March 31, 2016    |    By

Your resume is the key to opening the door to an interview. Think of it as your personal brand. It represents who you are, what your skills are, what your history is and what you are aiming to do. It’s a snapshot of your professional life so it needs to be a good one. There are many opinions about what you need and what you don’t need on a resume. But around all the fluff are the bones of a great resume.

Here are 5 essentials facts to include on your resume:

1. Your Name and Contact Information

While this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how many people either forget this altogether or have old information listed on their resume. You should make sure your resume is up to date before sending it to a potential employer.

2. Work History

Employers want to know where you’ve worked and what you did at each job. Go ahead, brag on yourself a little bit. But be honest. Lying on your resume is never okay. CareerBuilder says over 50% of recruiters have caught people lying on their resumes. They’ve found people that even say they have academic credentials they don’t have. Don’t create a resume that reflects someone you are not. You’ll have to live up to it if you get the job. And if an employer finds out you lied, that could be grounds for termination.

3. Dates of Employment

The trend these days is to leave employment dates off of resumes. However, this isn’t helpful to the employer. Some people do this because they’ve taken some time off for various reasons. It’s common to have gaps. Just own them and don’t try to hide it.

4. Technical Skills

Some jobs require knowledge of certain software programs. Make sure to list all that you know and be honest about how well you know it. It can make your resume stand out even if it’s not a requirement.

5. Something personal about you

Let them get to know you. Since resumes are a snap shot of you, put a little of you in it. Take a couple lines at the bottom to write things that interest you or volunteer activities you participate in. This helps them get to know you beyond the list of facts and sets you apart from the crowd.

Go take a look at your resume. Ask yourself, is this really true? Am I representing myself well? Resumes aren’t easy to craft but if you keep it honest you’ll do just fine. Make sure to double and triple check for typos as that can easily disqualify you. Once you have your resume fine tuned, get ready to interview like a pro!

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This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.