Optional Resume Sections
Add Value to Your Resume.

There are several optional resume sections that you may use… However, only include these sections if they add value to your resume.

In other words…

Skip these sections if the information cannot somehow apply to your career choice.

Here are the optional sections you can include...


  • Projects you initiated
  • Records you set or broke
  • Proven leadership abilities
  • Volunteer work
  • Lasting results that you attained
  • How you Increased production or efficiency
  • Awards or recognition that you have received

Honors and Awards  

  • Special recognition
  • Scholarships
  • Graduation honors (college students/recent graduates)
  • Recognition of academic achievement
  • Awards from work, school, or professional organizations
  • Competitions you participated in or won

Professional Associations/Volunteer Experience  

  • Volunteer work
  • College associations
  • Minority / Diversity / Business organizations
  • Professional groups related to your career field
  • Board/Committee appointments

Refer to organizations by full name, followed by acronym, in parenthesis (if applicable). List the name of the organization, the years that you were a member, and the position you held within the organization. Briefly describe your accomplishments.

It is not necessary to place the words "Member of…" before the names of organizations. The employer will know that you are a member of the organization if you list it on your resume.

Do not include religious and political affiliations. A resume is simply not the place for this information.

Emphasize any leadership positions you held within the organization and what you accomplished in that position. Be brief.


Avoid typing the words, "References Available upon Request" on your resume. This is unnecessary.

Employers may ask you for references, either verbally or on the job application if they need them. Just be prepared to provide references if you are asked.

Examples of references...

  • Supervisors/Managers, whether you work for them now or have worked for them in the past can speak about your work ethic, skills, accomplishments, or qualifications for the target job.
  • College professors can attest to your project management skills, and your ability to learn and apply acquired skills to projects.
  • Current or former coworkers can vouch for your teamwork skills.
  • Social acquaintances can speak to your interpersonal or communication skills.
  • Business acquaintances can speak about your networking ability.
  • Current or previous customers can attest to your customer service and follow-up skills.
Choose your references wisely by selecting people that you trust, who are professional, have great communication skills, and will speak positively about your qualifications for the job.

Ask for permission before listing someone as a reference, so if they are contacted, it will not be a surprise, and they will be prepared to give you a meaningful recommendation.

Remember to include these sections on your resume only if the information will help support that fact that you are qualified for the job.

Other resume sections:

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