The Best Way to Structure Your Resume

resume

You, like many other candidates, have tons of great experiences, accomplishments, and skills that you want to highlight on your resume. However, there is often confusion regarding the order in which you should display all of these details. If you’re one of many candidates taking advantage of this tight labor market, here is the ultimate guide on how to structure your resume.

Contact information

First of all, you must include your contact information at the very top of your resume. Be sure to include your name, phone number, email address, and maybe even the link to your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters and hiring managers look at dozens of resumes each day. You want to ensure they can quickly identify you and find all your necessary contact details!

Resume objective/summary

If you feel so inclined to include a resume objective, this is where you should put one. Keep your objective or summary brief and to the point. An objective should illustrate what you wish to accomplish as a professional applying for the position. And if you include a summary, provide an overall summary of why you’re a strong candidate for this position. However, don’t get lost in the weeds! The rest of your resume should point out why you’re a great fit for the position.

Work Experience

Now, this is where the bulk of your resume’s content will be. You will want to display your work experience in reverse chronological order. In other words, you want to go in descending order, starting with your most current work experience. Some people argue that you should list your most relevant experience first. However, that can confuse a recruiter or hiring manager and make your work history look like a jumbled mess. Instead, list your work experience starting with your current position and only include details that are relevant for the job. That way, there is no confusion about your job history, and it will be evident to the reader that you are qualified for the job.

Education

Now that you have all of your work history and accomplishments nicely displayed, your education goes next. Include the school you attended as well as the degree or certification you received. Don’t include your GPA unless you’re right out of school. Employers are more concerned with your work experience and degree than your grades.

Certifications

After your education, list any certifications you have achieved. Whether it’s an SPHR or a Lean Six Sigma certification, this is where you’ll want to place those. All you need to include is a list of any certifications you’ve earned and the date you achieved them.

List of skills

Finally, you want to include a list of skills at the very end of your resume. This is optional, but we would highly recommend adding a concise list of your top hard and soft skills. The key here is to add skills that help you stand out as a great applicant for the position. With almost every employer or recruiting firm utilizing an applicant tracking system, it’s imperative that your skills are transparent.

Your resume is ultimately yours

Overall, this is an excellent guide for those looking to restructure their resume. Ultimately, your resume is your professional summary of your experience as an applicant. So you are, of course, free to create your resume as you please. However, if you follow the guidelines above, you will help position yourself as a professional applicant!

If you are looking for more resume advice, check out our list of resume recourses!