How To Outline Your Resume To Guarantee A Solid Structure

The outline for your resume is very basic - not an absolute guide for how to write your resume but, like any other outline, just the bare elements and layout that must be included in every resume.

The outline of your resume, at its very simplest, contains the following:

1) Complete Contact Information

Your full name in capital letters. Your complete address. Your phone number, preferably home and cell phone both so that you are easily available. These should be bold, slightly larger than the rest of the details of your resume outline, and centered.

You may find, in a sample resume outline from many years ago, that the next thing you are told to list is your date of birth. In fact, you should never include this information. Not only does legislation protect you from age discrimination, and therefore the requirement to divulge your age, but also a good human resource professional will not want to know this information to protect her or himself. 

2) Education Details

The next thing you'll find on a basic resume outline is the details of your education. Generally it is not necessary to include high school if you have college education to list. Do include the degree or degrees you have earned and, if no degree, the number of credits you have earned. If your GPA is impressive include that number. If not impressive, but the grades you earned in your major or area of concentration, assuming it is the field in which you are applying for a position, are high, do include these.
 
The next heading of your resume outline is for other training or courses, such as business school courses, or on the job training or other education. 

3) Work Experience

Your outline resume will next include your work experience. This is the section of your resume outline in which you list all your prior and current jobs, generally starting in reverse chronological order. This means that this part of your resume outline starts with the most recent job and ends with the first job you held. This is an outline for a resume in chronological format. There are times and formats that don't necessarily require the reverse chronological order - in fact, recommend that the order not be strictly chronological. This part of the resume outline, no matter which format, still calls for your work experience to be listed.

4) Activities

 The next item on your basic resume outline should be pertinent activities and interests. This is not the place to mention that you like to read, but rather the place to mention that you are a member of Toastmasters, honing your public speaking skills, especially if you are applying for a position that will require or be aided by your ability to think on your feet and speak in public.

In this part of the resume outline, or in any part, you should refrain from mentioning such prone-to-injury activities such as hang gliding and skydiving, for example - unless, of course you are applying for a sales or management position with an extreme sports firm.

5) References... Or Not

What some older outline resume guides might suggest next is the heading for references.  Were you to include this information you would want to include the name, address and job title of people who can offer references. You would explain how you know them and how long they have known you. Nowadays, however, your resume outline can leave out any reference section. This is material that an employer will request should you get to the point of a job interview. No employer will actually check references prior to the first interview.