The Essential Resume Outline

Constructing a great resume isn’t the hardest part about the job search process. Regardless, it is surprising how many job seekers are willing to submit a less than adequate resume to potential employers. Follow the resume outline below to construct a strong presentation that will help you get the job you want.

Resume Outline – Key Ingredients

A resume should be a listed summary of your experience, education, and skill set. Preparing each of these key ingredients is the recipe for a great resume.

  • Contact Information

    Your contact information should always be up-to-date. Provide both accurate home and cell phone numbers. Also, be sure to include a professional e-mail address. It is highly advised to create and use an e-mail address that includes your own name.

  • Related Skills & Qualifications

    A section summarizing your related skills and qualifications can be helpful in identifying yourself as a viable applicant to employers. Related skills may include relevant proficiencies in areas such as computer software programs or fluency in foreign languages. This list may also serve as an overview of your talents and relevant concepts that you have mastered. Be sure to include any licenses, certifications or affiliations as well. Lastly, remember to list only skills and qualifications as they relate to the job for which you are applying.

  • Work Experience

    Your work experience is the most important part of your resume. Most often, your employment history is listed in chronological order starting with your current position. It is important to only include relevant jobs and experience. Internships and volunteer work can act as great fillers for those who are new to the job market and lack a significant amount of work experience.

    Using the typical chronological format, each past job should be listed with bullet points describing your responsibilities and accomplishments. Remember to never list more than five highlights for each job. Your bulleted list should include your successes and accomplishments and not simply your job description.

  • Education

    If you are new to the workforce, your education history could be featured before your work experience. As you gain experience, the education section will move toward the bottom of your resume. Always list the full name of the institution at which you are studying or have studied. Include location and type of degree or certification as well. If you received any honors or participated in any college activities, you should list those under the appropriate institution name. High school information should only be included if you are under 20 years old and have not received any additional education beyond your diploma.

Beyond the key elements of the resume outlined above, your resume should always be professional. In order to personalize their submission, many applicants will use colored paper, attach a photograph, use jokes, or even use nicknames on their headings. It is this kind of inappropriate behavior that can be an automatic deterrent for employers. Your goal should always be to present yourself as the most skilled and refined applicant out there.