Contrary to popular belief, your name isn't the most important part of your resume. I mean, yes, a recruiter needs to know what to call you when they pick up the phone, but your name is really more important to you than it is to recruiters. So why do so many resumes have a massive, bold name up top in a size 14 or 16 font? Why do job-seekers make it stand out so much when other information is much more important?
Assuming you have previous work experience, the 3 most important things on your resume are usually the following:
1. Company names
Recruiters often want people who have experience with similar companies - for example, if you want to work in apparel, ideally they'd like someone with apparel experience. Not always, but usually. Therefore, the names of the companies you've worked for should be prominent on your resume - easy for the reader to find with a quick skim - if you consider it an advantage. In other words, if you think it will help your cause that you used to work for certain companies, make sure the names of those companies are big, bold, and stand out. If not, don't make them stand out quite as much (but don't hide them either - the reader will still want to see them).
2. Job titles
Now that the reader knows where you worked, they most want to know what you did and that means two things - job function and job level. Job function refers to what area of the business you worked in, such as store operations, visual merchandising, loss prevention, buying, marketing, etc. Job level is, of course, what level you're at - assistant store manager, store manager, area manager, district manager, regional manager, etc. Your job title should tell the reader, in an instant, your job function and job level. If it doesn't, the reader will have to dig further to figure it out, and they may not have time to, or be inclined to. Make it easy for them.
3. Dates of employment
Now the reader needs to know when you worked in that position for that company. Since demonstrating transparency and building trust are extremely important, accurate dates are critical - and I don't just mean the entire time you worked for the company, I mean the time in each position (and, often, each location). For example, if you started with a company as an assistant store manager and worked your way up to district manager, recruiters don't want to just see the dates you were with that company, they want to see the dates for each position. Also, if you moved around a bit at each level, they may even want to see separate dates for each location.
When people say that recruiters should be able to skim your resume and find the most important information in 10 seconds or less, this is what they mean. Company names, job titles, and dates are the framework of your resume and ideally they should be displayed prominently so they stand out, whether it's with the use of bold, color, caps, font size, underlining, or whatever you prefer. This is why I often say that the appearance of your resume is just as important as the content.
The only other thing just as important? Phone number and email address. You'll want them to be able to reach you, right?
I hope this helps and I wish you all the best!
Want to take your career to the next level? Click here.