Hope you are doing well! Over the last few weeks, we covered the essentials of resume building using the now-famous S.T.A.R. approach and laid out techniques to build a stellar header, profile summary and work experience section covering about 60% of a 1 pager resume. In this blog, we will discuss the final sections of the resume to complete its framework, keeping them minimal to ensure maximum impact!
The Education Section
Given the nature of this piece, if you have all the information for this segment at hand, it will take no more than 10 minutes to complete this section! All you need are the main facts about your degrees/diplomas and to list them in the order of their importance and you’re done.
If you hold any additional professional certifications such as a C.A or C.F.A, create a separate line for them. Remember, as with everything on here - keep the certifications relevant to the job you are applying to!
High School Details: If you are a fresh grad with minimal work experience (or) have been specifically requested by the company to share these details, include your High School details in this section, in the same format as your Work Experience Section.
Year of Completion
Your score/GPA or rank, if above average, to add perspective
Awards or accomplishments if any
Detailed descriptions of the degree
Lengthy descriptions of your achievement, project details
Listing all courses completed, credit breakdown
Dropped out/did not complete your degree? Many a times, for whatever reason, students do not complete the requirements to graduate. This can be a scary thing to include, but incomplete education is not the end of the world, especially if you did so to follow your passion. If you did start out on a course, follow the 'Things to include' format but instead of writing the Year of Completion, you can say: Completed 2 years of a 3-year B.A. program 20XX-20YY (and even include a reason if you think it reflects positively/explains the change in plan).
Visually, the Education Section looks like this:
P.S. For those who are recently out of college, don't fall for the temptation of making this your resume’s focus! You can still include and elaborate on any work experience before education. Refer to our previous blog to see how you can either:
Include your internship/volunteer experience prior to this section or,
Grab an internship if possible, if you are in want for some work experience
The Interests and Community Involvement Section
This is the last and final section of your resume, as listed by priority. In this section, you get the chance to:
- Show your personality, interests, and passion beyond work and education
- Display your care for the community
Each interest in this section is best kept to a line. To ensure you convey it’s worth in the limited space, carefully craft your content to highlight what’s important. If not, the contents here could work against you.
1.Interests: When we say interests, I urge you to write something that reflects your softer traits in a positive manner. Premier companies pay close attention to these traits as they showcase your true interests and personality, a desirable aspect.
- Including the activity with its cause: 'Avid cyclist for ride to conquer cancer' showcases your care for the society
- Allying out how serious you are: 'Enthusiastic singer training with the legendary Usha Uthup' highlights your creative side
- Displaying your personal goals: 'Passionate runner training to beat my personal half marathon record' displays your forward thinking mentality
- 2-time Winning captain of the school football team' focuses on your leadership skills.
2.Community Involvement: Apart from the above interests, if you have volunteering experience, make sure you include that too! It reflects well on companies if their employees care for the society and it’s a definite asset to your resume. Even if not for the resume, I urge every one of you to go out there and contribute socially in some way. It’s always a win-win-win activity.
Now to structure the above in 1 line, use the following format. Feel free to mix and match based on what you feel is most representative of you.
- (Use this when you have NO volunteer experience) Half a sentence representing interest 1 | Half a sentence representing interest 2
- (Use this when you have one interest (or) volunteer work that is very substantial) Full line covering the interest or volunteer work with impact
- (Use this if you have volunteer experience) Half a sentence representing interest | Half a sentence representing your volunteer work
Pro Tip: Avoid generic interests such as watching TV, reading, playing video games, exercising or vlogging. I’d rather you have more depth in a few interests than breadth. Make your talents or passions interesting with the right amount of detail :) For example: 'Avid reader of autobiographies on a 2 books a month spree’ or 'Entertainment vlogger with 300+ YT subscribers'
P.S. For those who are just out of college and no work experience to your name, except for volunteering activities, skip the volunteering section here and refer to our previous blog to help you call out the volunteering as the focus of your resume.
Aaand.. stick a fork in it, because you are done! With this, you have completed all the sections required for a 1-page resume.
Below are the blogs you can look forward to, to wrap the Resume series before we move to the next section!
- Visual & formatting best practices to elegantly package your resume, tie a bow on it :)
- Have a conversation about references and where they can be included
- Cover letters to maximize your job pursuit
- Finally, I’d like to share a few important online tools that will come in handy. Thank me later ;)
In the meanwhile, it's time for a quick EXERCISE!
Now that you have your title, summary, and most importantly - your work experience section in place, you are nearly done. Scan your existing resume for any remaining content and organize them into:
- Education & Professional Development
- Interests & Community Involvement
If there’s anything that does not fit into the last two categories, it may be time to critically review these items and remove or categorize as necessary. Refer to the blog to keep these sections simple yet effective! Share the completed resume with firstname.lastname@example.org to get it evaluated with additional suggestions. You’ll be well on your way to having an impactful resume! For further services, please visit www.corporatereadytest.com/resume and get your complete resume scanned, all for a nominal price!
"Never be afraid to fail. Failure is only a stepping stone to improvement. Never be overconfident because that will block your improvement."
Manish N Gaba
(Pic Courtesy – Unsplash)
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