Resume Outline: All You Need to Know!

Outline refers to a brief description, a plan, or a blueprint describing the essential characteristics of a work or a document. In other words, a rough sketch or an idea is an outline as well.

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Resume Outline: All You Need to Know!

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The same applies to resume outlines too. In this complete guide, we will discuss what is a resume outline and how to outline professional details concerning an outline.

But before we begin with the resume outline topic here's something important for you. Browse our free resume templates. Present your professional expertise with our ready resume templates to get your dream job.

Once you select the template it will redirect you to the resume builder. Fill in your details and get a superb resume ready in just minutes. If you are a beginner then refer to our resume examples for further help.

We have bifurcated resume examples into dedicated industry categories. Select the professional category and click on the sample resumes to read.

Have you seen a construction project plan? It's a wireframe of the building without concrete. The plan guides the engineers and workers on how to make beams, columns, slabs, walls, and other parts of the building with precise measurements.

A resume outline does the same by guiding the professional on how to position certain details and creating a document that efficiently communicates with the hiring managers.

A resume outline not only draws a clear path to stack details but also makes the resume writing process easy. When you have a clear outline it will be effortless for you to follow it and develop an engaging resume. Check out our free resume templates to write a resume. Follow the link above.

📌 A simple resume outline and a resume layout are two critical factors to write the best resume that can bypass applicant tracking systems.

resume outlines

How to Create Resume Outlines?

The resume outline refers to the content particularly and how you will be arranging it. The arrangement is essential because that's what will set the flow of the information. Therefore without creating further suspense, let's get to the point.

Basic Resume Outline

The elementary resume outline consists of some very basic information. For instance, name, phone number, work experience, education, and relevant skills. These are primary ingredients limited to the basic resume outline.

What's NOT in the Basic Resume Outline?

When we look at the modern resume we find various information stacked excellently one after the other guiding hiring managers swiftly. But a basic resume outline eliminates a huge part of these details.

For example, resume summary, resume objective, soft skills, hard skills, volunteer experience, multiple languages, the reverse chronological order of the job experience, past jobs, relevant accomplishments, relevant hobbies, and volunteer work history.

To put it differently, a basic outline doesn't include the above-mentioned vital elements. What's the point of giving unfurnished details to a hiring manager that will eventually result in rejection? It doesn't make sense. Right?

From here on we will be discussing the professional resume outline and key points regarding each section. Here you go.

📌 A resume is a short version, a summary of your professional journey to date whereas a curriculum vitae is a long history of the same professional achievements in great detail.

Professional Resume Outline

After the basic outline, it's time we also discuss the outlines of a professional resume. The outline of a traditional resume is foundational and nearly every resume under the sun uses this particular wireframe. So here is the list of information job applicants need to include in their resumes.

  • Resume Header
  • Resume Summary
  • Resume Objective (for inexperienced)
  • Work History
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Additional Details

Now let's talk about each one of them individually in detail.

Resume Header

A header in the resume is the most important thing while drafting a professional resume outline. It contains all the contact information of job seekers. Since it is the introduction of the job applicant there's a set outline one must follow.

You can't sprinkle your contact information all over the resume the way you like. Follow the outline given below and stick to it.

  • First and last name
  • Job title
  • Mobile number
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn profile link
  • Blog/website link

A resume heading must contain the above details in the said order. However, you can be lenient with a couple of details like the LinkedIn and blog/website links. Your LinkedIn profile link is a virtual resume depicting professional details. Hence, if you add them it increases the trust factor of hiring managers.

resume outlines

Resume Summary

Immediately after the header comes the resume summary. Unlike a header, the summary doesn't contains a set of information to be written in bullet points. Yes, there are no bullet points instead it is laid in a descriptive format.

If there are no bullet points then how would one write it in the first place? First thing first, the summary must not exceed more than 5 sentences. Secondly, a summary must strike a balance between professional skills and the requirements mentioned in a job listing.

In other words, the summary must contain what have you done in your previous jobs using relevant skills mentioned in the resume. Follow the supply chain coordinator's resume to get an idea about the summary example.

Resume Objective (for inexperienced job applicants)

An objective statement is written only when job seekers don't have job experience. Yes, the objective is for those who are inexperienced or have graduated recently. Similar to a summary your resume objective must include skills and the potential application of those skills to bring fortune to the employer.

Read how to write a resume - Here you will get to know what is a resume objective with good and bad examples of objective statements. Also, visit our free resume templates page to get started making the best resume.

Work History

Professional experience counts when you make a job application since the employer is interested to know your core competencies. There's a set formula to outline professional experience in a resume. Let's discuss the draft to write job-relevant experience in a resume. Here we go.

  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Location of the company
  • Employment duration
  • Describe your achievements in previous jobs using solid numbers. Mention specific skills used to accomplish a set of tasks.

Include 5-6 bullet points while writing every single experience related to past jobs. Repeat the same with every employment you want to record in a resume. Always begin with the latest or current job and then go on with the oldest one. This is called the reverse chronological order of writing work history.

Reverse chronological order is the most appropriate resume format used by professionals. A great resume in fact a perfect resume is imperfect without a reverse chronological outline of experiences.


The education section can have more than academic qualifications. A perfect resume contains academic details that are beyond formal education. For instance, internships, volunteer training courses, certificates, and much more that adhere to the job description.

So how will your resume outline your education section?

Just like we did in the experience section the education section will be written in a reverse chronological outline. Here's the sketch.

  • Name of the degree
  • Name of the college/university
  • Location of the awarding institute
  • Duration of the degree course
  • GPA

That's how your education section will look when you fill in the details. Educational background is often overlooked while compiling a resume outline but be cautious because after experience this is the most popular resume credential.

Skills Section

The skills section doesn't follow an ascending or descending order while writing a resume. However, the position of skills section is critical in a traditional resume compared to a functional format of a resume.

If you are writing skills in the beginning then the resume format itself changes. It becomes a functional resume instead of a conventional one.

Instead of a skill outline focus on the relevancy of your expertise. Things that you know - Are they mentioned in the job description? Refer to the job title for the job you're applying for. If you are an apprentice and the job title demands a master technician then you may have a rough road ahead.

Matching job qualifications with the listing of the job you're applying for are the key factors to writing a job-winning resume. It's normal to be exhausted with these kinds of details when deciding to make a resume online. But our free resume templates can ease your pain. Try them.

resume outlines

Additional Details

Additional details in a resume are like toppings on a cake, you can't resist putting them more, They will always appear less. However, they develop a positive vibe in front of a hiring manager. Moreover, that's one way to decorate your professional resume.

Outline relevant information that can give insights to the employer while making a hiring decision in your favor. For example, if you speak multiple languages then write the proficiency levels for each one of them. If needed include a brief statement boasting the achievements in language.

Functional Resume Outline

Till now what we have discussed was the resume section of a traditional resume. We have been using it for job applications for a long time and it makes reading the resume easier.

Now we will talk a bit about the resume outline of not so popular resume format - You guessed it right the functional resume format. You will quickly understand why high school diploma holders love to create a resume using this format.

The basic difference between the two of them is the style of writing. In short, both the professional resume and the functional resume differ in the arrangements of the resume sections. Not only positions of resume sections but there are major changes in other areas as well. Let's see what they are.

Before that, we recommend going through the resume outlines of a functional resume.

Perfect Resume Outline - Functional Resume

  • Header (contact information)
  • Resume Objective
  • Skill Summary
  • Work History
  • Education
  • Additional Skills

The functional resume focus solely on skills and does a remarkable job of effectively highlight them. Those who wish to change their field experience use a functional resume and for the rest of them, there's the traditional one.

However, this is not the most popular resume format but those with fewer work experiences can kick start their professional journey with this one.

The header and the resume objective remain the same as we learned in the resume outline of a traditional resume. Apart from that, we have a subtle change in the resume layout. Since a functional resume's main idea is to highlight skills the skills section will come in the beginning followed by the work experience.

Yes, the experience section will inevitably be there but you need to write very brief details about it. We will soon look at that in this guide further. As of now you can continue reading or use our resume templates to make a great resume for yourself. Click here.

📌 Contact information (header) in a resume remains the same immaterial of what resume layout or type you are planning to use.

Skill Summary

This is the space where a detailed account of your skills will be written. The good thing about writing a skill summary is that it doesn't follow the chronological resume outline. Yes, you can begin with the most revered skill.

Name of the Skill

  • Describe the skill, and its usage, and mention the achievements.
  • Write additional knowledge of a skill related to the main skill.
  • Describe a working experience in solid numbers if any.

So this must be your skill summary outline to portray your expertise. Repeat the same with other skills. Write exclusive details of accomplishments accompanied by concrete figures. That's what a great resume presents to the employer about you.

Work History

Just a brief account of the experience you will be writing here without many details. The catch is you are writing a functional resume and if you start elaborating on your experience then it will confuse the reader.

Although you are writing a functional resume you will have to mention the experience even if it is in bits. Use the chronological resume outline here. Just skip the bullet points.

  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Location of the company
  • Employment duration

Repeat the same with other levels of employment details that you plan to introduce in the resume. Find suitable resume templates that cater to your need and try making a functional resume using the same. If not then explore our resume templates. They are free, quick, and easy.

Resume sections like education and additional skills remain the same as we discussed in the first part of this guide.

resume outlines

Resume Outline Examples

It's good to see that you are still reading and have come this far. But answer this - have you come this far to only come this far? Definitely NO. Then we have something for you. Here are professionally curated best resume list.

Each one of them not only has a good resume outline but working examples to demonstrate how and where you can make mistakes.

Learn from this resume outline examples and eliminate errors in your upcoming resume.

Key Points of Resume Outline

Like we already said above writing a resume might make you feel exhausted. But not when you have the right tool and information. Let's sum up our resume outline guide with some helpful pointers.

  • Decide the type of resume you want to make - is it a traditional resume or a functional resume?
  • Create a resume outline once you have decided what kind of resume you want.
  • Arrange resume sections based on the resume outline. Take help from our resume templates if required.
  • Organize your professional details in those sections based on the resume outline.
  • Prioritize important details only and skip unwanted things to keep the resume tidy.
  • Check the resume to locate errors, mistakes, and unnecessary details.
  • Prepare a professional cover letter to send with a job application. Click here to get details about a cover letter and how to write one.

Follow this guide to create a resume outline and thereafter a resume. This could be a new beginning of your career. If you have any questions let us know in the comments. Our experts will help you out.

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