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Resume Contents

Think of your resume as your “first impression.” This is what employers will see first and will assess you accordingly.

Ensure that the resume accurately conveys who you are, highlights your professional background and unique skills, and shows why you are a good fit for the job in question. Below are key considerations for resume content.

Relevant Skills and Experiences

Start with the preliminary resume that lists all your work experience, relevant education, and skills. Carefully review the job description and identify the key skills and experiences for the particular role. Highlight the skills you have that are similar to the ones required in the specific job position, and further elaborate on the relevant experiences. You will go through multiple revisions of your resume for each job position.

HRCap TIP 08: Tailoring a Resume to a Specific Job

  • The best way to tailor your resume according to a job is to carefully review and look at the position’s job description. The specific job description will show the requirements and qualifications for the job that the hiring managers are explicitly looking for. Be sure the back up with examples and data.


It is important to highlight and tailor the resume accordingly to target each job position, but be sure to NEVER lie or exaggerate on a resume.

Any respectable employer will have a verification system in place to screen your information. Hiring companies may even hire a third-party source to verify the information presented in your resume.

Items that are most frequently falsified in a resume are one’s employment dates, job titles, education, licenses and certifications, and depth of skills.

Here are common examples of lying on your resume.

  • Lying about your work experience You have recently been laid off or terminated from your job. However, you indicate “Present” with your current employer under your Work Experience to give off the impression that you are still employed. You will need to reveal and justify your unemployment through the interview process anyway. List out the exact end month and year.

  • Lying about your education You never completed your Master's degree. Since you were only a few courses away from graduation, you still include the degree. Notate the degree as incomplete, but you can list out key relevant courses taken.

Here are common examples of exaggerating on your resume.

  • Exaggerating your accomplishments You round up numbers or fabricate values to signal greater achievement and to misleadingly accentuate your skills.

  • Overstating your roles and responsibilities You state that you managed or singlehandedly led a project when the work was done collectively as with a greater team.

In any situation, it is not wise to lie on your resume. If a resume is deemed to contain false information, then presented offers can be rescinded. Additionally, this will hurt your chances of finding a job, present or future, at that company and its affiliated organizations.

If you lie on your resume to obtain a higher-level position, you may find yourself in a situation where you may under-deliver and fail to fulfill your roles. You would be putting yourself, your team, and the company at great risk. Disclose all accurate information properly to avoid future mishaps.

Early Career

If your early work experiences are irrelevant to the position you are applying for, you can deprioritize them. Condense the description for older positions to create room for more specific details on your recent positions. In fact, many seasoned professionals briefly list their oldest post-graduate experiences in an “Early Career” section to simply highlight continuous industry experiences and relevance. This also shows your total years of work experience and prevents giving off the vibe that there are random gaps in your resume between graduation and work experiences.

Reference Check

Do not add references to your resume. You should never list your references' names and contact information. This information is personal and should not be included directly on the resume, which will be posted online or widely distributed. Only list references in the actual job application when it is asked for, after getting consent from your referrals. Notify your references what roles and which companies you have applied for, so they can target and tailor their recommendation and referral points accordingly.

HRCap TIP 09: Resume Contents

  • Make sure to keep your online job board profiles and LinkedIn profiles up to date with your resume contents.

  • Double-check that all information pertaining to title, education, and years are consistent across all profiles and resumes.

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