Top 8 Sections All Resumes Should Have

by Raj Virani
Feb 20, 2023
5.5min read

A resume is one of the most important documents for any job applicant during their job search. It is a valuable document that provides your prospective employer with a quick overview of your profile, experience, education, accomplishments, skills, and many more things about you. 

Hiring managers devote very limited time to reviewing all resumes they receive for a job opening. Sometimes, a hiring manager may look at a resume for less than thirty seconds. There are chances that it may end up in the bin if your resume format is incorrect.

This article focuses on those eight essential sections that all hiring managers look out for in a resume that can help you land your next dream job!

Introduction: CV or Resume?

When applying for a job, it is important to remember the difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae. A resume is a brief, concise document that outlines your work experience and qualifications. On the other hand, a curriculum vitae is a longer, more detailed document that includes all of your work history, publications, awards, and other professional accomplishments.

While both documents are important when applying for a job, you should tailor each one to fit the specific requirements of the position you are applying for. For example, if a job listing asks for a resume, then you should only submit a resume. However, if the listing asks for a CV or states that CVs are preferred, then you should submit a CV.

Keep in mind that employers often receive dozens or even hundreds of applications for each open position. As such, they may only spend a few seconds scanning each application. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your resume or CV is clear and concise so that an employer can quickly see why you are qualified for the position.

8 Most Important Sections in a Resume

A resume is a document that outlines your skills, experience, and qualifications in a way that is easy for potential employers to understand. While it may seem like a simple document to create, there are a lot of things to consider when writing your resume. Here are just a few of the things you should keep in mind when creating your resume:

resume tips

1. Contact Information

Any resume should begin with the contact information section. In this section, you ought to mention your full name. Starting from your surname, followed by your address in the next line, your email address, mobile phone number, and a link to your LinkedIn profile. You can use larger fonts and embolden the contact details for higher visibility. 

Ensure you enter the latest updated details and use the correct spellings. Hiring managers receive many applications with typing errors. So even though your resume is shortlisted, your chances of getting hired can reduce due to their inability to contact you. 

2. Profile Summary

Once you mention your contact information in your resume, the next section that follows is your profile summary. A profile summary highlights the resume objectives and demonstrates what you want to achieve through your resume. 

Ideally, a profile summary should not be more than four lines. Even though it must be brief, you must ensure that your profile summary will include this essential information:

  • Education 
  • Skills 
  • Work experience
  • Two achievements at your current or previous job 
  • The position you wish to apply for 

3. Experience

Following your profile summary comes your experience. Your resume should include an experience section that precisely mentions all the professional work experience you possess that aligns with the job role you are applying for. 

Primarily, it should mention the company's name, location, job title, and duration of your employment. You can also include subsections within each role. Like an outline that mentions your role and the business of the company that you have worked with, your key responsibilities at your job, and achievements or awards at work. 

Ensure that your current work experience is written in the present tense and use past tense to describe previous work experience. Try to use as many action verbs as possible to describe your experience.

Some popular action verbs are:

  • Achieved
  • Coordinated
  • Negotiated
  • Collaborated
  • Demonstrated
  • and many others

Freshers who do not possess any experience can mention they are relevant internship experience. Especially the internship experience that aligns with the job that they are applying for. 

4. Education

One of the most crucial parts of your resume is the education section. Your education section should mention a summary of all your education in reverse chronological order. This means that your latest education should be mentioned first.

Write the name of the educational institution, the date of commencing and graduating from your degree, the name of your degree or course, and the modules you undertook during your degree. It is also desirable to mention participation in co-curricular activities, societies, or sports activities. 

5. Skills

One of the most important sections in a resume format is the skills section. This section should highlight your core skills that align with the job position you are applying for. Try not to include more than ten skills, as they will only increase the length of your document. 

If you are applying for a technical position, try to include as many technical skills as possible. One of the easiest ways to mention your skills is to read the job description for the position you are applying for and mold the skill section in your resume according to the required competencies. 

You can include a variety of skills like:

  • Hard skills 
  • Soft skills 
  • Technical skills 
  • Personal skills 
  • Industry-specific skills 
  • In-demand skills 

Mentioning a variety of skills can make your job application stand out in front of other candidates. 

6. Co-Curricular Activities

This is an optional section, you can choose to include or opt out of it based on your profile. Most co-curricular activities include all your achievements alongside your education or employment. However, it is not limited to that. Your certifications, awards, volunteering experience, and hobbies can also be included, and it could increase your chances of getting hired for specific positions. 

Make sure that you mention less than five activities at any time in a bulleted format, as demonstrating too many activities can result in a lengthy resume. Activities relevant to the job position you are applying for are desirable. 

7. Languages Known

If you can speak more than one language, then it is advisable to include a language section in your resume. Over here, you can list all the languages and your proficiency level in them, beginning with your native language. 

Various job opportunities require applicants to possess knowledge of a particular language. In that kind of opportunity, it is advantageous to include this section.

8. References 

This is the final section of a resume. A referee can be anyone who has been professionally associated with you either during your employment or education. Do not include your parents, relatives, friends, or other acquaintances as your referee, as any job application only requires professional references. 

An ideal referee can be your university professor or your manager at your current or previous job. In the reference list, include the referee's name, designation, name of the organization they’re associated with, and contact details. 

Bonus Tips

In addition to the sections mentioned above, various other things are required in a resume format. For instance, a resume should be less than two pages long. The ideal font size is either eleven or twelve. Using professional fonts and bold texts to highlight titles if appropriate. 

However, using italics and underlining is needless. Try to avoid negative language and be honest about everything you write in your resume. Always keep in mind that everything you write in your resume will need to be proven either in an interview or in your work in the future. Thus, it is critical to keep being honest.

Finally, sharing your resume as a PDF document is important, making it printable and easily readable.

Your resume is one of the most important documents you will ever create. It is a key factor in determining whether or not you will be invited to interview for a position, and it can make the difference between being hired or being passed over. Are you looking for customized job opportunities that suit your profile? Try uploading your optimized resume on Epicareer and get recommended job opportunities based on your profile.

Only Apply for job that matter.

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