Welcome to 2020!  January normally starts a hiring boom in multiple industries. Use this 4-part blog series to craft a resume that will land you the right job.

Make sure you understand resume basics before you start writing.  You must condense your work experience into a concise, easy to read, typo-free document.  Capitalize on relevant experiences, highlight measurable accomplishments, and add a dash of job skills.

Five Components of Every Resume

Contact Information. Your resume needs current contact information. Be sure to include the following:  name, city and state, phone number, and email address. If you have a strictly professional social media page, include that as well. If you have a social media page that shows you enjoying cocktails on the beach, do not include it. As a matter of fact, clean up all social media profiles to avoid being prejudged by employers for your personal interests.

Resume Summary. After the contact information, you need a brief summary of your experience and best career highlights. It is almost as if you are showing the “coming attractions” in a movie starring you – the Best Employee Ever! Make the highlights relevant to the job. Use numbers to show measured success. Do not be shy about the great things you have done in previous positions.

Skills Section.  The skills section should be below the summary. It should also use a short-bulleted format. The keywords should be a good match to the job you are applying for. Remember to also add soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, negotiation, etc.

Professional Experience.  This is the main meal to your 5-course dinner! Do not make the mistake of just listing job duties. Focus on quantifiable accomplishments. How did you solve problems or save the company in your previous positions? Using numbers, dollars, and percentages will really make you shine.

Education.  Do not make recruiters and hiring managers hunt for your education. Give it a separate section. If you are a new graduate, education goes at the top. If you have been in the workforce for several years, education goes at the bottom of the resume.

NEXT STEPS: Come back same time, same place next week for more details to resume writing.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hi there! I was wondering for input on including/not including a skills section. I personally think it might come off as tacky to list “communication skills, problem solving skills, etc”, so I tend to just explain examples of these skills throughout my resume work experiences and summary. Do you still recommend adding a skill section, since often I am not literally saying “communication skills” but rather action verbs to describe it like “presented”, “trained”, “published” etc. within my resume. In my profession, “technical skills” like knowing programming code isn’t really needed. Thank you!

    1. Hi Mila,

      Thanks for reaching out. I think it is important to have a “skills” section or a “competency” section at the top of your resume. You want to make it easy for the hiring managers to say “yes” and call you for an interview. Managers mostly scan and read the top sections of the resume. You can weave in good examples in your work history and if you get an interview you may be asked to explain the examples. But in the beginning, managers only scan for about 10 seconds before deciding to keep or toss your resume.

      Indigo Stone

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