A resume seems so simple yet so complex. Let’s break down the essential components of creating an effective resume, along with some sections to add.
5 Main Components to Create an Effective Resume
The contact information is at the top of your resume. It can include the following:
- First name
- Last name
- Email address (clarify if it is personal, school, or business.)
- Phone Number
If you don’t feel comfortable putting your address, you can just list your city. Depending on the job, you can also put social media platforms such as Linkedin or a blog/website.
Your contact information should not take up a lot of space. Look at different templates to see how other people get theirs to stand out.
Objective or summary
Source: Resume Genius
The objective/summary has become a more optional component because it does take up space. We still recommend having this section to add personality. The resume objective is a section that you create for each position you are applying for.
Example Objective: “To secure a position as the head of content with an award-winning agency where I can share my years of experience from working on multiple websites.”
A resume summary is a few sentences that showcase your skills and achievements. Try to think of what you want your resume to say about you.
Example Summary: “Experience Content Writer of 5+ years of working with multiple companies. With 2 years of experience as the Content Manager brings dedication to producing error-free results.”
The experience section is probably the most common people recognise. Overall, employers want to see what experience you have, so we can expect this section to be critical.
This section is also one that worries many people. It is hard for high school students or people that have job gaps to form a resume. They either have no experience or ones they feel are irrelevant.
There are plenty of templates out there to make your resume look complete and professional even with little experience.
Employers understand that there is a first experience for everything, so don’t worry.
Source: the conversation
Next, we have the education section, which is relevant for multiple jobs. Sometimes, there is an education requirement on the application, such as a high school diploma or master’s degree.
Source: the balance career
Next, we have skills – this section can also be a challenge even if you have the experience. You have to think about what skills you obtained from past jobs.
We recommend including a mix of soft and hard skills.
Soft skills are personal habits or traits. Hard skills are technical knowledge you obtain through education and experience.
Depending on the job, you want to make sure you have a good balance of both. A rule of thumb is that you want to showcase your soft skills if you are working with clients. If you are working with a computer, machines, etc., the main focus is hard skills.
Skills for an SEO position.
- SEO marketing
- Proficiency in WordPress, Ahrefs, and Microsoft Office
- Data analysis
- Statistical analysis
Skills for a Cold Caller
- Effective communication
- Willingness to learn and adapt
Optional Sections for a Resume
Above were the main components to creating an effective resume, but some people may have little content to work with. There are plenty of optional sections to make your resume complete and unique.
You are probably thinking – “why would an employer care about the activities I do?”
Well, this section can vary. You might be a part of organisations that showcase leadership, personality, and team player qualities in school.
Even if you are not in school, there are many people in organisations like volunteering, sports, religion, etc.
If you are not a part of any organisation, you can also write a few sentences about some hobbies.
Example: “I enjoy hiking and running marathons that support a cause. Every day, I hike or run for 30 minutes – 1 hour and run a marathon at least two times a month. Overall I enjoy staying active and supporting others.”
Next, we have any achievements you might be proud of – awards, scholarships, certifications, etc. If you feel like you don’t have much to offer, then there are plenty of websites that offer free courses where you can earn a certificate at the end.
There is no need to go back to school when you can spend an hour a day working towards a certificate.
Next, you can also include references on your resume. Sometimes you can enter references during your application or through email, but another way is by having them on your resume.
Try to include 3 – 5 people, but if you only have two, that’s fine. Include their name, relationship to you, company or organisation, and a preferred way to contact.
Overall there is quite a bit you can include in your resume. It is crazy that this one page can contain so much information and create so much stress. Never be afraid to ask for help from a career counselor, a friend, and even Resume Cats can help you out.