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What to Include in a Resume to Showcase Your Best Self

A job seeker handing their resume to a prospective employer
Written by Amanda Nunez

When you’re introduced to someone, how important is the first impression they make on you? Do you find those initial moments influencing how you feel about them far beyond that first meeting? 

Usually, when you apply to a job, your resume will act as that de facto first impression on the people in charge of hiring for your chosen position. Do you know what to put on a resume to make a good first impression and secure an interview?

In this blog, we will discuss what is a resume, how to make a resume, and what to include in a resume to stand out and make a great first impression. 

What is a Resume?

A resume is a summarized account of your qualifications, skills, professional experience, education, and other information relevant to the position you’re applying to. Resumes are typically provided anytime you’re applying to a new position and are sometimes accompanied by a cover letter that allows you to further elaborate on your qualifications. 

By itself, a resume is usually a one-page document that’s easy to read and delivers information in a compact, concise manner. Writing a resume that you feel confident in can seem like a daunting task. However, with some planning and preparation, anyone can learn to create a great resume. 

How Do You Make a Resume?

Resumes are often completed in word processing programs, where a number of existing templates can be utilized to maximize the space available to you and ensure readability for your potential employer. Consult our resume library for a vault of free resume templates, which contains resumes tailored for specific industries and positions.

If you’re skilled with a particular word processing program or familiar with publishing programs like Adobe InDesign, you can design your own resume and arrange the information to your liking. However, always remember to send your resume in pdf format, not jpg or png. This ensures that your resume can be read by resume screeners before they reach a hiring professional. 

Before you begin writing your resume, do a little research online for examples and use other people’s good ideas as inspiration for your own. Once you’re comfortable with the template you’ll use to create your resume, it’s time to draft and edit the content that’ll make your first impressions.

5 Things to Include on Your Resume

The information included in resumes has evolved over time, and what is expected by employers can vary from case to case. 

However, as a rule of thumb it is always important to tailor your resume to the job you are applying to. Adding focus to your resume demonstrates that you read the job description and understand what is needed to succeed in the open position.

Contact Information

This may seem like a given, but the importance of relevant, up-to-date contact information can mean the difference between getting the job or missing out because you missed a call or email. 

First, start with your first and last name. While that may seem obvious, it’s also a great way to draw your reader’s eye to a particular spot on the page and help start their journey across your resume in the right spot. 

Also include your professional title if it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for, along with a phone number you answer, a professional email address, and lastly your location—usually city then country. 

Summary or Objective

Including a summary statement of your work philosophy or a clear explanation of your objective is kind of like including a small summary of your cover letter. It’ll help hiring managers get a sense of your goals, outlook, experience, and what you’re looking for in a position. 

If you have more than a couple years of work experience in the field which you’re applying to, we’d recommend putting a summary on your resume. Write one by crafting 2-to-3 sentences that list your job, your experience in years, your responsibilities and any standout achievements, then your goal or what you desire from your new position.

For your objective statement, write 2-to-3 sentences and describe what motivated you to apply for the job. Introduce yourself with the skill or education that’s relevant to the job in question, then list some experiences or skills you’d like to apply at the company you’re applying to work at. Lastly, list the tasks you’re most confident helping out with so your strengths are on display.

Work Experience

The work experience section is the billboard of your resume, where you advertise your work history, earned skillset, and what you can bring to the company you’re applying for. 

First, list the job title in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position to your oldest. For each relevant experience, include the organization you worked at and the length of your tenure. If you held multiple positions at the same company, make sure to state how long you worked at each position separately.

Lastly, choose four-to-six bullet points that each contain one sentence describing a responsibility or task performed. Describe how you completed tasks and how they had positive outcomes. Use action verbs and consult the job description to determine how to position your experience. 

If you don’t have much work experience or just getting started in your career, that is okay. Try including relevant experiences such as volunteer work and internships to show that you have what it takes to succeed at the job. 


In the education section, you can put down your educational history. List information in this order: degree and field, then school, then years attended, then school city and GPA. Lastly, list achievements or relevant activities.

Mentioning your GPA is optional, however we’d recommend including it if it’s 3.5 or above. Additionally, if you have post-secondary, it is okay to omit mentioning your secondary education.


Be sure to list any skills mentioned in the job listing that you may possess, and elaborate if you have room. Also list any interesting skills or skills that may help with your ability to perform in your position, such as knowledge of email clients or a second language. 

Start Your Job Search with TheJobNetwork

Now that you have a plan of attack for your resume, it’s time to put that knowledge to use! Visit TheJobNetwork’s online job board to browse open positions to find your next position. Don’t forget to visit our resume library to find a free resume template that will help you create a great resume. 

About the author

Amanda Nunez