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Basic Categories to Include on Your Resume

Contact Information:

Start at the top of the page leaving a one-inch top margin. Include:

  • Full name;
  • Complete address (both permanent and present if different);
  • Home phone number with area code, cell phone, if applicable, and work number only if appropriate to contact you there; and
  • Email address.

Make sure that the message on your answering machine and your email address are professional and appropriate for a potential employer.


  • Gives your resume focus; tailor it to the position you are applying for.
  • Usually a single phrase expressing the specific type of employment you are seeking and/or the specific skills or abilities you want to use on the job.


  • List in reverse chronological order with the highest degree or education first.
  • Include university/college/school name and location, degree, date of graduation (or expected graduation), major, related coursework and possibly G.P.A.
  • May also include honors, awards, scholarships, dissertation and thesis topics.
  • List licenses earned or training certificates received.


  • Start with your most recent employment and work backward.
  • Includes full-time, part-time, seasonal, internships, co-op, or volunteer work.
  • Provide names and location of employers, dates of employment (month/year to month/year).
  • Describe your duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments using short, powerful phrases beginning with action verbs. Quantify and qualify data with specific details and statistics whenever possible.

Additional Areas: Activities/Honors/Special Skills:

  • List extracurricular activities that demonstrate skills, accomplishments and leadership, teamwork, self-management, organization;
  • Include computer skills and/or foreign languages;
  • Personal accomplishments (example: "financed 70 percent of college education"); and
  • Unique experiences such as travel to a foreign country, study abroad.


  • References and, in some cases, portfolios or transcripts can be listed as "available upon request" if you have enough room at the bottom of the resume. Employers know that they can request this information so it is not necessary to include this phrase.
  • You should have a separate reference page. Generally, this page will have the same heading as the resume and will list the name, title, employer, business mailing address and phone number of 3 to 5 academic or business references. Obtain permission from each reference before giving to a prospective employer and give each a copy of your resume.