How to Write a Resume: Sections of a Resume
The following information should always appear on a resume:
Contact Information: Include your name, permanent address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number with area code. Do not write the word "Résumé" at the top of the page unless your job search is confidential. If this is this case, insert "Confidential Résumé" at the top.
Work Experience: Include information about both paid and unpaid, part and full-time employment and internships in reverse chronological order. Include the following information for each job you have held:
- Location (employer's city and state)
- Dates of employment (beginning and ending month and year)
- Your most important job duties summarized as briefly as possible, followed by your most important accomplishments. Quantify your accomplishments using actual numbers, percentages and other statistics whenever possible.
NOTE: You do not have to offer work history older than 15 or 20 years unless it is logical for you to do so. For example, if you've been out of the workforce raising children for the last 10 years, then you would want to include the work history older than 10 years. However, if you have been a successful business person for many years, then there is really no need to include the jobs you held during college, or that are irrelevant to whom you are now. This type of information is distracting to the reader and bulks up your résumé with needless information.
Higher Education: List, in reverse chronological order, all college, university, and professional degrees that you hold. You do not need to list your high school graduation date unless that is your highest level of education and you graduated less than five years ago. Information you might include:
- Name of school, city and state
- Major and minor area of concentration
- Graduation date (month and year)
- Awards and scholarships
- If you are a recent graduate, include your cumulative or major GPA only if it is 3.5 or higher for non-scientific majors, and 3.2 or higher for technical and scientific majors. Always indicate the grading scale, e.g., 3.9/4.0.
- If you're over 50 years of age you may delete the year you graduated from university (and some older work history) to fight back against age discrimination
Optional Resume Sections: The following is a list of optional sections one can use to flesh out a resume. Include those sections that best feature your abilities and will help you win the job interview. Examples:
- Extracurricular Activities
- College Courses and Projects
- Continuing Education Courses
- Memberships and Associations
- Academic / Service Awards