Resume Sections & Categories (with Tips on Order & Titles)

Resume Help

Do all resumes share the same flaws? If you’re a professional with accolades, qualifications, and years of experience, which resume parts should you include? Or a candidate with little to no experience and a weak resume?

They appear to be two very distinct resumes, which makes sense. In actuality, though, the formal elements of both resumes will be the same.

Should you create your resume from scratch given all the available free online resume templates?

as singular as a snowflake? Or utilize a suitable set of standard resume sections? You’ll soon find out!

This essay will demonstrate why and how:

  • The heart of any resume is composed of the common resume components.
  • Which “categories” for your resume should you choose?
  • How to arrange the sections of a resume.

Would you like to cut down on time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Use our resume generator. It is quick and simple to use. In addition, ready-made content is available for quick addition. Create your resume using one of the 20+ templates offered.

Nikos, one of our users, stated the following:

On Toptalent, I came across a fantastic template that I used. My resume has been reduced from three pages to one. using the same things.

Looking for further tips and examples for creating the ideal resume? See:

Resume Headers Best Resume Format Part Time Job Resume Resume for First Job Things to Put on a Resume Resume for First Job Resume Examples for +500 Job

What Resume Sections Should a Standard Resume Include? 

What sections ought to be on a typical resume?

A typical resume should have these five components:

Mandatory Resume Sections (Standard Resume Categories)

  • Identifying Data
  • Resume Objective
  • Work Experience vs.
  • Resume Summary Section
  • Skills Section
  • Education Section

The aforementioned sections of a CV are crucial.

However, there are a ton more inventive resume parts you can employ to strengthen your application.

This is so that you can divide resume sections into two groups:

  • Basic (Need to Have)
  • Optional (Nice to Have)

What are the nice-to-have resume sections now that you are aware of the five essential elements of a resume?

Optional Resume Sections (Additional Resume Categories)

  • Honors and Awards
  • Certifications and Licenses for Volunteer Work
  • Projects
  • Hobbies and passions
  • Qualifications
  • Additional Academic Activities
  • Accomplishments
  • Associations
  • Publications
  • Languages
  • Training
  • Conferences

Even better, you can categorize the talents portion of your resume:

  • Personal Qualities
  • Management Knowledge
  • Technical Expertise
  • computer expertise
  • Added Capabilities

However, how can you choose which resume components to include? Here are a few instances to illustrate this:

RIGHT

Choose unique resume sections that best reflect the professional things you’ve done.

WRONG

Add every possible resume section to your resume – including the kitchen sink.

Consider that you are an experienced project manager who has completed numerous projects. Additionally, you have received numerous prizes and speak three languages.

What more sections should you add to your resume?

  • Project Section of a Resume
  • Language Section of a Resume
  • Awards Section of a Resume

If you can’t list at least a few things in each part, don’t add resume categories.

Place special resume sections in order of importance. Choose the categories that are the most applicable and impressive to start with.

For instance, our project manager might have performed a significant amount of voluntary work. However, adding a volunteer section on a resume is not as important as including projects, languages, and accolades.

You can always add more personal resume sections if there is room.

Just keep in mind that a resume should be no more than one page, with a two-page maximum.

Pro tip: There are some components of a resume that are no longer required. The reference section of a resume is one such area. Employers are aware that they can request references from you. That information doesn’t need to be on your CV anymore.

Too much trouble? Not to worry. You can save a ton of time by using his library of pre-made resume templates: Downloadable resume templates that work best

How to Order Resume Sections to Attract Hiring Managers

Choosing which sections to include on a resume is the simple part.

Putting together the right components of a resume to make it work best for you is the challenging part.

You see, the hiring manager is accustomed to the sequence in which resume components are listed.

The optimal arrangement for your resume’s components is one that highlights its best selling features.

Therefore, finding a balance is crucial. Maintain a standard resume format, but arrange the sections to highlight your skills.

Sections of a Resume in Order for a Standard Resume

  • Identifying Data
  • Experience Summary Certifications (Optional)
  • Additional Sections: Education, Skills

It’s preferable to lead with your experience when looking for a regular job and having work experience.

It is best to include your occupation’s certification in your work title, the certification portion of your resume, and sometimes even your education section.

College Students’ Resume Sections in Order

  • Identifying Data
  • Resume Objective
  • Education sExperience/Internships
  • Additional Academic Activities (Leadership Section)
  • Skills
  • Interests and Hobbies

Your educational background makes you the best prospect for an entry-level position. If you’ve had any work experience or internships, it should come after.

Including relevant extracurricular activities on your resume is another smart move. And if you were in a position of leadership, it was especially true.

According to our HR statistics research, one of the first talents hiring managers seek for in new graduates is leadership.

Why do you enjoy these things?

Including a section on your resume devoted to your passions might demonstrate to employers your cultural fit. Pick a couple of your passions that are reflective of the corporate culture after doing some research on the culture.

Sections of a Professional Resume in the Correct Order

  • Identifying Data
  • Resume Synopsis
  • Knowledge and Achievements
  • Organizations and Credentials (Optional)
  • Additional Sections: Education, Skills

All you need to do as a senior-level professional is spice up the existing structure.

Add your accomplishments to your experience area now that you’ve worked hard enough to earn them. The big fish also write, publish, and participate in associations.

Don’t forget to include these details in the relevant sections of your CV.

Sections of a Career Changer Resume in the Correct Order

  • Identifying Data
  • Resume Objective
  • Additional Experience Relevant Experience (Optional)
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Further Sections

There’s a potential that not all of your prior employment will translate well into your current career. However, if you held noteworthy positions, you should still list them on your CV.

For this reason, you might want to think about dividing the experience portion of your resume in two.

But suppose you’re moving from being an accountant to being a chef.

You’ve never previously held employment in the food business. You’ve also finished your training at Le Cordon Bleu.

Make sure to include this information in the resume objective. Remove the section on extra experience. Put your pertinent training closer to the top of your CV after that.

Pro Tip: Knowing your strengths is the key to organizing the sections of your resume. Before reading further, hiring managers will only skim the first third of your CV. Because of this, you should make sure that your most impressive and pertinent qualifications are included first.

Having trouble adding accomplishments or achievements to your experience section? For that, we have a manual. Read “Achievements to Put on a Resume – Complete Guide (+30 Examples”)” for more information.

Here’s What to Put in Resume Sections (Tips & Examples) 

Okay, so you are aware of the appropriate resume sections to include.

You are aware of the resume section sequence that will work best for you.

You could now be thinking, “That’s fantastic, but is a skills section on a resume really necessary? What exactly should I include in my resume’s experience section?

Good inquiries. Let’s respond to them.

Contact Information Resume Section

A section for “Contact Information” should be on every resume.

Name, phone number, and email address are the only information you must provide.

Additionally, you can provide your licenses, social media accounts (like LinkedIn), and connections to your website or blog. It is no longer mandatory to include your address on your resume.

RIGHT WRONG
Name and Surname Nickname
Phone Number Second Phone Number
Email Address Your Current Work Email
Social Media Handles Date of birth
Web Addresses Marital Status
License Information Race or Gender
Address (Optional) Photo

You don’t need to include anything that might lead to discrimination against you in the “about me” section of your resume.

A photo is not typically included on an American résumé, either.

Pro tip: You can cloak your email address with information about your degrees or licenses. James Riley, RN, BSN, for instance, at gmail.com. It’s a brilliant technique to increase the value of your contact section without taking up any extra room.

Would you like to learn more about writing a contact information section? Not sure how to format your contact details? View examples of how to include contact information on a resume in our tutorial.

Resume Summary and Resume Objective

Start your resume off strong, regardless of whether you are a recent graduate or a seasoned professional.

You should start your resume with a summary, objective, or profile.

How can you choose the best resume section for you out of these three options?

For experienced workers with accomplishments and talents, the resume summary works well.

This is so a hiring manager knows you are a professional with the qualifications for the position. Incorporate a brief overview that highlights your greatest, most applicable talents.

RIGHT

Outgoing Bartender with 5+ years of experience working in fast-paced nightclub venues in major metropolitan areas. Increased sales by 25% at the Rabbit Hole Bar after introducing themed cocktails. Seeking to leverage customer service and sales skills for a position as Head Bartender at Billy Goat Bar. Have a Bartender Certification valid in most states.  

WRONG

Motivated Accountant seeking a job and a promotion at Accountants For You Inc.

The objective should be used by everyone else (entry-level applicants, students, and career changers). It basically serves as a resume introduction that explains to a hiring manager who you are now and what you hope to accomplish.

You might want to include a profile section if you work in IT. A profile is a list of the qualifications you must have in terms of knowledge and abilities in order to perform the job. A list like this lets the hiring manager know that you immediately meet all of their requirements.

Pro tip: It’s crucial to customize each element of your CV to the job offer. However, if you’re only going to personalize one, make it the summary of your resume. Include any words and abilities you discover in the job offer. In this manner, the recruiting manager may quickly determine what they want.

Drag and drop skills and bullet points into your resume using our builder, and let the tedious information auto-fill. Use spellcheck. Check. Create a professional resume template right now for nothing.

Once you’re done, the resume builder on Toptalent will grade your document and give you detailed instructions on how to improve it.

Want to learn how to write a resume summary or resume objective that will astound hiring managers? Check see our articles, “20+ Resume Summary Examples for Multiple Jobs” and “20+ Resume Objective Example Statements.”

Resume Experience Section

You may argue that the experience part of a resume is one of its most crucial elements.

You should make sure that it is simple to find for both people and robots because of this.

Use “Experience” as your resume section header instead of something else.

Companies frequently examine resumes using software called applicant tracking systems (ATS). Simple section titles make it easier for the program to read your resume.

The appropriate positions you’ve held should be listed in your experience section. In reverse chronological sequence, list them. Start with where you were most recently.

List the name of the company, its location, your title, and the days you worked there.

Include up to six bullet points outlining your responsibilities and accomplishments. Don’t detail each tedious task you’ve ever had. Instead, pick duties that correspond to the abilities listed in the job offer.

Include measurable accomplishments. The addition of accomplishments demonstrates that you produce results when you carry out a responsibility.

RIGHT

Marketing Manager (March 2014 – Present)

Ostrich Feather Marketing, Dayton, OH

 

  • Manage a team of 6+ marketing professionals and graphic designers.
  • Spearhead creative marketing campaigns for large corporate clients such as Pfizer.
  • Slash marketing costs for clients up to 50% by creating innovative digital campaigns.
  • Create video, online, and digital marketing campaigns on budget and to tight deadlines.
  • Develop internal marketing strategies, increasing employee engagement by 150%. 
WRONG

Marketing Manager (March 2014 – Present)

Ostrich Feather Marketing, Dayton, OH

Responsible for managing marketing professionals and graphic designers.

Responsible for creative marketing campaigns for large corporate clients.

Responsible for creating video, online, and digital marketing campaigns.

Responsible for developing internal marketing strategies for employee engagement.

Please avoid beginning each bullet point in your experience part of the resume with “responsible for.” Instead, use verbs of action. The recruiting manager will pay closer attention and learn more about your capabilities.

Pro tip: You may mention names in the parts of your professional resume. Mention any significant, well-known clientele you have worked with. If your clients were private, it would be the lone exception to the norm.

Want to learn more about creating an experience section for a resume? Do you want to know how to use bullet points to improve your work experience section? Read our manual: Making a *Killer* Job Description for Your Resume with Bullet Points

Resume Education Section

Give your education part the same heading as your experience section: “Education.”

You should list all of your prior schooling, starting with the highest degree.

In reverse chronological order, list all of your additional degrees. Do not provide your high school information if you have completed college.

What to contain:

  • the degree kind
  • major or minor
  • Name of the School School Address
  • year of graduation (or Anticipated Graduation Date)
  • Relevant Academic Work (optional)

If your GPA was less than a 3.5, do not include it.

RIGHT

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 

MA in English Literature 

Graduated in 2009 with a 3.7 GPA

WRONG

Cherryville High School, Cherryville, OH

Graduated in 2005

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 

MA in English Literature 

Graduated in 2009 with a 3.7 GPA

Your education section on a resume can be formatted in a variety of ways.

If you attended a more prestigious university, such as Harvard, start your sentence with its name. Start with your degree if it’s more impressive.

Just keep in mind to start with your greatest degree.

Pro tip: Include incomplete degrees on your CV. They are yours because you purchased those credits. There will be some minor formatting adjustments. completed 45 credits toward a biology degree. Add this after the school’s name and the days you attended.

Still unsure of how to include a section on your resume for education? See examples of certification course placement in a CV. See our article, “How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples],” for more information.

Resume Certifications Section

Are you a certified or licensed professional? If so, you might wish to include a section on certifications on your resume.

One of the resume areas where you can mix things up is this one. Therefore, you might wish to just call the section “Certifications.” If not, you could want to include licenses and utilize the phrase “Licenses and Certifications.”

What to contain:

  • The certification’s name
  • Date of Certification
  • Location
  • Name of Certifying Body or Agency (If Applicable)
RIGHT

Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, Project Management Institute, 2013

WRONG

PMP Certification

Make sure to at least once type out acronyms. even if the only thing you find in the job offer are certification abbreviations. Don’t include all of your certifications on your resume.

Your PMP certification is significant and applicable if you are a project manager. Not so with your CPR certification.

Pro tip: Include your license or credentials in the area that lists your contact information. Even better, affix it next to your name. Douglas Fisher, PMP, as an example.

Would you like to learn more about listing certifications on a resume? Looking for a list of online certificates to advance your career? Consult our guide, “How to List Certifications on a Resume: Guide +20 Examples,” for more information.

Resume Skills Section

Is a skills section on a resume required?

Indeed, your CV should include a section on skills.

When reviewing your resume, a hiring manager will frequently search for the skills specified in the job offer.

Because of this, sending them a list that precisely matches their request puts you in a position to succeed. How do you decide which abilities to include? Read the job description, then add the qualifications you have that are listed in the job posting.

RIGHT WRONG

Speak and write in fluent Spanish. 

Spanish

Proficient in Microsoft Office including Excel and Powerpoint. 

Microsoft Office

Working knowledge of WordPress. 

WordPress

Able to manage and implement Social Media campaigns. 

Social Media Marketing

Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Communicaiton Skills

Excellent editing skills. 

Editing

Able to translate complex text into easily readable material.

Writing

Give some specifics so the recruiting manager can see your level of expertise. You become more credible to the hiring manager whenever you turn something into a number.

Pro tip: Don’t just include your skills in the section for your skills. Include them in several places on your CV. Include them in your resume’s experience section and summary. Throughout your resume, mention your skills. The hiring manager will accept your argument that you are the ideal applicant.

Do you want a list of the top abilities for a resume? Do you know what abilities hiring managers are mainly looking for? Read our manual: “+30 Top Skills Examples for Resumes”

Hobbies and Interests Resume Section

One of the contentious resume parts is hobbies and interests. But that could be the deciding factor.

An interest area on your resume can demonstrate to a hiring manager how well you’ll get along with other employees.

How can you decide which interests to include? Examine the business.

Say you’re submitting an application to a business that emphasizes social responsibility. Include volunteerism.

Consider that you are submitting an application to a business that runs marathons. Include a physical exercise.

Say you’re going to sit down and sharpen pencils. Include a peaceful hobby to demonstrate your lack of boredom.

All you have to do is match the corporate culture with your hobbies.

RIGHT

I enjoy marathon running and playing golf.

I volunteer three times a week at a local orphanage.

I enjoy cooking and creating new recipes.

WRONG

I love cats. I collect cats. I put bow ties on cats and have tea parties.

Did I mention I love cats?

Adding strange hobbies is the one thing you should avoid doing. Despite your best efforts, you might not come off as amusing.

Avoid alcohol, booze, sex, drugs, and religion as well. Instead than alienating the recruiting manager with a contentious pastime, try to connect with her.

Pro tip: Don’t only put your interests in one word. Taking dancing, traveling, and eating as examples. Increase the level of detail. I like learning the Salsa and Tango at a nearby dance studio. This gives the recruiting manager a more complete understanding of your personality.

Still not convinced to list your interests and hobbies on your resume? Uncertain of what hobbies belong on a resume? Read our manual: 20 Best Case Studies of Hobbies and Interests to List on a Resume

Additionally, a strong cover letter that complements your CV will set you apart from other applicants. You can create one using this cover letter builder. Here’s what it might resemble:

Key Takeaway

Consider the following ideas when choosing resume sections:

  • Every resume must have a few essential components. There are also a lot more other optional resume sections.
  • The secret to including strong resume sections is to decide which options are ideal for you.
  • Knowing your strengths is all that is required. Put the portions of your resume that highlight your best qualities closest to the top. If you do that, the recruiting manager is certain to notice you.

Still unsure of which sections to include on your resume for your specific situation? Do you have any questions about which sections on your resume can be combined into one? Do you want to suggest the portions that are best suitable for your line of work? Comment to us if you want to!