Hey y’all! As many of us may know, having a resume is an essential part in obtaining a job. Some of us learned about resumes when we were teens, young adults, or even older adults. But no matter when you learned about resumes there are always going to be key essentials needed when making one. These essentials can help to tailor your resume to the job you're applying for and help you stand out among other candidates. Let’s be honest, the job market is very competitive, and your resume is likely the first impression an employer will have on you before meeting you. According to the website Top Resume, “a professionally written resume boosts your earning potential by 7%.” In this article I will go over resume essentials that will set you apart and increase your confidence when applying to jobs.
#1. Skills section:
Having a skills section is a great chance to shine light on your strengths. This is a section that requires you to self-reflect on things you do well. If you are having trouble thinking of skills you have, it can help to ask someone like an employer, coworker or even a close friend for help brainstorming. You also want to make sure that you are being detailed and brief with your skills, I suggest one word is perfect per skill. Instead of putting “Good at getting tasks done on time” just putting, “time management” as a skill.
#2. Recent and relevant work experience:
Focusing on the first word, “recent”, I would say your last three employers. This does not include internships or practicum experience (also include that). If internship/practicum experiences are all that you have it is perfectly okay to just include that. Many people will feel intimidated if they do not have a long history of work experience especially in the field they’re applying for! But don't let that scare you. Put all of your recent experience and be sure to highlight your duties at each job. This can give prospective employers an idea of what you have a history in doing and give them more detail on what you bring to the table. Relevant work experience is also important, going along with what I said about including at least your last three employers, it is important to make sure that the past jobs have some relevance to what you are applying for. If you cannot find any connection in skills used at past jobs for what you are applying for then it might not need to be included on your resume.
#3. Contact section:
Having a contact section is key. I recommend this be at the top of your resume so that it can be visible and easy for employers to get in touch with you. Things that should be included in the contact section are your phone number and email for sure. The phone number should ideally be a cell number and the email should be professional. My tip for emails is that if you do not have a professional one made that clearly identifies at least your first and last name, set 10 minutes aside to make one. It can make a big difference in employers being drawn to your resume.
#4. An objective section:
An objective section is another key element of a great resume. This should also be at the top of the resume so employers can know what you are looking for. Your objective is unique to you, your personality, and what you are looking to convey to employers. Things your objective can include are some adjectives to describe yourself, a brief state of your experience, and what you are looking for. The objective section should not be a paragraph, it should be on the shorter side but convey what your goal is as far as applying to jobs or internships.
#5. A simple font and proper spacing:
Trying to use a fancy font and not having proper spacing can make it a struggle for someone to read your resume. When employers can't read your resume, they may toss it to the side immediately which doesn't work in your favor. You have to make sure you use a clear and simple font like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial. Also, using the 12-point font is the best idea as far as making the letters not too small or too big. You want to make sure you have the proper spacing for your resume to make reading it easier. Many people assume that resumes should be double-spaced because that is most often what we are taught to use in school. In actuality though a resume should be single-spaced or 1.5 to avoid too much white space showing and everything being too far apart.
#6. Education and awards/achievements:
Education is also a section that can be towards the top of your resume, if you are currently in school or have graduated recently. You want to make sure you are listing the degree, year obtained, field of study, and the university. Also, make sure to list it from most recent starting at the top so employers can see your entire educational history in order. I strongly recommend having a section for awards and achievements to end off your resume. It is definitely not a requirement, but it can really help boost your experience level and make you stand out more to employers. Any scholarships, honorary awards, presentations you’ve done, research, etc. can be listed in this section. If you also want to make a separate section for research that works too. Just make sure that everything is neatly in the right section to convey your experience and accomplishments in the best way possible.
There is no 100% perfect way to do a resume since we are all different, have different interests and experiences. These essentials are tips to help shape your resume in the best way possible and empower you to take pride in your resume. I hope that this article helped you out and gave you some information that you can share with others.
By: MeLoni Griffin