Updated: Jun 5
Your resume is an incredibly useful tool for finding internships and entry-level jobs. It summarizes your education, work experience, skills, and accomplishments, presenting them to employers in a clear and concise manner.
If you're creating your resume from scratch, it can be overwhelming to start. But don't worry - there are plenty of things you can include on your resume to showcase your potential as an employee, even without professional work experience.
By including these 9 items on your resume, you'll be well on your way to standing out from the competition and increasing your chances of getting hired.
1. Contact Information
Be sure to include your full name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of your resume. This makes it easy for potential employers to get in touch with you. Example Resume
If you’d like to go above and beyond, include the link to your LinkedIn profile in this section of your resume. Be sure to fully complete your LinkedIn profile before submitting your resume.
Include a list of your educational qualifications, starting with your highest degree. Include the name of the institution, degree earned, and any relevant coursework or certifications. If you have yet
3. Work Experience
This is usually the largest section of a resume. It includes any recent, relevant employment listed in chronological order from the most recent to the oldest job. Each job should include the company name, job title, dates of employment, and 3-5 bullet points used to describe your achievements and responsibilities.
When used correctly, the bullet points will emphasize how your actions contributed to the success of the company. For example, instead of simply stating that you "managed social media accounts," you might say "increased social media followers by 20% through targeted advertising campaigns."
As the bulk of your resume, the work experience section will go through many iterations. Whether you’re editing an old resume or starting from scratch, now is a great time to check this section for common mistakes:
Listing only job tasks: Instead of simply listing your job tasks, focus on highlighting your responsibilities in a way that demonstrates the value you brought to your previous positions. If you find that you don't have much to say about a particular job beyond your job tasks, it may be best to remove it from your resume.
Using nondescript achievements: To make your work experience more compelling, try to quantify your achievements whenever possible. For example, instead of saying you "increased sales," say you "increased sales by 20%."
Including irrelevant information: Make sure to highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. This will help demonstrate to potential employers that you have the experience and expertise needed for the role. Don't include information just because you think it sounds impressive - only include information that directly relates to the role.
Not including enough detail: While it's important to keep your resume concise, you also want to provide enough detail about your previous positions to give potential employers a sense of your responsibilities and achievements. Make sure to include specific skills and achievements that show you are results-driven.
Check out internship platforms, such as app.internshipondemand.com, to bulk up this section with more professional opportunities.
List any skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. This could include technical skills, such as proficiency in a specific software program, or soft skills, such as effective communication or problem-solving abilities.
Nowadays, it’s common for employers to use a computer program to sift through submitted resumes, in search of a particular skill (called an Applicant Tracking System). Make sure you show up in their search results by including every relevant skill in this section. You can choose to title this section "Skills," or copy us with the title "Relevant Skills."
Lost on which skills are relevant? Visit themuse.com/skills-section for a lengthy list of potential skills you may wish to include.
5. Volunteer Experience
Many employers value employees who are actively involved in their communities and have a strong sense of social responsibility. Volunteering can demonstrate that you are committed to giving back and making a positive impact in your community.
In some cases, volunteer work can demonstrate certain skills or experiences that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Be sure to always include skills and experiences that are applicable to the job you are currently applying for.
6. Awards and Honors
If you have received any awards or honors, such as academic scholarships or industry recognition, be sure to include them on your resume. They will demonstrate your drive for excellence and set you apart from other candidates.
7. Personal Interests
Including a section on your personal interests will round out your resume and give employers a sense of who you are outside of work.
Just be sure to keep this section brief and professional. We wouldn’t recommend sharing your pole dancing hobby with employers, for example.
8. Language Skills
If you are proficient in any languages other than English, be sure to include this on your resume. This is particularly valuable for international companies or roles that require language skills.
9. Personal Website or Blog
If you have a personal website or blog, include the URL on your resume. A personal website will showcase your personal brand and any relevant coursework, writing, or projects you have completed.
Above all else, you must tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for. Highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the role and clearly demonstrate how you can contribute to the company's success.
Applicants often start with a “master resume” that includes every point that could potentially belong on a resume, then customize it to a specific resume when shortening it down to one page. By including these nine items on your resume, you'll be well on your way to making a strong first impression.
Looking for more professional development opportunities to add to your resume?
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