Find Employment/Resume Sections
Resumes have a number of different sections, depending on the aspects that you want to illustrate about yourself. This page will talk about the different sections of a resume, and when to use each one.
Styles of Resumes
Sometimes Resumes are categorized by how they present information and in what order they present information. Most resumes share certain common features, and there is not just one "right" way of doing a resume. If the resume gets you a job, then you did it right. The type of resume you choose to use determines which sections you will include and where you will put the sections.
This is the most traditional type of resumes. They emphasize job experience and are good for people with a lot of experience in a given field who are entering back into the same field. They are called a "chronological" resume because they list your experience in sequence of time, from new to old.
A functional résumé lists work experience and skills sorted by skill area or job function.
The functional résumé is used to assert a focus to skills that are specific to the type of position being sought. This format directly emphasizes specific professional capabilities and utilizes experience summaries as its primary means of communicating professional competency. In contrast, the chronological résumé format will briefly highlight these competencies prior to presenting a comprehensive timeline of career growth via reverse-chronological listing with most recent experience listed first.
The combination résumé balances the functional and chronological approaches. A résumé organized this way typically leads with a functional list of job skills, followed by a chronological list of employers.
In the United States, a CV is expected to include a comprehensive listing of professional history including every term of employment, academic credential, publication, contribution or significant achievement. In certain professions, it may even include samples of the person's work and may run to many pages.
Within the European Union, a standardised CV model known as Europass has been developed (in 2004 by the European Parliament) and promoted by the EU to ease skilled migration between member countries.
What Usually Goes into a Resume
- Name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number.
- Employment objective. State the type of work or specific job you are seeking.
- Education, including school name and address, dates of attendance, major, and highest grade completed or degree awarded. Consider including any courses or areas of focus that might be relevant to the position.
- Experience, paid and volunteer. For each job, include the job title, name and location of employer, and dates of employment. Briefly describe your job duties.
- Special skills, computer skills, proficiency in foreign languages, achievements, and membership in organizations.
- References, only when requested.
- Keep it short; only one page for less experienced applicants.
- Avoid long paragraphs; use bullets to highlight key skills and accomplishments.
- Have several people review your resume for any spelling or grammatical errors.
- Print it on high quality paper.
Despite all the effort that you put into your resume, many employers may not read any further then the first section, before they decide if you are an interesting potential candidate or not. For this reason, many people choose to make the first section of the resume a statement about their value, and the reason why they would be a good addition to the company. This first section is generally titled the "Objective" section, although some templates will call this the "Purpose" section, or even the "Statement of Goals".
The objective section should state exactly what position you are applying for, and the reasons why you are a good fit for that position. For this reason, your objective section--if nothing else--should be specifically tailored to the job you are applying for.
Nobody wants to read about the summer job you had during school, so that you could have some money in your pocket. The work history section is more aptly named the "Relevant Work Experiance" section, and should only contain job experiences that are relevant to the new business. For instance, if you spent several years as a tax preparer, it doesnt make sense to elaborate on that too much when applying for a job in designing computers. Of course, most people don't make such drastic career shifts in their lifetimes, so frequently it pays off listing all the work experience you have had (at least since you graduated).
Employers like to see job continuity. This is meant in two ways: First, employers like to see that you have spent time at your previous jobs. In other words, you didnt sign on, and quit within a month. Employers are making an investment in you, and the would like to think that you are going to hang around for a while. Second, employers like to see that you have been continually employed for some time. If there are several years unaccounted for in your resume, employers are going to ask questions. For example:
1990 - 1995 Mr Computer Shack Someplace, USA IT Consultant 2000 - Present Jim's Computer Barn Otherplace, USA Sales Person
Now, the hiring manager is going to read this, and ask "What did you do for those 5 years?". Did you take time off to write your memoirs? Did you spend time in prison? Did you drink yourself into the gutter? If you do have a gap in your employment, be prepared to discuss that gap both in your cover letter, and at the interview (if you get the interview). It is always better to bring the issue up and make the reason known, then to try and avoid the issue. However, be warned that employers don't want to hear all your whiney excuses either.
In today's world, prospective employees for most corporate jobs are required to have some degree of higher education. You should almost always list your education on the resume, but if it isn't your crowning achievement in life, you should probably not play it up too much. Also, if your degree is in an unrelated (or nearly unrelated) field from the job you are applying for, it only serves as a notice that "I can be taught".
If you are a newly graduating student, it is generally recommended that you do not include your GPA on your resume, unless your GPA is fantastic: Don't mention it unless it is over about 3.5 (depending on how competitive your major is). Many students with low GPAs include them on their resume unnecessarily, and many students with high GPAs omit them. Some companies do specifically ask for you to include your GPA, so in that case you should.
Awards and Memberships
This is a section that again, is probably more important for a graduating student then for a seasoned worker. However, if you are a member of a professional organization, or if you have received different professional awards, those are certainly worth mentioning. It is not generally worth while to mention that you are part of a book club, or a knitting circle, or a bowling team, although such an entry can help to spark conversation at the interview.
Many people also like to include sections on their own personal interests on their resume. This can be a useful tactic if you have a small amount of room left on your resume that you would like to fill. Including some information about your interests and hobbies can alert the hiring manager as to the individual personality characteristics that you can bring to the team environment. Also, including some interests can help to feed the discussion at the interview.
However, there are some conflicting ideas about an interests section. Some employers consider resume sections that don't directly pertain to the job at hand as being a distraction. Whether to include an interests section in your resume or not is a decision that is worth some careful consideration.