Seven Basic Elements to Writing a Résumé

Writing a new résumé or refreshing an old one? Here are seven basic elements every résumé should include.


Your name, city, state, zip (physical address is not required), telephone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile address (if applicable).

Short Summary

Three to five sentences describing your most outstanding qualifications. (A short bulleted list can follow)


Describe your education only if it is your most qualifying experience. Indicate degrees earned if graduated; otherwise, list major subjects studied. If education is your only support for your career goal, give it more space than other categories listed. Be specific about any work-related education and include relevant notable achievements.


Describe work experiences that support your career target. Decide which style of résumé (chronological, functional, combined, or targeted) best represents your qualifications. Give “top billing” to those experiences that are most valuable to your targeted job. Include examples of successful performance and results produced whenever possible.

Dates of Employment

Use specific dates if there are no large gaps, and some résumés will only include years worked, not month and day.

Personal and Other Facts

Keep this brief and applicable to the position desired. Present only positive information, which can include professional or civic activities, special honors, interests and attitudes that you will bring to your work.


Never list names or addresses of references or state that, “References will be furnished upon request.”


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