Résumé Components Explained


There are several components that are important to include in every résumé, no matter the style. The following example reflects the chronological format.

Contact Information

Your most current contact information should be included at the top of the résumé. It is important to provide accurate information so that a potential employer can easily reach you. Use your full name and (college and permanent) address with zip code, telephone number and email.


Academic credentials are very important to an employer, particularly if you are relatively new to the world of work or if you are pursuing a job that requires specific training. Only list institutions you’re currently attending or those from which you have received a degree. In general, avoid listing your high school education.

  • Write out institution name, city and state, full degree title and graduation date.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher should be included in this section.
  • List study abroad experience in this section.


An employer will look over your résumé to see what experiences and skills you have gained so far and determine the relevancy to the current position. Do not limit yourself to paid experiences. It is very important for you to develop accomplishment statements that emphasize the skills you have developed, as well as any positive outcomes.

List professional experience in reverse chronological order:

  • Indicate the company name, city and state, dates of employment (month and year), and title of position held.
  • Begin every bullet point with an action verb and be sure to use correct verb tense.
  • Develop bulleted accomplishment statements using the formula below to highlight key responsibilities and skills.
This part of the formula is basically your job description. If you write this as an accomplishment statement, you are not really describing what you accomplished. However, this is a starting point for your statement.
This is the most important part of the formula. When you pair the skills you used along with what you did, you are communicating much more information to the reader.
When you can describe the types of results you achieved through the skills you used, you will have written a comprehensive accomplishment statement, which will result in a better résumé.


  • Created and implemented four data systems utilizing Microsoft Access and Excel designed to improve the management of customer contacts
  • Responsible for the team development and supervision of three sales associates
  • Produced a county-wide marketing campaign for a local restaurant that resulted in 23 pecrent increase in patronage

Computer Skills

Computer skills are essential for success in today’s workplace. Depending on the desired position, the required computer skills may range from a basic knowledge of computer applications to programming abilities. Be specific with your skills and list all relevant software and your competency level with specific programs.


  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Working knowledge of Access and Excel
  • Familiar with Word, PowerPoint and Access


You may select from the following optional components to add to your résumé. Select the areas in which you are the strongest and that help sell your skills and abilities to a particular employer.


Employers are always impressed by accomplishments in the form of honors and awards. Do not list dates, as they tend to appear cluttered. Be sure to list academic honors from the College or any outside organization, scholarships and honor societies.

Activities and Leadership Experience

Companies often review résumés to determine how a candidate has spent time outside of the classroom or professional arena. Do not list dates, and if you have significant experience in this area, use the same format as in the bulleted experience section. Be sure to list activities in which you are/were involved either at college or at any outside organizations (volunteer, community services, etc.), and any offices held (board member, treasurer, president).


In the global marketplace, many companies are looking to hire students and professionals who are fluent in two or more languages. (Do not list English — this is assumed.) Be specific when listing the competency you have in a language. Are you fluent, proficient or do you have a working knowledge?

Relevant Courses

If you have little experience in a chosen career field, list any relevant coursework that indicates education in the desired area. Also, students who are just beginning their college career find it useful to list relevant experience when trying to gain an internship. Select upper-level courses in a specialized area that set you apart from other applicants.


If you currently hold a license relevant to your field, it is important for an employer to see this. Accountants, financial planners and teachers are some positions that require licensing.

Professional Affiliation

Employers like to see how involved you are in your chosen field through professional affiliations. Professional affiliations are an excellent way to network and learn about job opportunities before they are publicly posted.