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Elements of a Résumé

There are basic elements that should be included on a résumé but you can determine which ones are most important and the order in which they should appear. Keep in mind that how you place the information on the résumé and the words you use will determine what the employer sees first.

What to include?

  • Identifying Information: Includes name, address, telephone and e-mail. Be sure that your e-mail address is a professional one – this is the first impression you’re making on an employer. (You also want to make sure that the voice mail message on your phone is professional in nature as well.)
  • Objective: Short, specific statement that includes position type and relevant skills.
  • Education: In reverse-chronological order, this section includes the schools you have attended, dates of graduation or dates of attendance, as well as degrees sought or completed. Other information may include GPA, related coursework, scholarships and honors, percentage of college expenses you personally earned, and special projects.
  • Experience: This section includes not only paid positions, but also significant volunteer or extracurricular experiences in reverse-chronological order. Names and locations of employers and years of employment should be included. Descriptions should detail the level of responsibility and breadth of experience. Be sure to stress any accomplishments or unique contributions you made. Include words such as Related, Accomplishments or Leadership and quantify your experiences to provide a better idea of how much responsibility you had or the level of your knowledge. Don’t just type in a job description – that does not tell an employer what YOU did in the position.
  • Skills: If you have specialized skills, particularly computer-related skills, it can be beneficial to list these separately on the résumé so an employer can easily find them.
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