Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (2023)

If you want to land your next interview fast, a sleek and professional resume isn’t a luxury; it’s an absolute must. Plus, with all the free resume-building tools at your disposal, the expectation is higher than ever that you’ll provide personalized application materials tailored to a specific role, manager, and company.

But for all those free tools, building your resume still isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

Lengthy gaps in your work history, lack of experience, education, or drastic career changes can make it hard to know which resume sections you should focus on (and where to put them!).

In this article, we’ll break down the question most job seekers ask when building a resume: “Wait, which part goes where and why?”

3 key takeaways from the post

  • What resume sections should you have in your resume
  • Does the order of your resume sections matter
  • How to use the Teal Resume Builder to create one that’s personalized to your experience

What resume sections should you have in your resume?

A resume typically has a combination of some (or all) of the following elements:

  • Contact Information
  • Target Title
  • Professional Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Certifications
  • Skills
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Projects

Many of these end up on all resumes (Contact, Target Title, Professional Summary, etc.). But in some cases, you’ll have to choose whether or not to include some optional resume sections (like Certifications, Projects, etc.).

The best answer to this ultimately depends on the role you're building a resume for, what your experience looks like, and how much you have.

700+ In-Depth Resume Examples and Guidance

If you're reading this as a primer before you start building, we recommend exploring our 2023 resume examples that we've hand-curated around different roles. Browse over 700 to find samples that are well-suited to help you with your resume.

Let’s look at each of these sections in more detail.

1. Contact Information

Your contact information should be at the very top of your resume. You want employers to have easy access to your contact details to get in touch with you for an interview. This section should include:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Professional email address
  • LinkedIn profile (optional)

Many people think you need to provide your physical address, but this isn’t necessary. Your email address and phone number are more than enough for any hiring manager to reach you.

Adding your LinkedIn profile can be a great strategy, so long as your profile is ready for review. If you need some help, check out Teal’s LinkedIn Profile Reviewer. This will give your profile a makeover, making you more desirable to hiring managers!

2. Target Title

A target title is a brief, one-line description of the role you're applying for. This section helps potential employers understand your career goals and aligns your resume with the specific job you're applying for. It’s also a quick reference to your resume objective (i.e., it instantly tells the hiring manager what role you’re applying to).

For example, your target title might be "Marketing Coordinator" or "Software Developer."

3. Professional Summary

A professional summary is a short paragraph highlighting your key skills, experience, and accomplishments. It’s a snapshot of your qualifications and helps recruiters understand your potential value to their organization.

Keep this section focused on the specific job you're applying for and tailor it to match the requirements outlined in the job posting.

4. Work Experience

Your Work Experience section is the heart of your resume. This will tell hiring managers whether or not you have the necessary experience to accomplish the job you’re applying for.

You’ll most likely want to list your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position.

For each role, include the following:

  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Location
  • Dates of employment (month and year)
  • Brief description of your responsibilities and accomplishments

And when listing your accomplishments, use quantifiable achievements to highlight your impact, such as "Increased sales by 20% by doing x" or "Reduced project completion time by 15% by implementing y."

The goal is to show your hiring manager that you can do more than just “talk the talk.” Instead, you’ve proven yourself a valuable asset on teams in the past.

5. Education

In the Education section of your resume, list your relevant academic qualifications, including the degree earned, the institution's name, and the completion date. If you're a recent graduate, consider adding your GPA (if it’s above 3.0) and any relevant coursework or extracurricular activities you achieved while in school.

6. Certifications

Certifications are valuable to your resume. They demonstrate your commitment to professional development and expertise in specific skills or industries.

Include any relevant certifications along with the issuing organization and the date obtained.

7. Skills

The Skills section on your resume is an opportunity to highlight your most relevant and in-demand skills for the job you're applying for. Don’t forget to include the right mixture of hard skills (such as programming languages or data analysis) and soft skills (such as communication, teamwork, or problem-solving).

You’ll want to tailor this section to the job posting, focusing on the skills most applicable to the role.

Use Teal’s Skills Database in the free Skills Workbook to identify your current skills and potential skills that you want to acquire. Once you've identified those, enter them into Teal’s Skills Identifier.

8. Interests

Adding an Interests section will showcase your personality and differentiate your resume from others. List a few hobbies or activities you enjoy outside of work, especially those that demonstrate transferable skills or align with the company's culture.

However, keep this section brief and avoid any controversial or polarizing topics.

Use the Interests Workbook to help you map out the things you’re excited about.

9. Projects

If you’ve completed any significant projects relevant to the job you're applying for, consider adding a projects section. This includes academic, freelance, or personal projects demonstrating your skills and capabilities.

Be sure to include a brief description of the project, your role, and any quantifiable results or accomplishments.

Now that we know what sections you need to include on a resume, it’s time to figure out the best way to structure them.

Does the order of a resume section matter?

Unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to how your resume should be structured. It all depends on the job, your personal experience, education, and the role you’re applying for.

In many cases, a reverse-chronological order resume format will work. That typically orders information as follows:

  1. Contact Information
  2. Target Title
  3. Professional Summary
  4. Work Experience
  5. Education
  6. Certifications
  7. Skills
  8. Projects
  9. Interests

But sometimes, there might be better options than a reverse chronological order format.

Perhaps you’re returning from a long professional break, just leaving school, or changing careers altogether, so your professional history isn’t irrelevant to your desired roles.

In those cases, you might need to change the format of your resume.

Now, let’s focus on which resume sections you should include when a traditional format doesn’t work.

What sections to put in your resume (no experience)

Resume sections for career pivoters

If you plan to switch industries or job roles, your resume should be tailored to highlight your transferable skills and experiences relevant to your new position.

That means instead of using a traditional work experience resume, you should use a functional or hybrid resume format. This will allow you to group your experience by skill or theme, making it easier for potential employers to identify your relevant qualifications.

These resumes contain the following sections:

  • Contact Information
  • Professional Summary
  • Skills
  • Certifications
  • Work experience
  • Education

Here’s a good example of what your resume might look like when you’re changing careers:

Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (1)

Note that it places the Professional Summary, Skills, and Certification sections before any relevant volunteer or internship work you may have in your field.

Bonus: Remember, the structure of your resume is important, but so is the content. Try these tips to better highlight your transferable skills in your resume:

  • Customize your professional summary: Use the professional summary to showcase your transferable skills and experiences. Be sure to connect how these transferable skills directly apply to the position you’re after.
  • Showcase relevant projects or side gigs: If you have completed any projects, side gigs, or volunteer work related to your new career, include a projects section in your resume. Briefly describe each project, your role, and any measurable results or accomplishments.
  • Include professional development and certifications: Include any relevant professional development courses, workshops, or certifications you've completed in a separate section on your resume. This demonstrates your commitment to staying current with industry trends and developing new skills.

The trick is to make sure you convey how the relevant skills from your past work experiences can be applied to your future professional challenges.

With Teal, you can actually write major sections of your resume with generative AI:

This allows you to break through the blank page and create better resumes in less time.

Sign up for your free Teal account today!

Resume sections for new college grads

As a new college graduate, you might be concerned about your limited work experience when entering the job market. But your resume can still effectively showcase your skills, education, and accomplishments to help you land your first job.

For that, you’ll likely want to use a functional resume format. These focus more on your overall skills and experiences than the timeline of your work history.

Functional resumes often have the following sections:

  • Contact information
  • Professional Summary
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Work history (if applicable)
  • Volunteer work

Feel free to list relevant coursework, academic projects, or any extracurricular activities that showcase your skills and knowledge applicable to the job.

For more information on building a functional resume, check out this helpful guide: Functional vs. chronological resumes.

But applying to new jobs can be intimidating, especially when you’re just entering the workforce, and you’ve never been through the application process before.

Consider the following tips to help you create a resume that, at the very least, gets your foot in the door:

1. Focus on your education: As a recent graduate, your education is one of your most valuable assets. Place the education section near the top of your resume, right after your professional summary.

2. Internships and part-time jobs: If you have completed or held part-time jobs during your college years, include them in your work experience section.

3. Volunteer work and extracurricular activities: Volunteer work and extracurricular activities can help demonstrate your commitment to the industry, leadership qualities, and teamwork skills.

4. Skills section: As a recent graduate, you may have acquired various skills through coursework, internships, or extracurricular activities.

5. Honors and awards: If you’ve received any academic honors, scholarships, or awards during college, include a section on your resume to highlight these accomplishments.

While you may not have spent much “time in the trenches” in your field, you may find yourself at an advantage. Some hiring managers will be eager to bring fresh talent that they don’t need to retrain.

What sections to put in your resume (varied experience)

Resume sections for entry-level job seekers

You may wonder how to create a resume that effectively showcases your skills and potential to employers as an entry-level job seeker. Even with limited work experience, your resume can still help you stand out in the job market.

Let’s start with the type of resume you’ll likely want.

If you have some work experience under your belt (even just a year or two), you’ll likely want to go with a hybrid resume format. This blends your limited work history with functional skills to demonstrate you have what it takes to work at the company.

A hybrid resume will likely have the following sections:

  • Contact information
  • Professional Summary
  • Skills
  • Work History (include internships or volunteer work here)
  • Education
  • Certifications (if applicable)

Here’s an example of a hybrid resume format with someone who has a few years of experience but may still need to take an entry-level role if switching companies:

Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (3)

In some cases, you might not have any work experience. For that, a functional or skills-based resume would be fitting (like we saw for new grads).

When crafting your first resume, however, keep the following in mind:

  • Start with a professional summary: A professional summary is a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers and express where you are in your career. Use it to explain your passion for the industry and how you hope to contribute to the company in a few sentences.
  • Focus on internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer work: Any internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work you have completed can help demonstrate your ability to apply skills in real-world situations. Be sure to frame each of these experiences in a way that connects them to the role you’re applying for.
  • Skills section: Your skills section is an opportunity to highlight your technical and soft skills relevant to the job.

And remember: this is the hardest resume you’ll ever have to write. As you advance in your career, you’ll add more experience to strengthen your application in the future.

Resume sections for mid-level and experienced professionals

At this stage in the game, you’ve got some professional experience under your belt with concrete results to show for it. For mid-level and experienced professionals, a traditional reverse chronological order format is commonly used to showcase their career progression and relevant work experience.

This format emphasizes your recent positions and accomplishments, highlighting your growth and expertise. Here are the sections you’ll need:

  • Contact Information
  • Professional or Resume Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Certifications and Professional Development
  • Projects or Achievements

Here’s an example of a reverse chronological order resume:

Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (4)

But going after more senior-level roles can get competitive. That’s why you should follow these three tips when crafting your resume:

1. Highlight leadership and management experience

As a mid to senior-level professional, emphasize your leadership and management abilities. Showcase your experience leading teams, managing projects, and driving strategic initiatives.

2. Quantify achievements and impact

To demonstrate the tangible results of your work, quantify your achievements wherever possible. Include metrics in percentages and concrete numbers to showcase your impact in previous roles.

For example, mention the percentage increase in sales you achieved, the cost savings you implemented, or the number of clients you managed. Quantifying your accomplishments helps recruiters and hiring managers understand the value you can bring to their organization.

3. Emphasize strategic thinking and problem-solving skills

Employers seek professionals who can think strategically and solve complex problems at the mid to senior level. Highlight your ability to analyze situations, develop innovative solutions, and make data-driven decisions. Include examples of critical projects or challenges you successfully navigated, showcasing your problem-solving skills and strategic mindset.

4. Demonstrate industry knowledge and thought leadership

As an experienced professional, showcasing your industry knowledge and thought leadership is important. Mention any industry-specific certifications, publications, or presentations you have participated in. Highlight your involvement in professional associations or conferences. This demonstrates your commitment to staying updated with industry trends and your expertise in the field.

So far, we’ve seen the resume sections you need for career pivoters, new grads, and professionals in every stage of their careers.

Now let’s turn our attention to the nuts and bolts of the issue: how to bring that resume to life.

How to create a resume that’s structured for your career

The best way to create a resume structured to your job is with Teal’s Resume Builder.

Step One: Sign up for Teal

Signing up for Teal is a simple and quick process. To begin your free trial, just click on this link and get started immediately (for free).

Step Two: Build your resume

Navigate to the"Resume Builder" icon on the left side and click on it. From there, select "New Resume" at the top.

Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (5)

If you prefer to create your resume from scratch, you have the option to import content from your LinkedIn profile with just one click:

Now you’ll be ready to format your resume based on where you are in your career.

Step 3: Determine your resume format

Throughout this post, we talked about the importance of choosing the right resume sections for you. The format of your resume will change depending on whether you’re a new grad, an entry-level employee, or a seasoned professional moving up the ranks.

Teal makes this easy with pre-made templates.

Teal’s Templates

Straight from your dashboard, click the "Formatting" icon in the top menu bar:

Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (7)

Then you can select which of the four templates you’d like to start with:

Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (8)

Next, you can modify the following template settings:

  • Font (great for editing major resume section titles and descriptions)
  • Accent color
  • Margins
  • Location
  • Date alignment
  • Date format
  • Work experience groupings
  • Work experience date range

Each of these settings can be changed with a clickable drop-down menu:

Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (9)

Finally, you can rearrange everything with a drag-and-drop editor:

As you can see, Teal gives you full control over how your format sections of a resume so you can go with the right structure! This makes it the ideal tool for job seekers in all career stages.

Step 4: Edit each of your resume sections

With Teal’s intuitive resume builder, you can build and format each of your resumes in minutes (rather than hours).

Simply review each section and modify what was pulled from your LinkedIn account.

But what if you’re starting from scratch and struggling to fight the blank page? For that, you can use Teal’s generative AI to craft better messaging in less time:

Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (11)

You’ll want to verify that the information is correct, but using AI can be a huge time saver for your professional resume, accomplishments, and more!

What’s important to remember is that Teal will help with more than just structuring and formatting your resume; it runs the entire gambit by generating impactful content tailored to the specific job you want.

For more guided tips on personalizing your resume, check out the following resource: “How to Create a Tailored Resume and Land Your Dream Job.”

Step 5 [Bonus]: Generate your cover letter

At this point, you should have a solid, well-structured resume ready to “wow” your hiring manager.

But remember, every resume should come with a cover letter that’s just as impactful. We recommend starting Teal’s generative AI feature (mentioned in the last step). With a single click, you can send a cover letter with your application that’s personalized to the job description you’re applying to.

Click the "Cover Letter" icon at the top of your dashboard:

Resume Sections for Every Type of Job Seeker (With Examples!) | Teal (12)

And Teal will create a cover letter for you:

This will strengthen your application and allow you to show hiring managers why you’re the perfect fit for the job.

And just like that, in five easy steps, you’ll have the resume and cover letter you need to secure your next interview fast.

Ready to get started? Don’t let opportunities slip through your fingertips!

Sign up for Teal today and start building the application materials you need to advance your career.

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