Here’s What To Include In A Resume (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 20, 2020
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When you’re preparing for your job search, the first thing you’ll consider is your resume. Your resume should contain everything your potential employer needs to be convinced that you’re the best person for the job. The purpose of a resume is to help hiring managers, potential employers, and recruiters to get a good idea of who you are and whether your skills and experience will not only match but benefit the position you’re applying for.

Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, you can choose a few different resume types. You can choose a chronological resume, a functional resume, or a combination resume. What you choose will depend on work history, education, industry, and the type of position you’re applying for. You should include a few different sections in all types of resumes, which we will discuss below.

Resume Guidelines. How to Write a Resume

Your resume is your most valuable tool when applying for a new job. But getting started can be a daunting task. So how exactly should you think about writing a resume?

  • Length. Your resume is meant to be an asset that hiring managers and recruiters can scan quickly. This means that length is one of the most important considerations you can make when writing your resume. Make sure your information is as concise as possible. It’s ideal to keep your resume to a single page, but two pages are permissible as well. You shouldn’t consider anything over two pages.

  • Font and size. Font is an important consideration to make when you’re typing your resume. You may be tempted to choose a font that sticks out from the crowd, but it’s essential not to use any ornate fonts that can make your resume difficult to read. Choose familiar fonts like Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, or something similar. Keep your font size between 10 and 12 points. Headers are the place to be creative, where you can make your headings larger or bolded.

  • Margins. This is a great option to use if you’re looking to keep your longer resume to one or two pages. The standard margins in word processing programs are 1’’ margins around the document. You can reduce the margins to a ½’’ on the sides and bottom.

  • Layout. Organizing your resume will depend on whether you choose a chronological or functional resume, but be sure to keep everything consistent. For example, if you bold your company’s name, be sure you do that for each company name in your work history.

  • Edit and review. Don’t forget to review your resume before you submit it to your job application. Check spelling, grammar, tenses, and dates. If you’re able to, it’s best to get one or two people to look over for any errors you may have missed.

What to Include on Your Resume

Don’t forget that all resumes are different. Depending on your experience, education, or skills, you may choose to enhance or remove some of the sections listed below.

  • Contact information. The most important piece of information to include on your resume is your name and contact information so that your potential employer can contact you.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
    Internship
    Temporary

    This means you should display your name, phone number, and email address prominently at the top or on the side of your resume. Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, you may choose to include other information such as an email address, a portfolio link, or your LinkedIn profile link.

  • Summary or objective. Most resumes should feature something called a resume summary or objective. This short, one to two sentence section acts as a brief explanation of who you are and why you’re qualified to do a specific job, sometimes within a particular industry.

    Resume summaries and objectives have a slight difference, so be sure you understand when and why to use one over the other. A resume summary should describe your work experience and skills and is useful if you have work experience that you can summarize briefly. A resume objective will articulate your short-term goals and is typically best suited for those who have just graduated or have limited job experience.

    It’s best practice to look at the job posting for the job you’re applying for and tailoring it with specific keywords you’ve pulled out from the posting.

  • Education. The education section can be in a variety of places on your resume. This is a helpful addition for any employer who may require a certain level of education or certification to employ you. Be sure to include your most recent education as well as any other education and certifications if it’s relevant for the job you’re applying for.

    In your education section, be sure to include your school’s name/location, length of study, the degree you obtained, the field of study, and any relevant honors or academic recognition. Of course, you can add other things such as your GPA or your graduation year, but they’re not as critical as the first few elements mentioned.

    Consider only including the education that makes sense and enhances your chances of getting the job you’re applying for. For example, if your most recent education is high school, you should list it in this section. If you have obtained a post-secondary degree, that’s what you should highlight here.

  • Work history. Your professional history is easily one of the most critical parts of a resume. It’s an opportunity to showcase the companies you’ve worked for and your significant accomplishments. Be sure to list all of your most relevant work experiences, beginning with your most recent job.

    If you have little or no job experience, you should list the experience you do have, even if it’s not directly applicable to the job you’re applying for. Your hiring manager or recruiter can use that experience and the skills obtained there to get a better idea of what kind of worker you are and what type of skills are transferable for the job you’re applying for.

    Your work history should include the name of the organization, your job title or titles, if you were promoted at a certain company, years of employment, as well as a short paragraph or bullet points that list your biggest accomplishments during your time of employment. Use strong action verbs and always include achievements, where possible. If you can include measurable statistics in this area, be sure to do it.

  • Skills and certifications. You can use this section in a few different ways, but the general idea is to list technical skills and soft skills. Depending on the job you’re applying for, you can include tools, software, or concepts you may have mastered, or certifications you’ve obtained.

    The skills listed in this section should be relevant to the job you’re applying for. Like the objective or summary, look at the job posting for any keywords you can pull out to add to this section. Focus on the skills that are transferable to this job. For example, if you play an instrument, it might be relevant for musical jobs but less relevant for a sales job.

  • Additional accomplishments. The last section you may consider adding is a section around accomplishments, additional interests, or volunteer work. As with the skills and certifications section, be sure what you include here is relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, you may want to list any volunteer work you’ve done, any club or organization you may participate in, or any awards you may have received in your career or personal life that are relevant to the job.

What to Avoid in Your Resume

  • Keep personal information light. Be sure only to include relevant information necessary for the recruiter or hiring manager to reach you. This means you should not add age, height, weight, marital status, children, etc., unless the position specifically asks you to include it.

  • Earnings. It’s inappropriate to list what your salary requirements should be on your resume. This is not the place to negotiate your pay; save your salary expectations for the actual interview.

  • Pick and choose your experience. Don’t list every single job or every single academic achievement you’ve received. Be sure to only list experience, education, or skills relevant to the job you’re applying for.

  • Fluff words. Don’t muddy up your resume with fluff or buzzwords just to try and impress your potential employer. All they do is make it harder for potential employers to understand what value you can bring to their organization.

Resume Sample

Larry Page
lpage@gmail.com
732-235-3454
linkedin.com/larrypage

Summary
Dedicated digital marketing professional with over four years in the marketing industry. Highly proficient in marketing automation systems, digital campaigns, SEO, SEM, and website building.

Work Experience

Disney (November 2015-December 2020) – Digital Marketing Director
Enhanced key internal sales and marketing meetings by developing an internal website and creating an internal marketing campaign. Boosted attendance by 10%.
Facilitated Marketo drip campaign for new park initiative, reaching almost 2.7 million customers. Able to tie $1.2 million back to the campaign.
Re-designed and launched a new website in a 9-month timeframe, allowing more user-friendly interfaces and increasing time on pages by approximately 3 minutes.

Education
MBA – Concentration in Business Analytics
University of Texas at Austin
08/2013-06/2017

Bachelor’s in Marketing
Penn State University
08/2009-06/2013

Additional Skills

  • Highly proficient in Marketo, Constant Contact, Pardot, and Salesforce.

  • Highly skilled in Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator

  • Intermediately proficient in Google Analytics, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite

  • Vice President of Sigma Kappa fraternity, event planner

Take the hassle out of your job search & get an offer faster
Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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