A tool often used to remind job applicants about the important types of information to include in a resume is a template. In the same way an outline helps a writer to organize their thoughts; a resume template ensures the highest quality document is produced.
In this article, we're going to take a closer look at the various parts, or components, of a good resume template. These are the sections that typically appear in a well-written document. The same type of information will be used; regardless of the format chosen when writing a resume.
The resume formats used today include the chronological, functional, and combination style. Detailed explanations, links to additional information, and resume examples, appear in each of the six sections below. The examples provided, and the guidance offered, can save hours of work.
A comprehensive resume consists of six sections, or components:
- Resume Objective Statement
- Summary of Qualifications
- Job Skills
- Career Accomplishments / Achievements
- Work Experience
Please note this article only outlines the types of information that appear on a resume. This is not a discussion of how that information is organized on the paper. Additional information on that topic can be found in: How to Write a Resume.
Resume Objective Statement
The resume objective statement is an optional section; it basically explains why a resume is being sent to a potential employer. This statement should briefly describe career objectives and can be customized to each job opening. For more detailed information on objective statements, and how they are used, take a look at the article dedicated to this topic: Resume Objective Statement Examples.
Summary of Qualifications
The summary of qualifications statement is similar to the objective statement in that it explains to the reader the reason why the applicant should be granted a job interview. This is another optional section, and is often used more effectively in a resume cover letter. The summary of qualifications statement in a resume would briefly explain how previous work experience has prepared the job applicant for the open position in a particular company.
The job skills section of the resume gives the applicant the opportunity to explain how they've used certain skills to achieve superior results throughout their careers. The most marketable skills that an applicant possesses should be aligned with the summary of qualifications statement, or any other success stories that appear on the resume or cover letter.
For example, the job applicant may want to list the most valuable skills they've acquired over their career, and tell the story of how they leveraged these skills to produce exceptional results. If the applicant is a college student, then replace the skills with the knowledge acquired through coursework.
Career Accomplishments / Achievements
Perhaps the single most valuable component in a resume is the career accomplishments section. Most employers believe that individuals that have been successful while working at another organization can repeat that success at their company too.
When writing up accomplishments or achievements, try to quantify the impact whenever possible. For example, it's more powerful to present facts on a resume, like actual dollars saved. This makes the accomplishments more "real" to the reader.
The work experience, or work history, section is usually the easiest part of a resume template to assemble. Work experience is typically listed in reverse chronological order, and includes where the job applicant has worked, the dates of employment, and the major responsibilities held at a particular company.
Old copies of job descriptions or performance appraisals can be very helpful when putting together the work experience section of the resume.
The education, or credentials, section of a resume can add significantly to the overall marketability of the document. Online publications oftentimes advise readers to position the education section towards the end of a resume. Unless the job applicant is trying to avoid this subject, including the educational background in the beginning of the resume improves its marketability.
Many job openings include the educational requirements right in the description. By having this section at the beginning of a resume, it allows the reader to focus on the accomplishments, and not worry about whether or not the job applicant meets the minimum requirement that's been established for the position.
Resume Writing Resources
The following articles are suggested reading for individuals looking for more information on resume templates, visualizing the document, or looking to enhance its marketability:
- Resume Builder: explains how to use the power of a personal computer to produce a professional looking document.
- Resume Wizard: tells the reader how to go about putting the document together using an office productivity application.
- Resume Power Words: explains how certain words can make a resume more "powerful."
- Career Dictionary: over 350 definitions on the topic of finding a job.
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