What Supplemental Information Should Your Resume Include?

22 May
8 min read
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Your resume is a snapshot of your professional journey so far, and you’ve perfected it.

But now that you’re about to apply for that job you’ve been eyeing, you realize there might be something missing.

Whether you want to elaborate on something from your resume or the application asks for an additional document, you might need to provide some supplemental resume information.

The good news is that supplemental information can give your resume a boost while providing necessary documents. You just need to figure out exactly what those documents are.

The great news? We’re here to help.

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • What Supplemental Information Is
  • Examples of Supplemental Resume Information and Supporting Documents
  • Tips for Submitting Supplemental Resume Information

…and more!

Let’s dive in.

What Is Supplemental Information?

Any additional documents or materials that can complement or expand on the details in your resume are supplemental information.

While your resume is meant to provide a concise overview of your work experience, skills, and education, the supplemental information can help show the hiring manager the bigger picture.

For example, supplemental information can give you the chance to explain your education in more detail through transcripts, elaborate on previous achievements with deliverables, or back up your skills or qualifications with certificates.

Including the right supplemental information and supporting documents alongside your resume can make your job application stand out. On top of that, it can give hiring managers a more comprehensive idea of you as a professional.

When Should You Include Supplemental Information?

In most cases, supplemental information isn’t mandatory.

Your most important career information should already be included in your resume.

However, if the job ad specifies that the company wants supporting documents from candidates, you should provide any supplemental information that the hiring manager asks for.

That said, if the job ad or hiring manager doesn’t ask you for supplemental information, there are still a few cases when it’s a good idea to provide it. These include:

  • Explaining employment gaps. If your resume shows irregular employment periods or career gaps, you should always provide context for the hiring manager. The best place to do this is in a cover letter.
  • Applying for a college program. Both university programs and internships for students often require supplemental information, such as transcripts or letters of recommendation.
  • Showing relevant qualifications. You might want to provide a copy of a relevant degree, professional license, or other certification, depending on the industry you’re applying to. For example, nurses and estheticians usually have to submit their relevant licenses.
  • Mentioning additional work experience. While your resume might include your most recent professional experience, you might want to prove a relevant internship or personal project through supplemental documentation.
  • Providing client testimonials and product reviews. If you’re a business owner or a contractor, backing up your expertise with reviews is always a good idea.
  • Including publications or a portfolio. Depending on your field, you might want to provide examples of your work, such as published books or a design portfolio.

7+ Types of Supplemental Information and Supporting Documents

There are different types of supplemental information you can provide for a job application. Let’s look at the most common documents you can expect to need:

#1. Letters of Recommendation

Whether you’re applying for college or looking for a new job, you might need a letter of recommendation.

A letter of recommendation is a document in which someone, usually a former employer, professor, or colleague, vouches for your skills, character, and accomplishments. It provides a third-party perspective on your capabilities and work ethic and adds credibility to your application.

A letter of recommendation can be particularly valuable when you're looking for a job that requires strong interpersonal skills or specific technical abilities. By attaching a letter of recommendation to your application, you’re giving the hiring manager tangible proof that someone was impressed with your past performance and professionalism.

#2. Client Testimonials

If you’re a freelancer, an independent contractor, or someone who has their own business, client testimonials can be valuable supplemental information for your job application.

Client testimonials are real-world endorsements of your work and professionalism and provide a first-hand account of your essential skills, reliability, and the quality of your work. 

They act as personal references that the prospective employer can trust and could influence their decision to hire you.

Usually, client testimonials are pinned somewhere on your product or service’s website. For example, if you’re a carpenter, you might have a personal website where you should include endorsements from past and current clients.

This helps build your reputation and increases your chances of landing your next project.

#3. Transcripts

If you’re a recent graduate or applying for a research position, you might need to provide transcripts along with your resume.

Transcripts provide potential employers and admissions committees with a detailed record of your education and academic performance, including the courses you’ve taken, your grades, and your degrees.

Employers might want transcripts to verify your knowledge in specific subject areas or to see your commitment to continuous learning. So, this is one of the cases where your relevant courses and GPA can make a difference.

#4. References

One of the most common bits of supplemental resume information is your professional references.

For some employers, references are vital since they offer them insight into your work ethic and skills directly from someone who has seen how you work. That said, they’re rarely something you need to list on your resume.

Typically, former supervisors, coworkers, or mentors may give you references. If you have no work experience, your references can even be former educators or classmates.

Employers use references to confirm the claims you make on your resume and cover letter, so make sure you choose references that can back up the most important information you’re giving the hiring manager.

For example, if your previous job includes impressive achievements, make sure that one of the references you choose confirms those accomplishments. For example, you don’t want to include your high school classmates as professional references if you’re applying for a job as a marketing executive.

#5. Salary History

Your salary history is information that’s rarely requested, and it doesn’t normally make it to your resume. Depending on where you live, it might not even be legal to disclose this information on a job application.

For starters, research your local labor laws to see if the employer is allowed to ask you about your salary history at all. The practice is banned in some countries and states, and sometimes it’s banned for specific industries.

If the employer has requested your salary history but you’ve found it’s not legal, just include a line in your cover letter that explains the situation and tell them you’d love to discuss your salary expectations instead. (E.g.: due to state laws, I cannot disclose my salary history. However, I would be more than happy to discuss my salary expectations during an interview.)

This can be the first step in negotiating your salary for the job.

Salary history might seem like an unusual request, but employers might not always know what an appropriate salary range for your position is. In that case, they might need your past salary information to base their offer on and set appropriate expectations for raises. 

To include your salary history in the supplemental information on your resume, you can simply add the approximate yearly salary next to your professional experience. We recommend using a salary range instead of an exact number. For example, if you earned $35.000, we recommend writing it down as $30.000 - $40.000.

Alternatively, you can also create a separate document known as a salary history letter, where you can provide more details about your career profession and your previous salaries.

#6. Publications

Other types of supplemental information you can include are any publications under your name.

Publications are common for academics and professional writers alike, though the types of publications are different. 

For example, editors can show their work across different platforms, like blogs or books, while digital marketers would need to show copywriting samples.

Academics, on the other hand, can provide copies or references to their research papers, articles, or books that have been published in academic journals or presses. Unlike writers who use publications to show their writing skills, an academic’s publications showcase their expertise in their field, including research skills or in-depth knowledge of a subject.

Both types of publications contribute to your credibility, and they can pique the hiring manager’s curiosity, so we recommend providing links to your published work.

You can include publications as supplemental information in your resume by adding them as separate sections. Then, you can list and link to your articles, essays, or other texts. You can even add a link somewhere on your resume to a separate portfolio with writing samples.

However, if you don’t have enough space on your resume, another great way to provide this information is by sending a separate document that lists your publications. For some positions, for example, you might be asked to provide separate writing samples, depending on what the employer requests.

#7. Portfolio

If you’re applying for a job in a creative field, such as illustration or photography, you need a portfolio.

Portfolios are essential for creatives because they give employers a clear visual demonstration of your skills, style, and range of work. A well-curated portfolio reflects your best projects and shows the hiring manager that you match what they’re looking for.

If you’re an artist who’s worked with different mediums or held different positions, make sure to tailor your portfolio to the specific job you’re after. An animator’s portfolio looks very different from a graphic designer’s. 

Your portfolio should reflect the style and medium that the employer is looking for, so if the job ad says they need someone skilled in Adobe Photoshop, make sure your digital paintings reflect your proficiency with the specific software.

There are several ways you can include a portfolio in your job application. The most common way is to include a link to a digital portfolio. This can either be hosted on a platform like Behance or a personal website.

We recommend bringing physical copies of some of your best work to your job interview. For video editors and musicians, this would have to be on a CD or flash drive.

If you’re applying for a job as an architect or interior designer, you might have to bring a larger physical copy of your portfolio. Read the instructions in the job ad carefully, or ask the company for more information on the dimensions you should use. In the US, the most common portfolio dimensions are 11” x 17” or 8 ½” x 11”.

#8. Cover Letter

Cover letters are the most versatile and impactful type of supporting document you can include with every job application.

By writing a cover letter, you can effectively cover most of the supplemental resume information the hiring manager might want to know.

You might be wondering if you need a cover letter at all, and the short answer is yes. While they aren’t usually mandatory, cover letters show the hiring manager that you’ve gone the extra mile with your job application and that you’re not just a random applicant.

While your resume is meant to factually summarize your skills and experiences, your cover letter allows you to provide context and insight into you as a person. Don’t just repeat your resume here—instead, explain how you accomplished your most impressive achievements and tell the hiring manager what motivates you to join their team.

Your cover letter is your opportunity to sell yourself, in your own words. You can include information about your portfolio or publications, mention significant projects you’ve worked on, or even briefly discuss your research interests if you’re an academic.

To give the hiring manager the best impression possible, choose a cover letter template that visually complements your resume. Just try our cover letter templates to get started!

cover letter templates

How to Submit Supplemental Information

Now that you’ve gathered all the supplemental information and supporting documents you might need, it’s time to submit them.

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Label it with your name. Make sure every document you submit includes your full name. This way, the hiring manager can easily find every document in your application.
  2. Send it to the right person. Address your email appropriately so your supporting documents make it to the hiring manager. If you can find the hiring manager’s name, address them respectfully, and also explain that you’re sending supplemental information for your job application.
  3. Bring copies to your job interview. It’s always a good idea to have copies on hand, just in case something gets lost. Print out copies of your resume, cover letter, and any supporting documents, such as your letters of recommendation and transcripts, or bring samples from your portfolio.

Key Takeaways

And that’s all there is to supplemental resume information!

After reading our article, we’re confident you’ll know when you need to provide supporting documents on your job hunt.

Before you go, let’s do a quick recap of our main points:

  • Supplemental information on your resume is any extra information or supporting documents that can tip the scales in your favor. These include cover letters, references, transcripts, and portfolios.
  • Unless the job ad specifically requires them, supporting documents aren’t mandatory. Your resume is the main event, and it’s what the hiring manager will be most interested in reading.
  • You should still provide supplemental resume information if you have an employment gap or want to provide more context about your experiences. This is why we recommend always writing a cover letter to complement your resume.
  • Different types of supplemental information or supporting documents might be necessary depending on your job, so do your research first. Reference the job ad, read more about the company, and think about what would make the biggest difference for your application.