What Information is Included in a Résumé?

December 16, 2021

Résumés contain much of the same information as a job application. The difference is that your résumé should sell you, your skills, and your knowledge to the employer. Your résumé should be designed to get you a job interview.

Tailor each résumé to the job you are applying for. Include the most relevant facts about yourself and your skills. Write your résumé using vocabulary common to the industry, company, or occupation.

Start by writing down the skills listed on the job description. When you write about your skills and experiences in your résumé, show how they relate to the current job by the words you use. Statements should answer who, what, where, and how questions. Whenever possible, include numbers and words that demonstrate your experience and show results of your actions.

Personal Information

Your name and contact information should be at the top of your résumé. Include your full name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. Avoid abbreviations and nicknames. It's important that your e-mail address is appropriate and professional.

Work History

Your work history is a chronological listing of all of your paid employment, from most recent to least recent. Include the names and locations of employers, and use action words to describe your work. Tailor each description to focus on skills important to the job you are applying for.

Include at least 15 years of employment, if you have been working for that long. You may want to have longer descriptions for jobs that are most relevant to the job you are applying for, and shorter descriptions for others. Since most résumés should fit on one page, use concise bullet points. Include dates for each job, but only the beginning and ending dates by month and year. Be prepared to explain any gaps in employment and show how you used your time.

Volunteer Work/Community Service

If you have performed volunteer work that shows your skills or abilities related to the job you are seeking, it is important to include it in your résumé. List each organization you have worked with, and describe your role. Be sure to highlight any supervision or project management tasks you have done.

Military Service

If you have served in the military, you can add it to your Work History, described above. This works well if you spent a significant amount of time on active duty, where the military was your main job. Another option is to place your military service in a separate section. This is effective if you are a Reserve or National Guard member and held jobs outside of the military. Use civilian terms to describe the skills and training you received. Include significant awards or decorations received.

Education History

If you just recently graduated from high school or earned your GED, it is important to list your high school information. If you are a college graduate, you do not need to list your high school. If you are a recent graduate, include information about positions held, awards, honors, and athletics. If you have been out of school for a while, give less detail. You should at least include the school name, dates attended, and degree earned. Finally, list courses relevant to the job you are applying for.

Licenses, Certificates and Training

List any licenses or certificates you hold, with a brief description of their importance. Include workshops and other training events that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Describe the skills and knowledge you gained. Include the dates of the training.

These sections of your résumé are important to include, but should also be very brief.


Awards, recognition, scholarly work, and presentations are just a few of the achievements you could list here. Any important achievement that demonstrates your knowledge, work ethic, or skill should be listed. Have you traveled around the world? Climbed Denali? Built a log cabin? These are all achievements and can go here.


List any activities that are relevant to the job or will give your employer a better sense of your skills and work ethic. Include items such as athletics, clubs, or hobbies.


It is very important to tailor this section of your résumé to the job you are applying for. Include languages you speak, specialized equipment, computer hardware and software, and any other special skills.


Some applications ask for references on your résumé. Only include them if asked to.

Source: Excerpted from Oregon Career Information System ©2021. University of Oregon, All Rights Reserved. 


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