What Needs to Be on a Job Resume?

by Leyla Norman; Updated September 26, 2017

A resume is your two-page explanation of what you have to offer an employer. It highlights your skills, education and work experience so an employer can get a good picture of what kind of a person and employee you are. Every resume should contain basic information such as personal information, education and work experience as well as information about your skills.

Introduction

Begin your resume by writing your name, address, phone number and email address at the top. Different resume formats put this information in a different place on the resume, but it is always at the beginning of a resume, no matter the format. Next, include a career objective. The career objective is a short, concise statement that states what job you are looking for, your level of experience and what you want out of a job. For example, a career objective might read, “New graduate with internship experience in nonprofit marketing seeks position as development coordinator with XYZ Nonprofit where I can build on my knowledge of social marketing and nonprofit fundraising.”

Work Experience

The work experience section of your resume should include jobs you have held over the past 10 to 15 years. List your jobs in reverse chronological order (start with the most recent). Include employers’ names, city and state, job title, dates you worked at each, significant accomplishments and skills obtained. You might group certain jobs according to a particular skill set, such as customer service, and list jobs in reverse chronological order in each section. You might also write accomplishments and skills in one large section before your work experience section using bullet points and numbers and percentages to quantify your accomplishments. Accomplishments and skills can also be listed under each job. If you have gaps in your employment history, you might include only the years you worked for an employer instead of months and years.

Education

List your educational accomplishments, beginning with the most recent first, and work your way back. List name of the degree or certificate earned, the educational institution that granted it, the institution’s location and the date the degree or certificate was earned. If you did not earn a degree or certificate at a particular school, write the dates of attendance. List professional training you have as well.

Interests and Additional Skills

In the last section of your resume, include other skills you have as well as interests if they pertain to the job. If you like rebuilding cars and you are applying for a position that requires you to piece together information from multiple sources and pay close attention to detail, such as a newspaper reporter, include that as an interest on your resume, for example. If you speak another language, or can use a certain type of software, write them in this section, too.

About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.