The Basic Elements
A resume consists of several sections, each of which delivers essential information. The table below explains what each section of your resume should tell your reader.
What it tells the reader
Top portion of resume (first third to half)
If your resume is worth reading further. This opening “snapshot” should entice readers to read more.
Header (name and contact information)
Your preferred name and how to contact you. The reader shouldn’t have to think about this (e.g., wonder what name you go by).
Headline and Summary
What you’re looking for and why you’re qualified. Announces your job target and quickly sums up why you’re a good candidate. Note that experts recommend this approach to replace what used to be called "Objective" on many resumes. Read more in our FAQs.
Whether you have the required skills. Helps the reader quickly match your skills to the position requirements.
or Professional Experience
or Employment History
What you’ve accomplished that’s relevant. Explains what you’ve achieved that could also benefit the reader’s company.
Whether you meet the education requirements. Again, helps the reader quickly match you to the position requirements.
or Professional Development
or Additional Training
What further training you’ve pursued. Matches you to job requirements and also illustrates initiative and commitment to learning.
What other assets you offer. Provides additional information (professional memberships, awards, etc.) to support your candidacy.
Most resumes will include all of the above sections. One key to making your resume shine is to select the best format for your particular needs.