What jobs should I include on my resume?
The first step to getting your foot in the door for a job interview is a resume that grabs a hiring manager's attention. They will look for things like relevant job experience, accomplishments, and hard skills required for the role they’re filling. Because resumes are used to screen job candidates, you’ll unlikely be called in for an interview for a software engineering position without the right experience and skills.
As you create your resume, you might think, “What should I include on my resume?” and “What jobs, in particular, should I include?” Here’re some tips to consider.
Include jobs with relevant experience on your resume
Not every position you apply for will align perfectly with your previous employment history. If you want to stand out to hiring managers, highlighting your most relevant experience can help.
If you have enough of a job history, you might consider removing jobs that don’t align with the job you’re applying for as one tactic. For many people, this might mean eliminating jobs they had early on in their careers that no longer match up with their current career goals. For instance, maybe your first job out of college was in publishing, but since, your career has been focused on marketing at technology companies. You don’t need to include that publishing role necessarily.
Another tactic to consider is customizing your resume for specific jobs you’re applying for. To do this, carefully read the job posting you’re applying for and pull out buzzwords and skills from the posting that align with your experience. Then work those buzzwords and skills into your resume.
For example, if you’re pursuing a manager position in a sales office and have leadership experience from an operations background, think of ways to highlight that managerial experience you’ve had specifically.
Taking the time to highlight experience that matches the job description for the job you’re going after could help you get an interview.
Focus on more recent roles on your resume
Most employers care the most about your most recent roles and the responsibilities you had in those roles. Depending on your work experience, you might even want to consider keeping it to the last ten years of your work history so your resume feels hyper-focused.
For those that’re just starting out (and might never have had a full-time job), don’t be afraid to fill out your resume with internships, research you’ve conducted in classes, or participation in nonprofits. That being said, build out your most recent roles to the extent you can.
List your jobs in reverse chronological order on your resume
Listing your experience in reverse chronological order helps hiring managers review your most recent and relevant experience first. To do this accurately, you’ll want to put your most recent job on the top with your responsibilities and accomplishments at that job below it.
From there, you’ll move on to the job you held before your most recent position, and so on. Even if you’re making the decision to eliminate certain jobs from your resume, it's important to stick to this best practice.
Information to include with each role on your resume
There’re key elements of a resume that hiring managers look for when searching for a new hire. Beyond listing your positions and time spent at each job, you’ll also want to focus on your accomplishments and responsibilities. Here’re some things to include:
What the company does
To give a hiring manager a sense of the industry you worked in previously, find ways to include what the company you are or have worked for does. This’s particularly important for companies that aren’t broadly known.
You want to ensure the job titles for each role are easy to pick out from your resume. You can do this with formatting or using other methods.
You don’t want hiring managers to have to guess which date you went to college or the date range you held a job. Make sure this’s very clear.
Core responsibilities and accomplishments
Under each role, you should list your core responsibilities. Try to stick to around four to six bullets for each.
It’s important to ensure that your resume doesn’t just read like a list of your responsibilities, though. Highlighting your individual accomplishments is key to standing out.
Do this by featuring results-driven action words that showcase your accomplishments. An example of a well-written bullet point is: “Responsible for finance, accounting, treasury, legal facilities, and sales operations. Raising over $600,000 from private investors over a one year period.” A resume bullet like this highlights not only your responsibilities but also how you went above and beyond in your role.
Consider your resume an ever-changing document that should be updated whenever you have relevant experience or accomplishments to add. The best way to build a resume that catches a hiring manager’s attention is to consider the job you’re applying for and to customize your resume to include the most relevant experience and skills for the job you’re applying for.
The more customized your resume is, the more likely you are to get called in for an interview and potentially land the role you’re after.