There are few sections that you should have on your resume. Introduction, professional experience, educational background, skills, and contact details. Learn how to write these sections to have great impression, as well as add optional content to your resume to improve your interview chances.
Must have sections for Resume
- Contact details
- Resume introduction
- Work Experience
Everything else, including awards, certifications, volunteer work, hobbies, leadership and other visual items like photos and icons are optional to your resume.
What you should add to your resume depends on various factors, such as your level of professional experience, which resume format you pick, type job you apply (academic vs work) and your desired resume length.
Even the best resume won’t land you a new job if employers can’t reach you. At a minimum, your resume header should include the following contact information:
- Full name
- Email address
- Phone number
- A mailing address on your resume is unnecessary because most employers won’t contact you by mail.
Social Media for Resume
Social media is a good way to highlight your professional history to employers, and can be a positive addition to your contact information.
But be careful about which profiles you put on your resume:
Your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great networking resource for professionals in any field.
Your Twitter handle, but only if you regularly tweet about topics relevant to your profession.
Do not ever think of adding
Platforms such as Facebook, Reddit, or TikTok, as these platforms are rarely relevant to work.
2.Resume Opening: Objective vs Summary
A resume objective is the traditional resume introduction used by job seekers. Resume objectives outline your ambitions, and what you seek to achieve in your career.
Resume objectives are best used by:
- Fresh graduates
- Current students
- Job seekers with no work experience
- Career change
While resume objectives are still acceptable resume introductions, you should instead take time to focus on your target company’s needs at the start of your resume if possible. You can do this with a resume summary.
Resume summaries allow you to emphasize your achievements, and how these accomplishments tie into what the company is looking for from their ideal candidate.
Unless you work in academia, your resume education section should just list your highest level of education, and the name of your degree (if applicable).
Only include your high school education if you’re currently enrolled in high school, or don’t have a college degree.
Relevant Coursework for the Resume
You can describe relevant coursework on your resume that you did as part of your degree, but only if you have little or no work experience to include.
If you’re still new to work force and unsure how to craft a resume that markets your strengths, look at our college student resume example.
Awards and Certifications
Have any academic awards, honors or certifications? Do include them in your education section, especially if you’re a fresh graduate.
Graduating as salutatorian or summa cum laude can be impressive information to show and add to your resume, and shows employers you’re top notch of the batch and motivated for any work.
Here’s an example of a properly formatted education section with honors:
B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering
Alberta University — Alberta, Canada
Honors: magna cum laude
Only include your GPA if you’re either writing a recent college graduate resume or are applying to jobs in academia. Also It should be more than 3.00. Otherwise just leave it.
4. Work Experience
Your work experience section is the core part of your resume.
Work experience shows hiring managers what you’ve accomplished throughout your professional career, highlights and your expertise on the area you work.
To write an impressive work experience section, list the relevant jobs you’ve held with the most recent at the top (Chronological Resume Format) . Under each job title, write 3 to 5 concise bullet points that demonstrate the skills and experience you developed during that job. Also do not forget to include your achievements for each job and quantify your achievements.
- Reduced internal costs and waste by over $50,000 per year for 3 years in a row.
- Managed a loan pipeline averaging 50+ loans that totaled ca. $25M in financing.
- Awarded Employee of the Year in 2015.
Don’t include every job you’ve ever held. A resume isn’t an encyclopedia of your employment history. Include most relevant to your applying job and best time span is 12-15 years of history.Tip
Think of your resume as a marketing document of your abilities. Every job you list on resume should include something that shows you’re qualified for the job you are applying.
Check out this example of a well-written resume work experience section:
What makes this example outstanding is that each bullet point:
- It is concise address to the point.
- It uses strong action words to describe and emphasize the work
- It illustrates a specific concrete example of what the candidate accomplished and backed up these claims with quantifiable numbers.
If you’re a fresh graduate or have limited work experience, add internships to your experience section.
However, if you already have 3+ years of professional work experience that related to your applying job, remove the internships from your work history section. It’s better to use your resume’s limited space to describe your work experience and achievements in depth, rather than fill it with internships.
5. Skills Section
Hiring managers always try to find best candidate with best diverse skill set.
That’s why a you have to very careful about your skill section on resume. You have make it perfect companion to your experience section, and can set you apart from competition.
Not sure what skills to put on your resume?
First, look at the job listings for the position you want. Typically, a job ad mentions the key skills required (and desired) for the position.
Then, make a list of your own skills that resonate with the skills mentioned in job listing. Also list any specific technical skills you have.
Your skills section should feature a mix of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are learned through specific courses or on the job, like a accountant learning how to manage business accounts. Soft skills are related to your personality, such as whether you can communicate clearly with customers.
If it’s still unclear what to list in your skills section, these general hard and soft skills are applicable to nearly any job:
- People Skills
- Leadership Skills
- Communication Skills
- Interpersonal Skills
- Organizational Skills
- Customer Service Skills
- Time Management Skills
If you still have free space after above 5 main sections, you can following section to spice up your resume for hiring manager. These are optional.
List relevant certifications on your resume if you have them. For example, if you’re a manager, you might list a PMP certification on your resume.
Include the following information about your certifications:
- when they were awarded
- when they’ll expire (if appropriate)
- who issued them (for example, a college or licensing body)
You can list your hobbies, if they relevant to job you are applying. Listing personal interests on your resume is a great way to add personality to your application.
However, if you already have enough professional experience to fill a one-page resume, or are applying at a formal company, don’t include hobbies.
But if you have very few related experience, or are applying to casual work at a company, then adding hobbies can be really beneficial and it’s way to add personality to your resume.
Including awards on your resume isn’t essential, but you can list them if they’re relevant to the job.
Awards, like employee of the month are relevant to most jobs, but you shouldn’t go back to school time, listing a essay-writing award is big no if you’re applying to a bar tender position.
Adding volunteer work is very advantageous to your resume. They demonstrate your interpersonal/soft skills as responsible human for society.
Volunteering in general makes your resume more attractive to potential hiring managers, because it shows your work to be productive even when money isn’t factor your hard work.
If you can add volunteer work experience without making your resume too long, you should definitely add your volunteering works.
You can add volunteer work specially if you
- have limited professional work experience
- are changing careers
- have a gap in your resume
- need to highlight leadership skills that you haven’t developed as a paid professional
- have career-related volunteer experience which can give an edge.
For resume you do not need to add publications unless one is specifically relevant to the job you want, but if you’re writing a CV, you should list all of your publications.
If you read this far, most probably, you got clear idea about what to include in your resume. So it’s time modify your resume for better opportunities. Good luck.
P.S. If you think you need some expertise advice on your resume, We provide FREE review, if you are interested. Also you can get modern resume template that can give extra boost to your resume that can help to secure the interview. Explore our resume template library.