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RESUME BUILDING

Resume Content

Contact Information

Contact Information to be include in a table

Must-have Information

1. First Name / Last Name. 
2. Phone Number. 
3. Email Address. 
4. Location –
are you located in the area, or will the company have to sponsor relocation?

Optional Information

Title – Your Professional Title. It can be your position, word-for-word, or your desired job. Think “Digital Marketing Specialist” or “Junior Data Scientist.”
Social Media –  Do you have a published portfolio online? For developers, this would be your GitHub, Dribble and for a writer, it could be your personal blog.
Website / Blog – Do you have an online presence? Maybe a blog that positions you as an expert in your field? If you do, make sure to mention it!

What NOT to Include in the Contact Info Section

Date of Birth (unless specifically required in the job ad) – The HR manager doesn’t need to know how old you are. It’s not important for their decision-making, and at worst, it might lead to discrimination based on age.
Unprofessional Email Address – Do: name.lastname@gmail.com Don’t: player69@gmail.com
Headshot – The HR manager doesn’t need to know what you look like in order to evaluate your application, so there’s no real need to include it.

Resume Summary or Objective

  • It’s not a secret for anyone that first impressions matter, whether they’re in your personal life, or your career.

  • If you leave a bad first impression, chances are, it’s there to stay. After all, it’s very hard to change someone’s opinion of you.

  • The same applies to your job search – the HR manager spends around 6 seconds scanning each resume. Yep, your carefully-worded, hand-crafted resume only gets 6 seconds of attention. Unless, of course, you manage to leave an amazing first impression.

  • The way you accomplish this is through either a good resume summary or objective. Both are placed at the top of your resume, right around the contact information section:

Examples of Resume Objectives
1) So, here’s how that would look like if you’re a student:
“Hard-working recent graduate with a B.A. in Graphic Design from New York State University seeking new opportunities. 3+ years of practical experience working with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, creating illustrations & designing UX / UI. Looking to grow as a designer, as well as perfect my art, at the XYZ Design Studio.”
2) Or, on the other hand, if you’re going through a career change:
“IT project manager with 5+ years of experience in software development. Managed a team of developers to create products for several industries, such as FinTech and HR tech. Looking to leverage my experience in managing outsourced products as a Product Owner at XYZ.”

Work experience

  • The most important part of your resume in your work experience.
  • This is where you really sell yourself, displaying your past accomplishment and responsiblilitie.
  • If you manage to master this section alone, you’ll know 80%+ of all there is to know about how to make a resume.
  • There are a lot of best practices for writing your work experience. Before we dive into all the nits and grits, though, let’s start with the basics…

How to List Work Experience in a Resume
Job Title/Position – Your job title goes on top of each work experience entry. When the HR manager scans your resume, you want them to know, at a glance, that you have relevant work experience for the job.

Company Name / Location / Description – Then, you mention the name of the relevant employer, as well as the location of the office you work/have worked in. In some cases, you may also want to briefly describe the company, if the organization is not a famous household name. 

Achievements and Responsibilities– This is the core of each work experience entry. We’ll get more into the how’s and why’s of this in a bit.

Dates Employed – The timeframe of your employment in each company. Not sure about the exact dates you worked somewhere? Don’t worry – you don’t have to be accurate by the day, as long as it’s close. The standard format expected by recruiters and employers is mm/yyyy (this is especially important when your job application will be parsed by an Applicant Tracking System).

List Achievements When Possible

  • One of the most common resume mistakes is listing only responsibilities in your work experience section.

  • Here’s the thing – in most cases, the hiring manager knows what, exactly, your responsibilities were. Let’s say you’re a sales manager, for example. Your responsibilities would be:

  • Reach out to potential clients over the phone or email.
  • Maintain relationships with existing company clients and upsell relevant products.
  • Tracking and reporting on leads in CRM.

  • Coincidently, this is exactly the same list of responsibilities for every sales manager. 90% of all other resumes probably mention just about the same thing.

  • So, to stand out, you want to focus on mentioning achievements in your resume instead. Or in simple terms, how exactly you helped the company to grow.

Tailor Your Resume to the Job

  • So you’re probably wondering, “What gives?! What’s the point of perfecting your resume, if a robot can just say “No” and single-handedly destroy all the effort you put in?”

  • Well, don’t worry – getting past the Application Tracking System is not hard, as long as you know how to do it.

  • The key here is to tailor your resume to each job you apply. To do this, you need to mention the right keywords from the job ad in your resume.

  • So, let’s cover a simple example on how to do this. Let’s say that after reading the following job ad for the position of a digital marketer, you discover that the most critical requirements for the job are 
    Example
    • 5+ years of experience in online marketing
    • Social media marketing experience, with good knowledge of Facebook advertising.
    • B.A. in Marketing or Business Administration.
    • Experience managing 20,000 USD monthly advertising budget on Facebook.

How to List Education on Your Resume

The next section we’re going to cover is your Education. Let’s start with the basics – how to format the education section & what to mention there. Then, we’ll move on to tips & tricks that’ll help you stand out…

  • Program Name. E.g.: “B.A. in Business Administration”
  • University Name. E.g.: “New York State University”
  • Years Attended. E.g.: “08/2008 – 06/2012”
  • (Optional) GPA. E.g.: “3.9 GPA”
  • (Optional) Honors. E.g.: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude.
  • (Optional) Academic achievements. Any interesting papers you’ve written, courses you’ve excelled in, etc.
  • (Optional) Minor“Minor in Psychology”

Tips on perfecting your education section:
If you don’t have any work experience, mention your education section first.
Mention your latest educational entry on top.
If you have a university degree, don’t mention your high school at all.
ONLY mention GPA if you had a very impressive academic career (3.5 GPA plus).

Emphasize Your Know-How with the Skills Section

  • Another must-have section in your resume is the “Skills” section. Here, you want to mention all your know-how that makes you the perfect candidate for the job.

  • There are 2 types of skills you can include when writing your resume:

  • Hard Skills (Measurable abilities). This can be anything from coding in Python to knowing how to cook Thai cuisine.

  • Soft Skills (Personal skills). These are a mix of social skills, communication skills, personal traits, career attributes, and so on. Leadership, critical thinking, management, and communication, just to name a few.

  • A good resume should cover both.

For example:- Qualifications
Qualifications
University Degree
Tech-savy, with some background in CMS systems such as WordPress
Thrives in a stressful environment & manages to juggle multiple tasks and deadlines
Organizational and time management skills
Excellent communication skills
Self-reliant, with the ability to manage their own work
Can-do attitude and an outside-the-box thinker
Systems:
Proficient in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Keynote and Pages
Basic understanding of Office software – Word, Excel, Power point, and Outlook

Other Important Sections

The sections we’ve covered so far are must-haves for any resume. They’re the bread-and-butter for any job application, and if you get them right, you’ll land any job you apply to.

The following sections, though, can really give you a boost here and there.

Languages

Are you bi-lingual? Or better, multi-lingual? You should ALWAYS mention that on your resume!

Even if the position doesn’t require you to know the specific language, it can still come in handy at some point. At the end of the day, it’s always better to know more languages than less.

To list languages in your resume, simply write them down and assign them the appropriate level:

  • Native
  • Fluent
  • Proficient (Enough knowledge to pass by in a professional environment)
  • Intermediate
  • Basic

As a given, you should never lie about your language skills. You never know, your interviewer might turn out to be fluent in the language, or even be a native speaker!

Hobbies & Interests

Want to add some spice to your resume? The hobbies and interests section, while not a game-changer, can help show who YOU are as an individual. Who knows, maybe you and your interviewee have some hobbies in common? 

If you end up with some extra space in your resume, don’t hesitate to show off your personality with a hobbies / interests section.

Volunteering Experience

If you’re the type of person to use your free time helping others, while expecting nothing in return, chances are that you’re the type of employee who’s in it for more than just the money. It leaves the impression that you’re a devoted, loyal employee.

Certifications & Awards

Do you have any awards that make you stand out in your field? How about certifications from industry experts?

Whichever the case is, as long as it’s relevant for the position you’re applying for, feel free to add it to your resume.

Let’s say, for example, you’re a Microsoft Cloud Engineer. Assuming you specialize in Microsoft Technologies, you’d definitely want to include all essential certifications, such as the Azure Solutions Architect Expert one.

Publications 

Are you a freelance writer? Maybe a distinguished academic?

If you have any published works (online, or in an academic journal), you might want to include them in your resume. Make sure to include a URL, so the HR knows where to check your work!

Projects

Working on side projects can really show off your passion for your field. Whether they’re university class projects or part-time entrepreneurial endeavors, they’re both equally relevant.

Let’s say, for example, you worked on a mock software product as part of a competition in university. You went through every step of product creation, from ideation to creating a marketing strategy. 

You can mention the project in your resume and stand a better chance at landing that business internship!

Or on the other hand, maybe you manage an Etsy store, selling hand-made arts & crafts to customers online. Mention all of it! 

Hiring managers love employees who do cool work in their free time.

Perfecting Your Resume - FREE Checklis

Already done with your resume? Interested in seeing how it holds up? Go through our checklist for perfecting your resume and see where you stand!

>> Free Checklist for Resume Writing
Does your contact information section have all the must-have information?
1. Is your contact email professional? E.g.: firstname+lastname@email.com
2. Are you using the right resume format?
3. Is your resume 1-2 pages?
4. Did you include all the must-have sections in your resume? 
5. Did you list only the most relevant work experiences?
6. Did you list achievements instead of responsibilities?
7. Did you tailor your resume to the job ad you’re applying for?
8. Did you mention the right amount of work experience in your resume?
9. Did you list your education in your resume?
10. Did you list all the right skills for the position you’re applying for?
11. Did you add any other important resume sections?
And finally, did you proof-read your resume? We’d recommend asking a friend or using software like Grammarly.