5 Things You Should Always Put On Your Resume

by Madeleine Aggeler
Fajrul Islam/Moment/Getty Images

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Few activities are more stress-inducing and less enjoyable than writing your resume. A root canal, maybe, or getting caught behind a pair of slow walkers on a narrow sidewalk. But, there are things you should always include on your resume that will help guide you through this process, and make sure your resume actually gets seen.

A 2012 study by the online job-matching service Ladders found that recruiters typically only spend about six seconds reviewing an individual resume. That's a minuscule window of time in which to make the case that you're the right person for the job. Fortunately, by making sure to include certain information on your CV, you greatly increase your chances of getting an interview, no matter what field of work you're applying to.

First thing's first: as much as you may want to set yourself apart from other candidates, your CV is not the place to let your personality shine through. Resumes should follow a standard layout and content hierarchy, and make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to glean the most amount of relevant information in the least amount of time.

“They [recruiters] are looking for job hoppers, minimum education requirements and a candidate’s steady career progression,” Will Evans, Ladders’ head of user experience told TIME. “It’s a snap decision.”

As boring (and stressful, and nauseating) as this sounds, making your recruiter's life a little easier is far more likely to get you an interview than playing with a whimsical layout.

In order to make the most of your six seconds, here are the five things you should always put on your resume.

This may seem obvious, but forgetting to include basic information like your name and email, or burying it somewhere at the bottom of the page, can get your CV tossed into the "no" pile immediately.

"Include your name, phone number, email, and URL to your LinkedIn profile right at the top of the page," executive career coach and founder of Résumé Writers' Ink, Tina Nicolai, told Business Insider. "And you don't need to include your home address."

Including specific numbers about time, money, and productivity makes your resume much more compelling.

For example, saying "I wrote grant proposals" is less interesting than "I wrote seven grant proposals that brought in $25,000."

Although people talk about "your resume" like it's a single, stagnant document, in reality, it should be a constantly evolving document that you tweak slightly for every job to which you apply.

Incorporating some key words and phrases from the job description into your resume will help recruiters scan it more quickly, and better picture you in the position.

Recruiters are sometimes going through hundreds of resumes in a day, so make sure to leave out any information that isn't absolutely necessary, like a photo, your old GPA, and that 5K you ran in 2013.

Including relevant URLs is a good way to give recruiters a sense of your personality without straying too far from the standard resume format. (Again, relevant URLs ONLY — not your middle school Xanga, or your Amazon wish-list).

"Include links to websites that highlight your personal brand," Amanda Augustine, a career advice expert from TopResume, told Business Insider. "This information should be grouped with your contact information at the top of your résumé. In addition to including the URL to your LinkedIn profile, you may want to include the links to your blog or online portfolio."

Applying to jobs is stressful, but by making the recruiter's job easier, and making clear connections between your past experience and the job you're applying to, you significantly increase your chances of getting an interview.

Now to figure out what to wear...

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