While writing a resume, there is a common problem that bothers us all, whether you are a seasoned employee who has several years of experience in the workplace, or a fresher who just came out of college with no work experience.
“What to include in a resume?”
“What NOT to include in a resume?”
A professional resume should be able to serve its ultimate purpose of landing the interview. In short, after reviewing your resume, the hiring manager should at least be able to learn the 3 following information:
In order to answer the questions above, there are 5 basic components you need to put on your resume:
This is to say, resume sections other than what are listed above are not essential for a resume. However, do note that cultural differences in the job search does exist around the world.
Including certain information (e.g. photo, personal background) might add value to your resume, while it can also be the deal breaker in other cases.
In general, only information and experience relevant to the job position need to be included on a resume. It is not suggested to add photos or personal details in a resume, unless the employer specifically requires them,
What to Include in a Resume:
What to Exclude from a Resume:
Further reading: Step-by-step Guide to Building a Resume from Scratch
A resume headline is a title located at resumes’ header section. It briefly summarizes a candidate’s experience, strengths, and qualifications into an one-line phrase, to show that “I’m the perfect fit for the position”. Remember that a resume headline should be carefully crafted according to the job description, to quickly catch a hiring manager’s eye.
Here’re some tips to refer to while writing a resume title:
If you still have no idea how to write a professional resume title, here’re 2 easy formulas for you:
Resume headline writing formulas:
📍 [An adjective describing your personal trait] + [Job title] + with + [Experience]
📍 [An adjective describing your personal trait] + [Job title] + Skilled in/Specializing in + [Skill/Qualification]
Resume headline examples:
📙 Read ➡ Resume Headline｜Examples, Templates, Writing Guide for more details!
A professional resume objective can be seen as an extension of your resume headline, more like a resume summary statement. Initially, career objective for resume is for job seekers to state their career goals. However, the purpose of resume objectives has transformed into a statement to summarize the candidate qualifications, instead of simply describing the needs of the job seeker.
Resume summary is a short paragraph with 2 to 3 sentences, outlining the candidate’s qualifications and career goals. It should include the candidate’s desired job title, skills, experiences, current job search status, and career vision.
It is especially suggested for freshers and career changers to include a career objective/resume summary in resume.
Like resume titles, resume summary/objective is not strictly required for a resume. However, a good summary/objective can spice up your resume and arouse the employer’s interest.
📗 Read ➡ Summary for Resume｜Examples, Templates, Writing Guide for more details!
What is a good summary/objective for a resume?
Concise, eye-catching, and most importantly, it should be closely related to the job position and the culture of the company you’re applying for.
How to write a summary/objective for a resume?
Here’re 2 simple formulas for freshers and career changers to write a good resume objective/summary:
Resume objective writing formula for freshers:
📍 [Your major] graduate with [required skills for the position] skills.
Currently seeking a position as a [job title] at [company name], to [career goal].
Gained [required experience or ability] experience at [academic/extra-curricular activities], receiving/achieving [achievements or awards].
Resume summary writing formula for career changers:
📍 [Previous job title] with [required skills for the position] skills.
Currently seeking a position as a [Job title] at [company name], to [career goal].
Built [required experience or ability] experience at [work experience], receiving/achieving [achievements or awards].
Career objective example for freshers:
📕 Read ➡ Career Objective for Resume｜Samples, Formats, Writing Guide for more details!
Resume summary examples for career changers:
A professional summary/objective for resume should be around 30 to 50 words. An summary/objective with more than 100 words is considered too lengthy.
Generally, it is not suggested to include irrelevant personal information in resumes. You might wonder, “What personal details should I put on my resume?”.
Every personal profile in resume should include the following information:
Personal details should not be included in resumes
📘 Read ➡ Personal Details in Resume｜Samples, Formats, Writing Guide for more details!
What skills should I put on my resume? The answer is highly related to the qualification requirement of the job position you’re applying for.
On “Skills” section of resumes, it is suggested to categorize skills into bullet-point lists based on different skill sets. In general, skills in resume can be separated into 2 kinds:
Skill based resume 🔍
A skill based resume format, the so-called functional resume, focuses on the candidate’s skills and qualifications instead of work history.
Job seekers with employment gaps can utilize skill based resumes to draw recruiter’s attention away from the gaps.
What are the 4 fundamental resume formats? Check it out! (with Free Resume Templates)
If you’re wondering what can be counted as good skills to put on a resume, first refer to the job description. If you’re applying for a technical job, like software engineer, UI/UX designer, or IT specialist, hard skills become particularly critical on your resume.
On the other hand, certain personal and soft skills play important roles in specific professions. If there’s no special requirement for skills in the job posting, here are 2 basic skill sets you can add to your resume:
📒 Read ➡ Skills for Resume｜Examples List, Templates, Formats for more details!
How many skills should you list on a resume?
The point is not about the quantity, but the quality of the skills.
If the skills put on your resume can help answer any of the questions above, leave it there. Otherwise, they’re unnecessary.
Listing skills on resumes is to showcase your strengths. Remember, there’s no need to include weakness in resumes, unless it’s been specifically asked for.
How to list skills on a resume?
Like mentioned above, resume skill section should be well organized into categories in accordance with qualification required for the job.
Here are resume skill examples for software engineers and designers:
Resume skill examples
From a perspective of recruiters, it is not suggested to show your levels of skill proficiency using bars, charts, or ratings. Here are the reasons:
Therefore, you can simply list your skills in bullet points. Also, including licenses, certifications, awards, or accomplishments can be the objective proof of your skill levels.
|Headline/title||Profile summary||Career objective|
|Personal details||Education||Work experience|
Resume education section can be a vital factor in some countries for job seekers who just out of college.
How to list education on a resume?
Educational qualifications should be listed in a reverse chronological order, starting with your highest level of education. Usually, it is not recommended to include high school education on resumes. However, if it is your highest degree, it should definitely be included.
What do I put for education on a resume?
Here’re the basic elements:
The content and placement of the education section can be adjusted accordingly to a job seeker’s seniority. Freshers with no or few work experience should make the most of education section to highlight your achievements and knowledge learned.
Some of you might wonder whether it is ok to leave education off your resume.
If you’re a career changer with more than 5 years of work experience, simply state the school name, major, and graduation year of your highest level of education. Also, for experienced employees, it is suggested to place the education section after the work experience section.
The following questions might pop up when you’re writing education section on resume.
Here are some suggestions for you:
How to list education in progress on resume? 💬
If you’re currently in college, you can still list the in-progress degree on resume with relevant coursework you’ve done. Simply note the expected graduation date beside the starting year.
Should I include education on resume if i didn't graduate? 💬
If you did not complete the degree (and you're not going to), it is not suggested to include it on your resume, unless you don't have any other education or training.
To list an incomplete degree, you can include the name of the school and program, and also relevant coursework you finished. Do note that you should not mislead employers in believing that you've graduated.
📙 Read ➡ Education on Resume｜Examples, Templates, Writing Guide for more details!
Education resume examples:
Work experience is the most important section of a resume. It can fully demonstrate your competency, qualification, and experience in a proper manner. In this section, full-time/part-time/contract/freelance works and internships can all be included as long as they are relevant to the position.
How do I describe my work experience on a resume?
Here are 3 basic reminders:
How to write work experience in resume?
Here are 5 tips to help you write a powerful work experience section on resume.
📗 Read ➡ Work Experience on a Resume｜Samples, Formats, Writing Guide for more details!
How many years of work history/experience should be on a resume?
It depends on the candidates’ seniority levels. Generally speaking, there should be 3 - 5 relevant work experiences (jobs) included on a resume, which can be traced back to 10 - 15 years ago for some senior-level job seekers.
If you are a fresher just out of college, you can include your academic, extra-curricular, volunteer, and internship experiences in college. However, it’s not suggested to add high school experiences on resumes if you’re a college graduate.
How to include work projects in resume?
CakeResume is a multimedia online resume builder. Users are able to include maps, links, videos, images, and slides in their resumes to showcase skills and profession. Adding projects and portfolios can make your resume more appealing and professional, especially for designers, software engineers, and marketing professionals.
How to include work projects in resume? - Resume Samples
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Resume declaration is a statement where job applicants assure their potential employers that everything included on the resumes are accurate and without any misleading information. It usually comes with the writer’s signature and the date.
Declaration for resume is common during job application process in India, and it can also be found companies or organizations with formal application processes (e.g. Traditional enterprises, government agencies, academic institution).
Some candidates might struggle to come up with the best declaration for resume, but don’t forget the purpose of a declaration statement in resume is to urge job seekers to stay true and honest.
A long declaration statement won’t the decisive factor to win you the interview, so an clear, sincere, and straightforward sentence would be adequate.
How to write a declaration in resume?
Here’s the resume declaration sample and format.
Resume declaration sample and format
I, [You Full Name], solemnly declare that all the details above in my resume is true and accurate. I take full responsibility for the correctness of the information mentioned.
[You Formal Signature] [Date]
📘 Read ➡ Declaration in Resume｜Formats, Examples, Writing Guide for more details!
|Headline/title||Profile summary||Career objective|
Reference page for resume is not strictly requested in general cases. Adding reference in resumes used to be common in the past, but the trend is now fading out. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that references are not important during the job search process anymore.
References can help employers further evaluate the candidate based on an objective perspective, which might play a crucial role in the final decision, so you can see the significance of references.
When should I put references on a resume?
If the recruiters specifically request applicants to add reference in resume, or it is clearly indicated on the job posting, you should for sure put references on your resume or attach a reference page/sheet in mail.
How to put references on a resume?
It is appropriately to list 1 - 3 references on a resume with the following information:
Remember to start the reference list with the one you had the best working relationship with and to previously confirm the referees’ willingness.
If you’ve decided to write reference in resume, you next question might be “Where to add references in resumes?”. Here are some suggestions:
Since the ideal number of references is around 3 (it’s not suggested to list more than 5 referees considering the quality), simply adding a reference section in resume would be adequate.
📕 Read ➡ References on Resume｜Formats, Samples, Templates for more details!
It’s one of the most common questions asked by job seekers.
Should I put hobbies on a resume?
Generally speaking, it is not suggested to include hobbies in resumes, since usually they can’t directly prove you’re qualified for the job. However, the following 2 conditions can be the exceptions:
Make the most of hobbies and interests section in resume to show your future employers that you’re a responsible person, a self starter, a fast learner, a team player, and even a leader!
📒 Read ➡ Hobbies and Interests in Resume｜Examples, Formats, Writing Guide for more details!
What are good hobbies to put on a resume?
Here is a list of hobbies and interests to write in resumes:
|Hobbies & Interests||Position/Company/Industry|
|Pet Care||Pet industry|
|Child Care||Teacher position / Child Care Services Industry|
|Cooking, Baking||Restaurants and Food Services industry|
|Art, Sketching, Painting||Designer position|
|History, Culture, Traveling||Tour guide position / Tourism Industry|
|Reading, Writing, Blogging||Writer position / Publishing industry|
|Networking, Public speaking||Sales position / Business developement position|
|Languages learning, Traveling||Tourism Industry|
|Writing, Blogging, Podcasting||Marketing position|
|Computer games, Video games||Gaming industry|
|Sports, Exercising and healthcare||Personal trainer position / Fitness industry|
|Video production, Filming, Movies||Video editor position / Film and Television Industry|
|Volunteer work, Community involvement||Social enterprise / NGOs|
|Listening to music, Making music, Playing an instrument||Music industry|
|Headline/title||Profile summary||Career objective|
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