The necessary components of a resume differ depending on your industry and the job you’re applying for. When deciding what to include, you should start by considering the nature of your prospective employers, your level of experience, as well as the skills and certifications desired. For example, an LPN may want to add a licenses and certifications section to their resume, while a retail associate would spend more time fleshing out their work experience section. Similarly, a new grad applying for an entry-level job would highlight their exceptional GPA and education accomplishments, while someone who’s late in their career would merely list their relevant degrees and spend more time emphasizing their accomplishments and marketable skills.
Despite the all the different variables, there are basic sections that the majority of employers seek (which you’ll see in most resume samples), and you should plan on including these in your resume.
- Resume summary
- Work History
Alongside deciding what sections and information you’ll include in your resume, you should also give some thought to which of the two primary resume styles best suit your work history: chronological or functional. In some cases, a hybrid may be best.
A chronological resume lists your work experience in chronological order, which is best for job seekers who have zero employment gaps and have followed a traditional employment path.
Functional resumes, on the other hand, zero in on acquired skills—rather than previous positions—and are often better for recent graduates, workers re-entering the workforce after a considerable gap (such as stay-at-home parents), and professionals who have been in the same type of job for their entire career (such as teachers).
As you continue reading this guide, look out for additional tips about formatting these styles. You may also want to consult various resume samples to get a better idea of how each approach looks on paper.