Standard Resume Sections

Most resumes include the sections detailed below. If a particular section does not pertain to you at this particular time, you may skip it, but know that you can always add it later if you have more content to offer.

  • Your name should be in bold and in a larger font size than the rest of the document as it should be the first thing that stands out on the resume.
  • Include only 1 address – usually, this is your home address (employers will see you are a current student when they look at your Education section). However, it is becoming acceptable not to list an address at all – talk with a career advisor to determine if this is the right choice for your situation.
  • Include your cell phone number and primary email address, but do not label them as such (Ex., Cell: 555-555-1234). Employers know what they are, and you don’t need to waste space with the label.
  • Do not include multiple phone numbers or email addresses. Select only your respective primary contact phone and email.
    • PRO TIP: Now’s the time to change your voicemail message – make it professional and identify yourself – and potentially set up a separate email account for job search purposes.
  • Include the personalized link to your “claimed” LinkedIn profile URL, if applicable.
  • Include name of college, city & state, graduation date, full degree name (including double majors), any additional minors, and GPA (see more information below).
  • Consider removing high school information by the end of your second year at Gettysburg.
    • Prestige of high school does not mean anything to an employer unless you are trying to get a job at that high school or you know the recruiter is an alumna/us of that high school. Even so, this is a conversation topic, NOT a resume point.
  • In listing your GPA, a very generalized suggestion is to include it if it is a 3.0 or higher.
  • Honors and awards, like deans list or prestigious scholarships, can be included as a subsection of your institution. See the Honors and Awards Section for additional information on other awards.
  • Include your position title, company/organization, city & state, and dates you were in this position. You do not need to include a full street address or supervisor name(s). See sample resumes for formatting suggestions.
  • List the experiences in reverse chronological order (i.e., most recent experience first).
  • You should include accomplishment and skill statements that highlight your abilities. Try to quantify wherever possible. More on Accomplishment Statements and deliverables.
  • The majority of your experience early on will be general, however, as you gain more specific experiences or if you have extracurricular experience related to the job you are applying for, you can create a relevant experience section (see relevant experience section).
  • This is the section to list experiences that are directly related to the position and industry/field of interest.
  • Typically this goes above “Work Experience” and doesn’t need to be included if you don’t have relevant experience or if you’d rather just keep all of your work experience in one section.
  • You can include extra curricular or volunteer experience in this section alongside work experience.
  • There are some experiences that may not seem obviously related to the position, but actually are because of the skills, talents, abilities, etc. that you utilized. See a career advisor in order to talk through and determine how to best highlight your experiences.
  • This section highlights co-curricular opportunities which serve as environments and opportunities for additional skill development and learning that complements your academic work.
  • Format these experiences like your work section. You can add accomplishment statements that are important or relevant.
  • Some examples of section headers to list and/or describe these cocurricular experiences might include:
  • Leadership Experience
  • Athletic Experience
  • Clubs
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Community Service
  • Organizations
  • This can be a section on its own depending how many honors/awards you have to list. Some students opt to include this information in their Education section. The choice is yours, depending on what you want to highlight and where it fits best on the document.
  • If you have made the Dean’s List each semester, do not list each individual semester – simply write Dean’s List (all semesters). If you’ve missed some semesters, you can indicate the number of times you have made the list – e.g., Dean’s List (5 semesters).

Advanced Resume Sections

The sections included below are typically included when you have more experience or additional skills that you want to highlight.

Study abroad can be listed as its own section, but is most commonly included under the education section. You should include your Institution name, programmatic details, and location. Make sure to include and briefly describe any significant special research projects.

  • Objectives are generally considered outdated and not useful. However, a couple of industries (such as accounting) like to see them included, or it may make sense to use one if you are making a career or industry change.
  • If you include one, objective statements must be written very specifically so that you are focusing on the needs of the employer and the position, making the crafting of the objective a bit tricky. See a career advisor to help you determine if an objective is appropriate for your situation.
  • Think of this section as a branding statement that highlights the skills you will “bring to the table” in order to meet the needs of the employer and fulfill the position description.
  • It should include specific keywords that are critical to the employer and the position. Carefully read the job description and the qualifications/requirements to identify the skills, talents, strengths, and abilities that are being sought after in a candidate.
  • This section should be relatively brief, but make it specific to you and the position.
  • There are various ways to format this section – see a career advisor who can help you to create this section.
  • This section can be used to outline experience you’ve had in a course but not necessarily in a work environment. Make sure to only include coursework that’s truly relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • This information is most often included as a sub section of the educational institution where you took the courses or can be included as its own section following your education section.
  • If/When you list courses, do not abbreviate or list course numbers (e.g., “American Lit 404” should be “American Literature Seminar”).
  • Language skills are often highly-sought after by employers. However, this section is to highlight more advanced levels of language fluency (written and oral). If you only have basic skills, consider whether it is important enough to mention.
  • See the U.S. Department of State’s website for the formal labels and definitions of language proficiency:
  • If language is a job requirement, be sure to highlight this higher up on your resume (i.e., in the Summary/Profile section possibly).
  • For those students who intend to pursue advanced academic study or research positions, you may need to include a research, presentations, and publications information. See CV section for more details.
  • We suggest only including publications which appear in peer reviewed journals or recognized media.
  • Oftentimes, research experience (with a faculty member, for example), will be included in a work or relevant experience section.
  • For this section, highlight the software, programs, and/or skills that are related to the position/industry/field – Excel should be highlighted, particularly if you are looking to go into a business field.
  • Most employers expect college graduates to know how to use Microsoft Office (Word & PowerPoint, specifically).
  • You may want to designate your level of proficiency with certain programs as you may be asked “how-to” questions in an interview (e.g., “Tell me how you would set up a pivot table in Excel”).
  • Social media can be listed only if you have more skills beyond the common user experience (e.g., content marketing, content creation, analytics, etc.).
  • If you are in Computer Science, you will need to highlight all of your hardware, software, and languages experiences in a comprehensive section near the top of the resume. See a career advisor for help on how to address and format your unique experiences.

Certain industries and fields have expectations of specific skills that they want to see highlighted on your resume. We encourage you to speak with multiple people who are working in your field of choice to learn more about these expectations. Also, see a career advisor for assistance in building your resume. Some of these instances are listed below:

Science/Pre-Health –

  • Laboratory/Equipment Skills
  • Research Experience
  • Shadowing/Externship/Internship Hours

Computer Science/Engineering –

  • Languages
  • Hardware
  • Software

Music –

  • Principle Instrument or Voice Teaching Experience
  • Recordings & Broadcasts
  • Competitions
  • Compositions
  • Tours

Theatre & Acting –

Resumes are set up very differently in this field. See a career
advisor for more information.