Job hunting can be a stressful process, especially when you’re starting from scratch. You may feel overwhelmed after several rejections or a lack of response. You could point to different reasons for this, but one of the most likely causes could be your resume.
Your resume is often the first point of contact between you and a potential employer. It needs to make a solid first impression to stand out from the competition.
To ensure your resume has all the key elements that will get you noticed by employers, here are some of the essential elements to consider:
1. Contact Section
How else is a potential employer or recruiting agency supposed to reach you if you don’t include your contact information? Include your name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of your resume. If you are unsure about sharing your home address, you can simply list the city and state you are in. There should be a clear distinction between your contact details and the rest of the resume, making it easier for the employer to spot.
2. Resume Summary
A resume summary is a brief introduction at the top of your resume. It should include your job title, years of experience, and most relevant skills, all in one sentence. This gives potential employers an immediate snapshot of who you are and what you can bring to the table. Alternatively, you can include a resume profile instead of a summary. A profile is a few sentences that provide an overview of your career goals, experience, and skills. It also indicates your potential fit for the role you’re applying to.
3. Professional Experience Section
This is one of the most important sections on your resume, where you can demonstrate your value to a potential employer. In this Section, include key bullet points about each job you have previously held, such as tasks and duties, skills used, and accomplishments.
Make sure this Section is easy to read and organized in chronological order, starting with your current or most recent job. It can be complicated if you have a gap in your resume since your last job, but you can still include relevant experiences such as volunteering or internships. Sometimes it helps not to overthink this Section and just keep it simple.
4. Education Section
For employers, your educational background can indicate how you will fit into their team. Include any degrees or certifications you have obtained in this Section and any relevant courses taken that may help the employer understand why you are a suitable candidate for their role. Consider including any awards or honors achieved during your studies. Even if you don’t have a degree, you can still include relevant courses or certifications taken throughout your education.
5. Skills Section
Your skills are your most significant selling point. Here, you can showcase the skills that are relevant to the job and highlight them in an easy-to-read format. To make sure this Section stands out to employers, list your skills in how you used them in past job roles. This is also an excellent opportunity to include any technical or software skills necessary for the position. Additionally, make sure to add any transferable skills you have that would benefit the role.
Employers spend less than a minute reading your resume, so you want to ensure it’s clear and concise. Following these steps can help you craft a standout resume that will catch the attention of employers and increase your chances of landing an interview.