Components of a Resume

Header

At the top of your resume, include the following information:

  • Name
  • Address (a growing trend is to only include your city and state; not your street address)
  • Telephone Number
  • Email address
  • Personalized LinkedIn URL

Include your work number and email address ONLY if it is appropriate to receive calls or emails at work.

In addition, make sure the message on your voicemail sounds professional. Also make sure your email address is professional (e.g., don’t use something like “Iluvdogs@hotmail.com”).

The format of the contact information section can vary. Try different styles to see which one works best for you.

Example:

SUSAN RICHARDS
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-925-0000 • srichards@email.com
LinkedIn URL

or

SUSAN RICHARDS
   Sacramento, CA 95814, 916-925-0000, srichards@email.com, LinkedIn URL


Objective

Adding an objective is completely optional. If you feel like you must include an objective it should simply be the job title and job number, if applicable.

Example:

Objective: Administrative Assistant III, Job #12345


Summary of Qualifications

The Summary of Qualifications, also known as Highlights of Qualifications, Professional Profile or Career Summary, provides an overview of the skills and experience you bring to the organization. It should be brief, focused and include key words related to the position you are seeking.

Your qualifications should mirror the requirements of the position for which you are applying and create immediate interest to help ensure that your resume will be read completely. You may choose to present your summary of qualifications using several bulleted entries or in a short paragraph, typically four to six statements in length.

Example:

Qualifications

Over 20 years of experience in all aspects of employee benefits including designing and implementing new benefits programs. Extensive knowledge of FMLA and well versed in accounting practices to analyze benefit data and provide recommendations to management. Progressive management experience including hiring, supervision, and evaluation of eight professional staff and two students.

or

Qualifications

  • Over 20 years of experience in all aspects of employee benefits including designing and implementing new benefits programs.
  • Extensive knowledge of FMLA and well versed in accounting practices to analyze benefit data and provide recommendations to management.
  • Progressive management experience including hiring, supervision, and evaluation of eight professional staff and two students.

Professional Experience

This section may be focused on the positions you have held going back ten to fifteen years (Chronological Resume) or it may be focused on the key skill sets you bring to the position (Functional Resume).

Chronological Resume

This section will include specific information about your accomplishments in each work setting. Don’t just list duties and responsibilities; you want to paint a clear picture in terms of your accomplishments and the skills you have developed.

Start with your most recent (or current) position. Be consistent in how you format each experience. Decide if you want to lead with your job title or place of employment and maintain that format throughout the section. Also include the location of the organization and the dates of employment.

Example:

Senior Accountant, Finance Department, April 2011-present
University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Managed team of eight junior accountants, including daily work assignments and annual performance reviews.
  • Successfully completed implementation of New Accounting Software System (NASS) two months ahead of schedule.
  • Oversaw all student revenue documentation for four colleges.

Functional Resume

For a functional resume, this section will contain your selected functional areas of skill/knowledge. These headings describe your broad skill areas and are transferable to the position you are seeking. Because you are using a functional format, the Professional Experience section will be followed by a brief employment history, which will include the job title, employer, location and dates of employment.

Example:

Professional Experience

Project Coordination

  • Prepared materials and handled all audio visual needs for 10 weekly training and administrative sessions
  • Ordered and set up catering items for over 75 events annually ranging in size from ten to 250 attendees.
  • Assembled and dispersed meeting packets to all program participants, ensuring accuracy and on-time delivery.

Process Improvement

  • Designed new reporting form and desk manual for administrative department, improving efficiency and productivity.
  • Submitted cost-saving ideas, which when implemented by the department resulted in a $12,000 savings.
  • Reclaimed/recycled desk supplies left by relocated staff.
  • Designed more efficient time sheet, which included space for overtime recording.

Data Management

  • Created and managed database for employee contributions to local charity; retrieved and entered data and prepared accurate and timely spreadsheet reports.
  • Composed correspondence and reports, merged letters, and addressed envelopes for department as needed.

Employment History

  • Training Coordinator, Lisa Prior Seminar, Sacramento, CA February 2013 - Present
  • Office Manager, ABC Insurance, Fairfield, CA August 2009 – January 2013

Education and Training

Regardless of the format you use, you will have an Education and Training section on your resume, where you will highlight formal education, informal workshops and classes, and/or on-the-job learning.

Be consistent in the layout (listing formal education first, then the degree, or vice versa.) Start with the highest degree you have earned and work backwards. Include College or University, Location, Degree and Major/Minor field of study. You may also include Honors, if you wish.

If you did not complete a college degree, mention coursework you have taken. If you are in a degree program, share the expected completion date.

Examples:

Education and Training

Master of Arts, Educational Psychology
University of California, Davis

Study Abroad Program during junior year in Spain

Associate of Arts, Business Administration, Sacramento City College

If you have completed relevant workshops, courses or certificate programs, follow your formal education section with a short description of these programs and include the dates if it is important. Sometimes a summary statement for several classes is appropriate, such as:

  • Dale Carnegie Sales and Management courses, 2012 – Present
  • Leading and Managing in a Multicultural Community, UC Davis Staff Development and Professional Services, 2015
  • National Computer Training Institute, 2014
  • Additional training: Project Management, UC Davis Extension, 2007
  • Certified in: Java, Microsoft, HTML

You may want to be selective in what you include under this section. Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of including this information?” If it’s because you find it interesting but it isn’t related to the job you are seeking, it may be prudent to leave it off.


Additional Information

There are other sections that can be added to your resume if they emphasize your strengths. Placement of these sections depends on the position you are seeking and what qualifications you want to highlight. Options include, but are not limited to:

  • Honors and Awards
  • Volunteer Service
  • Technical Skills
  • Laboratory Skills
  • Languages Spoken
  • Military Service
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Presentations
  • Publications

Highlighting Knowledge of Specific Procedures, Equipment or Programs

For some fields, such as scientific or computer programming, it is important to highlight specific procedures, equipment or programs in which you have experience. Creating a section to address this is a good way to share this information. The section can use bullet points and brief descriptions.

Example

COMPUTER SKILLS

  • Programming Language/Software: Cold Fusion, C++, Python, JavaScript, HTML
  • Databases:  MySQL, Oracle RDBMS, Access
  • Hardware/Operating Systems:  Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS 10, Linux
  • Software Applications:  Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, Kauli, BANNER, Dreamweave

OR

LABORATORY SKILLS

  • Protocol design
  • Gas Chromatography
  • HPLC
  • Good Laboratory Practices
  • Electrophoresis
  • Spectrophotometry
  • PCR
  • Computer data analysis/SAS
  • Laboratory animal handling
  • ELISA

Highlighting Achievements in Community and Professional Associations

If you have been active in community or professional associations, you may want to create a special section to highlight your achievements. Be selective and mention the activities that are related to the position for which you are applying. Leadership positions, projects or events, and professional presentations are some of the items to include.


Highlighting Other Achievements

If you have published articles or books, received patents or have made significant presentations, you may want to create a special section to highlight these achievements. If you highlight presentations, give an idea of the audience, if it was a keynote speech, or how many people attended.

You may want to explain some of your accomplishments if they are not easily understood. For example, if you received the “President's Award,” state what it represents, share how selective it is or why you were selected.