Banner: The basic elements

The basic elements

The basic elements

What are the sections of a resume?

The table below explains what each section of your resume should tell your reader.

Resume section
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. This is usually a stronger section than an "Objective" which used to be more common. Read more in the FAQs.


Whether you have the required skills. Helps the reader quickly match your skills to the position requirements.

Work Experience 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.

Continuing Education or Professional Development or Additional Training

What further training you’ve pursued. Matches you to job requirements and also shows initiative and commitment to learning.

Other Information

What other assets you offer, such as 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.