Earlier in the year, the Grammar Chic team blogged about six elements that need to be removed from your resume right now. Today, we’re going to take the opposite approach, and list a few things that you should never, ever, under any circumstance take off your resume.
Let’s be clear: Your resume should be a fluid thing. You should revise it routinely, and you should amend it to reflect the specifics of whatever job you’re currently applying for. Even as your resume goes through changes, though, certain parts of it should remain consistent—including each of the following:
- Before your resume is ever seen by human eyes, there’s a good chance that it will pass through some computer scanning programs, which will scour it for necessary keywords. If you don’t have the right keywords, there’s a decent chance your resume will be tossed out before it’s even read. So how do you know which keywords to include? Look at the job posting itself, and include some words and phrases that stand out as important.
- Appropriate contact information. By appropriate, we mean a phone number, an e-mail address, and perhaps even a URL to your LinkedIn profile. Multiple phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not necessary, and in fact may be more frustrating and confusing than they are helpful.
- Specific accomplishments. We say this over and over, and in many ways it’s the cardinal rule of resume writing: Unless you’ve never really had a job before, you need to provide a career narrative that includes some actual achievements, including specific numbers or results. Don’t settle for a list of responsibilities; prove that you fulfilled those responsibilities well.
- An executive summary. Before you get down into the career narrative, make sure to include a paragraph or so that outlines exactly what you bring to the company. Simply put: Your recruiter or hiring manager may not have the time or the interest in reading your full resume, at least not at first. Make sure you have a summary that conveys your value.
- A cover letter. Perhaps this one is a cheat—it’s not really “on” your resume—but we’d recommend always having a cover letter ready to go out with your resume. Ensure that it’s tailored to the position in question; a generic one won’t do!
For help incorporating any of these resume elements, or drafting an effective cover letter, contact the Grammar Chic offices: www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.