Having a professional resume can be the make or break between being hired or turned away for a position. Ideally, your resume should showcase your experience, skills, and qualifications in a visually pleasing manner to help potential employers get a strong understanding of who you are and what you’re capable of.
Knowing what information to include and omit is the first step to writing a successful resume. From there, you will need to make your resume stand out while also staying true to yourself and your experience.
These resume tips and tricks can help you write the perfect resume to convince employers to hire you:
The Main Sections On Your Resume
Creating a resume that incorporates all of your most important information and presents it in a straightforward yet intriguing way can give you the upper hand during the hiring process.
All resumes should have a few main sections filled with personal information and experience that will help your potential employers get a better understanding of who you are and what you’re capable of. Contact information, a summary statement, your employment history, education and skills, volunteer work, and certifications (if applicable) are all important sections to include on your resume in 2021.
The very first thing you should enter onto your resume is your contact information. This usually includes your full name, phone number, and email address. If you have an online portfolio, website, or blog, be sure to include this link in the contact section as well.
Place your name and contact information on the top, as if they were the title of the page. Make sure they are noticeable and a focal point of the entire layout.
Your summary statement is an important section because it highlights who you are and what you want potential employers to remember about you. This section should be roughly one or two sentences explaining a bit about who you are and why your work experience and skills qualify you for the position you’re applying for.
When reviewing the job listing, make a point to highlight the skills the employer seems to value most and echo those in your summary statement.
Depending on where you are in your career, your summary section can show employers where you’re currently at in your life or what you seek to do in the future. Summary sections are also sometimes referred to as resume summaries, blurbs, or objective statements depending on your goals and intentions.
Your employment history section is the area where you can present all of the relevant work experience you have under your belt. For most people, we recommend starting with your most recent job and listing all of your work experiences in the last 10 to 15 years in order from newest to oldest.
Each of your listed jobs should include the name of the company you worked for, the time period when you worked there, and a few bullet points on your role at the company, your accomplishments, or other noteworthy bits of information. Try to be as straightforward as possible, leading with action verbs and avoiding the word “I”.
Showcase your accomplishments, rather than listing mundane tasks you may have performed at these particular jobs. If you can, use hard data and numbers to present your achievements more clearly.
Ideally, each bullet point should be one or two lines long. Edit out any wordiness or long explanations.
What If I Have No Work Experience?
If you have no work experience or little relevant work experience to the job that you’re applying for, then list whatever volunteer or unrelated work experience you do have. Emphasize the other sections of your resume, especially the skills section, education, and community involvement.
In your bullet points, list more general skills you have learned as a student or person in the general workforce that would make you a good candidate for this new, unrelated position. Soft skills like communication or project management can help a potential employer see how you could still be a good hire.
If you have little to no work experience, you may also want your resume to highlight important clubs, organizations, or volunteer opportunities you’ve participated in. Ideally, you should stick to academic activities and community volunteering rather than purely hobby-related activities unless you held a leadership position.
The skills section of your resume should be where you include any technical and hard or soft skills you’re proud of and can offer as someone’s new employee.
The skills you list in this section should always be somewhat relevant to the positions you’re looking to be hired for. Read the job description over to find what they may be looking for in a candidate and make sure to include those qualifications in your skills section if they apply.
Some examples of technical skills are being proficient at software, like Microsoft Office or Photoshop, or your specialized expertise, such as remodeling or woodworking. Soft skills include abilities like written and verbal communication, teamwork, flexibility, and leadership.
The education section on your resume should include your most relevant and recent schooling. If you are a high school graduate, then list your high school and the years you attended. If you’re a college graduate, listing your high school may not be necessary.
You should always include the name of the school you attended and the year you graduated, the location of your school, the degree you completed, your field of study, your GPA if it is above a 3.4. Be sure to mention any important or relevant academic accomplishments that might be important for your employer to see.
Community Involvement or Volunteer Work
Community involvement or volunteer work can be included on your resume if you think it is relevant to the job to the position you’re looking to be hired for. It’s also a great opportunity to show your past contributions to your community if you don’t have much formal work experience.
This information should only be included if it is useful to your potential employee and helps them get a better understanding of who you are or why you may be right for their role.
Certifications and Professional Memberships
A short yet often important section of your resume is the certification and memberships section, which can help an employer understand what level you’re at in your career. For example, if you’re looking to find a job in the service industry, it would be useful to add to your resume that you have completed a bartending program and are certified in your specific state to practice mixology.
This type of information could give you the upper hand in the hiring process because it shows that you’re steps ahead of other potential hires.
View Example Resumes for Ideas
When starting a new resume, it can be very useful to review example resumes written for similar positions. Getting an idea of what is commonly added to a resume in your desired job market can help you hone in on the experiences, skills, responsibilities, and other areas of value that are important to include on your resume.
Tips for Writing a Resume in the Post-Pandemic Era
Making sure your resume stands out for the right reasons could be the difference between getting hired and being rejected from a job. You’ll want to showcase yourself without boasting or bragging about yourself.
These tips can help you write a modern and effective resume in the post-pandemic era:
Keep the Format Simple
Keep the format of your resume as simple as possible without losing any important organization. Use clear titles and headings to help your reader glide through your information organically.
Unless you’re a designer or artist, it is important to avoid adding any graphics or unnecessary details to your page in order to present your information as straightforwardly as possible.
Use Plenty of White Space
Make sure your resume isn’t filled to the brim with text. Balance your page between text that gets your point across and plenty of white space to keep your resume welcoming and easy to read.
Spotlight Skills Mentioned in the Job Description
Reread the job description multiple times to find clues as to what they are looking for in their new hire and make sure to spotlight any skills you have that match in the description.
Adding relevant skills or keywords to your resume that are listed in the job description can help them see you as a great fit.
Use an Abbreviated STAR Format
STAR format, or situation, task, activity, result, is a great way to describe an impressive part of your work experience. It’s usually used in the context of an interview, but if you can summarize in few enough words, it’s also a great way to describe an accomplishment on your resume.
To use the STAR format, think of a time you accomplished something work-related that your employer would want to know about. Write about it in your experience section by first mentioning the situation your company was in, then the task you were given, the action you took, and the result. If you can, try to condense the total STAR explanation into one or two bullet points below the job you held at the time.
While it can be difficult to stay brief in this format, STAR is a great way to showcase an especially important accomplishment. You can discuss the accomplishment using just a few words for each part of STAR within a bullet point or two in your resume experience section, then expand further on the situation, task, activity, and result during an interview
Find More Tips on Our Blog!
For more job search tips and tricks, visit our blog at LG Resources. Our articles can help you every step of the way, from how to avoid common resume mistakes to acing the actual hiring process.
LG Resources is a staffing agency that matches employers with high-caliber temporary and permanent candidates at all levels. With a 96% client retention rate, Logistics Giving Resources is one of the best staffing agencies in the nation, proven to save your business time and improve your overall efficiency.