What do you include in your digital resume.
If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, there’s a good chance that your resume hasn’t been updated in quite some time. Maybe you even still have an ancient Word or PDF resume floating around in your downloads folder with work experience and skills that are woefully out of date, or at the very least behind the curve.
As we discussed in our last blog post, keeping your resume current is crucial, even if you’re not actively job searching. It may seem like a pain, but doing regular resume maintenance will save you from the last-minute scramble to update your resume when an opportunity comes your way. With a living digital resume, this process can be made easy and painless.
But the big question that many of us have when it comes to writing or updating a resume is, what on earth do you want to include? Or, more importantly, what should you include? To help guide you on your digital resume journey, we’ve curated five professional tips on what content you should include in your digital resume.
Don’t underestimate the power of a great About Me section, or Professional Summary, in a digital resume. Many of us have heard the old adage that a recruiter only spends seven seconds on any one resume before moving on, so you need to make a big impression, and the right impression, during that brief window of opportunity.
In just a couple of sentences, your About Me section should highlight your most relevant skills, work experience, and personal qualities. Start out with a strong adjective for yourself like “dedicated”, “creative”, or “organized”, then follow that up with your work experience and specific skills you want to draw attention to. Take a look at the example below to get an idea of what your About Me section could look like:
Creative project manager with 3+ years of experience working with complex teams to bring top-quality wearable tech to market. Experienced and data-driven, I never stop finding ways to streamline the product life-cycle.
If you’re creating your digital resume in bulb, you can also link to a detailed About Me page that gives a more in-depth overview of you, your personality, your hobbies, and any other details you want to share. Furthermore, when sending your bulb digital resume to a company or recruiter for a specific role, you can even write your cover letter in a bulb page and link it directly to your digital resume’s About Me section. Just make sure you update this later if and when you apply for another role. Customization is key!
The most important part of any resume is your Experience section. This is also where having a digital resume with an integrated digital portfolio can truly set you apart from the competition. Your experience section should include your title, company name, location (city and state), and the dates you held that position in month/year format. Add these details for every role you choose to include on your digital resume.
Remember, not all work experience is necessarily relevant to the specific role you are applying for or the general types of roles that you want. Say you’re applying for web design jobs and you have practical job experience in customer service, graphic design, and web design. Highlighting your experience in graphic design and web design is important because it’s relevant to the role you’re seeking out, but there’s no reason to include your customer service experience in your resume.
Once your roles are listed, flesh them out by outlining your job responsibilities, key skills used, methods, software or hardware used, and the results you achieved. Consider using the STAR method — Situation, Task, Action, Result — when describing your job experiences. Use bullet points or short sentences/paragraphs to keep things succinct.
The best part about using a bulb digital resume is that you can link pages or collections from your digital portfolio directly to the roles you’re describing. For example, if you were listing your experience as a Social Media Specialist, you could then link to a bulb page that gives a full report of a social campaign you ran, methods used for that campaign, and campaign results. You can do this through a combination of text, video, audio, embedded presentations, or any other combination of media to demonstrate the skills you are evidencing.
Not sure how this would look in practice? Take a look at this example of a digital resume from bulb user Whitney Turner to get a clearer picture.
Another must-have for your digital resume is your Education section. Include the name of the institution(s) you’ve attended, your degree, relevant majors or minors, and date of graduation in month/year format. If you’re currently working toward a degree, you can list your expected graduation date instead.
Don’t be afraid to include non-traditional forms of education as well, such as online classes, certificate programs, or boot camps. Unless you’re a recent graduate, listing your GPA isn’t necessary. You’re welcome to include it if you’d like but, generally speaking, it’s best to leave your GPA off your resume if it is less than a 3.5.
Just like with your work experience, link to relevant portfolio pieces that expand upon your educational background. If you took an online course and got a certificate upon completion, include a full-size PDF or image of your certificate along with a summary of the knowledge you gained as part of the course. Don’t forget to add projects, too! Showing your work is always more valuable than simply saying you did something with no proof to back it up.
It’s also a good idea to include extracurricular activities, as long as they relate to a specific skill like leadership, teamwork, communication, etc. If you were captain of the debate club, that demonstrates valuable skills in public speaking and leadership, so think outside the box when it comes to your digital resume’s education section.
A skills section is a quick and easy way to accomplish a few different goals. For one, it’s your space to highlight, in just a few bullet points, the specific hard and soft skills that set you apart from the crowd. Two, it’s a great way to pack in important keywords, especially when you consider how many hiring companies are using automated resume scanners to weed out applicants that are missing required or highly desired skills.
If you’re skilled in Microsoft suite, Python, independent time management, and customer service, all of those can and should go into your skills section. You can tailor your skills section to each role you’re applying for, but with your digital resume, you’ll be able to capture all relevant skills quickly and easily regardless of whether or not you have a specific job position in your sights.
This is your opportunity to demonstrate any additional skills or expertise that may not be explained in the previous sections of your resume. The most common extra sections on resumes are Languages, Certifications, Volunteering, and Interests and Hobbies.
You might also create a section for publications, licenses, or even conferences that you’ve attended, volunteered or presented at.
All of these possible extra sections may or may not apply to your unique skillset, but this is one of your best opportunities to give a potential employer a window into who you are outside of work and education, so don’t miss the chance to be an individual rather than just another name on a resume.
After all, you’re not just applying for a job, you’re applying to an organization, and understanding the values that drive everyone forward is a solid starting point toward figuring out if a role/company is a good fit for all parties involved.
At the end of the day, you are more than just what’s on your resume. That’s why bulb is revolutionizing the modern hiring landscape with our innovative digital resume + portfolio solution, giving our users a platform that finally allows them to show who they are, their way. It’s not just a resume, it’s a collection of all of your best work, in one place, that you can edit and share at a moment’s notice.
Using the simple tips outlined above, you are well on your way to a winning digital resume that gets you noticed, gets you in the door, and gets you hired. There’s no better time than now to start your digital resume journey. Sign-up for a bulb account today to start creating yours!