What Are the Categories in a Resume?

by Carl Hose; Updated September 26, 2017

A resume is a structured document used to show potential employers your skills, work history and education to help them determine if you're the right candidate for a specific job. The time you put into developing your resume is a crucial part of the job-hunting process. By constructing a resume with all the appropriate categories, you ensure you have the best possible chance for obtaining the jobs you seek.

Personal Contact Information

This information should come at the top of the resume and be typed in bold, centered and in the same font size as your headings. The size should be a point or two larger than body text, so if your body text is 12, use a size 14. This allows your contact information to be spotted easily if a potential employer would like to call you. The information should include your name, phone number, physical address and email address. Never provide only one means of contact.

Goals and Objectives

This section will be a paragraph of five to 10 lines ideally, although more or less is acceptable. Simply state your career objective and the goals you've set for yourself to reach that objective. For instance, if you want to become a buyer for a clothing store, state that as your objective. Goals to help you achieve that objective might include "Seeking a management position that will allow me to familiarize myself with customer needs and fashion trends." This shows a potential employer you are driven and that you are prepared to work for your objective.

Educational Background

List your educational experience in bullet form. Include the schools you've attended, the number of years and the degrees or certificates you've obtained. List these in the order you took the courses. The addresses of the schools should also be included.

Skills and Experience

Skills and experience can be listed under the same category. Start by listing in bullet form all of the skills you have that apply to the job you're seeking. Follow this with two or three detailed paragraphs that tell your potential employer how you have used your skills in real-world situations. This primarily will be an overview of the jobs you've had related to the job you're seeking.

Employment History

This is an important part of your resume. In this category, list your employment history beginning with your current or last job. Include the dates you worked at the location, who your supervisor was and what your duties were. Include the address of the job location and a phone number potential employers can use to verify your employment. If you have an extensive employment history, list only the five previous jobs or the jobs that most fit the skill set of the job you are seeking, unless a potential employer asks for more than five.

About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.