What’s the Most Important Part of a Resume? The Answer May Surprise You

most important part of resume

Is your resume mostly focused on your responsibilities? If you answered yes, you’re not alone.

Most resume content is usually focused on responsibilities, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Responsibilities are important. But, it’s not just about the responsibilities you had at your previous job.

Those responsibilities were most likely shared by several people, and while they will certainly help show your experience and skill, they aren’t unique to you. There’s much more to you than what you were responsible for at your last job, and believe it or not, that’s what hiring managers are interested in – YOU.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure your resume goes beyond responsibilities. What hiring managers want to know is: how did you perform in that role? Think about it for a moment. Does your resume answer that question? Does it show your potential employer what you actually accomplished on the job and how you achieved those results? If the answer is no, don’t panic. You can fix this.

What Recruiters Look For In a Resume

When recruiters first scan your resume, they will first read your “hook,” or your summary proposition. Make sure it is geared exactly to the job description and that it is very specific. For example, if you’re looking to work for a non-profit or a start-up, mention that intention alongside your career title and trajectory. 

Next, recruiters will look for certain keywords in your resume that match the job description. If they notice them, they will spend more time reading through it. There is a strategic way to use keywords to your advantage. Foremost, study the job description and notice which keywords stand out in terms of repetition, especially in the candidate responsibilities section. Then, use a few of these keywords in your summary and qualifications section, but make sure they seamlessly flow and don’t seem forced. This is your opportunity to dazzle the recruiter and make your application stand out!

Another important element of a winning resume is including numbers. Recruiters not only want to see what you’ve done but how well you’ve done it. This means that showcasing the value you brought to each company is key to impressing recruiters and getting to the next stage of the recruiting process. The best way you can do this is by adding a bullet point to each professional role you’ve had that explains the impact you’ve made. Numbers, percentages, and tangible results are the most impressive and highlight your concrete accomplishments. 

Finally, don’t forget to optimize your resume for layout, typos and formatting issues, and to make your resume visually appealing. All of these elements make an important impression and display your attention to detail, creativity, and professionalism.  

The 3 Most Important Parts of Your Resume

PAR in Resume

#1 Highlight Results on Your Resume With PARs

Problem-Action-Result statements explain what actions were taken on the job that produced positive results for your team, department, region, or company as a whole. Use PARs to describe the problems, challenges, or situations you faced, the actions you took to resolve them, and the results that came from those actions.

Make your resume flow like a personal story that showcases your professional hero’s journey. This is also great advice for the interview process itself. By taking the interviewers through your past work challenges and how you offered successful solutions to these problems, you can lower any hesitation or resistance they have to hiring you.

#2 Show Value on Your Resume

It is important to be specific when using PARs. As specified earlier, make sure to include a metric (ranking, dollars, or percentages) to quantify your results. For example, how much money did your streamlined process save the company? How many more leads did your marketing campaign generate? By what percentage did your financial model increase company revenue? Try to include specific and accurate numbers where there are opportunities to do so. By putting a number to your results, you are able to demonstrate your value to future employers.

#3 Be Proud of Your Accomplishments or Achievements

Before the Experience section of your resume, you should include an Accomplishment or Achievements section. This section is crucial to your resume, because it is where you include your PARs. PARs should come before your experiences to better engage and impress the recruiter.

Think of this section as your elevator pitch for your candidacy. Make it clear, powerful, and enticing so that recruiters want to learn more. 

Do You Need Professional Resume Writers?

Now you’re ready to go beyond your responsibilities and show future employers results that are unique to you. Undoubtedly, all of these tips will make your resume stand out and land you more interviews. But, if you still feel stuck or need more assistance due to the competition in your niche, Capstone Resume Services can help!

Our certified professional resume writers start the resume writing process with a free one-on-one consultation that allows us to learn more about who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and how we can turn those experiences into a stand out resume.

To get started, request a resume consultation today!