The most professional and successful resumes all have one thing in common: sections. There are a couple of basic resume sections that every resume should have no matter what position or field the jobseeker may be exploring. Though cover letters should be written from scratch for every new application, only certain sections on a resume need to be changed each time.
While a successful resume should be unique to the individual, there are certain sections of a resume that should be the same from application to application. For instance, one section of a resume should always be a header that provides the company with contact information, including an email address. Jobseekers should make these details prominent and easy to navigate so that hiring managers who scan resumes don’t miss important information.
Another resume section that should always be present is education. Giving hiring managers or interviewers an educational background gives them insight into any accomplishments or organizations of which the applicant was a part during his college or high school experience. If an applicant didn’t graduate with academic honors, including a grade point average is optional, though some employers have specific GPA requirements and may ask anyway.
Relevant experience is another section of the resume that should always be included. Though the section itself may change if the applicant has just left a recent position, the information should always be included. If the applicant doesn't have relevant professional experience because he’s just entering the workforce, including relevant educational experiences or smaller work opportunities can boost this section. The applicant should also consider including accomplishments from previous workplaces and any skills he learned that may help him obtain the position for which he is applying.
Volunteer work is another excellent addition to the sections of a resume. Sometimes volunteer work can be more relevant than any previous work experience the candidate may have, but most applicants forget to include it. Paid or not, employers are interested in any relevant experience the applicant may have, and volunteer work is no exception. Likewise, if the applicant has a gap in employment, including volunteer work can show an employer that he was still active in the community or field in which he works. Similarly, any hobbies or side projects that give the jobseeker a leg-up in experience should also be mentioned in a section of the resume. Volunteer work and hobbies can be combined into one section or left separate as two.
Though the information in each section of a resume is subject to change, these are four aspects of the resume that should always be included: contact information, education, relevant experience and volunteer work and relevant hobbies. These are all critical to showing employers what an applicant can do, and most importantly, how to reach him after the interview.