What to Put on a Resume in 2023: The Ultimate Guide (With Examples)
It can be overwhelming to know what to put on a resume in 2023. Whether you're just starting out and have little to no professional experience or you're updating your resume for the first time in years, understanding the latest trends and techniques is essential to landing an interview.
Your resume is your first chance to make a great first impression and showcase your skills and qualifications. But knowing what elements to include, what to leave off, and how to tie it all together changes year after year.
So rather than wasting your time with outdated resources, let's explore what you need to stand out from the crowd with a winning resume that gets noticed in 2023.
What is a resume?
Let's start with the basics. A resume is a document that outlines your educational and professional background, work experience, skills, relevant achievements, and any other relevant information that can help potential employers understand whether or not you're the right fit for a job.
Of course, it isn't the only way they make that determination.
A resume is typically used as part of a job application process and is often the first point of contact between a job seeker like you and a prospective employer. Think of it as a personal marketing tool that showcases your qualifications, experiences, and accomplishments. The ultimate goal? To persuade an employer to sit down with you for an interview.
A well-crafted, relevant, tailored, professional resume will also help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of landing a job.
Why is a resume important?
In today's highly competitive job market, a resume is more important than ever. With hundreds or even thousands of applicants for a single position, employers often use them to screen candidates quickly, disqualify those without relevant skills or experience, and identify those with the most potential.
A clear, concise, tailored resume will help you make a great first impression and increase your chances of moving to the next stage of the hiring process.
And while you know a good resume alone is crucial for landing a job, a great resume can help you position yourself as an expert in your field—highlighting unique strengths and accomplishments. In fact, it's a valuable tool for career advancement. With a consistently updated resume, you can easily apply for promotions or internal job openings within your company or showcase skills and experience when seeking new opportunities in the market.
What shouldn’t be included in a resume?
While your resume should provide a comprehensive summary of qualifications, work history, experience, and education, there are a few resume mistakes you want to avoid and things you shouldn't incorporate:
- Personal Information: Avoid mentioning personal information like age, race, religion, marital status, political or religious affiliation, and sexual orientation. These details are irrelevant to your qualifications and could lead to discrimination. (This also applies when considering whether you should put your picture on your resume, too!)
- Unrelated Hobbies or Interests: While mentioning relevant hobbies or interests that demonstrate skills or knowledge relevant to the job is a great addition (especially if you don't have extensive previous work experience), unrelated hobbies or interests can take up valuable space and detract from your professional qualifications.
- Irrelevant Work Experience and Irrelevant Skills: If you have experience or skills unrelated to the role you're applying for, leave it off your resume. Focus on highlighting the skills and background that directly relate to the position you're seeking.
- Negative Information: Avoid including negative information such as why you left previous jobs, negative experiences with former employers, or reasons for career gaps. Keep your resume focused on your positive qualifications and experiences.
- Lies or Exaggerations: It might be tempting to exaggerate your qualifications or experience—making you appear more qualified. But it's essential to be truthful on your resume. Lying or exaggerating can lead to serious consequences and damage your professional reputation.
What should be included in a resume?
Now that you understand the basics of a resume, why you need one, and what details to exclude, like many job seekers, you might be left wondering what to put on a resume to be considered for that position in the first place!
According to The Washington Post, things every resume should include are your name and contact information, a professional summary, your relevant work history and education, and any soft and hard or technical skills. At Teal, we also recommend you include certifications to demonstrate your dedication to continued learning and increase marketability.
It's also important to format this information to make it easy for the reader to process quickly. You can do this by …
- Using resume headings to break up each section
- Including white space between key sections
- Listing your achievements using bullet points
What do employers look for in a resume?
It might seem almost minimalist to exclude information like your references, every job title you've held, or the twenty responsibilities you had in your last role. But in truth, research shows most employers only read your resume for six to seven seconds. And that’s why understanding what to put on a resume is vital—giving them all the information they need and nothing they don't.
On episode 283 of the Let’s Eat, Grandma Career Warrior Podcast, host Chris Villanueva highlights what employers look for in a resume when hiring top talent in today’s saturated job market.
Some things Chris suggests job seekers should consider incorporating when creating or updating a resume?
- Impact: Don’t just focus on yourself and what you can do, include the impact you had or have on the company.
- Skills: Include your skills and competencies with specific examples of when you've used them to achieve results to demonstrate your value.
- Simplicity: Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) help employers eliminate unqualified applicants quickly. But, a simple resume without images, complex formats, and heavy design works best with these systems.
- A Holistic Approach: While your resume is essential to the complex job search puzzle, other factors are vital to landing your dream job. Incorporate a LinkedIn profile and presence that corresponds to your resume and network with prospective employers. And use tools like ChatGPT for job applications, tailored resumes, and keyword-rich cover letters to create a more well-rounded approach that doesn’t just depend on one element.
What to put on a resume (with examples)
Now that you understand why you need a resume (and what you shouldn’t include), let’s talk about what to put on a resume to market yourself and your best skills to land that interview!
Recommended: View 300+ resume examples with section-by-section guidance
You want to be contacted by potential employers, so it's crucial to let them know the best ways to reach you. The contact information on your resume should include all the relevant details that make it easy for them to get in touch.
Including your full name, professional email address, and phone number is essential. Additional information like your LinkedIn or personal website URL and location are also helpful, but those are based on your personal preference. So let's examine how that can look on your resume!
Location: Los Angeles, CA
And remember, these are just examples and not factual. Always be sure to verify the accuracy of your contact information.
Target Job Title
When it comes to the target title of a resume, many job seekers think this should reflect the professional title of the position they currently hold or held in their last role (or even the ideal title they'd like). But that isn't necessarily the case.
The target title of your resume should align as closely as possible with the specific job ad of the position you're applying for rather than your current job or overall career goals.
So what does that mean?
It means you undoubtedly need to review your target title when filling out every new job application. Your desired role may change slightly every time, and you want to ensure your entire resume reflects your qualifications and that you thoroughly understand the job description.
For example, if you’re submitting your resume as a UX designer, depending on the specifications listed in the job posting, your target title could be:
- Graphic Designer, Web Designer, or Creative Designer
Let's say you're applying for the role of full-stack developer. Target titles you might consider are:
- Software Engineer or Front-end Developer.
If you're applying for a position with Content Manager job title, research options like:
- Copywriter, SEO-Specialist, Content Strategist, or Digital Marketer
The professional summary section of your resume is your unique value proposition or “elevator pitch.” It highlights your level of relevant experience, why you’re the optimal candidate for a job, and what you bring to the table that sets you apart from other applicants.
It might sound daunting to sell yourself in three to five sentences. So before you get started writing a resume objective statement or summary statement, The Muse suggests considering your most impactful selling points (why you?), the critical problems you're well positioned to solve (measurable things you’ve accomplished), and what your target industry needs (the specific job requirements your potential employer is looking for). Then consider all of the information and write a concise and objective resume summary.
Let’s take a look at some examples that’ll help inspire you!
As a seasoned Product Marketer with over a decade of experience leading product marketing efforts in SaaS, I have consistently delivered results in product positioning based on data-driven insights and crafting go-to-market strategies that have resulted in a 20% increase in adoption and a 30% increase in revenue. I have a proven track record of collaborating across teams to champion member-centric products, translating data into impactful strategies, and delivering marketing success.
Customer Success Coordinator
With eight years of experience as a Customer Success Coordinator, I am committed to delivering an exceptional CX while driving business growth. I have a proven track record of achieving a customer retention rate of over 95% and increasing upsell revenue by 30% through strategic engagement strategies. In addition, my expertise in executing quarterly business reviews (QBRs) with clients has resulted in a 25% increase in customer satisfaction and a 16% improvement in product adoption.
Human Resources Manager
As an HR Manager with six years of experience, I have successfully developed and implemented people-first strategies that resulted in a 32% increase in employee retention and a 24% improvement in satisfaction.
My track record of leading high-performing teams has resulted in recruiting and retaining top talent, enabling the delivery of HR support to multiple groups across remote work locations. Additionally, my ability to provide guidance and feedback to employees and managers while complying with company policies and relevant laws has enabled me to establish trust and credibility as a vital member of leadership.
If you're feeling stuck, Teal's AI functionality within Teal's AI Resume Builder creates custom AI-generated professional summaries quickly and easily with information from the accomplishments in your resume. A WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor then allows you to customize your summary with bullets, links, spacing, and more!
The skills section of your resume should showcase both the hard skills and soft skills that align with the job you’re applying for. And though it might be tempting, don’t list anything you can or like to do! In the class “Identify My Skills,” Dave Fano, Founder, and CEO of Teal, emphasizes that "Skills matter because they are the currency of careers. Ultimately, companies hire us for what we know, not what we want to know."
Let’s say you’re applying for a Brand Strategist position; what could the skills section of your resume look like?
- Strategic Planning
- Brand Management
- Market Research & Analysis
- Customer Segmentation
- Product Launch & Management
- Multi-channel Communications
- Brand Identity & Messaging
- Creative Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Cost Savings & Budget Management
- Data-driven Decision Making
- Audience Insights & Identification
- Trend & Market Analysis
- Cross-functional Collaboration
- Project Management
- Growth Strategy
The employment history section contains vital information for potential employers, but what should you include that reflects your current experience, expertise, and desirable skills?
When highlighting work experience on a resume, Indeed suggests limiting the details to the last ten years and excluding irrelevant jobs. A chronological resume (the format we recommend at Teal) lists this information from most recent to the least.
It’s crucial to be specific about the company and location, your job title, your employment dates, responsibilities with quantifiable impact, and any promotions.
So how should it look?
Your responsibilities and impact should be formatted as three to five bullet points emphasizing specific achievements. Be sure to include keywords from the job description and metrics to highlight how your skills and experience created a direct impact and relate to the role you're applying for, like the examples below.
Human Resources Manager 3/2019 - 2/2022
- Developed and facilitated an associate survey program, resulting in a 10% increase in associate participation and a 15% increase in overall engagement scores
- Maintained all EEO reporting and achieved 100% EEOC compliance during audit
- Directed resources and activities to support a culture of prevention, awareness, and accountability across the organization, resulting in a 25% decrease in workplace incidents.
Data Scientist 1/2022 - Present
Advanced Analytics LLC
- Collaborated with cross-functional teams to develop and implement machine learning models, resulting in a 40% improvement in prediction accuracy.
- Designed and executed A/B testing experiments to optimize user engagement, resulting in a 25% increase in click-through rates.
- Mentored and trained three junior data scientists on best data analysis and visualization practices, resulting in improved project delivery times and increased efficiency.
Teal’s AI functionality also generates custom resume achievements with the click of a button. All you need to do is navigate to Teal's AI Resume Builder. (To ensure you get the best answers, match one of the jobs from your Job Application Tracker.) Then click "Add an achievement" followed by "Generate with AI" and that's it! Watch Teal’s AI functionality in action below!
The education section of your resume might seem like it's pretty straightforward. It highlights where you attended school, what you studied, and your GPA if it's above 3.0 and relevant coursework (if you recently graduated), and that's about it, right? Of course, that can be all you list, but there are a few more elements you might want to consider.
- In-progress education
- Education you didn’t complete
- Honors and academic accomplishments
If you want to list your completed education and include an honor and relevant coursework, your education section might look something like this:
Bachelor of Arts 2016-2020
Purdue University, Lafayette, IN
- Creative Writing
GPA: 3.8, Summa Cum Laude Honors
Related Coursework: Fundamentals in Creative Writing: Touchstones, Fundamentals in Creative Writing: Character Analysis, Technical Seminar in Nonfiction: Revision, Intro to Genres: Writing and Social Change, Advanced Nonfiction Workshop: Feminist Biography
What about in-progress education?
Bachelor of Science Anticipated Graduation May 2024
University of Denver, Denver CO
Education you didn’t complete can be listed if the coursework is relevant to the job you’re applying for. Let’s take a look at an example.
Pursued Bachelor of Science 2014-2016
Tampa University, Tampa, FL
- Business Administration, 90 credit hours completed
Completed projects offer insight into concrete examples of your skill set and overall impact. But there’s more to it than just writing a basic description.
When adding any projects to your resume, they should always highlight specific tasks you completed to achieve an outcome, like an increase in revenue or a decrease in churn.
Let's say you're applying for a role as a UX Designer. An example of a relevant, completed project could look something like this:
- Developed app for a local nonprofit organization to streamline volunteer scheduling and event management. Created wireframes and prototypes using Sketch with a focus on ease of use and conducted usability testing to gather feedback and iterate on the design. After implementation, volunteer participation increased 25%, allowing the organization to remain open one additional day each week—serving 300 more residents per month.
Continued learning is an integral part of professional growth. It helps you adapt to new challenges and shifts in your field—making you a valuable asset to any team or organization. Emphasizing that you're dedicated to your current profession or open to learning new transferable skills signals an investment in your development and success—helping you stand out to potential employers.
Similar to the education section of your resume, a certification section can seem pretty straightforward. So let's look at an example that includes an in-progress certification and completed continuing education.
- Digital Marketing Master Certification, Boot Camp Institute, In Progress
- Content Marketing Certification, HubSpot Academy, February 2023
- SEMRush Competitive Analysis & Keyword Search, June 2022
- The Four Levels of Writing Mastery, Udemy, December 2021
The hobbies and interests on your resume showcase you as a real person, one with personality and layers of complexity who might stand out as the ideal culture fit for a company. But it's important to note only some interests are relevant.
To decide which interests to include on your resume, Glassdoor suggests following a five-step process.
- Research the company where you're applying to understand the traits they're looking for in candidates and their company core values.
- Choose hobbies or interests that align with the traits they’re seeking.
- Include interests that highlight your hard and soft skills.
- Create a separate section for your resume rather than listing them under your work experience or even in your professional summary.
- List up to five specific interests or hobbies with a description of each.
If you need help deciding which hobbies or interests you should list, Teal's Interest Workbook can help you brainstorm the ones that align with your skills.
What should I put on a resume If I don’t have work experience?
If you're entering the job market right after high school or college, you likely have minimal work experience—possibly none. Your time may have been consumed by studying, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and social engagements. You might be wondering how to make a resume stand out. But remember, every job seeker has to start somewhere.
Knowing what to put on a resume with no experience can be tricky. So what do you actually need?
It's crucial to highlight accomplishments and activities that reveal your character, hard and soft skills, and unique abilities. Be sure to include your contact information, a professional summary, an expansive view of your education, and any certifications, interests, extracurricular activities, or volunteer work pertinent to the job you're applying for.
How to make sure your resume stands out
Creating a resume (and cover letter!) that stands out is vital to your success in today's competitive job market. So what steps can you take to ensure hiring managers see you as a qualified professional with the skills to land the role of your dreams?
Create a targeted resume.
A targeted resume is designed to showcase your skills and experience directly related to a particular role. Think of it as a guide! And while creating one requires understanding industry-specific keywords, transferable skills, and research, it makes tailoring your resume to each job description faster because you won't need to customize from scratch each time you apply for a job.
Instead, start with a targeted resume emphasizing the skills and experiences most relevant to your desired position. Then, make minor tweaks to your resume sections to ensure alignment with the specific job description when tailoring your resume.
Tailor your resume to every job description.
Every job has a unique set of prerequisites. And it's critical to tailor your resume to stand out from the competition, highlight your relevant accomplishments, and seamlessly incorporate language and keywords from the job description.
Sound daunting? It doesn't have to be.
Teal's free AI Resume Builder finds and highlights essential keywords from jobs you've saved in the Job Application Tracker. Then, all you need to do is incorporate those words into your resume (and cover letter!) to submit a perfectly tailored resume every time!
Follow up with hiring managers
Submitting your resume might seem like the last stage of the application process, but you should take one more step once you've done everything else: follow up on a job application! Sending an email to check on the status of your application once a week for three weeks is an excellent approach.
Short on time? Use the email templates in Teal's Job Application Tracker to create your follow-up communication in seconds. Then, attach your resume (and, if you'd like, your cover letter), so it's easily accessible, and you're all set!
How to Create a Resume Quickly
There's a lot of information about what to put on a resume. But in 2023, it's your personal marketing tool, one that showcases a hiring manager your strengths, experience, and unique skills for potential employers.
Whether you have extensive experience in your field, you’re looking to change careers, or you’re just starting out, staying updated on the latest trends, the best resume tips, and cutting-edge techniques will help you stand out, grab attention, and land the interviews you want.
Sign up for Teal to stay on top of those emerging trends and quickly tailor your resume, write keyword-rich cover letters, automate your job tracking, and more—for free!