Here are 8 things you should always include in your resume, according to experts

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Here are 8 things you should always include in your resume, according to experts
Even if you get creative with your resume or choose to include additional information, every resume still needs the same basic elements at its core.Wanlee Prachyapanaprai / Getty Images
  • 2023 is approaching, and the early part of a new year is one of the best times to look for a job.
  • To land a gig, you'll likely need to work on your resume first.
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It's almost 2023, and the start of a new year is usually prime time for job hunting.

Before you apply for a role, you'll want to double-check that your resume is ready. To help you do that, make sure your resume includes these eight basic elements:

1. Contact information

This seems obvious, but candidates sometimes forget to include basic contact information, or they bury it at the bottom. You don't need to include a home address, but you should list other ways a recruiter can reach you. "Include your name, phone number, email, and URL to your LinkedIn profile right at the top of the page," says executive career coach and founder of Resume Writers' Ink Tina Nicolai.

Executive resume writer Mary Elizabeth Bradford suggests including just one phone number and email address. "Some people will include their home and cell numbers, for example, but I find multiple contact choices to be confusing. Make it easy for your reader to understand how to contact you."

2. Professional title

When someone reviews your resume, there should be no question as to the type of role you're seeking, says Amanda Augustine, a career expert for TopResume. "Make sure your goals are crystal clear by including a professional title at the top of your resume, such as 'Senior Accounting Professional' or 'Marketing & Sales Associate,' just below your contact information and above your career narrative (what I usually call the 'professional summary')."

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3. Keywords

Without making it look like you did a lot of copying and pasting, you should include some keywords and phrases from the job posting. This is especially important if the employer uses a resume-scanning system.

In addition to eyeballing job descriptions that are relevant to your job search and pulling out the most commonly used keywords, Augustine suggests feeding a few of the job descriptions into JobScan.co to identify the most frequently mentioned terms and see how your resume measures up.

4. Accomplishments

Employers need to know how you've contributed to your team and company to determine whether your strengths align with the needs and responsibilities of their opening and company, Nicolai says.

Under each job title and description, include the most important, impressive, and relevant achievements.

5. Metrics

"No position is exempt from measuring results," Nicolai says. "Metrics help employers determine if a person is capable of leading a team, managing clients, or growing the business."

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Metrics are also a great way to back up your achievements.

Instead of just saying, "Helped grow revenue," try saying, "Helped grow revenue by 500% to $1 million in 12-month period by doing X."

6. Certifications and credentials

If you have a certification or advanced degree that's considered an asset in your field, like an MBA or RN, include it after your name at the very top of your resume. You can skip the acronym for your undergraduate degree or a certification that's not relevant to your current job goals.

You should still include details about these credentials in the education and professional development section of your resume, Augustine adds.

7. Relevant URLs

While resumes tend to be pretty cut-and-dried documents, there are ways to give hiring managers a better sense of your personality and expertise without breaking the standard guidelines, Augustine explains. "Include links to websites that highlight your personal brand. This information should be grouped with your contact information at the top of your resume. In addition to including the URL to your LinkedIn profile, you may want to include the links to your blog or online portfolio."

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Just make sure you're keeping these sites current and that they support your personal brand and are relevant to your job goals.

8. Strong verbs

In your resume, you want your language to be direct and succinct. Rely on verbs, not adjectives, to convey a sense of action and accomplishment.

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