How to Create a Resume Outline

Resume Outline | How-to & Example | Resume.com

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Your resume is one of the most important documents you’ll write, so it should be written well to properly communicate your qualifications for a job. Here are some suggestions to create an outline for your resume:

What to include on a resume outline

Creating an outline for your resume helps you prioritize information on your resume when writing or updating it and should include the following information:

Contact information

The following contact information should be included:

  • Include your first and last name. Adding your middle name is optional.
  • Make sure you include your personal mobile number so that you’ll be reachable at all times.
  • Many business professionals prefer to communicate via email. It’s important to have a professional email address composed of your name and not a silly-sounding or unprofessional name. For example, Liam.Cardenas@memail.com is correct. Yaboyliam420@mymail.com is not.
  • It’s a good idea to include a link to your personal website or online portfolio so the recruiter can take a look at your professional work thus far.
  • Putting a mailing address on a resume is a bit outdated, but there are still some companies that prefer to send offer/rejection letters via the postal service. This information can be added at your discretion.
  • You may consider including your professional title as a way to brand yourself.
  • Social media accounts can be omitted unless they pertain specifically to your career.
  • Omit your date of birth. Including it could subject you to ageism or even discrimination based on your zodiac sign.

Resume summary

The following should be in your summary:

  • State your professional title
  • Include the number of years’ experience
  • Refer to 2–3 key skills
  • Name the position and company you’re seeking to work for
  • Add 3–4 bullet points outlining your major accomplishments or contributions

Resume objective

A resume objective can be used in lieu of a resume summary if you’re low on experience or you’re switching careers. Highlight the skills you’ve learned in school, extracurricular activities, internships, volunteer work or a past career and explain how they’re transferable to the role you’re now seeking.

Professional experience

If you’ve got sufficient work experience to qualify for the position you’re seeking, you can list your work experience in a reverse-chronological fashion. Include the details of the job, including:

  • Start and end dates
  • Company name and location
  • Your title
  • A bulleted list of tasks and responsibilities
  • Mention any awards or certifications you earned through this job

Tips for this section:

  • Use action verbs when describing your tasks
  • Quantify your achievements whenever possible
  • Use appropriate keywords related to the job for which you’re applying

Education

Include the following information in the education section:

  • School name and location
  • Degree and major (add minor, if applicable)
  • Date of graduation or anticipated graduation if degree work is in progress
  • Awards, recognition and GPA (optional, only add GPA if it’s higher than 3.5)

If you’re in high school or have graduated high school and have yet to begin college, format this section the same way, but if you’ve started college, leave out the high school information.

Skills and qualifications

Before you begin listing your skills, refer back to the job description and take note of specific skills and qualifications the employer is looking for. Then, tailor this section to prioritize the skills you possess that the job listing specifically lists. Be specific when listing your skills, use prominent keywords and quantify whenever possible.

Additional qualifications

If there are other experiences you want to include, this is the place to add them. Things you may consider adding here include:

  • Languages that you speak
  • Volunteer work
  • Awards and recognition
  • Professional certifications
  • Optional: hobbies and interests

How to use a resume outline

An outline can serve as a guide to keep you on track when writing your resume because once all of your information is listed in front of you, it’s easier to switch things around as needed, reword phrases, change keywords, rearrange sections and further tailor your resume to the job you want. Follow these steps when using a resume outline:

1. First, gather information

It helps to brainstorm and jot down notes that will help you see what the employer wants versus what you have to offer. Whether it’s transferable skills, specific credentials or experience, it’s important to have the information in front of you even if you don’t wind up needing to use it.

2. Next, choose your resume format

Decide which resume format works best for your occupation, skill level, education and experience. For example, a recent graduate or someone who is changing careers would benefit from using a functional-type resume format, while someone with a long work history that shows career growth would benefit more from a reverse-chronological format.

3. Then, decided on a resume style

A resume style is different from a resume format in that the resume style incorporates what design elements you want to use to help you accentuate your most notable sections, while the format is what order the sections will be listed in. There are many kinds of resume styles, but the most common are traditional, modern and creative. The style you choose will depend both on your occupation and your personal style.

4. After that, insert your information

Once you’ve decided on a layout, plug your information into the sections in which they belong. This should be akin to putting a puzzle together, with each bit of information a piece of the puzzle.

5. Next, customize your outline

Move things around and reorganize sections depending on the job for which you’re applying. You could elaborate or even eliminate certain pieces of information based on what will present you in the best light for this specific job.

6. Finally, proofread

Taking the time to proofread the document may seem like a waste, but it’s arguably one of the most important steps in the whole process. A mistake in grammar, punctuation or spelling could disqualify you from a job. It’s a good idea to have someone else look it over as well, because they’re often more likely to catch mistakes than you are due to how immersed you’ve become in this document.

Resume outline example

Use this sample outline to customize your resume.

Contact information

Grady Jenkins

GJenkins@memail.com

909-384-9283

8881 Birchpond Lane, Upland, CA 91784

Resume summary

Skilled topiary artist seeking to offer superior cutting styles, creativity and precision to a full-time position with Plant Safari. Key skills include working with various types of trees, shrubs and vines, including grafting and pruning to create living sculptures that are enjoyed by homeowners and park visitors alike.

Professional experience

Coburn Topiary, Escondido, CA

Master Topiary Artist, 03/2016–present

  • Responsibilities include precise care of specialty plant species, skillful creation of portable and fixed topiary sculptures at customers’ request and performing knowledgeable regular maintenance of new and preexisting topiary sculptures. Topiary sculptures range in size from small bonsai to 12-foot conifers and espaliers and include weaving, tying, twining, grafting, pruning and cultivation.

Columbia Care, Arcadia, CA

Cultivation Technician, 04/2013–03/2016

  • Responsibilities: Caring for plants in all stages of the plant life cycle from germination to harvest including planting, watering, fertilizing, trimming and pruning, careful monitoring and documenting growth observations, repotting, cloning and transferring, identify pests or diseases present on the plants and quarantine the infected plants to stop the outbreak. Clean and maintain tools and workstations thoroughly.

Education

Bachelor of Science, Horticulture, 2015

Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA

Winner of the ASHS Outstanding Horticulture Student Award, 2014–2015

Graduated Summa Cum Laude, GPA: 4.0

Skills and qualifications

Hard skills:

  • Planning
  • Project management
  • Propagation
  • Cloning
  • Grafting
  • Pruning
  • Training

Soft skills:

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Environmentally-conscious
  • Time management
  • Organization

Certifications:

  • Certified Professional Horticulturist, The American Society for Horticultural Science, 2017–present

Volunteer work: 

Instructor of horticulture education, 2016–present

The Regent School of Botanical Studies, Glendale, CA

Teach a wide range of gardening classes to adults and children, including:

  • Container gardening
  • Herb and vegetable gardening
  • Pruning workshops
  • Composting
  • Organic gardening
  • Bonsai classes

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