Help! What Do I Put on My Resume?


It’s easy for job seekers to get bogged down in all the details and latest trends of the modern job search. At the heart of every successful job search is a resume that does it’s job well. But what do you put on your resume to make sure you’re getting the attention you deserve? It can be overwhelming, especially when you are either new to the job market, or trying to position yourself for a new job.

Wherever you are in your career, however many formats or templates you have of your resume, there are several critical elements of a truly impactful resume. This post will briefly address why a resume is so important and a general guideline for writing one. The resume is not what it used to be, and an outdated look could be preventing an invitation to interview. Here are the new basics of resume writing.

What to Highlight

The most valuable qualifications you can highlight on your resume are those based around skills you have gained working on other projects over the years, your accomplishments to date, and the quantifiable results you have provided for past employers. When an employer or a recruiter reads through a resume, they are most interested in learning what services and skills you can provide their company as a new hire. Focus on what you as an employee can bring to the table.

The Importance of Relevance

If you are a more experienced professional, it’s likely that you can fill many pages with valuable information about your skills and achievements. But remember that a resume should be short and to the point. Employers who see overly long resumes often move on to the next one simply because they don’t have time to wade through the minute details of every candidate’s history.
Keep your resume focused on the most important and most relevant skills, achievements, and qualifications that make you right for the job you are applying for. That likely means revising it to cater to each new job you apply for. Consider that a good thing. By trimming down your resume, you’re not negating the achievements that don’t make the cut. Rather you are bringing attention to the most relevant aspects of your work history.

Keep Your Resume Up to Date

It’s easy to let a resume get out of date, especially for those who are currently employed. Experience builds over time, projects come and go, and unless you are making frequent updates to your resume, some of those valuable qualifications might be forgotten when you do get around to revising the document. It’s a good idea to keep a master resume, which can be as long as it needs to be to list all the accomplishments and skills you have developed over time. Then, when you are applying for a specific job, you can revise and trim the list down to a more manageable size based on the job description you are provided.

Adding The Polish that Will Get You Noticed

The effectiveness of a resume is based entirely on whether or not it gets you an interview. If you are having trouble getting a foot in the door, consider your resume’s overall impact. Is it formatted well? Are you confident it is written clearly and is free of all grammatical or spelling errors? Are your references up to date? Does your work history include any unexplained gaps that might be a red flag? Take a final look at your resume as if you were an interviewer. Ensure your resume is clear, clean, and makes you look like the best applicant for the job.

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