The Top 4 Resume Must Haves

There are 4 resume must haves if you want a chance at an interview. Does it really matter what information you include and in which order you represent it? The answer is yes. Recruiters spend less than 10 seconds scanning through your resume and so you have a short window to capture their attention. If you don’t they’ll simply move on to the next!

Your resume must be coherent and tell a clear story. These resume must haves will show you how:

Contact Information

Include your name, phone number, email, and location at the top. I know many people create a separate email for job applications, if you choose to do so make sure to check it regularly. Set up a voice mail on your number so that if you’re not able to talk, the recruiter can leave you a message! And for the location just your city and postal code should suffice unless you really want to share your address.


The most important of the resume must haves is your experience, which should be listed in reverse chronological order. That means your current or most recent job should be listed first. Instead of copying from your current job description, find creative terminology that mirrors language in the job description for the role you’re applying for. Also include key successes or contributions and add to each job.


If you have post secondary education, then leave out high school.. List any undergraduate and post graduate experiences. If you have a couple, list only the most recent ones or what is relevant to the position you’re applying for. Under this section you can also include industry specific certifications you have earned.


These can be broken down into technical and soft skills. And depending on your job, you might need more of one than the other, for example a sales person needs more soft skills than an engineer. This is an important resume must have as recruiters are looking for transferable skills from your current role into the new potential role. If you’re struggling to figure these out, look at different job descriptions related to your type of job and see if any of the attributes they are looking for align with your daily tasks.

Key words as a bonus resume must have

You should always tailor your resume for different jobs you’re applying to. Spend time analyzing the job description and include key words from it into your resume. If you’re applying online your resume will likely be assessed by an applicant tracking system (ATS) before it’s seen by a recruiter. Read about how to make your resume more ATS friendly here.

Your objective should be to keep the reader engaged and not ditch your file in the black hole. Click here if you need help capturing your story in a way that will engage recruiters and hiring managers.

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