Everyone needs a resume – it’s your main tool to showcase the mark you’re making on the professional world. But crafting your perfect resume comes with challenges and questions – what should it look like, what should be included, how do you tailor it for certain positions? Because let’s face it – you’re more than a resume, and reducing your skills and work history to a single document is a challenging task. To combat this, we’ve compiled do’s and don’ts on the five most important parts of your resume.
Do: Include a clear, concise statement about your current career goals as they relate to your industry, experience, and skills – especially if you’re in a specific field or trade.
Don’t: Include a statement just because you think you need to. If you feel like your experience and credentials speak for themselves, then leave it at that. Not every industry needs an objective.
Do: Make your name appear as a header, at the top of the page. You want it to stick out. Also include your email, phone number, and LinkedIn profile. If you have an online portfolio, link to that too.
Don’t: Include your personal address. CNBC says in the current job market, employers will call or send an email if they want to contact you. Personal addresses can also confuse employers if you’re relocating, and the location of the job you’re applying to doesn’t match your current address.
Do: Include the last three positions you were in, and any other positions relevant to your industry, in reverse chronological order. ALWAYS include key projects, accomplishments, and/or promotions, and if you have any statistics directly related to your success – Money.com suggests these make the largest impact.
Don’t: Include entry-level positions you worked at in the start of your career. Unless you are changing industries or have an employment gap, these are no longer relevant.
Do: Include your GPA, Major, and any relevant awards or certifications you received.
Don’t: Include the year you graduated, as this will date you. You also don’t need to go in-depth on every class you took. We all had to take statistics and write a research paper – trust me, your prospective employer knows.
Do: Include a call to actions that reads something simple like “References available upon request.” If your references are hosted online somewhere, like Workgrades, you can include a link to that as well.
Don’t: Include contact information of several of your previous supervisors. This is valuable space that can be allocated better. It’s not worth it.
While resumes can be tricky, they serve as a direct representation of your background and experience when applying for jobs. Let your resume be a living, ever-changing document – look at it often. Send it to people. Be open to criticism and make tweaks. And if you’re looking to further enhance more of your professional collateral, check out our posts on how to update your LinkedIn and online portfolio.