Learn how to prepare a resume outline before actually beginning to ...
Download one of our free resume templates and quickly understand how to outline your resume. If you want more options, check out our other free templates and examples, or save yourself even more time and use our resume builder.
The reverse 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 that detail your responsibilities and showcase your accomplishments. As always, provide quantifiable information to provide evidence of your qualifications.
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:
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.
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.
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.
A resume is made up of six separate sections:
The header of your resume will contain your personal contact information, which should include:
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:
(555) – 555 – 5555
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.
In the work experience section of your resume, you will list your:
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
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. 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:
In the education section of your resume you will include the following:
Only include your GPA or any honors if they are particularly impressive.
Here is an example of an education section on a resume:
Bachelor of Science
A resume outline can include additional sections if the information is relevant to demonstrating your qualifications. Such sections include:
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.
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:
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.