As you prepare for yet another round of job hunting, you may wonder why no one is calling you in for an interview. The problem could be staring you right in the face — it could be your resume. One of the keys that can open the door to your next job is your resume. That’s why it’s important to make sure it’s in the best shape possible.
While there are some things you should never include in your work history, there are also some elements that should never be left off. Even if your resume is perfect in every way, forgetting to include one or two of these elements could hurt you. It could mean the difference between a job offer and spending endless nights on career websites searching for new job postings. Here are five things you should never leave off your resume.
1. Key words
Yes, this will require you to actually read the entire job description. It might be tempting, but don’t just fire off a resume based on the job title. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble this way. If you want to increase your chances of snagging a job, make sure to include key words from the job posting. This will benefit you in the event your resume is being read by a resume-scanning program. These programs will only pick out the resumes that most closely match key words from a job description.
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2. Major work accomplishments
Sometimes it’s OK — and beneficial — to brag a little. Did you help your department save a significant amount of money? Highlight that fact in your resume. You could mention your accomplishment verbally during the interview, but there is more of an impact when the interviewer can see your big win in writing. Also, remember that resumes get passed around to several people. There’s no guarantee you or the interviewer will remember to mention your accomplishment. If it is included in your resume, other members of the hiring team will be able to easily see what a great job you did at your last place of employment.
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3. White space
The recruiter shouldn’t have a headache after reading your resume. You may have a ton of experience, but that doesn’t mean you should pack all of it on one page using a 10-point font size. Use the white space. Let your resume breathe.
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You didn’t spend all that time studying and sweating over exams to keep your certifications to yourself, now did you? Don’t forget to include relevant awards and certifications. This shows the interviewer that you are invested in your career and motivated enough to take on additional training. Certifications can help you stand out from other applicants.
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5. Contact information
Let’s face it: People are lazy. If it’s not clear how to get in touch with you, a busy hiring manager is most likely not going to take five minutes to search through your social media profiles. Make sure to always put your phone number and email address clearly at the top of your resume. You don’t want to miss out on a job opportunity because you failed to list complete contact information.
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6. Relevant social media links
The key word here is relevant. If you have a blog or LinkedIn articles that relate directly to the job you’re interviewing for, include the links. Just make sure all of the links work.