Quick! What do you really need to include on your professional resume?
Go ahead, submit your guesses! I’ll wait as the Jeopardy game music plays in the background…
Were you thinking of your objective, your experience, your education, and your references just to name a few of the major key points?
Then you already are on the right track! Well done!
In this article, we are going to learn everything on what you need to know about what to include on your professional resume. With everything from your objective to your contact information, let’s take an in-depth look into your professional resume to help you construct and build the finest document to help you land the job you’ve always dreamed of!
Difference between Professional Resume and CV
You’ve likely heard of what is known as a CV or curriculum vitae. Often, when you are submitting your resume for a position, you will likely see a place where you can submit your CV as well or perhaps you are requested to submit your CV instead of your professional resume.
A CV is a modern twist of the resume and is described as a written overview of your experience and other qualifications for a job opportunity (sounds just like what a professional resume is, right?).
Oftentimes, however, your CV has a professional photo of you, such as a headshot, on the first page of the document. These documents are utilized to sort through a number of applicants, specifically if there are a large number of applicants applying for a said position.
Most of the times, you will likely still be using your resume, so, we are strictly going to look at resumes today and the contents that will best help you get your dream job. We will come back to CV’s at another time in the near future.
What Do You Need to Include on Your Resume?
Here’s the burning question: What do I need to include in my resume?
Here’s the burning answer: Generally speaking, you will always want to include the following in your professional resume:
- Contact information
- Career Objective statement
- Career Summary statement
- Employment history
- And other information
Job, field, and work specific resume information might pertain as well depending on your scenario which could potentially adjust the information you include on your professional resume, but the above list are general facets that you will always want to have stand out in your resume.
Let’s take a look at each a little more in depth!
When completing your professional resume, your contact information should always be placed at the top of each resume page and centered as well.
You will want to be sure to include:
- Your name
- Your postal/mailing address
- Your email address
- Your phone number(s)
- Any online portfolios or websites you might be interested in sharing
Regarding your email address, you will want to be sure that the email address you list is one that is appropriate and professional for the job. Since many email addresses can be fun in nature, you will want to be sure to remain professional with the address you have listed since your potential employer will notice it right away.
Also, with the phone number(s) you will have listed, be sure to check the outgoing voice mailbox to ensure the recording is one that is professional as well since your employer might be leaving you a message. You always want to be sure to remain as professional as possible in all aspects, especially where employer contact is involved.
Career Objective Statement
The career objective statement portion of your professional resume is pretty simple in its foundation: It states the objective of your resume and your job search. If you have a particular job title and position you are apply for at a particular company, then you will want to include an objective statement in your resume to show your dedication to the application of said position.
Objective statements are written as “to” statements, clearly showing what you are looking for and doing so in a precise manner.
Career Summary Statement
The summary statement is the part of your professional resume where you highlight your qualifications to grab the attention of your employer. When a potential employer is running through a number of resumes, the summary statement will stick out to them and is able to give them a good idea of who you are as an employee.
When writing your summary statement, you will want to keep it brief as in four to five lines of text. You will also want to write your summary statement precisely for the position you are applying for. Using keywords and professional resume verbs in your summary statement will help it to shine!
In the employment history section of your resume, you will list and present your previous work history in order for your potential employer to see.
In the employment history section, you will want to present your work history in reverse chronological order, meaning the most recent position you have had or are currently holding will be listed first. Then, you will make your way down to the first job you held.
For each position, you will want to list your job title, the name of the employer, and the city and state where the position was located. Additionally, you will want to list the beginning and end dates of your employment in both month and year, followed by a brief summary of your responsibilities and accomplishments showcasing your work.
Along with employment history, education is one of the most important sections on your professional resume (well… they are all important, but these two for sure take the cake)!
The education section of your resume proves you are knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to proficiently performing the tasks needed and required for the job.
When listing your educational achievements, you will want to begin with your most recent education, including education you are currently enrolled in, and then work your way back in time. You will want to present your education in reverse chronological order, just like you did so with your employment history.
With your education, list all of the accomplishments you have achieved with each step of your educational success ladder. For each, be sure to list the name and location of your educational institution along with the degree you achieved and the field of study or major you were in. If your GPA is above 3.0, you are more than welcome to include that as well along with any Honor’s achievements you have earned.
Depending upon the particular job position you are applying for, there might be other information that you will want to include in your professional resume. Such information is job specific, meaning it will pertain individually to the job you are applying for.
For instance, this information might include memberships to organizations that you are involved in and which are relevant to the job position, Additionally, this might include your volunteer work (which sometimes can be placed in your work history section), military experiences, computer and unique technology skills, awards, and hobbies.
Unless directly relating to the job position, you will want to refrain from mentioning religious, political, and/or controversial affiliations in order to remain as respectful, unbiased, and centered to the employer and the position as possible.
With this information in mind, are you ready to complete your resume? Are you ready to take your resume, your employment, and your career to the very next level?
Uncovering what you need to include in your resume is like finding a key in the haystack with the key unlocking your potential. Your professional resume is the first opportunity for you to shine and “show what you’ve got” in front of your employer, so you always want to be sure you are presenting yourself in the best manner possible; a shiny, spiffy, good looking resume will do this for you.
If you need further assistance writing and preparing your resume, I encourage you to meet with a career specialist who will be able to work with you, together one-on-one, to craft your resume for the job you are applying for. Job recruiters are fantastic resources who are available to help you succeed. They want to help you as much as possible.
If the position you are applying for has job specific requirements where added information beyond what it typically required of your resume is asked of you and you are unsure of how to incorporate this information into your resume, then a job recruiter will inspire and empower you in the correct direction. Under their guidance, you will be able to launch further into your career than ever before.
I wish you the best of luck as you prepare your resume for your next job application! You can do all that if you set your mind and your heart to. Go out there and reach your goals!