The Five Resume Elements

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There are five important pieces of information your resume should contain:

  1. Name and contact information
  2. Education
  3. Professional Experience (work history)
  4. Skills and Qualifications
  5. Other relevant information about you, such as achievements, awards, etc.

Contact information always appears first, but the order of the other four sections can vary. If you are a recent graduate applying for your first job, education should appear first. Generally, if you have been working for five years or longer, your professional experience should appear first. Putting your skills and qualifications first can deemphasize any gaps in your employment history.

Notice that “objective statement” is not included on the list. In most cases, these are not needed at all. Everyone has the same objective: to get a job. Save some space and just leave it off.

Instead, consider beginning with a professional summary. The objective statement is all about what you want. The summary is about what your employer wants, and what you have to offer. The summary should be one to three sentences about you, your background, and the skills you are selling to your employer.

Objective: A position at Acme Widgets, Inc. where I can utilize my management skills

The employer doesn’t care what you want. Instead, focus on what you can offer them:

Summary: Server with eight years of award-winning customer service

Summary: Dedicated Retail Store Manager with a decade of experience in sales, display merchandising, and purchasing

Summary: Accomplished marketing representative leading campaigns in social media

1. Contact Information

Label any telephone numbers as (Home), (Work), (Cell), etc. If you include multiple telephone numbers, put the one you are most likely to answer at the top.

The email address you use should be professional and based on your name – first and last, first initial and last, or some variation. If you create a second email account for professional purposes, make sure you actually check it!

Do not include your full physical address. Employers don’t really need it, and anything unnecessary should be taken out of your resume. In most cases, a full address can only hurt you. Employers might think your commute would be too long, or that you might not be able to relocate. …Click to read more…