write and format resume sections

the heading the objective education section experience section
other sections

other (optional) sections

Topics on this Page

  • What are some other optional sections
    • Certifications
    • Organizations
    • Skills
    • Volunteer/Community Involvement
    • Honors and Awards
    • Languages and Travel
    • Study Abroad
    • Profile
    • References
  • How to format these sections
  • FAQs about other sections

What are some other optional sections?


Include certifications that are relevant to the position.Iinclude the information in Example 1, for instance, if you are applying for a health care position, or in a health care facility. Don't include it to apply for a position as a technical writer.

Example 1


CPR and First Aid Re-certification August 2011
CNA Certification
November 2009

Example 2

Teaching License

  • 777 Regular Education: 20 Initial Educator 72 Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence
  • 334 Language Arts: 20 Initial Educator 72 Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence

American Red Cross

  • First Aid, CPR and AED certified (through May 2013)

Organizations or Affiliations

Rather than just listing memberships in student organizations, demonstrate your accomplishments. Not just Officers make a contribution to organizations. Consider what you brought to the group, how you were involved and the outcome of your involvement.

Example (note that these bullet statements are written as accomplishment statements)

Campus Involvement
American Marketing Association Eau Claire, WI
Vice President of Finance Dec. 2009 –May 2011

  • Assumed position during a period of adversity and immediately implemented changes to the accounting procedures, resulting in 100% satisfaction of financing
  • Managed, forecasted, and budgeted for over $12,000 through fundraising, dues, directors, and events, while overseeing four directors and their responsibilities with corporate sponsorship & fundraising
  • Assisted in overseeing 150 + members and their involvement in the organization, by leading bi--‐weekly meetings throughout each semester
  • Coordinated an AMA Saves Lives event, a program that promotes the benefits of organ donation, to which UWEC--‐AMA received over $1,000 to give back to the chapter
  • Participated in the AMA International Collegiate Conference, where UW--‐ Eau Claire placed in the top ten out of 304 schools, based on an annual report which included an extensive budget

Skills Section

Ideally, you will highlight your skills through the experience section by demonstrating how you used this skill (give example). Sometimes though, a separate Skills Section may be pulled out to highlight those skills that are especially relevant to the position, such as computer skills, lab skills, or design skills.


Technical Skills

Languages Java, C#/.NET, C/C++, Ruby
Operating Systems Windows Platform, GNU-Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD
IDEs Eclipse, Netbeans, MS Visual Studio
DBMSs MySQL, MS SQL Server, Oracle Database

Web Tools CSS, HTML, JSP, Ruby-on-Rails

Other Understanding of Various Software Development Methodologies
Version Control Systems – Subversion / GitHub
Behavior Driven Development – RSPEC / Cucumber

Volunteer/Community Activities

It can be especially helpful to showcase these activities if you are applying for a position with a non-profit, community organization, educational, or any organization that you know (from research) supports these kinds of activities in their corporate culture.

Example 1

Volunteer Activities
Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley, Eau Claire, WI    2010 

  • Facilitated summer activities for a group of 15 teenage members of the Boys and Girls Club                       
  • Established rapport with a variety of diverse students, including those with behavioral disorders

Example 2

Eau Claire County Human Association-Eau Claire, WI, August 2011 to present
Chippewa Valley Mentor Program-Chippewa Falls, WI, September 2011 to May 2012

Honors & Awards

Create this section if you have too many to list outside of education, or they are not necessarily education - related.



  • Dean’s List – every semester
  • Psi Chi – Psychology Honor Society
  • Presidential Honor Society

Languages & Travel

List proficiency level in speaking or writing language. Listing significant travel, especially overseas, indicates an ability to adapt to different surroundings. What is your language proficiency?

Study Abroad

This section can be listed as part of the Education section, or separately if you have a great deal to say about it. If you did study abroad, be sure to include it on your resume somewhere, as this demonstrates many personal qualities: ability to adapt, willingness to take risks, and ability to get along with others.

Profile (also can be called Summary of Qualifications, or Summary)

What makes you stand out from others applying for similar positions? What are the 3 - 5 key points about YOU that make you a strong candidate, that make you unique, that will make an employer need to talk to you?

While this is an optional category, it can be especially effective for college students who have gained many valuable skills through involvement in organizations, volunteer activities, and class work. This section of a resume is similar to a thesis statement - you tell the reader what your strengths are, and then you show them where and how you have demonstrated those strengths with the rest of your resume. It can be used in combination with an objective, or stand on its own.

The following types of information are often included in a Summary for a college student:

  • Special knowledge related to the field
  • Something about your personal work style or attitude toward the job
  • An accomplishment or recognition related to the job
  • Certification or Licensure Related to the position
  • Language Skills


Recent graduates should normally use 3 to 5 references. These references should consist of college instructors, and former and present employers who can attest to your work ethic and ability to handle a full course load and the part-time job with professionalism.

The reference page itself should include your full name and contact information as on the first page of your resume. Each reference listed should include their name, position, employer, address, phone number and email address as appropriate. If the relationship between the reference and yourself is not immediately obvious, you may insert a one-line explanation of the relationship.

You can also include references on the bottom half of page two of your resume.

FAQs about other sections

Should I include references on my resume?

As a college student or recent graduate, it may be to your advantage to include your references when you apply for positions. For one thing, it removes a step for the employer: he or she doesn't have to request your references and therefore may speed up the process. Also, the employer may see someone they recognize on the list and make a reference call right away, giving you an immediate advantage over others.

If you do not include references, it is not recommended that you include the line at the bottom of the resume that says, "References available upon request." It takes up valuable space that can be better used. And it is assumed that you will provide references when requested.