Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

5 Things Your Resume Is Probably Missing

By Maurie Backman - Nov 28, 2018 at 8:04AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Omitting these key items could mean losing out on the job.

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.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/01/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.