Resume Sections

As you continue in your career, it is a wise move to keep your resume up-to-date. You never know when opportunity will arise.

Your Introduction

Heading (Identification)

This section should include your name, current address, email and home or cell number. The URL for a personal homepage is optional, but would be included here if it adds value.

Objective or Summary

An objective statement is optional. It can be helpful if it is clear and focused, and not broad. Example: “Seeking a position as a Financial Analyst utilizing my quantitative, research and technical skills.” If you have experience in the field, you may employ a summary statement rather than an objective.

Qualifications and Experience

Summary of Qualifications or Highlights of Accomplishments

This section enables most alumni with experience to comment on particular strengths or areas of expertise relevant to the type of position being sought. The goal of this section is to capture immediate employer interest. 

The process of writing a summary section can be very useful in thinking about your key strengths. It also prepares you to talk about yourself in an interview. Those in career transition from the academy to an outside position may find this section beneficial. 

Education

This section covers your educational institutions, degrees and dates. Indicate courses that demonstrate knowledge, especially if they were outside of your discipline and are useful for the position.

Research

Even if you are pursuing a position outside of academia, you should include your academic research on your resume. The ability to methodically apply your critical thinking and research skills has a direct correlation to the workplace. Employers seek those who can elegantly plan and execute a project from start to finish, and your academic research can put you ahead of similarly qualified candidates.

Experience

This section may include all of your experiences, paid and unpaid, volunteer or professional. Analyze each experience with regard to the skills, abilities and accomplishments that you demonstrated. Provide quantification of the statements, where possible, and use action verbs.

  • Reverse chronological styleThis format lists the most recent experience first, and is the typical format used. List your position title, name of the organization, department or division (optional), location (city & state), dates employed (usually do not include months, just years), and your description of skills and accomplishments.
  • Functional Format: The functional format is often used by alumni who wish to highlight their skills for particular positions. The names of employers, position titles and dates are less important than the skills.
  • Modified Functional Format: This section will combine the highlights of experience but adds the additional information of employers, dates, etc. 

Volunteer or Community Experience

Your volunteer and community activities may power you with communication, leadership, teamwork, event planning, budgeting, fundraising and other skills highly valued by employers. These can be presented in the same format as the experience section.

Skills and Accolades

Awards and Honors

This section is optional, and usually not included unless you have earned prestigious awards relevant to the position you are targeting. Sometimes these are included under other headings, such as Education.

Skills

This section may include laboratory skills, foreign language ability, computer skills and others that are important to employers.