What Sections to Include in Your Resume

What Sections to Include in Your Resume

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There’s no question that job seeking is a competitive business in today’s economy. According to an unemployment report released in January of 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 10.2 million people are currently out of work. Standing out can mean the difference between landing the interview and being shuffled in the endless pile of applications. While you want your resume to be eye catching, employers will expect to see certain sections in your resume no matter what. Be creative, but be thorough. 

Required Resume Sections

These sections make up the backbone of a solid resume and shouldn’t be left out unless they’re irrelevant to your experience (such as education).

Contact Information

Contact information should be included at the top of your resume. Beneath your full name, include as much detail as you’re willing to share, such as your address, home phone, cell phone, and email address. Don’t include your social security number; this can be shared when you’re officially hired.

Summary Statement

Your summary statement is perhaps the most important aspect of your resume. It offers a short, compelling description of your career accomplishments, as well as your future ambitions. How will you impact the target company? Why should they continue reading? What sets you apart from everyone else? You might consider hiring a resume writing service if you’re unsure how to create a compelling summary statement.

Education

If you’ve completed higher education, this is a section to include in your resume with the name of the school or college, the degree or course of study, and the dates you attended/graduated.

Experience

Employers don’t look only at formal job experience when making their hiring decisions. Be sure to list any volunteer or unpaid experience you have here as well. For instance, if you grew up on the family farm and are applying in the agricultural field, make sure you list that experience here too. If the list is extensive, you can create a new section for activities, associations, and volunteerism.

Optional Sections to Include in Your Resume

The following sections can flesh out your resume but are not required. Typically, qualifications and skills will be listed—one or the other—below contact information and your resume title.

Qualifications

Cater your qualifications to the job you’re seeking. This can mean a lot of editing and legwork when you apply for multiple jobs, but a tightly focused resume will be more effective than a generic one. Qualifications to list might be specific training, awards, and experience that relate directly to the job you’re applying for.

Skills

Skills are an often overlooked section to include in your resume. A skills summary can replace the qualification summary toward the top of your resume, breaking down individual skills into easy to read bullet points or nicely formatted lists for your employer to scan.

Don’t Obsess Over Your Resume

We all know how important a good resume is, but agonizing for hours will likely net you few improvements and a lot of stress. A clean, well laid out resume is important, but your efforts are better spent searching for jobs to send those resumes to. LiveCareer’s free resume check can help you discover potential trouble areas in your resume.

Because you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, take the time now to create a well formatted, professional resume. A good resume gets the second look, while a poorly written, cluttered, or unformatted resume will likely get tossed out at first glance. By learning the sections to include in your resume, you’re well on your way to writing the perfect resume and hopefully landing the perfect job!

Resume Components Categories

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How to Write a Great Resume Objective

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Once the hiring manager focuses on your objective, you have only a few words to convince them to keep reading.

How to Write Your Resume Education Section

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There are a few reasons to include or highlight your education in your resume.

How to Write Your Resume Work Experience Section

How to Write Your Resume Work Experience Section
The work experience section of your resume will make or break getting the interview. It needs to include relevant points that prov you’re the person hiring managers should consider first.

3 Dos & Don'ts for Your Awards Section in Your Resume

3 Dos & Don'ts for Your Awards Section in Your Resume
A prospective employer would be impressed with an awards section, but you've got to go about it the right way if you want it to have a positive effect.

How to Write a Great Resume Summary Statement

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This statement is a more effective substitute for the "Objectives" section of resumes from days gone by.

How to Include Keywords In Your Resume

How to Include Keywords In Your Resume
Without strategically placing keywords in your resume, employers won't be able to find you. Here’s a brief guide explaining how to add keywords to your resume.

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How to Write Your Resume Skills Section

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