Submitting the same resume for every position can’t possibly meet each employer’s requirements. If you want to grab hiring managers’ attention, you need to give them what they want. You must take the time to tailor your resume to each employer and its goals to strengthen your chance of getting noticed.
Education & Hard Skills
List your highest degree first — the type of degree, major, college name, and date awarded.
Skills today are the heart and soul of job finding and, as such, encompass a variety of experiences. Where do skills belong on your resume? Everywhere. Season every statement with skills. Skills are indispensable.
Hard Skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as typing, writing, math, reading and the ability to use software programs. By contrast, soft skills are less tangible and harder to quantify, such as etiquette, getting along with others, listening and engaging in small talk.
Make your volunteer work relevant to your professional development. Be sure to point out if your day-to-day duties, which tie into your career. Point out what were your achievements and what lessons you learned. Maybe you’re an aspiring marketer, and you did digital campaigns for a non-profit organization? Even if the tie-in is not so direct, you can explain what that volunteer project taught you about organizing your work, keeping deadlines or working in an international team. Whatever it is, make it relevant.
The first line at the very top of your resume should include your name. If you’d like to stand out a little, you can add some color to your text, and it won’t hurt to use a larger font for this part; after all, this is one item you’ll need your reviewers to remember. Follow your name with your phone number, physical address (city and state suffice), and email address. As an optional addition, you can include a link to your website, your LinkedIn profile, or the online version of your resume.
A few lines below your contact information create a short, three-to-four line summary of your entire candidacy. Tell your whole story in these simple lines. You can use complete sentences minus the first-person pronouns (“Passionate brand marketer with five years of experience with a major agency”) or clear phrases (“Five years of experience with the major agency”), but whichever style you choose, be consistent. Keep your description substantive, relevant, and memorable. Try to focus on the needs of your employer instead of your search and your job requirements.
Most of us know how to do certain things that aren’t made evident by our job titles and descriptions, and for this reason, every resume should end with a section that lists and describes these specialized skills. If you’re an excellent public speaker, a master of multiple languages, or if you’re proficient with software tools and coding programs that may support your employer’s goals, this is the place to mention them.
Experienced, mid-career professionals who completed their most recent degree programs more than five years ago will often shift this section to the bottom of the page. But most of the time, this information belongs just below the summary or skills. List each of your educational institutions in order, and after each institution, state your degree attained, your course of study, and your completion date. You can also feel free to include any certification courses you’ve completed in recent years as long as your certifications are still valid. Skip your high school diploma if your education continued after this point.
In the next section, you’ll list the previous positions you’ve held in the workplace. You can organize these by chronology or by relevance to the job at hand, but again, be consistent once you’ve made your choice. List each job title you’ve held, and follow this with the name of your employer, a summary of the primary responsibilities of the job, and any unique accomplishments or projects you’ve completed during your tenure. Each entry should contain the dates that you entered and left this role, and these dates of employment should be accurate and transparent.