The education, experience, skills… you know you should include all those things in a resume. The question is: what are the exact sections a resume should contain?
What Are the Main Resume Sections to Pay Attention To?
There are several required sections that each resume should contain. A hiring manager would have to follow up on a resume that doesn’t include all information they need. In most cases, they are not impressed enough to do so. You’ll have to provide every single piece of information a recruiter needs, so you’ll get that interview call. This is a brief list of the main resume section headings:
- Contact Information
- Summary Statement
Depending on the chosen format of the resume, you’ll arrange and emphasize these sections differently. For now, let’s focus on the basics: what are the sections of a resume and what information should they include?
Before we continue with our guide, let’s clarify one thing: you can play with the headings of these sections. For example, you can choose one of the following headings for the Experience section:
- Work History
- Employment History
- Professional Background
- Related Experience
Maybe you’ll prefer one of the following headings for the Education section:
- Academic Background
- Related Courses
- Academic Training
- Education and Training
You get the point, right? The important thing is to include all the mandatory sections in your resume. As for the headings, choose the ones that are suitable for your writing style.
What to Include in the Main Sections of a Resume
Now that you know what sections to include in a resume, the main question is: what do you write in those sections? As always, ProperResumes.com is here to give you the answers.
- Contact Information
This will be the heading of your resume. If the hiring manager is interested in you as a candidate, they will use this information to invite you for an interview. These are the mandatory details to include:
- Your full name
- Email address
- Current address
- Contact number
The links to your LinkedIn profile and personal website are optional but recommended. Do not include your social security number! It’s interesting to see how many job candidates share it when they are strongly advised against that practice. You’ll share this number only when you’re officially hired.
- Summary Statement
This is an optional section of the resume. You won’t find it in all templates. However, it shows you’re a focused candidate. If you include it, it will be the part of the resume that immediately catches a hiring manager’s attention.
The summary statement should offer a brief description of your career accomplishments and vision of your future career path. Why should they consider you for this job?
In this section, you should list the educational institutions you attended and the degrees you earned. If you completed higher education and you’re applying for a position relevant to it, there’s no point in mentioning the high school. Include the dates you attended and graduated, too. If you’re an entry-level candidate, you’ll also want to include the most important courses that demonstrate knowledge useful for this position.
This is the focal point of mid-level and executive/specialist positions. For a position on these levels, the employers don’t really care about your education. They want to see experience. If you’re an entry-level candidate, you won’t have much to include here, but you can still mention the internships, summer jobs, volunteer positions, activism, and part-time jobs.
You may include all your experience, paid and unpaid. It’s best to do it in reverse chronological order, so the hiring manager will see your most recent experience first.
Many inexperienced job applicants mistake the Qualifications section with Skills or even Experience. It’s a completely different thing. Here, you’ll list the specific training and awards related to this position. You can also mention specific experiences that are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. Some applicants choose the heading Awards and Honors for this section.
If you’re like most job candidates, you probably don’t think this part of the resume is important. The employer will assume your skills when they review the education, experience, and qualifications, right? Maybe, but this still is an important section to include in a resume.
If you speak any foreign languages, this is the place where you mention them. Enlist specific computer skills, and any other individual skills you can think of. Don’t go for generic terms like superb communication skills or excellent computer skills. Just list the languages and specify the computer programs you’re proficient with.
Did you notice we didn’t mention hobbies as one of the sections on a resume? Well, if your hobby is relevant to the job description, you can mention it in the Skills section. If it’s not, there’s no point to include it in the resume. You can talk about the hobbies during the interview if you get such a question. As for an interview, you’ll definitely get the call if you include all the right details in all the right places.
It’s Easy to Write a Resume When You Understand the Resume Sections
Well, let’s reformulate that: it’s not exactly easy to write a resume. It never is. However, when you understand what information you need to include and how you’re supposed to format it, the resume won’t be such a huge challenge.
You can start with brainstorming: go through this article again and write down all ideas you get regarding the things you should write in each section. Then, pick the right resume format and give shape to those details.
If you have any experiences or tips you share, we at Proper Resumes would love to get your comments.