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Resume Outline

3 Free Resume Outline Examples

Download one of our free resume outline examples and quickly understand how to outline your resume. We have options

        • Resume for first-time jobseekers: If you are a first-time job-seeker with no work experience, then check out this excellent outline template for your resume.
        • Entry-level resume: Still new to your career? Our entry-level template is the perfect way to outline your next resume.
        • Mid-level resume: If you have work experience, then our mid-level resume outline template will best showcase your skill effectively.

Try a resume outline on Google Docs or Microsoft Word today to see how you can take your job application to the next level.

If you want more options, check out our other free resume templates and professional examples, or save yourself even more time and use our resume builder!

How to Outline a Resume: Choose a Format

The first step to outlining a resume is knowing which format to choose. There are three formats which vary based on your level of relevant job experience.

Chronological Resume Outline

The chronological resume emphasizes your work history, making it the main focus of the outline. In a reverse chronological format, you list your most recent job positions in descending order.

Under each job title, you will provide bullets detailing your responsibilities and showcase your accomplishments. As always, provide quantifiable information to demonstrate your qualifications.

Career experts recommend the chronological resume as the most effective format. This is because most employers value work experience, which demonstrates your abilities in action.

Therefore, this format is the most friendly for applicant tracking systems (ATS), which are automated processes that filter applicants based on qualifications and are important to consider when applying for jobs online!

Functional Resume Outline

A functional resume focuses on skills instead of job experience. They can benefit those with little to no experience or those changing careers.

For this format, be aware of two important changes to the resume outline:

        • Skills summary: This follows the resume summary or objective. In the skills summary section, you briefly describe the skills that make you a qualified candidate. The skills summary should be concise, at most 100 words, and use as many keywords from the job description as possible.
        • Skills section: This will come before the work history section. For the skills section of a functional resume, you will list three to five top skills and provide extensive detail about them. If possible, provide specific examples of how you use the skills and their results. This helps you provide some validity to your claims.

Since more detail is given in the skills section, your work experience section will simply list your job title, employer name, location, and dates of employment.

Combination, or Hybrid, Resume Outline

The combination, or hybrid, resume format balances the focus between skills and experience. Its structure is very similar to the functional resume. A combination resume will have a skills summary section just after the resume summary or objective.

However, unlike a functional resume, the skills section will be brief. The work experience section of a hybrid resume will be formatted like a reverse chronological resume.

Business Management Chronological Resume Template

Reverse chronological resume outline

Customer Service Organizational Functional Resume Sample

Functional resume outline


Combination, or hybrid, resume outline

How To Outline A Resume

A resume outline is made up of at least five main sections.

You also have the option to provide additional sections as long as the information is relevant to the qualifications of the job description.

The basic resume outline will look like this:

Contact Information

The header of your resume will contain your personal contact information, which should include:

        • First and last name.
        • Location (city and state).
        • Phone number.
        • Professional email address.
        • LinkedIn or other professional social media profiles (optional).

The contact information heading of a resume needs to be engaging without distracting. You don’t want to take up unnecessary space on your resume, but still, make sure your information stands out so that it is easy to find.

Here is an example of a personal contact information header of a resume:

Patrick Brown

Chicago, IL

(555) – 555 – 5555


Resume Profile: Summary or Objective

After your contact information, the next section will be either a resume summary or an objective. Both serve similar, yet distinct, purposes that you will want to consider when you outline your resume:

        • Resume summary: This is your pitch to the reader which efficiently sums up your most important qualifications. Provide quantifiable achievements that show how your most valuable skills align with the job requirements.

        • Resume objective: If you have little experience or are switching careers, you can use a resume objective to declare your professional goals. This will show that you are a serious candidate who offers value.

Generally, it is better to use a resume summary instead of a resume objective because recruiters and hiring managers are more interested in proof of your qualifications.

Here is an example of a resume summary:

Dedicated marketing associate with 5+ years of experience developing and executing consumer brand marketing campaigns with an aggregate revenue growth rate of 5%. Expert in market research, data analytics, and customer acquisition. Desire to take on a new leadership position that incorporates my skills in maximizing ROI.

Here is an example of a resume objective:

Seeking a challenging entry-level finance position where I can apply my analytical skills and passion for numbers. My degree in business administration and my experience as a finance intern have motivated me to learn and grow in the dynamic field of finance.

Work History

In the work experience section of your resume, you will list your:

        • Job title.
        • Name of employer.
        • Dates employed.
        • Location.

For most resume outlines, you will want to include bullets underneath each job title that list responsibilities and results.

Make sure to quantify everything that you can. This helps your resume stand out. Metrics also provide more context for the reader, allowing them to judge your skills better.

Here is an example of the work experience section on a resume:

Marketing Associate, ABC-123 Inc.

08/2020 to present

        • Assisted in the development and implementation of 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month marketing strategies for over 50 clients.
        • Managed social media accounts and created content calendars that increased engagement by 75% over a 12-month period.
        • Conducted weekly competitive research and data analysis to suggest pivots in strategy.
        • Planned 15 fundraising events that resulted in an additional $1 million in revenue.
        • Oversaw digital asset creation on 20 projects that generated 100 new brand outlets and increased customer base by 25%.


There are two types of skills you can include on your resume:

        • Hard skills: These are specific abilities that can be quantified or proven quite easily, such as technical skills. Give these skills preference on your resume since they are easier for a reader to understand.
        • Soft skills: These are interpersonal and professional skills that depend more on how someone behaves in the workplace. Due to this, they are harder to prove on a resume.

Choose between five to ten skills, prioritizing those found in the job description.

If you do not directly have the skills required, rephrase them as transferable skills and demonstrate their relevance to the job.

Here’s an example of a skills section on a resume:

  • Technical Skills: Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Analytics.
  • Project Management: Expert with Trello software for resource allocation and collaboration.
  • Digital Marketing: Familiarity with SEO, SEM, social media marketing, email marketing
  • Languages: Fluent in English and Spanish, conversational in French.
  • Analytical Skills: Expert with Tableau, Microsoft Excel, and Google Sheets for data analysis


In the education section of your resume you will include the following:

        • The name of the institution.
        • Type of degree.
        • Area of focus.
        • Location.
        • GPA (optional).
        • Years attended (optional).

Only include your GPA or any honors if they are particularly impressive.

Here is an example of an education section on a resume:

Boston University
Bachelor of Science

Boston, MA
Business Administration

Additional Sections

A resume outline can include additional sections if the information is relevant to demonstrating your qualifications. Such sections include:

        • Awards.
        • Certifications.
        • Trainings.
        • Links to a portfolio of work.
        • Volunteer experience.
        • Languages.
        • Projects.
        • Relevant hobbies.

Remember, additional sections are only helpful if they help you stand out as a qualified candidate. Refrain from adding anything irrelevant because the reader will ignore it and it will take up valuable space.

Why You Should Use A Resume Outline

There are many reasons why a resume outline is good to use:

  • Professional standards: A resume outline provides the clear structure that is expected by recruiters and hiring managers.

  • Easy to read: Using a good resume outline makes it easier for people to read about your qualifications.

  • ATS-friendly: Applicant tracking systems (ATS) can scan resumes better when they are properly formatted.

  • Know what to write: A resume outline will show you what sections you must cover to provide all the proper information.

Key Takeaways

        • A resume outline is divided into five main sections: contact information, resume summary, work history, skills, and education.
        • Additional sections of any relevant information can be added at the end of your resume.
        • Using a resume outline helps ensure you have the format expected by recruiters, hiring managers, and applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Pro Tip:

In most circumstances you will want to use the chronological format for your resume outline because it is the most ATS-friendly template.

Resume Outline FAQ

Updated: May 22, 2024

A resume outline is a document that provides the basic structure of a resume, broken down into sections of qualifications and relevant information. Using an outline helps provide you with a plan on how you best want to structure your resume. Additionally, a resume outline keeps your format consistent and easy to read.

The five parts of a resume are:

  • Personal contact information.
  • Resume summary or objective.
  • Work history.
  • Skills.
  • Education.

Each section provides important information to the reader to help them determine whether they want to interview and hire you.

Your resume should be consistent from start to finish. Do not change any font or format. Make sure to provide the five resume sections that the reader expects.


Conor McMahon, CPRW
Conor McMahon, CPRW
Content Writer

Conor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) for Hloom.com. He has over three years of professional writing experience as well as experience in professional development training. As a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC) Conor has written on career development topics ranging from resume and cover letter best practices, employer/employee communication, job seeking help, and more. He received his degree in Music Industry at Northeastern University and plays guitar in his free time.

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