A resume is comprised of several required sections, including your contact information, work experience, and education. It provides an overview of your credentials to prospective employers. In addition to the required parts of a resume, there are optional sections you can include, such as an objective, profile, or a career summary. When writing your resume, you can choose one of these elements to showcase your most relevant qualifications for a job. However, these are not mandatory. An alternative is to start your resume with your contact information, followed by your employment history, education, certifications, and skills.
These examples of each part of a resume offer tips for what to include, advice on how to format them, and samples of resumes you can use to get started writing your own.
The contact section of your resume is at the top of the page. It includes your name, address, email address, and phone number.
When you are creating this section of your resume, your name should stand out, so make it bold and a larger font than the rest of your contact information.
Leave a space or put a horizontal line between the end of the contact section and the next section of your resume.
An objective is an optional section of a resume used to show the hiring manager your employment goals.
Objectives frequently were used in the past. Today, profiles and career summaries are more common.
If you decide to include an objective in your resume, it's important to customize it to match the job for which you are applying. The more specific your resume objective is, the better chance you have of being considered for the job.
A resume profile is another optional section. If used, it includes a summary of your skills, experiences, and goals written for a specific job opening. It’s important to customize your profile each time you apply for a job so the employer can see why you are a good candidate for the position.
The profile should be listed above the employment history section of your resume, so it's the first information after your contact information that will be viewed by the hiring manager.
The career summary section of a resume is another optional customized section that lists key achievements, skills, and experience related to the position for which you are applying.
The career summary section of your resume focuses on your most relevant experience and lets the prospective employer know you have taken the time to create a resume that shows how you are qualified for the job.
All resumes should include an experience section. The companies you have worked for, dates of employment, the positions you held, and a bulleted list of responsibilities and achievements are included in this section of your resume.
This section of a resume provides the hiring manager with a synopsis of your employment history. If you have an extensive work history, you don't need to include every employer you worked for and every job you have had. Rather, you can just include the last 10-15 years of employment.
Internships, summer jobs, and temporary jobs, in addition to permanent positions, all can be included in this part of your resume.
The education section of your resume is where you show the employer your academic achievements. List the colleges you attended, the degrees you attained, and any special awards and honors you earned in the education section of your resume. If you're a student, include your high school on your resume.
Professional development courses and certifications also should be included in the education section of your resume.
The skills section of your resume includes abilities that are related to the job for which you are applying. Include skills that are relevant to the position you are interested in, such as computer skills, software skills, and language skills.
Customize the skills section of your resume to match as closely as possible the requirements listed in the job posting. The closer a match your skills are to the job requirements, the better your chances of being selected for an interview.
When writing a resume, it's important to include keywords in the job descriptions and the other content of your resume. Your resume keywords should include specific job requirements, including your skills, software and technology competencies, relevant credentials, and previous employers.
For example, based on experience, a candidate for an employee benefits management position might use the following resume keywords: employee benefit plans, CEBS, health care benefits, benefits policy, FMLA.
A customer service representative might include customer service, customer tracking system, computer skills, and order entry experience.
Your resume should be properly formatted with a simple font and plenty of white space so it is visually appealing to the reader.
The content of your resume is as important as the presentation. It's important to personalize and customize your resume, so it reflects your skills and abilities and connects them with the jobs for which you are applying.
It's often a good idea to review resume examples for a variety of employment situations to get ideas you can incorporate into your own resume.