Q. I’ve always wondered if there is a fixed order that you need to follow when writing a resume. For example, do I have to list education and personal details first?
A. There is no specific order or gold standard when it comes to writing a resume. However, there are a few guiding principles that should help you identify which order is best for you.
Think of your resume as a funnel.
You want to quickly engage the reader with a strong opening that speaks to your impact and establishes your qualifications. Make them want to read more.
You then want to guide the reader through your information in the order that you feel best serves you. If you are a recent graduate or your education is your key qualification, then you would want to list education first. If you have relevant professional experience, then you would want to lead with your experience.
In most cases, leave supporting information and “’texture” (e.g. technical skills, affiliations, volunteer experience, etc.) for the end of the resume.
It should be noted that resumes in the United States and Canada will rarely have a comprehensive personal details section.