Resume Structure

When deciding on the structure of your resume, you should let content drive style. In other words, first determine your strengths and then organize your resume with headings that highlight these strengths.


An objective is 1-3 sentences at the top of the resume summarizing the position you're applying for and your main qualifications. Often, they’re written in phrase form to be more concise. Objectives are optional, and may even weaken your resume because they have great potential to be poorly written. We at Trusty Guides don’t recommend them since they usually come off really fluffy and often poorly written.

  • Pros of having an objective: they capture the reader’s attention and state exactly who you are and what you want from a job.
  • Cons of having an objective: Don't use an objective when distributing your resume at a job fair, or if you're applying for more than one job at a company. If you don't have enough information to be specific, many people view it as a waste of space. Worse, if it's badly written, an employer might not read beyond the objective.
  • Good objective example: “Entry-level position as an Electrical Engineer where I can apply my education and research experience to the design and testing of financial computer software.” (Specific.)
  • Bad objective example: “A challenging job where I can utilize my skills, responsibilities, and expertise in a variety of areas.” (Extremely vague.)


Here are some headings that you might choose to put your specific experiences in the best light possible:

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Career-related skills
  • Familiar computer applications
  • Technical training
  • Licenses and certification
  • Military experience
  • Achievements
  • Publications
  • Volunteer work
  • Internships
  • Relevant coursework
  • Advanced coursework

Depending on your field, you may want to include other specific sections, as well. Keep in mind when choosing headings to write from the perspective of your prospective employer.

Main resume Content

This is the meat of the resume, where you include specific examples of your expertise, especially those examples that apply to the job which you’re applying for. For easy reading, use bullet points and consider using phrases instead of complete sentences (no need for “I” or “my”). Also, put your strongest points first. Remember to give specific details regarding your experiences: don’t just say that you managed sales accounts; say you managed three sales accounts worth $3 million dollars. Don’t just say that you wrote an essay about heart disease; say that you conducted extensive research and wrote an essay regarding the causes of heart disease in men which was published nationally by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Details really add value to your resume. For more details on the content and style of the resume, read on for the resume content do's and don'ts.

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