, after your name in the resume header, as well as listing the credential in the education section.
8. Social Media Links
Include the URL of your LinkedIn profile, online portfolio or career-related blog in the contact information section of your resume. This helps to build your personal brand.
9. White Space
Ensure your resume doesn't contain too much text that it becomes overwhelming to read. Include only the most relevant information, and try to limit the document to one page. A standard font size and fair amount of white space offer a clean, professional presentation.
Remember to always include these nine elements on your resume, and spend extra time proofreading the document before you send it to a potential employer. Customize your resume to suit the needs of the employer for every position instead of settling for one generic version.
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