28 answers

What's the most important part of a resume?

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Which aspect of my resume should I highlight or refer to in my cover letter to have the most impactful and effective application? #job-application #resume #job-search #interviews

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28 answers

Kim’s Answer

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Charlotte,

In a good cover letter, you do not talk about your resume. Seriously! The cover letter (sorry, I had said resume - I meant cover letter!) is where you let them know that you understand what the company is all about, and, how it is that you will fit into that position.

A cover letter is a one-page, business letter. It has three sections, which, could, if necessary, be more than three paragraphs.

In Section one, you simply let them know what position you are applying for, and how you found out about it. If an employee recommended that you apply, you could mention that here. "When I spoke with Joe Smith, he thought I would be a good candidate for the position, and he recommended that I submit my resume."

In the third section, you ask for the interview. "Please find my resume enclosed. I look forward to meeting with you to further discuss my qualifications for the Project Manager position."

Section TWO requires a lot of work! Below is an example of one that I submitted to be a security officer at a museum. Here I was attempting to demonstrate that I understood a museum wants things handled discreetly. I got the interview.

"I recently retired from a rewarding career as a police officer at the San Antonio Airport, a specialized policing environment with a dual emphasis on both customer satisfaction and public safety. This experience has prepared me well for the unique role of Security and Public Safety Officer with the Witte Museum. I have handled a broad range of police service calls, including everything from disturbances to terroristic threats, and am skilled at de-escalating conflicts. I also served as a first responder to fire and medical emergencies. "

If there are special areas of concern that might cause them to want to overlook your application, try to address them in the cover letter, after selling yourself in section two.

Examples:

"I took a leave of absence from working to attend to family medical concerns, but they are no longer a factor." (I say this even if it is my own health, because I don't want them thinking I might have medical problems, even if I do!)

"Although I am currently employed, the position is temporary, and management encourages us to seek permanent employment."

"Being retired gives me greater latitude in employment choices, and, after looking at your website, I believe I would love working with you to help the youth of our city." (translated: you pay a lot less than I used to make, but, that's okay!)

Hope you find this useful!
Kim
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Dana’s Answer

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Keywords - When recruiting, I look for key words or phrases that match my job description. One trick I use when revising my own resume or helping others revise theirs is to look at job postings on LinkedIn, Monster.com, etc. to find the current use of terminology. When you list skills and technology, you should also describe how you use them. If you list yourself as bilingual, you should also state that you "provide customer service in both English and Spanish" or "Translated documents from English to Spanish". It's one thing to list that you know PhotoShop, but you also have to demonstrate how you use it. i.e., "Reformatted, resized and cleaned up images before publishing to product detail pages on website."
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Michael Ivelin’s Answer

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It will depend on what you need the resume for. If this would be your first professional job and you are applying out of school your resume would look a lot different than if you have multiple years of experience or no higher education.

Resume for first job out of school:
If you went to university right after high school, more than likely you would not have a whole bunch of relevant work experience. Therefore, your resume needs to focus on what you have accomplished while you were at school. As an employer, we look at the student's involvement in the university and not just their GPA. For example, if you are an accounting major studying to be a certified public accountant (CPA) I would expect for a student to be involved in Beta Alpha Psi (The International Honor Organization for Financial Information Students and Professionals), or NABA, or ALPHA,or other professional organizations. I would expect the student to not only be a member, but rather to be a leader in that professional organization. I would expect that as a student you are regularly volunteered at an organization in your community. These activities should all be captured in the resume. Also, I would not expect the resume to be more than a page long.

Resume for a job without having education:
The focus on this resume needs to be on the experience. For example, if you have worked as plumber for a few years, I would capture all of the work that I have done in the past and the various projects I have accomplished. I would also highlight any professional certifications that I have obtained a relevant seminars I have attended. If you are unsure of the format or how to write your resume, you can simple google what the profession and get sample resumes. I would suggest that you tailor the wording to reflect more closely what you have accomplished.
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Jeni’s Answer

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Hi Charlotte.

In this day and age, resume standards are changing. However, there’s one thing that has never changed though, and it’s the section that many employers view as the most important.

Most people may assume that the “experience” section of your resume is what employers are basing their final decisions on. However, for many, another section drives their interest. The “skills” section of a resume shines through with the greatest importance, according to many employers, for several reasons. Even if you don’t have the necessary experience an employer is looking for, you may still have the necessary skills, which suggests a potential for growth. This is common to see on younger candidates’ applications, who may have all the right skills but haven’t had an opportunity to utilize them yet.

Having an extensive Skills section will ensure that your resume isn’t thrown out by applicant tracking systems before a hiring manager even reads it. Once the hiring manager zeros in on these, you’ve sparked his or her interest. He or she will want to continue reading about you and next move to the experience section.

Note - not all skills should be professional. Soft skills are also of value. Examples include traits such as outside the box thinking, ability to follow-through, you're a critical thinker, you have integrity, etc.

Hope this helps! Jeni
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Kim’s Answer

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Having worked in staffing and consulting for over 20 years, I would say it's critical to tailor your resume to the position you are applying for. You can have a master version, but you should read the qualifications and responsibilities of the role you are applying for and tailor your resume to highlight the experience that would make you a good fit for the role. You should not be dishonest.

You should also consider your target audience. If the company you are applying to is a forward-thinking, progressive company, you will want a different tone than if it's a conservative, more traditional corporation. It's important to research the company you are applying to so that you understand what's important to them. Glassdoor can be a good resource for this.
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Katya’s Answer

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Hi Charlotte, when it comes to resume- every part is important. Your resume- is your brand- you face- your reflection . So making sure- that it looks professional, no spelling errors, try to keep it on one page.

Make sure you state your objective-what your experience is and what you are looking for-this is a short summary.

Your experience-start with your most recent onesies one tense and choose the words that are impactful and clear definition of what you did.

Your accomplishments-This is important part-don’t be shy-this is the part where companies can see what and how often you hav even recognized by previous employees.

Your computer/digital skills- make sure you list all programs that you worked with as well as digital skills you are an expert in

Any community experience, if you are in any community boards, if you participated in any giving volunteering- this is important part as most companies do give back to communities and it’s a great way to show your expertise and your passion.

I believe, every party is important-so make sure you have it reviewed by your guidance counselor or career counselor, or an expert you can get online. Or simple-do a google research and see what other resumes look like in relevance to your experience.

Good luck
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Mrudula’s Answer

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Hi Charlotte!

That's a great question!

A resume is a condensed version of your education, your technical skills and your interests. I would suggest that you be concise, clear and unambiguous.
make sure to include all your certifications/degrees/diplomas and give clear timelines of any relevant previous jobs you have held.
You can also list your other interest (Volunteering for NGOs) that the company can consider if they have such activities in the company.

There are quite a few websites that can show you how to draft a resume.

As for the company itself, do your research, both on the company as well as the job you are applying for. Be clear on what they expect from you and set your expectations from the job in your mind.

Make the cover letter positive and brief. Make sure to see that your intention of taking the job comes through.

I wish you all the best!
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Rahul’s Answer

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Here are some Key Pointers

1. CV must highlight your skills, achievements or experience which makes you an ideal fit for the job.
2. CV must not be a lengthy documents. It should have some space for eyes to relax, too much text takes the attention away.
3. Proof-read your resume by a colleague/mentor, friend etc.
4. Ensure that the font size & style is consistent across the document.
5. Decide the “headings” of the resume based on the theme (Traditional/Visual) of the resume.
6. Run the resume through a spell & grammar check.
7. Do not overstate/exaggerate you achievements, experience etc.
8. Ensure that the achievements stated in the resume are relevant to the job/hobbies that you have mentioned (else you can skip some).
9. Customise your resume basis the job that you are applying for.
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Fiona’s Answer

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A resume is a promotion document for yourself.
Things to also note:
- consistency in the presentation is important
- it must be pleasant to read – sharp, not too cluttered, not too many words
- make sure to do a grammar check
- write short, succinct but useful descriptions
- what makes you stand out? work experience? volunteering experience? any language skills, other different skills that other people are unlikely to have?
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Senthil’s Answer

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A cover letter should be precise & well articulated to explain 3 key things in order to get the attention which may need some background/research about profile/organization that you apply for.

First One, mention about the position for which you are applying & references, if any (Or) keep it generic that you are seeking for openings.

Second One, talk about the competencies/experiences which you got in relevance to the open position or organization's portfolio in crisp wordings since you will have details on your resume.

Third One, it's critical to relate both first & second one. Here, you should articulate how well you can enable your experience/skills will nurture you to meet self/organizational objectives.
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Rafael’s Answer

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Thank you for your question.

In my opinion, the most important part of a resume, especially if you are new to the job market, is the skills section because, even if you don't have the necessary experience an employer is looking for, you may still have the necessary skills, which suggests a potential for growth.

In addition, when you are thinking about what skills to include, I don't think you should tie yourself to only professional skills. For example, I think that teamwork is so valuable and so overlooked a lot of the time which may help you stand up if you can share some examples.

I hope the advice helps and good luck with your career search.

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AFROJ’s Answer

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This can have multiple important piece. I will share what I believe is important.

1. One of the most important features of your resume to a potential employer is your employment history. You want to show a track record of pertinent and reliable career experience. I have seen resume getting dropped during the screening phase if you have multiple hops without any proper justification.

2. Skill set - This is the reason someone will hire you for the position the request is opened for.

Do mentioned all the skills set- Automation ( Devops) Programming( phython ) ,networking ( Routing protocol, CCIE.. ) etc. Try to be specific as per the requirement.
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Alan’s Answer

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If you want one thing to focus on in your cover letter: make sure it "scratches the itch." Concisely demonstrate that you understand what the company needs from of someone in that job, and that you can be the solution. Explain how your abilities will enable you to solve whatever challenges they are facing.

Obviously there are other elements to a cover letter beyond that. But in my experience, it's so rare that someone successfully does this while applying for an early-career position, that 9x/10 I would invite for an interview.
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Lester’s Answer

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The resume for me is a quick snapshot of who you are. During my tenure of my career I have had to hire people for sales jobs. Looking at the description of their previous jobs was and important insight for me to see what the candidate felt they did in their previous roles. How did they describe their daily activities as well as any accomplishments or things they were recognized for. If you have some personality in those as opposed to cut and paste generic job description definitions you stood out to me. Just my thoughts.
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Bhanu’s Answer

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A resume is used to express your interest and relevance for a job role. It is a first step towards getting selected and rejected for interview. Resume can be written for two types of people.
1. With past experience : If you have past experience in the domain, it makes a lot of difference. So past experience and skills are most important in this case
2. No past experience in the domain : The most important part in this case are the skills.
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Franklin’s Answer

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I would say your relative experience in the field you are applying for as well as your skills related to that field. Be able to set yourself apart by explaining these in your interview.
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Alan’s Answer

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If you want one thing to focus on in your cover letter: make sure it "scratches the itch." Concisely demonstrate that you understand what the company needs from of someone in that job, and that you can be the solution. Explain how your abilities will enable you to solve whatever challenges they are facing.

Obviously there are other elements to a cover letter beyond that. But in my experience, it's so rare that someone successfully does this while applying for an early-career position, that 9x/10 I would invite for an interview.
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Abhishek’s Answer

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Below are couple of important sections of any resume,

Summary Statement:-
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This is your resume's version of a Professional Value Proposition. It can be a brief paragraph or a list of bullet points that provide a brief overview of what you have to offer.

Key Skills:-
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A listing of key skill or areas of expertise can be three to five lines that include keywords and terms from your skillset.


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David’s Answer

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Your resume should be as straight to the point as possible with an clean format so the reader can quickly run through your qualifications. Your resume should preferably be just a page. Another useful tool is bullet points. Such usage allows for an easy-to-follow format.
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Ragil’s Answer

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Mainly the Resume should have below details

# Summary of your work experience,( that include duration and name of each organisation you worked & specific work you done there )
# Summary of your working skills
# Details of your education qualification ( that include both academic & skilled certifications )
# Your contact details - residential address,Mailing address , phone number and email id
# Your personal details - your interest and hobbies
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Nithin’s Answer

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Summary of your work experience and the key skillsets are the most important part of your resume.
No interviewer will be going through your entire resume. So always make sure to captures the important things at the top of your resume itself.
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Fiona’s Answer

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Resumes must be short, concise, to the point. Do not exaggerate what you have done - go through the resume to ensure you would be able to, in an interview, discuss in detail every item or skill you have discussed therein. Have one or two things that make you stand out, for example, do you have any interests or skills that are different - language skills etc? Make sure it is clearly presented, not cluttered and easy on the eye. Your key skills and work experience is often very important.
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Akshayata’s Answer

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What is important is you are able to back up whatever is written there.
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Doreen’s Answer

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Action items and results. Where and how you made impact in your previous positions and education. Your resume is your first impression. What do you want to say?
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Mohit’s Answer

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For me personally please don't fake anything in your resume. you should be good at selling yourself in your resume but don't put fake stuff. Whatever you write in resume you should know that technology in & out.
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Jackie’s Answer

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The most important part of the cover letter is explaining why you feel you are fit for the job, and how their qualifications match yours. This is letter should compose information about who you are and your education levels, how you discovered the job, what qualifications you are inspired by, and what qualifications of experience you have to fit the role you are applying for.

After the cover letter will then attach your resume which should include your name and short biography, contact information, past job experience, skills and qualities, and your reference name and numbers.

If you don't have job experience because this is your first job or first full-time job out of college then I would fill in the blanks with information on the class courses you took. Showing a business or corporation job that you took finance, economics, accounting, etc., shows that you have the knowledge in those particular areas.

Hope this helped!
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chiara’s Answer

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Great question!

The most important part of the resume, I would say is the objective.

The objective is usually a one liner in which you pitch yourself. With one sentence you set the tone for who you are, your works, interests and drive. That matters a lot to HR, as per my experience.

Do your best and have fun with it!
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Dustin’s Answer

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I would say that the most important part of your resume is tailoring your work experience descriptions to the job you are seeking. In other words, you should point out tasks that you were responsible for that may be similar to what you think would be the tasks and responsibilities for the desired job. This makes your work experience feel more relatable and applicable to the employer.
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