Having an aesthetically pleasing resume is important, but having a well-structured resume with a clear and logical order is just as important. Why? Because it allows recruiters to quickly scan your CV, to have all your essential information at hand. This way they will be able to notice you more easily among a multitude of other applications. To make a good first impression, there is nothing like a well thought out CV.
So, how do you structure your CV? You should know that there are different sections, so some are essential and others a little more optional. As long as you follow the right order, you can add as many optional sections as you want, they simply serve to enhance your resume.
Important sections of a resume
Whether you are an inexperienced candidate or a long-time worker, your resume should always include these five standard sections and be presented in this order. Note that numbers 4 and 5 can be interchanged, but they must all be present.
- A header
- A summary/career objectives
- Your work experience
- Your education
- Your skills and expertise
The header is the most valuable part of your resume. Located at the top, it is used to indicate your information/contact information so that recruiters can contact you. You will need to include:
Your job title
Your e-mail address
Your phone number
Your city (not your full address)
You can also put the link to your social media, website or portfolio. It’s up to you. If you do, don’t forget to clean up your social media to make it professional.
Summary or Career Goals
The summary is a summary of your career in 3-5 sentences maximum. It is always placed at the top of your resume, just below the header. It serves to pique the recruiter’s curiosity so that he or she will want to continue reading your CV. If you have no experience, you can use this section to give your career objectives. Again, keep it brief.
This section is the one that recruiters look at for sure. To provide your future employers with all the information they need, you should include the following:
The name of your position
Dates of employment
4 to 6 of your responsibilities/achievements at this job
Note that you should write your work experiences in chronological order or in reverse order.
In this section, only the education related to the job you are seeking is relevant. In the same way as your work experience, you must list your diplomas in chronological order or in reverse order. When writing your education, here is the information you should highlight:
The title of your degree
Your year of graduation
The name of the school
Skills and Expertise
In this section, you can list five to ten skills that qualify you for the position. If your list is more than 5, divide it into two columns for easier reading. Also, review the job postings you are interested in applying for. If the position you are applying for requires technical skills, be sure to indicate in this section that you have them.
Once you have added the essential sections to your resume. You can complete it with additional sections if necessary.
- Hobbies and interests
- Awards / Scholarships
- Volunteer Experience
- Extracurricular activities
If you decide to add additional sections, make sure they add value to your resume.
For example, if you have never worked before, to make your resume more complete, it may be a good idea to add your volunteer experiences, extracurricular activities and hobbies and interests. But if you are an engineer and have won an award for your work. The awards section will be a better place to showcase your achievements. It’s all about balance and relevance.