Parts of a resume
A resume is more than a piece of paper. It's a series of moving parts, that when working
seamlessly, should move an employer to take a serious look at you. Below is a dissection of
a traditional resume that provides a brief explanation of each resume element.
Your name, phone number(s) and email address should be prominently positioned at the
top of the page. Aim for the right-hand corner, so it's easily found when paging through a
stack of paper, and it's not hidden if paper clipped or stapled to other sheets.
This is your job search mission statement. It identifies to the prospective employer, in
concise terms, the exact position you seek. It should include a broad definition of the job
title and a mention of the skills that would be utilized in this position. You can and should
tailor this to each employer you contact.
Traditionally done in reverse chronological order, your history should be more than a list of
job titles and descriptions. It should include quantifiable results like numbers and
percentages to demonstrate the impact you had on an organization.
What computer programs do you know? Are you familiar with both Mac and PC? Are you
bilingual? What presentation equipment have you used? This is where you can list any
special, job-related skills you may have. You can tailor this list to fit the needs of the
position for which you're applying, or simply change the order of the list to present your
most valuable skills first.
The schools you attended. The degrees earned. Your graduation date. Your GPA if a 3.0 or
higher. Memberships in related honor societies. Related certifications and professional
When others recognize your efforts, it says a lot about you and your work. Awards can be
both personal and professional, and should be listed in reverse chronological order.
Being a member of a professional association speaks volumes about your interest in your
field, and can be an instant conversation starter. The same goes for affiliations with non-
profit organizations. If you're a volunteer PR rep for a local food pantry, or a member of the
Ad Association of Greater Milwaukee, chances are your interviewer is, too.