A resume needs to have a number of sections to ensure that all the information relevant to your work experience, education and skill that pertains to the role you’re applying to, is included. These sections comprise of:
- Personal details
- Key skills
- Work Ex
- Key Highlights
- Certification / Trainings
- Noteworthy extracurriculars
Keep in mind that there are certain modifications to this list based on the appropriate format for the role you’re applying to.
So what comes under each?
In most cases, the header titles are pretty self-explanatory.
That said, if you’re simply updating your resume, you must include everything you’ve done so far; conversely, if you’re crafting one to land an interview, tailor it to the role putting in only directly relevant responsibilities first, and if you have space, ancillary ones too!
Let’s examine each.
Includes your name & contact details (including LinkedIn). Avoid adding social media accounts except LinkedIn (Instagram, SnapChat, etc.) unless your page/account is relevant to your work ex or the target role
What your ultimate goal is when applying to the role.
Structure it around what the company is asking of you, such as ‘Improving brand image through social listening’ for a digital marketing role.
Research asks us to avoid an objective altogether unless you have <8 months of work experience.
A snapshot of your resume, and generally the most important section of your resume. Read our guide on why it is so important, and how to craft one effortlessly!
This section is mainly for keyword optimization - it includes all your professional competencies in the domain(s) you have worked in.
On average, 9-12 skills are suggested, and soft skills are discouraged unless they are extremely relevant & unique to the profile.
This one’s pretty obvious - it contains all the tasks, roles & responsibilities you’ve undertaken over the course of your professional career (or academic, if you’re a fresher), with the organization, location & tenure mentioned.
Depending on whether you’re simply looking to update your resume, or tailor one for a role, you might want to eliminate certain jobs partially/entirely to keep the resume to a manageable length.
An optional sub-section under Work Experience, this refers to any major accomplishments of yours, and/or awards received during your professional career.
This is one of the key sections of the resume as it differentiates you from the average candidate, and helps create significant impact in the minds of recruiters.
Do not spam this section, however. Only include it if you actually have outstanding numbers/achievements/awards as recruiters can sense fraud a mile away.
As the name suggests, it includes your Xth/XIIth/Graduation/Postgraduation details (or equivalents in any).
Similar to Work Experience, certain portions, or even the entire section can be eliminated based on how much work experience you possess.
Certification / Trainings
The title is self-explanatory - this section contains any certificate courses or trainings you’ve successfully attempted & cleared that are relevant to your domain.
Even if you have a Nobel Prize, this is not the section to include that in unless directly relevant to your field
The section for the achievers. It includes all notable extracurricular activities, courses & skills you possess (and yes, even your Nobel).
While at first glance it may not even be scanned, this section can serve as a vital differentiator between 2 similar profiles - so if yours seems a bit bare, get crackin’!
TL;DR - A standard resume for most profiles contains upto 9 major sections, namely Personal details, Objective, Summary, Key skills, Work Ex, Key Highlights, Education, Certification / Trainings & Noteworthy extracurriculars.