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5 Key Elements Of An Effective Resumé

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

When you’re applying for a job, one of the very first things your potential employers are going to see about you, before even getting to meet you in person, is your resume. In fact, your resume is a very important document which may make or break your chances of getting hired for the job. Employers go through hundreds of applications for every job opening, and you’ll want your resume to make it to the pile for qualified interviewees, not automatically to the rejected pile.

With that said, it takes a lot of hard work to come up with a resume. Don’t just rush this process. It should tell your potential employer about your skills, experiences, academic background, and a little personal information. But, it also shouldn’t hold too much, as not everyone has the time to sift through long resumes. Keep it concise yet informative.

To ensure that you have an effective resume that stands out, be sure it meets the following inclusions of a technical resume format:

1. Contact Information

On the topmost part of your resume, you should include your contact information. This includes your full name, phone and mobile number, work email address, and your address.

That’s all the personal information your employer needs to know about you. Gone are the days when the religion, height, weight, and other non-essential factors are required (unless of course the job calls for a healthy body mass index). 

Your contact information is very important, so your potential employer or the HR manager responsible for going through the application process will know how to reach you should you make it to the next step. Be sure that all the contact information is up-to-date. Most importantly, keep things professional. Your email address, among others, should be professional, and not that sophomoric personal email address you may have had since high school.

2. Resume Introduction

Your introduction or your resume objective is your elevator pitch. It’s a very short paragraph which should give the reader an idea how your qualities and beliefs align with that of the company you wish to be a part of. By reading your resume introduction or objective, your employer or hiring agent should immediately get that nudge that you may be the best candidate for the position.

There are generally four types of resume introductions you may want to include as you write your resume:

  • Qualifications summary. These are your best achievements, usually placed in an average of four to six bullet points.
  • Resume summary. This should show the highlights of your past career. 
  • Resume profile. This gives a background on your career achievements, which is helpful if the job application isn’t position-based. This part highlights the skills you have which are most valuable in the industry you’re applying for.
  • Resume objective. This is best for entry-level applicants, to convince the hiring officer how you’d use your skills and experience to be the best fit for the position you’re applying for.

3. Educational Background

When the educational background is an important part of being competitive and effective in the position you’re applying for, then be sure to include it. But, this isn’t to say that you have to include every single academic level you had since birth. This should only include the education you’ve obtained from the high school level, up to your highest educational attainment.

But, use an inverted format to showcase your educational background. Start with your latest educational achievement, as this is the most important. In fact, for busy employers and HR managers, once they read through your latest educational achievement, they may not even go through the other points under your educational background anymore. For instance, if you’ve completed your MBA, then start with the MBA first, then your college attainment, then high school. Pertinent information you should include are:

  • The school’s full name;
  • City and state address of the school;
  • Graduation date;
  • Any course highlights, but only those which directly relate to the position you’re applying for;
  • Certificates completed.

4. Work Experience

The work experience section should include all the jobs you’ve held since high school or university. But, only those that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. The point of including your work experience is to prove to your potential employer that you’re the best fit for the job you’re applying for as you’ve already gone through a lot of work experience to hone your skills and ability.

New graduate student holding resume application with pen coffee cup keyboard and notebook for applying for a job.

Remember that in the competitive employment industry, it’s not just the academic skills that matter. Rather, it’s also the experience you’ve held that makes you fit for the job. No matter how small or insignificant you may think the job is, list it. What matters is its relevance to the job you’re applying for.

As you list your previous work experience, include the duration you’ve held the job, the location, and the professional title you held. This can give your new employer also an opportunity to double check with the company whether you actually held the job, should they deem it necessary to do so.

5. Skills Section

Your skills section is also another important element to include in your resume to prove to your new employer that you don’t just have the experience needed to get the job done, but you’re also equipped with the necessary skills. You don’t have to be very comprehensive here so as to include irrelevant skills. Only include those marketable qualities which match the job description you’re applying for.

Also, include a balanced mix of both your soft and hard skills. The hard skills refer to those you’ve learned and obtained through training or your education, usually referred to as technical skills. The soft skills, on the other hand, are your character traits to show how you interact with others at work.

Conclusion

When you’re searching for a job, one of the most important documents you’ll submit to your potential employer is your resume. When the competition is very tight, your resume has to stand out. Remember that employers have hundreds of resumes to go through, and it’s only through having an effective one that you can make it to the next round of the application process. To ensure your resume is effective, take note of the tips and elements above.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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