Whether you're in the market for your first job or your 10th, you certainly know that a strong resume could spell the difference between getting called in for an interview and landing in the dreaded "discard" pile. Now, you're probably aware that avoiding grammatical errors and focusing on your most relevant experience are two good ways to keep your resume out of the trash. But making sure not to omit key information is just as important. With that in mind, here are some items that might be missing from your resume today.

1. A compelling opening statement

The opening section of your resume is what the people reading it will see first, so it's critical that it not be boring. This means you'll need to steer clear of language like "Marketer with extensive experience seeking senior position" and favor bolder statements instead. Or, to put it another way, the people reading your resume should be excited to meet you, so use that opener as a way to make that happen. In this example, verbiage like "Marketing guru with a flair for the unusual" might go a long way.

Man in suit sitting at table with document in front of him.


2. Hard numbers

We're often told to load up on action verbs on our resumes -- words like "implemented," "oversaw," and "created." And while those are helpful, what's just as important is incorporating hard data into that document wherever you can. Doing so makes you a more credible, viable candidate -- and one hiring managers will want to meet. Therefore, if your training program helped boost sales by 10% last quarter, say so. If your coding fix reduced system bugs by 20% in the past year, call that out. It'll only help build a case for bringing you on board.

3. Links to your best work

It's one thing to talk about the things you're good at doing, but it's another thing to showcase them. If your work is such that prospective employers have the option to actually take a look at it, don't bypass the opportunity. If you're a writer, add links to published articles to that resume. If you're a graphic designer, include a link to your online portfolio. The more you're able to prove what you're capable of doing, the greater your chances of getting the job you want.

4. A list of awards you've received

That industry award you received last year that nobody outside your field has heard of? It might not impress your friends, but it probably will be something a hiring manager in your industry takes note of. As you craft your resume, think back on the times you've received recognition for your work, and be sure to share the details.

5. Volunteer work you do

Maybe you spend your weekends caring for stray dogs, or coaching soccer for local schoolkids. Even if those things have nothing to do with your field, they still speak to the kind of person you are and the skills you possess -- and that's why they deserve some space on your resume. Imagine you're an accountant who spends his days crunching numbers. A prospective employer might wonder how strong your people skills actually are. But if you make it known that you spend every other weekend working with underprivileged children at the local community center, that will easily answer the question.

It's true that an exceedingly long resume can work against you when it comes to getting hired. At the same time, don't gloss over the above items, because they could end up building the case to pursue you as a candidate.