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Sections of the Résumé

Here are the major sections of a résumé. You can use any of these headings or make up new sections more appropriate for your special abilities. In most cases, arrange the sections as they are listed here.

As far as making your résumé more readable, it is helpful to offset these sections. For example, you can put them in bold or italics or over a shaded background.

Full Name

College Address/Permanent Address

Include both your college and permanent addresses if they are different so that your prospective employer can contact you at either place. Include phone numbers and the dates you will be at both addresses. You should also include your e-mail address and your website address.

College Address

421 Cary Quandrangle
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(317) 555-0224
(until May 15, 19XX)

E-mail: hireme@email.com

Permanent Address

1523 Elmwood Drive
Nobleton, IN 46623
(317) 200-8749
(After May 15, 19XX)

Web Page: http://www.goodemployee.com 

Career Objectives

Helpful Information

Relate this section directly to the job you want, and make sure you tie in the skills you have acquired from previous work experience, your education, and outside activities. Include the job title you seek and the type of work or skills you want to use. Write a concise phrase or clause, not a full sentence.

Example

A summer internship with a construction company that requires skills in field engineering, cost controlling, planning, scheduling, and estimating.

A systems analyst position, stressing technical, communication, and supervisory skills.

Education/Significant Courses

Helpful Information

This is a major section for most students. Include the following:

  • Name of college(s) attended
  • Degree(s) and graduation date(s) (month and year)
  • Major, minor, or specialization
  • Grade point average (optional) (Include your own GPA first, then a slash mark, and then the highest possible GPA at the school)

Example

Purdue University
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

May 1999, GPA 5.7/6.0

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
May 1999, Purdue University
GPA 5.7/6.0

You may also include important coursework and related experience such as workshops, special courses, conferences, projects, and/or reports.

Significant Courses

List the courses that are different from the ones everyone in your major must take or the few upper-level courses that are particularly significant. Use a more specific heading, if possible, such as “Public Relations Courses.”

Special Projects

Here you can point out some features of your particular education that make you unique and help you to stand out. Describe the projects, reports, or conferences briefly and give the most important details.

Work Experience

Helpful Information

This section can be arranged in several ways. Before deciding, list for yourself the following items:

  • Job titles, places worded, locations, and dates. Include part time, temporary, and volunteer work as well as cooperative programs and internships.
  • Duties you performed and skills you acquired, using key words.

You can organize this information as a functional, skills, chronological, or imaginative résumé.

If the company you worked for is particularly impressive, you may want to begin with the company’s name to highlight it.

Example

Research Analyst, Kellog Co.
Montack, Michigan; Summer 1987

  • Supervised nine assistants gathering information on cows’ eating habits
  • Researched most recent information on cows’ nutritional needs
  • Analyzed data to determine how to reduce number of feeding hours while maintaining nutritional quality

Skills

Helpful Information

Not all résumés include a skills section, but this is a useful way to emphasize the skills you have acquired from various jobs or activities. To prepare this section, list the following for yourself:

  • Jobs, club activities, projects, special offices, or responsibilities
  • Skills you have developed from these experiences. For example, as president of a club you have had to lead meetings, delegate responsibilities, coordinate activities, etc.

Group the skills under three to five skills categories that relate to the job you are seeking and use these as your skills headings.

Note: You do not need to use periods when you use bullets. In general, try to use less punctuation.

Example

Management

  • Led a committee to prepare and institute new election procedures for Student Union Board
  • Evaluated employee’s work progress for monthly reports

Communication

  • Wrote weekly advertisements for student government entertainment activities
  • Represented sorority in negotiation with university administrators
  • Spoke to potential funding groups for student-organized charity events

Programming

  • Analyzed and designed a program to record and average student grades for faculty member
  • Designed a program to record and update items of sorority’s $90,000 annual budget

College Activities and Honors/Activities/Memberships

This section demonstrates your leadership and involvement and can include college activities, honors, and official positions or responsibilities you have had. You may need to explain in a phrase or two what various organizations are because prospective employers will probably not be familiar with the fact that the Tomahawk Club is an honorary service organization on your campus or that Alpha Gamma Alpha is a freshman honors council at your school.

Avoid abbreviations. As a rule, always spell out the names of the organizations.

References

You can include three or four references on your résumé. Or, you can include the following statement on your résumé:

References: Available on request

The information on this page is from
Harris, Muriel. (1994).
Reference Guide to Grammar and Usage. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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