The Find.Jobs Team held a webinar on this topic. You can view the full webinar “What to include in your resume” here. The slides are provided for your convenience below.
4 Sections to Include in Your Resume
The general resume format consists of 4 main sections:
- Contact Infomation
- Relevant Work Experience
- Education History
- Skills / Certifications
While you can find advice on other things to include or exclude from your resume, these 4 sections are the most common and important when beginning your job search. Let’s dive in.
This section will sit at the top of your resume. There are a few pieces of critical information as well as some optional data.
- Full Name
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Physical Address (optional)
- Link to professional profile (optional)
Full name, phone number, and email address are must-includes. Your email address should appear professional, so avoid using numbers and hobbies. If you do not have a professional email address, you can easily make a new one with a provider like Gmail.
The optional pieces of information are your physical address and links to professional profiles like LinkedIn or Github (for technical roles). For your physical address, you can just include the city and state, especially if you are applying to local roles. Including this information when applying to out-of-state positions could put you at a disadvantage. Depending on the type of job you’re searching for, the contact section is where you’ll include a link to an online portfolio or professional website.
Your previous work experience is the main section of your resume that an employer will take into consideration when assessing your qualifications.
Here you will want to list your most recent and most relevant work experiences. You should order your experiences in reverse chronological order, with the most recent at the top and the oldest at the bottom.
For each work experience, you will want to include your employer, job title, date range employed, and bullet points highlighting your specific tasks and responsibilities.
The bullet points are key. They show how much overlap there is between your previous work experience and the responsibilities of the job you are applying for.
Here are a couple examples of how your work experience could look. Note that bullet points are written in third person and are not complete sentences. If it is not your current job, it should be written in the past tense. Using quantitative data greatly helps to demonstrate your ability to do a job.
Listing your education history on your resume is also a great way to show a hiring manager that you’re capable of a job. This is particularly true if you lack work experience as is the case for most college students and recent graduates. If you are a current college student, it is okay for this section to be at the top of your resume as it is what you’re currently pursuing.
The required information for this section is the name of the school, its location, degree obtained, and graduation date. If you are still in college, list your expected graduation date.
Optional information is special honors, publications, and GPA. If your GPA is under 3.4, you may want to exclude it from your resume. If you have been out of college for a while with 3 or more years of work experience, omit your GPA. Unless you are a current high school student, do not include your high school degree.
Skills and Certifications
Listing your skills and certifications is a great way to show whoever is looking at your resume that you’re the right fit for the job. Make sure the skills you list are relevant to the job you are applying to. You may have mastered skills in different areas, but all of those skills may not be applicable to the job.
To create this section, you should look at the job description and see what skills they require. If you possess those skills, list them in this section. You will be a lot more likely to match with a job if you do this. Furthermore, a lot of job openings use keyword matching to select your resume, so you want to make sure you include the right keywords in your resume.
With a well thought out resume containing the 4 sections: Contact Information, Work Experience, Education History, and Skills/Certification, you are well on your way to landing your next opportunity. If you’re stuck on next steps, search for specific advice for crafting a resume to your industry or job title. Once your resume is in order, check out how long it takes to hear back from a job!
Get started with this free resume template that uses all the best practices highlighted above!