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Resume Question

What is the most VITAL thing that should be on my resume and why is it important?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Robert’s Answer

I had a college counselor give me great advice - Don't have a single resume. Have a resume for each job type. I never thought of this, but your history may be better to highlight in a different way for those reading it. You want to highlight and put forward your history that applies to the company. They may be impressed with everything you have done, but you need them to read the parts that will impact them. When I interviewed all the time, you don't have the time you want to get into the weeds on someone's resume. If the resume was structured in a way to highlight what I needed to read (or could read), it was more likely that the person was a better fit for what I was looking for.
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Pam’s Answer

Lots of great answers here on the quality so I am going to tackle the other side - Formatting/spelling/grammar/dates. These may seem obvious, but I have seen a number of resumes where there are quite a few grammar issues or typos. This is the first impression someone gets of your writing/communication style. Don't go all fancy on the bullet/font types - a lot of automated systems can't pick them up. Have someone review your resume before you hit submit. Check the dates - year, month, etc... gaps in your dates arent a big deal but keep formatting the same (7/22 - X/XX vs. July 2022 - 8/23). If you have multiple pages because of experience, add your name and contact number to the header of the following pages so the reader doesn't have to scroll back and forth to find out who you are. Good luck!


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Ka’s Answer

You have only seconds to make an impression on your resume. Because of this, your best accomplishments should be at the top third of the page. As a student, that would be your educational credentials and any internships. If you have already been working, then that would be your professional achievements and experience. Make sure it is not just a list of responsibilities but a list of key results. Use action verbs for each entry. Best of luck!
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Chirayu’s Answer

The most important thing on your resume is your professional experience and achievements, specifically those that are relevant to the job you are applying for. This is crucial because it allows you to showcase your skills and qualifications, demonstrate how you have added value in previous roles, and demonstrate your fit for the position you are applying for. Be sure to use specific and quantifiable examples to illustrate your impact and achievements in previous positions.
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Ryan’s Answer

Hey Kelvin,

I like a resume that tells a story, a narrative about the life of someone I'm looking to hire. Yes, it still needs to follow a certain format with formalized language to summarize your experience, and skill sets, and bridging the gap between your past accomplishments and future aspirations is important. But I need a sense of whoever is behind that piece of paper, so much so that I find myself curious about them and want to speak with them.

As you embark on your journey into the professional world, your resume serves as a window into the rich tapestry of your life's narrative. It's not just a list of experiences and skills; it's a story that reveals the essence of who you are and the unique qualities you bring to the table.

Picture yourself as a traveler, venturing through the uncharted territory of your chosen career. Each experience you've had and every skill you've acquired are the threads that weave together the fabric of your life's story. They speak to your growth, your passion, and your dedication to personal and professional development.

When crafting your resume, remember that potential employers seek more than just a set of qualifications. They yearn to understand the person behind the bullet points, to grasp the essence of what makes you an exceptional candidate. In the grand narrative of your life, your experiences and skills are the chapters that reveal your character, your resilience, and your ability to overcome challenges.

Infuse your resume with the passion and dedication that drive you, and paint a vivid picture of the remarkable individual you are. By doing so, you will not only create a memorable impression but also lay the groundwork for a bright and fulfilling future.
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Milena’s Answer

Your resume should always include your experience - such as work, volunteer, projects and achievements. It should also include your education and your skills such as certifications or classes/courses. All of the information should be things you have done or accomplished and should relate back to the position you are applying to. Another very important factor is to make sure that your resume is easy to read and understand, with all of your contact information easily viewable. Make sure it's clear, concise and formatted properly, without too many colors or breakers/columns etc. Most resumes are reviewed in a matter of seconds and if it is too much information or jumbled across the page, then the person reviewing will move on to the next one.
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Paul’s Answer

I would say your experience.

It gives the potential employers an idea of what experiences and skills you have, and what you can offer them as a potential employee.

This can be both paid or volunteer experience.
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Layne’s Answer

I echo a lot of what has already been said. As a recruiter and more so a campus recruiter focused on college resumes there are things I look for right away when handed a resume. First I look at what your major then I go in this order for other relevant information. I look for graduation date, relevant courses for the role in which you applied to, relevant work experience and/or internships and/or co-op's should there be any (if not that's OK), any technical programming languages and or skills one might possess, clubs and organizations the student is apart of, and of location you're located. Location is critical because it shows if your close to an open role or if I need to ask if you'd be interested in relocating. Aside from these spelling and formatting is also something that's eye catching. There are tons of free resume workshops provided on LinkedIn and through college career services that you can utilize if you want to polish it up before you apply to any roles.
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Jeff’s Answer

The key is to connect how you are the right person for the job. I like to start my resume with easy to read and targeted bullets showing how my experience and knowledge will be the best fit for the position. Each position you apply for will be a little different, and the verbiage used should align with those priorities. It's helpful to use the same nomenclature, so use phrasing and word choices that match what the position is stating. This makes it easier for the person reading the resume to see at a glance phrasing they are familiar with, and capture their attention enough to continue to consider your resume for the position.
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Hugh’s Answer

Kelvin,

Depending on the industry, by far the most important thing to consider is not the structure or material, but key words. I recent study noted 75% of resume's are never read. AI kicks out all resumes that don't have the correct verbiage in them. Look at the job requirements, make sure you align with them, and incorporate them into the resume. Then you can iron out the rest of it.

Thanks,
Hugh
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Allyson’s Answer

I will echo a few submission above that you should tailor your resume for each job application and don't forget that a Cover Letter can help you tell a story about why you're the best candidate for a job or why you're passionate about a certain Company!

I shifted industries from hospitality to SaaS in 2021, and I attest this pivot to including a cover letter that told my story of why I wanted to work in technology when I applied to leading SaaS companies. Don't underestimate the power of story telling!
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Jake’s Answer

Professional experience on top
Include activities outside of work to show your versatility
Don't overcrowd, this is an outline of yourself and you will have the opportunity to go into more depth during an interview
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Harshita’s Answer

The essential elements to include in your resume are your key strengths, academic achievements, and work experience. Your resume should provide a glimpse into your personality. While you can mention your areas of improvement, ensure they are presented in a way that highlights your willingness to learn and grow.
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Robert’s Answer

Use verbs (managed, achieved, obtained, etc.). The reader wants to know what you have done with the skills you have based on what they need you to do. Telling folks what you can do is good, but they really want to know what you have done and what you will done for them.
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Colleen’s Answer

Any previous experience that is related to the job you are seeking. If you don't have any related experience, how does your experience make you a solid employee? Show confidence in your abilities, communication skills, and teamwork are important for any position.

If you land an interview, don't ever speak negatively of previous employers or co-workers. The person interviewing you will assume it was probably you, not them. And it displays a negative attitude.

However, it is ok to admit your weaknesses. You are human and shouldn't try to portray yourself as perfect.
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Baljit’s Answer

Hi Kelvin
I think the most important part is the summary part which gives the overall picture of your work experience. This is so because the reader might not continue to read the rest of your resume as this doesn't pop put from the rest of the crowd of applicants. It should give insight into your job experience and what you can offer the employer. As you probably know that prospective employers use data collected from key words in your resume that matches their job description. Also another point is to customize your resume to the job that you are applying to .
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Diane’s Answer

Hi Kevin - the skills and experience sections are the two most vital/important part of your resume. They don't necessarily go hand in hand as you may have obtained and honed many different skill sets but may not have the job experience. If you can demonstrate skills like critical thinking, problem solving or leadership that may give you an advantage over another candidate. Of course, having specific job experience if you are applying for a position that requires specialized skills can't be overlooked but many employers hire a candidate without certain job experiences if they feel the candidate is trainable (ie. has skill sets the company values) and the company has the bandwidth to train.
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