On this post, I will answer the question “What should I include in my resume?”
While the answer may be obvious that you need highlight your work experiences on your CV, writing a resume is more than just listing down the positions you held, companies you worked for, and day-to-day responsibilities.
Resume writing is a crucial step in your search for that job you desire.
It is imperative to exert your best efforts to come up with a winning resume and beat the tough field of candidates for that all important interview.
An orderly resume consists of the following key sections in this particular order:
- Name and Professional Title
- Contact Information
- Executive Summary
- Key Skills / Technical Skills (Areas of Expertise)
- Work Experience
- Miscellaneous Information
Let’s discuss what to include in each of these sections and the importance of their contents to the hiring company.
Be sure the Professional Title you put matches the position or job title posted in the ad job. This is to easily get noticed and warrant further interest from the hiring officer on reading the very first part of your resume.
In the Contact Information section, include only your contact number, email address and nationality. Include your work authorization if you are a foreigner.
You have the Executive Summary section to demonstrate to the hiring company that you have the skills they are looking for. Utilize the first lines to give the employer a good feel of your suitability for the position. Highlight your most important achievements, length of work experience, your main field of expertise and industry. You can then describe your other skills in the next few lines, taking note to use the exact same terms or phrases used in the job ad.
Use a Key Skills (sometimes called Areas of Expertise) section if you are not into a technology role. Otherwise, it is advisable to use a Technical Skills section with two columns to list the technologies you are proficient in. Most hiring companies use automated resume screening software. Ensure that the keywords / key phrases you list match those in the job ad you are applying for to ensure you get past these scanners..
Under your Work Experience, summarise your role and responsibilities into 2 to 3 bullet points. Describe the size of your team, the budget you’re managing if any, and your primary functions to the companies you’ve been a part of. Capture everything hiring managers need to know about the roles you held.
Under each position, it would be ideal to list down Significant Achievements you’ve accomplished for each role. Describe the benefits you brought to the company, as well as all the successes you achieved. Substantiate them with metrics and data, as much as possible.
Keep the Education section short and simple. Include the course you completed (honors or distinction, if any), your specialisation, name of university and location, as well as the year of completion.
For a new graduate, your working experience may be limited or nil. In such a case, place your Education section just after the Executive Summary. Employers will tend to look at your education as a strong indicator of your abilities. Read our post on how to write a resume if you have no job description here.
Include details such as notice period, languages spoken and hobbies in the Miscellaneous Information section.
Your resume should not be more than two pages maximum.
Your CV should be showcase of your best skills and capabilities. It is also a reflection of your personality and other attributes. Go through your CV and edit it several times for grammar, spelling and typos. Avoid empty meaningless phrases just to impress. Stick to informative, easy-to-understand words.
Remember, HR staff and hiring managers who will read your resume may not have a technical background. Their understanding of the industry is limited. Ensure you use the language they’re familiar with.
For a more detailed discussion, you can refer to our ultimate guide on How to Write a Resume.
Good luck in your search for your dream job!
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