Resumes are one of the most vital aspects of a job hunt. A strong resume will set you apart from the rest of the candidates the employer is considering, ultimately increasing your chances of landing an interview and hopefully, a job. While we understand it’s significance, building a stand-out resume can be an overwhelming task. Let’s cover 5 essential areas you should include to create a standout resume!
This section of your resume is for your name and contact information. Here, you want to include important contact information such as the city you reside in, email, phone number, and a link to your LinkedIn (if applicable). Contact information is crucial for your employer as it allows them to contact you directly if they’re impressed with your application. Here’s an example of the contact information section in your resume:
The summary section is a brief description of who you are and what you have to offer. Strong summaries highlight your credentials and emphasize how they can be used to benefit the company you are applying for. This section is helpful for giving your employer a sneak peek of your value proposition. A summary that properly reflects who you are is a crucial aspect of your resume, especially considering that recruiters spend roughly 7 seconds reviewing resumes. The rest of your resume will serve as evidence to support your summary. Here is a compelling example:
Enthusiastic Barista skilled at customer service, Point of Sales, and time management. Works well under pressure and effective at maintaining store operations during rush hours. Knowledgeable in coffee and tea culture. Seeking to enhance experience of in-store operations and management.
The professional experience section summarizes previous job experience and responsibilities. It’s essential to highlight daily tasks and accomplishments that you have achieved during your time in the role, and how this led to strong outcomes. This section helps the employer understand your capability, and whether you are a fit candidate for the role you are applying to. Here, your credentials should support and amplify the claims in your summary. An example can be found below:
If you are a candidate with no work experience, there are alternative approaches you can take. In this case, you should focus on highlighting any initiatives or extracurriculars you have been involved with. Did you volunteer in the past? Were you the captain of a club or sports team? Have you done any internships? Any extracurricular activities - paid or unpaid - that highlight your skills would be a great alternative.
The education section highlights your academic experience and performance. Essential information to include is the name of the school, the location of the school, the dates attended, and degrees earned. Additional information to include, but is not required, is grade-point average (GPA), honors achievement, scholarships and relevant coursework or extracurricular activities. Using your education section to further emphasize your skills will increase the effectiveness of your resume.
The skills sections should serve as a list of all the skills you have to offer. These skills should reflect your experience and support your value proposition for the company. Employers look for two kinds of skills: soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are skills that are part of your personality such as interpersonal skills, communication, and leadership. Hard skills are skills you learned and developed through experience such as writing, reading, or math. The skills section wraps up your skills in a clear and concise list for the employer to consider.
It’s no secret that resumes are a crucial aspect of your job search. While the task can be overwhelming, following the 5 steps above will guide you for building a strong resume that will catch the eyes of your employer.