5 Mandatory Resume Sections & Resume Categories

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An excellent resume has its layout as any vital document. Resume sections allow you to organize essential information about your professional experience. Continue reading to learn mandatory and optional resume categories.

What are the basic categories or sections of a resume?

The primary sections of a resume are the ones that include data about a person’s contacts, previous professional experiences, education, acquired skills, certifications. Some people also put several lines about their hobbies or interests. Not all the resume sections are obligatory. Applicants can decide for themselves whether all the units should be on a CV or not. 

Some job descriptions are rather detailed and strict regarding what data should be in the applicant’s form. And it is helpful, while you know for sure that you provide interviewers with handy details. Below, you will find out what sections on resume are mandatory and optional.

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Mandatory Resume Categories (Standard Resume Sections) 

There are several basic categories on a resume present in every solid CV. The essential sections of a resume give an interviewer the most critical information about a potential employee. So, what sections should a standard resume include according to SkillHub? These are as follows:

  • Contact information.
  • Resume Summary (another name is Resume Objective).
  • Work Experience category.
  • Education part.
  • And Skills resume heading.

Those are the resume categories that form a standard CV’s skeleton and matter the most for you as a job-seeker. Note, however, that you can always broaden the document with the optional sections of a resume.

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Optional Resume Categories (Additional Resume Sections)

The majority of job seekers prefer to mention some additional information in their CV. The optional resume categories allow you to include something significant that does not fit into any of the mandatory resume headers. The optional sections to put on a resume have some technical, personal, and management skills. 

You can also mention some skills and interests on your resume if they seem to be proper for a job based on a vacancy description. Yet, do not forget that these are additional sections to add to a resume; if you see that your particular skills are remotely related to a company or position, it is better to leave solely standard resume categories.

More detailed information on how to write a Resume, refer the article here.

Standard Resume: Order of Resume Sections

Official documentation often has a specific structure, and the categories for resume also stick to a particular order. Some people prefer to put their experience ahead of all the other sections; yet, you should follow a traditional order of resume sections. Here they are:

  • Contact Information.
  • Resume Objective.
  • Work Experience.
  • Certifications; the category is somewhat optional; people should add it if the certificate is crucial for the position.
  • Education.
  • Skills.
  • Additional sections for resume.

It is worth mentioning that an ordinary CV can slightly vary in terms of its structure based on who is applying, what experience he/she has, and the acquired expertise. 

Order of Resume Sections for a Professional Resume

Regarding the sections in a professional resume, there is nothing new for you – just stick to a standard order of resume sections and polish the document. Basically, you will have all the previously mentioned headings: the Contact Information, Summary, Work Experience and Accomplishments, Certifications and Associations (not mandatory), education, your Skills’ Section, and Additional categories on your resume. Make sure to mention all vital facts in the right sections in a resume. 

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Order of Resume Sections for College Students

College students often do not have enough accomplishments to put in their first CV. Yet, the resume section order is a rule for everyone. So, here are the vital headings:

  • Contact Information.
  • Objective of a Resume.
  • Education.
  • Internships or Experience if you are a senior student.
  • Leadership section – write here about some extracurricular activities.
  • Skills.
  • Interests and Hobbies.

If your education is your trump card, may it work for you, add some out-of-school activities that show you as an excellent leader and a team player.

Order of Resume Sections if You Want to Change a Career

An applicant who has a need to review his/her professional activity will also need a new resume. Specifically, you are to mull over the sphere and position you are willing to pursue. The structure will be slightly different, and there is one new resume skills section: 

  • Resume Objective.
  • Relevant Experience.
  • An optional category – Additional Experience.
  • Education.
  • Skills.
  • Additional Sections.

Overall, be prepared to have a well-thought CV to get more interviews.

Contact details Resume Section

The contact section is among the information categories in a resume that allows your interviewers to get in touch with you and your past employers. Basically, you should include your telephone numbers, email, and maybe some links to a portfolio or social media. Some recruiters check social media in default, while others only boil down to screening the LinkedIn profile. 

By the way, adding a LinkedIn link is a good idea, as interviewers may track your previous job experience as well as the companies you have been working with. Note that it is up for you to decide whether to put some references in a CV. The thing is that an interviewer can simply ask you to handle this information in case of need. Remember that there is no need to add your actual address in a form, especially considering a current trend – remote and online job.

Resume Summary and Resume Objective

A resume summary can be presented in three types of categories for a resume: the profile, summary, and objective. It might be hard for you to get an idea of which heading to pick, so let us figure it out. A CV summary is more for a professional worker with incredible work experience and impressive achievements in the sphere. Such categories on resume tell your interviewer that there are some skills of yours that fit the position entirely. 

The objective is an excellent choice of the college students, entry-level job-seekers, and also the ones who want to change a career. Consider it as an introduction part of the entire resume; such resume sections explain why a person who reads the CV should continue reading and pay attention to your candidature. Spend some time creating your introduction part, add phrases mentioned in the job description to craft a winning resume that may interest the recruiters.

Resume Experience Section

We came to a resume experience section – the one that turns all the floodlight projectors on a candidate. An applicant must carefully refine the category, as it is one of the most critical ones. It is also crucial that you create a form that would be easy to read for both a human person and an applicant tracking system (ATS system). It would be sad if you lose a chance to get a dream job because you are not attentive enough to details. First of all, name it correctly – an ‘Experience’ category.

Some recruiting firms use the ATS, as it helps to scan thousands of CVs. Naturally, it would be great to help robots read the resume the way you need them to read. Keep in mind that the jobs must be placed in the reversed chronological order, meaning that the first thing on the list will be your current or last job.

Resume Education Section

The education details should go under the heading ‘Education.’ The resume education section would enlist all the educational institutions you attended once. The first thing on the list would be the highest degree; thus, everything will also go in a reversed order. Note that you can put this information and gloss over school information if you attended college.

These are the things to put in the category:

  • Your degrees’ types.
  • Applicant’s Major/Minor.
  • The school’s name.
  • The school’s location.
  • The years of graduation (or, if you are still studying, and Anticipated Graduation Date).
  • If you have, add a subheading named Relevant Coursework; yet, it is not mandatory.
  • If your GPA is higher than 3.5, you can also add this detail.

Resume Certifications Section

Not all candidates acquire some certifications or licenses; however, those who do will definitely want to put them on a CV. And it is a great idea, especially if your certificate has something to do with a position you are pursuing. Interestingly, the category may combine several things: you can create a title ‘Certificates’ or broaden it with ‘Licences and Certifications.’

Things to include in the Section:

  • Certification’s name.
  • Certifying Body or Agency’s name.
  • When you were certified, the dates.
  • Location (if needed).

You are likely to have some acronyms in the resume certifications section; therefore, make sure to write them out. The reason behind this lies in the way you treat your interviewer: he or she does not want to spend time guessing what this or that acronym means. Also, do not put every single certification on a CV; pick the most relevant ones.

Skills to Be Included

A resume skills section is as essential for your CV as any other section. Besides, it can be constructive when applying for a new job, as recruiters always review the category to see what distinguishing skills and interests on resume you can offer. It would be best to add specific information in the skill categories.

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In other words, it would be wrong to add a bunch of one or two worded facts like ‘Communication Skills,’ Microsoft Office,’ etc. 

Applicants must become writing cv professionals for a moment and develop a catchy list. Let us say you are good at communication. Consider specifying that you are excellent in verbal and also written communication. Also, hold the job description in front of you as you are working on the category – you will need to match your skills with the job requirements. If you need help with it, rely on cv writing services professional! It easy, no mistakes and no stress!

Hobbies and Interests Section

The profile section of resume that enlists the interests and hobbies seems to be very questionable. On the one hand, it allows you to present yourself as a human being with a personal life. However, on the other hand, the category constitutes the information that has nothing to do with the vacancy. Nonetheless, it will be fair to say that this specific category can make the difference and push your CV to the top five resumes.

Why does it still matter to put the Section on a CV? First of all, it is good to know that a person has a desire to develop, learn new skills and is into some activity that can distract him or her from stressful work, for instance. Nonetheless, it is even more critical to understand whether a person can get along with others in the office based on interests and hobbies.

ATS-friendly resume headings

The article has already mentioned the importance of the ATS-friendly resume headings. However, let us dig deeper into it. First of all, how can you understand that every resume header is on the right spot and includes the correct data? Such software tools follow the standard ordering in most cases. Therefore, your primary task is to make sure that you put only essential facts and details into your form. A structured and neat bot-beating resume should look flawlessly in the final count.

How do recruiters view your resume?

Before sending or getting down to creating the CV, you will probably look for such articles as ‘how to organize resume correctly’ and so on. And this approach is beneficial for sure. Many articles discuss how the hiring managers see the entire job application process, and you can benefit from this knowledge. Understanding what an interviewer wants to know, you will know what details to omit and how to organize the order of resume sections. The recruiters pay special attention to your work experience, skills. And if a job description requires some certification, the recruiter will pay special attention to your Certification section as well. The idea is to put information that is presupposed by the vacancy.

Get your resume reviewed

Now that you know all the sections to have on a resume, you can organize these and revise the ready-made resume. There is no need to say that the grammar, spelling, and punctuation must be high. It would help if you were professional, so check your form’s layout and formatting. Besides, see if your photo is of good quality and corresponds to formal documentation. Finally, review your resume writing every time you are applying, as there might be some moments to fix so that the resume fits the company’s style and image. It's easier said than done, so you can always address it to a executive resume writing services near me online!

Do you have questions about resume sections? Did we miss any resume categories?

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