What Is a Resume? Everything You Need to Know

When applying for a job, you will be required to submit a resume as part of the application. A resume is often short, one or two page, and list your work experience, education, skills, and key achievements.

A resume is the first thing employer will see before they meet you. If they like it, you are almost assured of getting an interview.

It is, therefore, prudent to make sure it is catchy enough to grab the attention of potential recruiters at first glance. The good thing is that it is possible to create an appealing resume.

With that in mind, let’s see what a complete resume looks like.

What to include in your resume?

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  • Personal details

Include your full name and contact information, such as your email address and phone number.

  • Career objective/summary

A career objective or summary is a section at the top of your resume that helps you pitch yourself. If you have work experience, begin with a career summary and describe your experience as well as where you project to be in the coming years.

If you recently graduated and have no experience, start with a career objective and make sure to outline your skills and work ambitions.

Note: when including your work experience and education, start with whichever is more recent

  • Work experience

List your most recent jobs in chronological order, starting with the latest job. Make sure to include the title of your position, the name and location of the company or organization, and the dates you worked there.

You can also mention relevant volunteer work and internships in this section.

Under each job, use bullet points to give a brief overview of your responsibilities and achievements, including the skills you used

  • Education

List your education in chronological order, starting with the most recent education experience. Under each experience, name the institution, the qualification you received, and when you started and finished if you have not finished, including the expected date. 

Remember also to include any areas of study, awards, and other achievements.

Include your high school education less than five years ago.

  • Skills, strengths, or interests

For each topic, list information that is relevant to the job you are applying for.

  • References

Often you will be required to reference people who know you professionally. If you list them, for example, your former employers, academic advisors, or managers, make sure to add their contact information, including their titles. Alternatively, it is ok to write “references available on request.”

How long should your resume be?


Always keep your resume short, one or two pages. Short resumes are appealing and considering recruiters spend a few seconds on a resume before deciding whether to consider it further or trash it, it makes sense to keep your resume short.

If you have less than ten years of experience, try to keep your resume under two pages. For senior executives or academics, resumes may be longer as they have a lot to include.

What should it look like?

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It is crucial to make sure your resume is well designed. Make sure it is easy to read by using bullet points and paragraphs to split the text. Also, use resume fonts and heading appropriately, and finally, remember to proofread.

What to leave out

As a rule of thumb, a resume is a short document that only captures the most relevant information. It is, therefore, ok to leave out some information such as:

  • Personal information such as age, marital status, sex, and religion
  • Irrelevant work experience. Only add experience that is most relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Your salary expectation or previous salary unless asked to list them.


With the above in mind, you can design a professional resume that will grab the attention of recruiters at first glance. Need extra support to create a professional resume? We are here to help.