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What to Put on a Resume to Impress Your Recruiters in 2021

Author —
Astley
August 10, 2021

Every job application needs to include certain information. Here are the 5 essentials for every resume:

  • Contact information
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • ATS keywords

But, that’s not all that you can include. In this guide, we’ll be covering everything on what to put on a resume. 

We’ll also go through the impressive things to put on your resume and what you shouldn’t include. 

These can make or break your next career opportunity.

What Are 5 Things That Should Be Included In a Resume? 

First, let’s cover all the things that need to be included in a resume. 

These 5 things we’ve listed below are the essential must-haves for every resume job document. Otherwise, you won’t beat the applicant tracking system.

1. Contact Information In The Resume Header

The contact information is straightforward yet essential for every ATS resume. This includes the following:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Location
  • Links to your website, portfolios, or LinkedIn profile

This part of your resume should only be one line long to save space. Without including this on your resume header or any job document you send, the employer won’t be able to reach back out to you.

Here’s an example of how it should look:

2. Work Experience 

The resume work experience lists out the previous job positions you’ve worked in your employment history. This is key information for giving the hiring manager insight into your expertise, ability, and to see if you’re a good match for the job.

When describing your work experience, you need to mention:

  • The name of the company you had previously worked for
  • Job position title
  • Dates of employment
  • Tasks and responsibilities
  • Accomplishments

List these out in reverse chronological order, so from the most recent going down to the oldest. This ensures your recruiter sees no gaps in your career timeline by seeing you’re an active worker. Plus, these tend to be the more relevant jobs, which would be better for your reader to see being listed out first. 

3. Education 

This means putting your academic background and formal qualifications onto your resume. In the education section, this should also feature where you studied (e.g. what university you attended) and the qualification you received (e.g. bachelor’s degree). Don’t forget to include the dates you completed your studies too. 

You can also mention your GPA as long as it’s a score of over 3.0.

4. Resume Skills 

Arguably, resume skills are more valuable than experience – however, every recruiter is experience. 

The more competent candidates will have more relevant skills for the job. 

You’ll need to list down hard skills and soft skills, as well as what’s been mentioned in the job description. With this, employers can see that you’ve optimized and tailored your application to match their job postings.

5. ATS Resume Keywords

ATS resume keywords are what will get you past the first obstacle of the company’s hiring process. It shows recruiters you’re qualified for the role and at the minimum, you meet the basic job requirements.

The hiring manager will only want to spend time assessing those qualified, not those who are a waste of time.

You can use Rezi’s AI keyword targeting feature to get the full list of keywords that you need to mention for the specific job you’re applying for:

Impressive Things To Put On Your Resume

We’ve listed 8 good things that you should put on a resume. Each of these is still an important factor that can add to your job document for a powerful application. If you’ve included everything else above, that’s great! However, it won’t always be enough for a competitive job posting. 

Or, you could sign up for free and use Rezi’s AI resume builder

Along the step-by-step resume writing process, you’ll be guided through what your resume needs to include. That’s including skills, keywords, and experience. 

Here’s an example of how it looks inside the app: 

All you would need to do is fill in the details. And, you’ll notice that there are examples for each box that you can follow. 

Towards the end of building your resume, you’re provided with an ATS resume checker to ensure you’ve put everything you need to in your application. This gives you feedback on how you can improve your resume. 

After using Rezi’s solution, here’s what José had to say:

“Been using Rezi for a while now and it helped to save time writing my CV and not just give it a professional look, but also ATS optimize it”

TRY IT YOURSELF

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Additional Resume Sections

The additional resume sections may include:

  • Projects
  • Relevant coursework
  • Training 
  • Volunteering
  • And more…

Job seekers tend to have other professional experiences, achievements, and skills developed they can talk about. For example, working on a side hustle has led to developing some skills such as digital marketing and SEO.

Although these are optional, including your own custom resume sections helps you stand out. These will also make your resume more personalized and targeted.

An ATS Resume Format 

An ATS resume format ensures your resume is friendly for both the resume scanners and human readers. 

That means keeping the formatting of your resume neat and professional.

Don’t overcomplicate things and try to impress your recruiter with fancy resume designs. There’s a good chance the ATS won’t pick up on any of those formats, e.g. columns and text boxes. 

Resume Icons

Minimal resume icons can be used for improving the reading level of your resume and making key information stand out. These can emphasize and draw attention to certain parts of your application, e.g. your contact details in your resume header.

Professional Resume Font

The aesthetic and appearance of your resume are important. That’s where resume fonts should be taken into consideration because they can add to the first impression. These should also be professional, readable, and scannable for the ATS.

Resume Summary

The resume summary should provide an overview of your career timeline and professional background so far. Or, you can cover your career goals if you don’t have years of experience in the workforce yet. It also works really well when creating a student resume.

This short section can help your hiring manager understand your employment background better. It gives insight into your value and what you can bring to the company. 

Achievements 

Achievements include things such as:

  • Certifications
  • Publications
  • Awards
  • Testimonials

You can include these in an additional resume section. That’s why it’s additional – they’re designed for different things you can talk about that make you unique. It can imply that you’re proactive and how you can do your job better than the average person. 

This is one effective way to impress your recruiters and hiring managers.

Statistics and Data

If you can, you should definitely include data in your resume work experience section. 

When you include the results you’ve been responsible for, it shows you actually provided value and have made a real impact. It’s impressive for anyone to see how your actions have made a positive difference. 

Here are a few examples:

  • “Increased the number of appointments booked by 35%”
  • “Reduced employee turnover by 25%”

When using statistics or data, these should be used to support your points and to show you had an impact. This adds to your credibility and skills as a professional in the industry.

This also prevents you from being biased since you’ve got hard data as evidence.

Personal Examples

Personal examples are effective in showing originality in your resume. Everyone has their own experiences in life and in the workforce. You can use this simple fact to your advantage by describing how they’ve helped you grow professionally as long as it’s relevant.

For example, you were an employee of the year in your previous job position. That’s not something every job seeker can put on their resume, so use this to your advantage. 

This helps when you want to stand out as you have something unique to bring to your resume. If you’re describing an achievement or result you’ve been responsible for but you have no hard data as proof, you’ll need to at least use examples.

What Should Not Be Included In a Resume?

There are 7 things we’ve listed below for the things that you should not put on a resume. 

Don’t include these on any of your resumes. Job seekers tend to make some of these mistakes which can lower your chances of securing the job position. 

Subjective Statements 

Have an objective approach. That means speaking from a cognitive perspective. If you have any claims to make be sure you back it up with some sort of evidence, e.g. data or a personal example.

The only exception to this is when you’re writing a cover letter.

However, resumes are more like a report that summarizes your professional background. It makes sense for it to be more factual than opinionated. 

Personal and Sensitive Details

These details include things such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Political beliefs
  • Marital status
  • Current salary

These are sensitive and personal details that aren’t necessary to include in a resume. Employers won’t ask you to include any of this in your resume. The only personal information you need to include is your contact details. 

Spelling Mistakes

Double-check for any spelling or grammar mistakes. An ATS can identify this immediately and it’s an instant ticket to rejection if any are found on your job applications.

Dishonesty 

Don’t lie on your resume. Even if you make it past the resume scanners at the beginning, they’ll immediately find out in the interview.

The hiring manager interviewing you will have interviewed hundreds of candidates. It’s not difficult for them to see through your resume if you’ve lied or added any false information about your professional background. 

It’s a waste of their time and more importantly, a waste of your time. 

Weak Action Verbs

These can be used to spice up your resume. But, when you use weak action verbs, it could do the opposite by making your application seem generic. You’ll want to use these types of words to highlight the outcome or positive results you’ve achieved through an action. It highlights the fact that you’ve made an impact. 

Overused Buzzwords

Using any of the overused buzzwords can make your resume a lot less effective. It can even become a distraction from assessing your application. If you’re using any of these, make sure you’re using them in the right context. 

As for the words to avoid, you’ll want to remove these from your vocabulary completely.

Resume Clichés

It’s one of the most common mistakes of a resume and it’s why most candidates get rejected. Some jargon, phrases, and wording used by job seekers in their resumes are just unnecessary. They don’t do much for the employer, aside from making them cringe.

What Are The Common Mistakes of a Resume?

Resume cliches are one of the common resume mistakes out there, as well as not optimizing your resume for the applicant tracking system during the job searching process.

Optimizing your resume for the ATS doesn’t just mean on-page optimization. But, it’s how you send over your application too. E.g. only applying to jobs you’re qualified for and not spamming multiple of the same job applications. 

How Much Is Too Much On An ATS Resume?

You should aim for a one-page resume. It’s minimal, well put together, and easier to skim through. It also shows you’re respecting your hiring manager’s time. Even if you have up to 5 years of experience, having a single-page resume is far more effective at leaving an impression on your employer than a two-page resume. 

Rezi’s ATS Resume Examples 

We’ve compiled a list of 5 ATS resume examples below. You can access each of these ready-to-use templates and use what’s already written for your own!

Associate Marketing Manager Resume Template

Marketing Insights Resume Template

Embedded Software Developer Resume Template (Interviewed at AMD)

Data Engineer Resume Template (Interviewed at Facebook)

Assistant Policy Intern Resume Template (Interviewed at Accenture)

Were any of the examples listed the same job position you’re applying for? If not, you can browse through our 221 ATS resume and cover letter templates!

Summary 

Aside from what’s compulsory to put on a resume, you should also include the following:

  • Additional resume sections
  • An ATS-friendly resume format
  • Resume icons
  • Professional resume font
  • Resume summary
  • Achievements
  • Statistics and data
  • Personal examples

On the flip side, here’s what you shouldn’t include:

  • Subjective statements
  • Personal and sensitive details
  • Spelling mistakes
  • Dishonesty
  • Weak action verbs
  • Overused buzzwords
  • Resume clichés

You can also use the ATS resume tools provided by Rezi. We’ve helped job seekers secure their next career opportunity even at the most competitive companies such as Apple, Facebook, and HubSpot. 

Let us know if you have any questions – we’d love to hear from you!

This article's author, Astley, is an avid content marketer who specializes as an SaaS copywriter. Learn more at Minimalist Copy

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