Your resume needs to have contact information, a summary of skills, your work and educational history, dates and locations of your jobs, and scintillating language about how you helped former employers. That’s standard.
But what else should you include?
- LinkedIn URL. Email address and phone number are crucial, but few people forget those. Skip the home address and make sure the hiring manager can find your public LinkedIn profile without extra searching.
- Keywords. If they’re appropriate and true, include keywords from the job posting. If you’re a copywriter applying for a PR job that requires press release experience, make sure the jobs where you’ve written press releases say “press release” not simply “media-directed content.” Don’t lose the chance to show that you’ve done what they’re asking for, but only if you have. Don’t lie.
- Results. The work you’ve done for former employers must have had measurable results. Did your efforts increase sales, lead to an award-winning campaign, or help get a startup sold? Say so. Any demonstrable metrics help hiring managers see your worth and make them believe you’re as good as you say you are. How many outlets carried your release? How many clicks did your ad get? How much did traffic go up when you redesigned a website?
- Links. Show the work you’ve designed, written, or directed. An online portfolio could work. Direct links help even more. Portfolios might include spec work and old creations that have since been upgraded, redone, or rethought. Show that the work you’ve done is still up and serving previous employers or clients well.
- Hobbies. Just kidding. Waste of space, waste of hiring manager time. If they care about what you do with your free time, they’ll ask in your interview. They’re trying to justify paying you for your professional time, so your resume should focus on that. If you’re compelled to tout your Ironman win or your world-record sailing time, put it on LinkedIn, not your resume.
Be sure to impress quickly with your resume. Content, layout, and focus all need to convince the hiring manager, in the first few seconds, that you’re right for the job.