Resume Sections

No two resumes are alike. It is important that as you construct your resume you choose categories that showcase the relevant experiences you have to offer an employer. These categories should be visually emphasized on your document using a combination of font size, bold, italics, and underline options.

The Sections

The list below of potential sections is exhaustive and is meant for your consideration; it is not necessary (or recommended) to use all of the categories.

Contact Information

Contact information contains your full name, permanent and/or school address, telephone number, and email address, usually in boldface, larger type. Include only one phone number and one email address. Do not include personal information such as Social Security number, physical traits, race, ethnicity, or citizenship.

Education

The education section includes your institution’s name, location, degree type, anticipated graduation date, major(s), minor(s), and GPA. If you have more than one degree, place the highest or most recent degree first. Listing relevant coursework and academic honors and awards is optional.

Experience

The experience section(s) aligns your experience with desired opportunities. It may include full-time, part-time, and summer employment; student teaching; internships; practicums; academic research; and volunteer work. Choose headings for the various categories that best market your experiences. List experiences in reverse chronological order, providing the company/organization name and location and your position title and dates employed. For each experience, include three to five bullet-point statements about how you applied your skills and affected a task or project.

Leadership

A leadership section is increasingly important to recruiters of undergraduates. Include organization name, positions you held with dates, projects, significant contributions, and skills and abilities demonstrated. This section is usually formatted similarly to the experience section, with bullet points.

Activities and Community Involvement

The activities and community involvement section showcases your contribution to the on-campus and off-campus communities, usually organized in a list format. Include position(s) held, organization name, and dates for each experience.

Honors/Awards

Honors/awards can be a stand-alone section or included in their respective categories. For each, include the name of the honor/award and the date granted. A brief description is optional.

Skills

Skills is often the final category on a résumé, reiterating your qualifications or showcasing additional relevant skills. Language and computer proficiency and training certifications are among the skills typically listed.

Interests

Interests is an optional section. Many employers appreciate getting to know you a little better beyond your formal training and experiences. If you choose to list interests, be specific, authentic, and appropriate.

Content to Exclude from Resumes

  • Pictures of yourself (unless it is industry standard)
  • Reasons for leaving previous employers
  • Social Security Number
  • Salary history
  • Physical characteristics
  • Health or physical problems
  • Race, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, etc.