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Your resume will consist of several sections. Some of the sections are required, some are optional. Since your resume will be tailor-made, include only those categories that pertain to your specific background and current job target. Integrating selected optional sections with the required sections often results in a very effective presentation of your skills and abilities.


Use your full name (nicknames are generally discouraged), and set it apart from the body of your resume. A middle initial may suffice for your middle name. Accent your name by experimenting with any of the following:

  • Larger point type
  • All uppercase
  • Bold-faced letters
  • Italics
  • Underlining

Address & Telephone Number

Include a complete mailing address with a zip code for current (i.e. university or summer only) and permanent residences. If employed, it may be appropriate to list both your office and home addresses and phone numbers. Employers need to know when and where to reach you. Include dates under your address if this will help. If unavailable to receive mail or phone calls directly, list the address and phone number of a responsible party who will promptly forward messages to you. Be sure to include your email address, especially if you are aware that employers in your field use it.


List schools attended in reverse chronological order. Always include the following:

  • The name of the institution
  • Location
  • Degree, certificate or course of study
  • Date of completion
  • Major/concentration/minor

List high school only if relevant to your job search.


Experience is also referred to as Employment History, Work Experience, or Relevant Experience. It can even be broken down into more than one category of information (i.e. Related & Additional Experience, Professional Development & Other Experience, Teaching Experience & Administrative Experience, etc.) The information in this section should be relevant to your targeted job, and it should demonstrate to the employer that you have the skills necessary to do the work. You may include the following:

  • Paid and volunteer positions
  • Internships
  • Overseas experiences
  • Research experiences

Keep in mind that these areas can often produce more relevant experience than previous paid employment. Use action verbs and adjectives (such as managed, coordinated, and intensive) to describe accomplishments and the significant responsibilities of each position.

Optional Sections

The following sections, however important for your resume, need not necessarily be included. However, it is advantageous to incorporate at least some of these features into your resume.


Also referred to as Professional or Career Objective, an objective indicates the type of work you desire. Employers have mixed reactions to this category and its use seems to be gradually fading. Only include an objective if you are specific. Don't be so specific, however, that you preclude other acceptable job options. If you choose not to use an objective, be sure you address it in some form in your cover letter. An objective statement can be personalized for each recipient, though this can be time consuming. An alternative might be to have two or more editions of your resume, each with its own objective statement directed to a specific group of employers.


Also referred to as SkillsQualificationsInterest, or Strengths, the profile section appears to be gaining favor among employers. It is developed utilizing the information you gathered during your career field research. A profile simply indicates, either in list or paragraph form, the relevant skills you possess and can offer the employer. Normally it is the first section an employer reads. The goal is that upon seeing you possess the required skills, the employer will be enticed to read your entire resume.

Honors & Awards

List academic, leadership and/or athletic awards if appropriate. This information can also be included in the Education section.


Also referred to as Activities & Interests, or Interests, this category shows commitment and involvement outside of academic course work and/or formal employment. This information can also appear in the Experience section if it is relevant to the position you are seeking. List any of the following:

  • Membership and leadership positions in clubs, organizations, or athletics
  • Volunteer positions
  • Internships
  • Hobbies or special interests that can help to round out your profile

References: Available Upon Request

You should have references whether or not you state it on your resume. Your references should be listed on a separate sheet of paper. They should be people who can speak about your skills and abilities that are relevant to the position you are seeking. Letters of reference are rarely required outside of the education field.

If space is at a premium, mention of references is not necessary.

Other Optional Information You Might Wish to Include

  • Thesis Title: A title which demonstrates research and writing ability regardless of relevance to job objective
  • Independent Course Work: A brief listing of relevant courses
  • Grade Point Average: If calculated to be an asset (generally 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale), either Cumulative GPA or Major GPA
  • Study Abroad: If you've ever studied or attended school in another country
  • Honors/Awards: If not listed elsewhere

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