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The top 5 things that should always be on a resume

The top 5 things that should always be on a resume

You’ve uploaded your resume to all the job sites you could think of. You’ve also been applying to companies directly and still have not received any responses. You eventually tell yourself that maybe you’re not experienced enough, or maybe the position has been filled. Both of those things could be true, or it could be that even though you meet all of the criteria in your head, you are missing key elements on your resume.

The truth about reviewing resumes that you’ll rarely hear is that the first thing most employers do is perform a process of elimination. When employers receive hundreds of resumes on a daily basis, they have to pick the ones that immediately meet certain criteria. No matter how skilled you are, if your resume does not display that, it will be eliminated. When uploading your resume to any online platform or sending it out to a potential employer, you want to ensure two major things.

  • Your resume comes up in keyword searches
  • Your resume has all the required information upfront

Here are the top 5 things that should always be on a resume.

1. Professional Objective

The professional objective outlines the type of role you are looking for. Briefly, outline the position or role that you are interested in. You should also include any work experience that will be vital to the role or company. Very often professional objectives are utilized when you are changing careers or if you have little experience in the industry you are targeting. For example, an entry-level professional would definitely want to include a professional objective on their resume.

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Example: Seeking an Administrative Assistant position in the bookkeeping industry where I can utilize my office management, communication, and record-keeping skills to contribute to the success of a prospective employer.

2. Career Overview

The Career overview outlines your roles and job descriptions. Most employers like to skim through resumes until they see what they are looking for. While your job titles and job descriptions may have everything an employer needs, it’s better to provide a nice highlight of your career. If someone is skimming resumes for the most qualified candidate, seeing a really nice career overview will make them more interested in reviewing the entire resume. The career overview section is very key for experienced professionals. In most cases, your resume may be more than one page so it’s vital that you give an overview.

Example: Technology professional, with 10 years in the Software testing industry. Experience includes but is not limited to, Ad Server testing, Analytics testing, Video Player testing, Pharma, Oil & Gas, and SaaS platforms testing experience.

3. Education

Many job descriptions still include educational requirements even for experienced professionals. So it’s important to include your educational experience on your resume so that it is not overlooked. Educational experience includes but is not limited to, GED, High School Diploma, College Degree, and Certifications.

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Example:

EDUCATION
Johnson & Wales University
B.S. Information Science
A.S. Applied Computer Science

CERTIFICATION
Certified Scrum Master

4. Memberships

If you have any memberships that are vital to your industry or a particular job, include them on your resume. Employers like to see that you are active in your industry and that you are trying to make a difference. This is something that definitely sets you aside from the competition. Being a member of any relevant organization keeps you ahead of the curve in your job search, as you have access to all of their resources and networks. Employers who are trying to innovate look for things like that specifically.

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Example:

MEMBERSHIPS
Scrum Alliance

5. Summary of Skills

This is the best part! It’s the part where you get to outline your hands-on knowledge. While your job descriptions in the ‘experience’ section have all the tools you’ve used buried in them, the ‘summary of skills’ section lays them out. This is a very important section, so you must be sure that you include all industry relevant tools and knowledge. In order to be sure what you should and shouldn’t list, you should do a google search for the most used tools in your industry.

Example:
Operating Systems: Windows 8, Windows 10, Mac Os
Databases: MySQL Workbench, Oracle11g, MongoDB
Programming Languages: Javascript, HTML, Java

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The key to a great resume is creating a great foundation. After that, the rest is history.

Featured photo credit: LEEROY Agency via pixabay.com

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Aqueelah Emanuel

Founder of AQ's Corner

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Published on March 25, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More Resources About Ever-Growing

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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