7 things top recruiters look for in a resume

One of the most frequent inquiries I receive is, “What should I include on my resume?” And how should I arrange it?”

There is a lot of contradicting information regarding what should be on a resume and how it should be structured.

Let’s get started.

The following are the seven essential categories of information that should be included on a resume:

  1. Name and Contact Info
  2. Summary Paragraph
  3. Employment History
  4. Skills
  5. Education
  6. Community Involvement
  7. Awards/Achievements

Now that you know the seven most important items to include in a resume, let’s go through each part step by step, so you know how to write each one.  since that is also crucial.

Read Also: 10 Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid in job Interviews.

1. Name and Contact Info

Put your full name and a professional-looking email address at the top of your CV.

Your phone number and street address are optional, but I recommend that you include these for most individuals.

If you’re looking for employment out of state, it can be a good idea to keep your address blank.

Now for the formatting and designs.

I’d keep it basic and “clean” in appearance. There are no distractions. There aren’t too many fonts or colors. This is sound advice for formatting your entire resume.

Read Also: 21 Resume mistakes keeping you from getting a job – How to fix them.

2. Summary Paragraph

This is the second part of your resume and, in most situations, should come directly after your name and contact information.

This is a two- or three-sentence description of your credentials and accomplishments throughout your career (or throughout your education if you just graduated).

Please keep in mind that this is not an “objective.” I would encourage you not to include an objective on your resume. Hiring managers understand that your goal is to find a position in their field that will allow you to use your abilities, etc.

Instead, provide a summary paragraph.

Read Also: Building A Standard CV For Job Interview

3. Employment History

This is where you should include any past jobs (including internships!). And it’s one of the first things a hiring manager looks for on a résumé.

As a result, it should be visible without scrolling down on the top half of the first page.

Overall, provide job titles, business names, and dates (you can opt to enter only years or the month and year you started and concluded each position — be consistent).

Then, of course, include bullet points outlining what you performed at each employment. I’d recommend 4-8 bullet points for each job.

Don’t simply speak about your work obligations in these bullet points; tell about what you did. There is a significant difference.

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4. Skills

This is the next significant section to include in your resume.

You may be tempted to place it before your Employment History.  People may have even advised you to do so. However, the only time I believe it is OK to include Skills first is if you have no job experience.

Here’s why.  Hiring managers don’t want to see an extensive list of talents without knowing WHERE you learned/applied each one (and how recently you used them).

As a result, they are far more likely to check your resume for the Employment History section. That’s why we ranked it higher!

After that, skills should follow.

You may include a list of your top talents relevant to the job you’re going for in your Skills section, and you can even put them under a few headers/categories if you believe it makes sense for your position and sector.

There is no “magic” amount to include. Some people may only require 3-10, while others may require all depends on how long you’ve been working and what sector you’re in.

However, make sure you consider what is relevant to the position; don’t just mention many abilities that will not help you in their position.

Consider keywords as well – here is an excellent spot to include keywords on your resume to get past online job application processes.

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5. Education

Put your school(s), a field of study, and graduation date on your resume — unless you believe your graduation date may expose you to age discrimination. If you graduated a long time ago, you might omit the dates.

In this box, you may also provide your GPA. I’d only do it if the score were higher than 3.0/4. Otherwise, please remove it.

You may be questioned about your GPA in the early years of your work, but you are unlikely to be asked about it again after that, so don’t be concerned if your GPA is less than 3.0/4. Leave it off your resume.

Read Also: How to Follow up After a Successful Job Interview [Complete Guide].

6. Community Involvement

If you’ve done any volunteer work or otherwise aided your community, this is the place to put it.

You can provide the location, dates, and the nature of your contribution/work.

Don’t worry if you haven’t done any volunteer or community service; leave this area off your resume.

Read Also: What Is A Cover Letter? Beginner’s Guide.

7. Awards/Achievements

You should include any awards or other accolades for your achievement on your resume.

However, it is not necessarily necessary to have a distinct section for it. That is all up to you.

If you have received an academic award, you may include it in your Education section (beneath your degree, GPA, etc.)

If you got an award or recognition for exceptional performance at a former work, you might include it in your Employment History section as a bullet point or a remark underneath that specific employment.

So, while accolades and accomplishments are significant to mention on any résumé, they don’t necessarily require their section.

Read Also: 7 Strategies to Stand Out from Competitors.

What NOT to Include on a Resume:

We’ve discussed what should be included in a resume and how to construct those parts to catch the reader’s attention.

But we’re not finished yet – there are a few items you should leave off your CV if you want to obtain interviews… and you may not have been forewarned of these. So let’s go over that next.

1. Irrelevant jobs

If you have a long work history, consider deleting any positions that are no longer relevant or were at the start of your career (mainly if you’ve worked for 15-20 years or more).

It is important to note that removing an irrelevant job will leave your career history void. For example, even if you’ve only had one job and it’s unrelated to what you want to do next, you should maintain it.

Why is this so? It is preferable to include an unrelated position to your current job hunt than to provide nothing at all in your “Employment History.”

And, regardless of your previous position, you may consistently demonstrate skills like leadership, responsibility, hard effort, problem-solving, and so on throughout your work history! As a result, hiring managers may still find it relevant and remarkable.

2. An “Objective” section

Instead, as indicated previously in the essay, include a Career Summary section.

3. Anything that makes it more than 2 pages

Unless you have a Ph.D. and are putting up an academic CV… or until you’ve been working for at least 10-15 years… Your resume should not exceed two pages.

It should only be one page for 75-80% of individuals.

So concentrate on what is most necessary and limit the length to a minimum.

As a recruiter, I’d prefer to see 8 particular abilities relevant to the position I’m hiring for than a list of 30 generic skills you’ve used throughout your career but may not be related to the job. So create your CV laser-focused and tailored to their requirements!

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4. Spelling or grammar mistakes

Everything should be proofread and spell-checked.

If you have a spelling or grammar error on your resume, you are highly unlikely to get invited in for an interview — and no one will tell you.

So, either discover it yourself or have a buddy proofread it thoroughly for you!

If you proofread it yourself, here’s a tip: before proofreading, briefly convert your resume to an odd typeface. It will assist you in detecting faults.

You’ve hopefully gained answers to your queries on what should be on a resume, as well as seen the top items to leave off.

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