Add Your Professional Resume Summary Statement
A resume summary statement is a short paragraph or section of bullet points at the beginning of a resume that highlights your professional skills and experience. Your summary should expand on your headline and communicate to recruiters and hiring managers why you are a good fit for the job.
Summary statements are not ideal for all job seekers. If you dont have much job experience or are changing careers, you might use the space to expand on your work history section, skills section, or write a strong resume objective statement instead.
Note: Career experts rarely recommend including a resume objective statement, but these summary alternatives can work in special circumstances such as in the case of career changes.
Next Steps: Tailoring Your Resume To The Job
Now that you know what sections to put on your resume, let’s talk about its content.
It’s essential that any information you’ve mentioned on your resume is relevant to the job.
We really cant emphasize enough how important it is for you to check every section you have put on your resume and make sure each one is tailored to the job/position you are applying for.
Because the hiring manager wants the job seeker that’s applying for THEIR position, not sending a mass application to 50+ different companies.
So, heres how youd tailor your resume to the job youre applying for. As step #1, take a look at the job ad and identify top requirements and skills.
Lets use the following ad as an example:
As you can see, the most important requirements are:
- 5+ years of experience in the field
- Skills in Copywriting, Photoshop, and email marketing
- Practical experience creating and optimizing landing pages
Now, you need to make sure you mention all of these in your resume, in whichever section theyre relevant.
Now that you know exactly what to put on a resume, we thought it would be helpful to also cover what NOT to put on a resume.
But Keep A Master List Of All Jobs
Since youll want to be swapping different information in and out depending on the job youre applying to, keep a resume outline or master resume on your computer where you keep any information youve ever included on a resume: old positions, bullet points tailored for different applications, special projects that only sometimes make sense to include. Then, when youre crafting each resume, its just a matter of cutting and pasting relevant information together. Think of this as your brag file.
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What Contact Information Should Your Resume Have
A great resume would contain the following contact information in the right order:
Full Name – The generally preferred format is Name, Last Name
Right under the name, you should include your:
Professional Title – this should always mirror the job position you are applying for.
Lets say you are applying for a front-end web development position but your professional title says Junior Data Scientist.
Whoever picks up your resume will most likely discard it thinking that you are either overqualified for the position or your resume is in the wrong pile.
Professional Email Address
Your email should be professional and not something you created back in primary school.
Check out our guide on how to email your resume to an employer for more tips!
Phone Number – If you are applying for a job outside your country, make sure to include your country code as well. If you have a US phone number, for example, youd add in front of the number 555 555 5555.
Heres an example of how this would look exactly.
So far so good. However, you can notice how there is a lot of valuable empty space for you to add more eye-catching information.
Aside from the basic contact information, you should also put on your resume links to your social media handles and/or personal websites.
Write A Killer Cover Letter
Every job application should include a cover letter. Every single one. Even a job application for a position in the checkout line at the grocery store can include a cover letter. Why? Because it is the only introduction you might have to your future employer.
“I wrote a cover letter to get a job at Claire’s,” says Kathi, a Coast Guard wife living in Tampa who moved to be with her husband and had no local job connections. “No job experience, no connections. It was brutal,” she remembers.
Kathi had worked seasonally at her local mall in high school, but because she was a varsity athlete, she did not have time to hold down a real job in addition to school. “I had a little experience, but my supervisors had all gotten new jobs and I didn’t have their contact info,” she says. “So I worked for a few weeks but had no references.”
Kathi was worried that would mean she would have no one to speak on her behalf, so she took the opportunity to speak for herself. “I thought cover letters would be for bigger jobs, but my boss said she gets cover letters all the time. She said that it’s a good way to learn about someone.”
Most employers share Kathi’s boss’s approach. A cover letter is a reasonable expectation from any recent graduate or someone who lacks the professional history a stand-out resume might have.
Better yet: Do write your cover letter specifically for every position. The personalization comes through and shows you take the position seriously.
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Creating A Resume Skills Section
The skills section is an essential part of your resume. However, there are several different ways to approach creating yours.
Here are a few examples demonstrating the different ways you can format your resumes skills section:
If you have many relevant hard and soft skills, add them to your resume skills section using separate bullet points, like this:
If youre a student or recent graduate and have no significant job skills yet, there are still plenty of things you can list in your resume skills section. Heres an example of a skills section written by a candidate with no work experience:
Another way to organize your skills section is by using bars to provide employers a rough estimate of your proficiency.
This type of skills section is particularly popular with more creative professions, like graphic design or social media management:
Detail Your Work Experience
The work experience section is the heart of your resume. Employers look at this section closely to determine whether your job history and prior accomplishments make you a promising candidate.
Thats why its important to detail not only your job responsibilities but also your competence in prior roles. The work experience section is your chance to show recruiters and hiring managers how you have added unique value to other companies.
The first things a recruiter looks for on your resume are the job titles youve held and the caliber of companies youve worked with. Make this information easy to find by sticking to a familiar format.
List each job in reverse-chronological order. Each job should have its own subheading that includes the following information:
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How To Include Skills On A Resume
For every role you apply to, tailor the skills section of your resume so that the information included matches the skills mentioned in the job description.
You can also weave in your skills in the experience section, as you describe the tasks and responsibilities of roles you’ve held in the past.
The keyword skills that you include in your resume and cover letters will help your job application materials get selected by the automated parsing systems employers often use to select applicants to interview. You should also be prepared to mention your most relevant skills during job interviews.
What Skills Should I Not Include At All
Hands down the best and most intuitive resume builder Ive used. We actually tried it out and it took us a couple of days, but we were able to find a freelancer who agreed to write our test resume for $145 other writers gave us quotes as high as $545. An unprofessional resume makes you look unprofessional as a job seeker and will cost you a possible interview. Lets look at each of these more in depth. We usually recommend going for a mix of hard and soft skills. With most employers, your resume will be scanned by an applicant tracking system ATS, parsing resumes for keywords. What did you do that made the company better, more profitable, more efficient, and more competitive. Check out our free CV examples, resume examples, and other career resources to make the most of your job search. This is what makes them so compelling for the hiring manager. Analytics related cookies used on our Site are not used by Us for the purpose of identifying who you are or to send you targeted advertising. When making a resume in our builder, drag and drop bullet points, skills, and auto fill the boring stuff. Give us 10 minutes and youll know how to write a cover letter like that. You have the option to get your resume done in a day.
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What Paper Weight Should My Resume Have
Typical copy paper is 20 pounds per ream, or per 500 pages of paper. Instead of using the standard weight, opt for 24 or 32-pound paper. 24-pound paper is more formal than 20-pound paper. It’s also cost-effective and budget-friendly, and can usually go through a home printer easily. 32-pound resume paper is heavier and opaque, and it’s less likely to tear. It’s usually more expensive than 24-pound paper, and many home printers may have trouble running this paper through. If you use 32-pound paper for your resume, consider printing it at an office supply store that has a commercial printer.
Why Bother Writing It
Its super important. We hate to use the word important, but
Your work experience section is the most important part of your resume. In fact, when you think resume, the work experience section is probably the first thing that comes to your mind. And youre not alone. Based on this section employers determine whether or not you have what it takes for the job.
It provides an overview of your past experience. A well-written work experience section is a crucial element because it shows that you have the necessary qualifications.
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Ditch The Objective Statement
According to Zhang, the only occasion when an objective section makes sense is when youre making a huge career change and need to explain from the get-go why your experience doesnt match up with the position youre applying to. In every other case? Consider whether a summary statement would be right for youor just nix it altogether to save space and focus on making the rest of your resume stellar.
How To Match Your Resume Skills To The Job Description
Many companies use an applicant tracking system , which acts as an electronic filter, to collect, scan, sort and rank resumes to narrow applicant pools to the most qualified candidates. Thats why you need to customize your resume and cover letter using keywords and phrases that match the job listing .
If an employer is looking for a graphic designer with mastery in Adobe Creative Suite, for example, you wouldnt just claim experience with software for creative professionals. List the software by name, give your expertise level, and if you have it highlight your Adobe Certified Expert certification. Likewise, if an employer is searching for an accountant with experience processing daily invoices and credit, then use similar language in your resume. Simply listing gathering receipts as a duty wont likely score well with an ATS.
Repeat common words and phrases from other postings of the same role, too. But remember, every job description is different. Tailor the keywords and skills on your resume and in your cover letter for each position.
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Resume Tips That Will Help You Get Hired
When you havent updated your resume in a while, it can be hard to know where to start. What experiences and accomplishments should you include for the jobs youve got your eye on? What new resume rules and trends should you be following? And seriously, one page or two?
Well, search no more: Weve compiled all the resume tips you need into one place. Read on for advice and tricks thatll make sure you craft a winning resumeand help you land a job.
Do: Write For The Robots
Adding the position you are applying for at the top can help get your resume past applicant tracking systems, according to Demisha Jennings, a certified resume writer.
These systems look for specific keywords to find potential candidates.
She suggested identifying the keywords used in a job description and making sure they are also included in your resume. Often the title of the position and required skills are some of the keywordsthe tracking systems are looking for, she explained.
If you dont use those keywords and phrases from the position description, its harder to get past the applicant tracking system, she said.
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Why You Need A Resume
In todays job market, the resume has become the number one requirement potential employers request. Before an employer will take valuable time to interview you, he or she wants to meet you on paper. How you impress that employer with your resume can, and will, make all the difference.
Without a resume, you cant even begin to compete, and an inferior resume will quickly eliminate you before you even have a fighting chance. That is why it is imperative to have a superior resume, one that effectively lets employers know what you can do for them.
A Resume is a Summary of Your Qualifications
The term resume comes from the French and means a “summary.” Thats exactly what your resume is: A summary of your qualifications, skills, and achievements. It shows a future employer what you have done in the past. It details your skills and training, work experience, and education, and, most importantly, the accomplishments you have made with past employers.
It should also inform the employer of your career objective and communicate in a concise manner the benefits you will bring to the job if hired.
Skills Versus Employer Benefits
The Purpose of the Resume is to Get You an Interview
How often have you thought, “If only I had met with the employer in person, I could have convinced him that I was the right person for the job!” Your only chance is to compose an impressive resume, one that will get noticed and get you in the door so you can meet the employer in person and get the job.
What Are Technical Or Hard Skills On Your Resume
Here are some hard resume skills for 15 in-demand fields:
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How To Discover Skills The Company Values
You need to use the job description to customize your resume skills and work history sections. But dont stop there. Research the employer to gain insight into the workplace culture and company values. You may discover additional qualities that would be prized by the employer.
If you know someone who works at the company, or has in the past, reach out to ask about the workplace culture and what the employer considers important in its workers. Also check websites such as Glassdoor and Fairygodboss for company reviews by employees and former employees.
The companys website can tell you a lot, too. Reading the About Us page is typically a good place to begin.
For instance, in a section called Living our values, IBM includes the following:
- Dedication to every clients success
- Innovation that matters for our company and for the world
- Trust and responsibility in all relationships
If you were applying for a job at IBM, you would want to consider what soft skills you possess that fit this framework customer service, attentiveness, initiative and loyalty and weave them into your resume.
Here at Robert Half, we focus on and promote our four LEAD principles. They are:
- Leadership by Example
- An Openness to New Ideas
- Dedication to Excellence
If youre applying for a job at Robert Half, you might highlight skills that speak to your leadership, drive and diligence, as well as your confidence and ability to collaborate.