5 Most Important Parts of a Resume (with Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 26, 2022 | Published February 4, 2020

Updated September 26, 2022

Published February 4, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Illustration of a person sitting at a desk and using a laptop, with a representation of a resume magnified at their side.

Several components go into an effective and well-rounded resume, but with few exceptions, all resumes should include a contact section, objective or summary, experience, education and skills sections. A resume with all the appropriate segments provides potential employers with an overview of your credentials and reasons to consider you as a candidate.

In this article, we explain the most important parts of a resume and provide examples you can reference as you create your own.

Why are the different parts of a resume important?

Including the most important parts of a resume is crucial to providing potential employers with an in-depth outline of your qualifications, experience and education. Commonly suggested parts are your contact information, resume profile or summary, experience, education and skills. Your resume may also stand out from the rest if you include optional sections describing your hobbies or accomplishments.

Each part plays a significant role and can influence your chances of being considered for an interview. Leaving out important sections in your resume can prevent potential employers from realizing why you would be a good fit for the position you're seeking.

Related: Resume Samples and Templates

Functional Resume Format

6 parts you should include on your resume

While resumes vary depending on your career, education level and type of position you seek, the following components are typically included:

1. Contact section

The contact section should be at the top of your resume and include your first and last name, address, email address and phone number. If you don't feel comfortable putting your home address, list your city and state. Depending on the job you are applying for, you may also want to include your social media platforms, blog or website.

Your contact information should stand out from the rest of your resume so potential employers don't have to search for it. You can make your contact information bolder or larger font than the rest of your resume to make it easy to see.

Related: How to Write Contact Information That Gets Your Resume Noticed

Resume Summary vs. Objective

2. Resume profile, objective or summary

After your contact information, you may include a resume profile, objective or summary depending on your preferences and goals. In general, these can be helpful if they concisely describe your immediate employment goal, but it is not an essential component of a successful resume. You may prefer to include an objective or summary in a job-search or cover letter.

Resume profile

A resume profile is a quick snippet of your skills and experience as it relates to the specific job you seek. It would help if you modified your profile each time you apply for a different position.

Resume objective

A resume objective is another optional section unique to each position you apply for. An objective provides the potential employer with an overview of the goals you have for employment.

Example of a resume objective: "To secure a position as a marketing manager with a reputable organization where I can utilize my extensive marketing training and skills."

Resume summary

This optional part of your resume is one to two sentences or a list that outlines your top skills, experience and achievements as they relate to the position you seek. Your resume summary could include information like years of experience in a particular job or industry, skills you possess needed for the position and any specific achievements that demonstrate your eligibility for the job.

Read more: Writing a Resume Summary (With Examples)

3. Experience

Your resume should include an experience section that clearly outlines the specific work and other experience you have that is relevant to the position you seek. Include the companies you have worked for, the title you held at each company and the specific duties of your position. You can also include any significant achievements or awards received in previous jobs you have held.

If you've held several jobs, only include the last 10 to 15 years of your professional experience in this section. If you are a recent graduate, you can also include internships and summer jobs. Remember to write your job descriptions in the past tense for previous jobs and the present tense if you are still employed there.

Example:

ABC Company
Social Media Manager, May 2015-Present

  • Lead and manage campaigns on social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

  • Strengthen customer relations by monitoring online company presence and branding

  • Have seen an increase in web traffic by 30% by implementing new promotion strategies

  • Utilize social media analytics tools to monitor consumer engagement

Related: How to Make a Resume for Your First Job

4. Education

The education section is also a necessary part of your resume. This component outlines your educational background and any academic achievements or awards you have received. Include the name of the college you attended, the degrees you completed and honors or achievements you earned. If you are a recent graduate, you can also include your high school education information.

Example:

University of South Florida
Bachelor of Arts in English
Summa cum laude

Related: How To List Education on a Resume (With Examples)

5. Skills

In this section of your resume, you can list your specific skills as they relate to the job you're seeking. Common skills you could put in this section include computer, technical and soft skills that are specifically relevant to the position. You can use the job listing as a guide for what the most appropriate skills to include would be.

Example:

Key skills include:

  • Data analysis

  • SEO/SEM marketing

  • Content management

  • Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

  • Content editing platforms, including WordPress and Microsoft Office Suite

Related: 120 Essential Skills To List on a Resume

Optional parts of your resume

There may be more information you wish to include on your resume that doesn't fit in other sections. For example, your community service experience may directly relate to the position you are applying for. Before including additional information, however, be sure to ask yourself whether including this makes you a more appealing candidate. If the answer is no, leave off the extra information.

The following are common optional sections you could include at the end of your resume:

Awards/achievements

If you have additional awards that you couldn't incorporate into the experience section of your resume, consider doing so here. For example, you could include international recognition, publications, honors and testimonials relevant to the job you seek.

Languages

If you speak more than one language fluently, you may wish to include this in a section after your skills.

Community service

Some companies prefer candidates who have a passion or experience in community service. If this is true for the position you are interested in, include any community service commitments or experience you have as it relates to the job.

Hobbies

More and more companies are interested in understanding their candidates personally. While you don't need to include a long list of your hobbies, you could consider listing two or three things you enjoy doing in your free time that speak to your personality.

Example:

Reading mystery novels, running marathons and woodworking

Related: How To Make a Comprehensive Resume (With Examples)

Related: Resume Writing: 4 Tips on How to Write a Standout Resume


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