What Does a Resume Really Need to Include?

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When an employer is recruiting for a role, they can expect hundreds, sometimes even thousands of resumes to come flooding in. Yours needs to stand out, and one thing that will quickly lead it to being discarded is a CV that’s too long. It should only be two pages, but in those two pages you really need to sell yourself. Use the precious space wisely- are you wasting it in any of these areas?


It’s always worth including the education you have undertaken on your degree, however, you don’t need to go in as much depth with it as you might think. You don’t need to start listing individual grades for every subject you’ve ever studied, especially if it was a long time ago. Just state what the qualifications you achieved are, if an employer wants to find out more they will ask you. Having a degree is no bad thing, but if you earned yours a long time ago then it might not hold as much weight as you’d think, especially if you’ve done nothing with it. Expand on your education if you can, for example if you have a degree in nursing you could do an online nursing masters. There are other professional diplomas and courses you can take which will give you relevant skills and will look good, particularly if they were taken more recently.

Work history

Does your CV list every job you’ve ever had? You really don’t need to mention that part time job you had when you were in university, or a role you had after leaving school which has no relevance to what you do now. In fact, you only need to include the last ten years of history on your cv, any skills you gained before this will be pretty worthless now unless you can show that you have maintained them. For example, you can’t expect to walk into a great admin job because you were a junior secretary for a year well over a decade ago- chances are you won’t remember much from what you did back then unless you continued to develop those skills. Employers want to get an understanding of the skills you have now.


It can be a bit of a grey area whether to include hobbies on your CV. A good rule of thumb is to include them, but only if they’re relevant. For example, if you’re and amateur photographer then this can look good if you’re applying for a creative or visual job role and is a good way to backup your professional qualifications- for example a degree in design. If you’ve listed every sport, club and interest you’ve ever had on your resume then it’s time to streamline. Don’t just lie on your cv about what your hobbies are, if you’re questioned about it in interview it will be so obvious that it’s made up. But use it as an excuse to go out and try new things and take up hobbies which will also provide you with skills useful to your career. A team sport will be good for jobs that require excellent teamwork for example.

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