5 Things to Include on a Killer Resume


1. Nailing Your Header and Personal Summary

The first thing that many people choose to put on their resume is an informative header, followed by a personal summary. If you do it right, this information can serve as a major boon to your job application. However, if you don’t utilize this function in the correct way, you risk souring your name before you ever shake hands with the hiring manager.

2. Your Professional Summary

Did you know that candidates that include a personal summary are almost twice as likely to be contacted by a hiring manager? You should always include this short paragraph summarizing your professional progression, making sure to highlight workplace achievements and notable skills.

If bullet points are easier for you to craft, then that’s fine too! Consider adding:

  • The job you’re seeking.
  • Experience level.
  • Relevant qualifications.

3. Skills List

What programs, platforms, databases, and coding tools are you comfortable with? Include an easy-to-locate list on your resume that includes tools that are relevant to the position in which you are applying.

Here is an example of what a skills list should look like:

Expert: C#, C/C++, VB.NET, ASP.NET, HTML, CSS, SQL, REST, SOAP, Visual Studio, TFS

Intermediate: Java, J2EE, Spring, Hibernate, JDBC, Eclipse, Jenkins, Hudson

4. Write About Your Achievements

Too often, candidates like to include information about the company itself in their work experience section of the resume. This is simply not necessary, because your future job employer doesn’t care about what the other company did. What they do care about is what you did. When listing your work experience, leave out the summary of the company and spend that precious white space on your page talking about your own accomplishments and skills gained instead.

When creating your professional experience summaries, try to use real data and numbers. This is easier for a hiring manager to digest because you are offering verifiable information.

Try to begin every sentence or bullet point with a powerful verb. A few examples of this include:

  • “Mentored a team of 10 developers.”
  • “Developed RESTful APIs in Python.”
  • “Spearheaded web UI application.”

5. Awards and Certifications

If you have any special awards, recognitions, accolades, special skills, or certifications, you should absolutely include them on your resume. Not only do these show off your abilities and professional history, but they show that you are willing to go above and beyond for your career. The inclusion of special awards and recognitions are one of things that can take your resume from good to great.

Include this information even if you doubt the hiring manager has any idea what you are talking about. For one, they can always Google it (if you ensure that it is Google-able), and two, remember that having any extra innovation or achievement looks impressive, no matter what your field is.

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