The Resume Outline

This Basic Resume Outline identifies the major headings of the resume and what information is contained within each one. Make sure you are comfortable with each of the following sections since you will be creating your own personal professional history with them in mind.

Below each section is a link which takes you to a more detailed explanation of that area of the resume. You should be able to click back and forth as much as you want.

Basic Resume Outline

Heading/Contact Information

This section contains information about who you are and how the employer can reach you. You want to make this clear and to the point.
What do you list here? Include your name, usually in bold print, and your contact information. This is usually your address, phone number(s), email address and your web address if it is pertinent to the position.

This link takes you to a more detailed explanation of the Resume Heading


Your objective should focus on the position you want. Focus on what you can do for the employer, not on what you expect them to do for you. Be concise. If you sell at all, do so subtly in the guise of how it will assist the employer. You may never completely match a job description in your life, but it doesn't matter. The important thing is that you match it BETTER than any of your competition.

This link takes you to a more detailed explanation of the Resume Objective


Include colleges/universities where you have been awarded a degree (or are where you are working on getting a degree). List the name of your degree (no abbreviations, please) and/or certification that you have obtained, or will obtain, the month and year of your graduation, and your major and minor(s). If you have received any specific education-related awards, they need to be listed in another section with the exception of Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude, etc. They can be listed here as it is something that should stand out. List the dates you attended school, too.
If you do not have any college experience, list your high school information. Or, if you just started college and had some related course-work in high school, you can list them here as well.

This link takes you to a more detailed explanation of the Education section

Work Experience

List your job title, the name of the organization you worked for and the dates of your employment. Below this, detail your work-related tasks and accomplishments. Write clearly and use words that command attention, such as: operated, created, ensured, maintained, managed, provided, responded, and so on. List the activities and responsibilities that most closely match the prospective employer’s needs first.
Volunteer work should be listed in another section unless it is pertinent to the position you are applying for.

This takes you to a more detailed explanation of the Experience section


You may have something that fits into one of the categories listed above or you may not. If you do, identify which word best fits and create that category to match your skills. There are many additional sections you may consider using. One or two should be enough. Just be careful not to use so many that it waters down the focus of the resume.
There are a lot of activities/achievements that don't fit the bill and are not worth mentioning (for most people).

Other Sections

According to your background, there may be other sections, which you will want to add to your resume.
These sections could include:

If any of these sections apply to you - AND - if they help you target the job you are seeking, use them.

Don’t use them if you don't NEED them. They detract from the true purpose of your resume if they do not aptly FIT the position you are trying to get.


This section isn't really even necessary, but if you include it, don't actually list the references you have. Either state that your references are "available upon request" or that they are "included on a separate page".

Be sure that you have contacted each of the individuals you have chosen and asked permission to use them as job-related references. This is a common courtesy and should be afforded each person you expect to list.

Click here to read more about references

This resume outline should provide you with a basic understanding of the sections of a resume. While different formats use these sections in a variety of ways, the information is used in each resume.

If you need more information than this resume outline offers, look at the three formats and then the examples that follow them to get a better idea of how to incorporate your information into a resume that best suits your needs.

The Resume Outline

If you are finished reading about the Resume Outline, you might want to review this page about Resume Examples 

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