How to Write a Professional Resume

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A professional resume outlines your relevant experience, skills and accomplishments. You can include a professional summary as an introduction to give important information at a glance and encourage the hiring manager to read through the rest of your resume. In this article, you can learn the steps for writing a professional resume so you can present your skills, experience and achievements in the best way possible.

How to write a professional summary

Follow these steps to create a strong professional summary for your resume:

1. First, state your title and level of experience

To begin writing your professional summary, state your professional title and the number of years of experience you have in the role or industry.

2. Second, list your accomplishments

After you’ve specified your title and level of experience, choose three to four of your most impressive accomplishments or relevant experience and add each of these details in concise bullet points.

3. Third, add important keywords

Be sure to use plenty of relevant keywords to get the attention of the applicant tracking software many companies use to screen resumes. Refer to the job description for an idea of the best keywords to use.

4. Then, quantify your accomplishments

To further describe and demonstrate your abilities, be sure to quantify your accomplishments when possible. Including data will show that you value your goals.

5. Finally, show that you’re the right candidate

After you’ve added the relevant keywords to your summary, carefully relate each bullet point to the job description. This helps recruiters envision you working in that position.

Tips for writing a professional resume

Here are some useful tips for writing an effective professional resume:

Your resume should be easy to read

Use a clear, consistent style of writing and make concise statements. Use simple, readable font styles and sizes. For headings, you may use a clear serif font such as Times New Roman at a point larger than the body text. For the body, use a font that is simple, clear and sans-serif, like Arial or Calibri. Your body text should be no larger than 11 points.

Choose the resume design that works best for your career history

While there are several types of resume designs to choose from, the one you choose should be the best at describing your interests, experiences and accomplishments. The basic design styles include reverse-chronological, functional and combination. A reverse-chronological resume design is typically best when the focus is on the work experience you have accumulated, while a functional resume design focuses on relevant skills and education. The combination, or hybrid, design carefully combines the key points of reverse-chronological and functional resumes.

Tailor the resume to fit the company and job description

Highlight the skills and accomplishments you can relate to the requirements for the position. This may be different for each role you pursue so you can update it for each position you apply for.

Your resume should be consistent throughout

If you begin by using bullet points to list your accomplishments and responsibilities, use the same bullet points in other sections, too. For example, if you use a filled-in circle bullet point in one section, carry that style over to the other sections of your resume. Too many different style elements make a resume look messy and can overwhelm a recruiter or hiring manager and jeopardize your chance of getting an interview.

Your resume should remain focused

Information that has nothing to do with the job you’re applying for does not have a place on your resume. Focus instead on the skills, education and experience that have prepared you for this job.

Update your resume regularly

To keep your resume fresh, periodically review it and make necessary updates, such as removing old positions that are out of the scope of your resume’s time frame and/or relevancy. Add newly-acquired skills, awards and certifications to replace old, outdated ones. Update your keywords for the applicant tracking systems and make small formatting changes to increase the readability and uniqueness of your resume. Update your contact information as needed.

Write your resume summary last

After you’ve completed the rest of the resume, go back through and pick out your best skills and experiences to showcase. This helps you use experiences that are fresh in your mind from writing the resume.

Reverse-chronological resume example

Use this professional resume sample as a guide when you want to focus on the work experience you have accumulated:

Hector Baldwin, BSN, RN



Dedicated professional Registered Nurse offering nine years of emergency healthcare experience in hospital settings.

Nursing: Deliver quality nursing care to patients with painful injuries and illnesses, including performing initial assessments, administering medications via IV and orally, dressing and cleaning wounds, providing care instructions to patients and their families.

Communication: Fluent in both English and Spanish, used to communicate treatment plans, medical updates and provide patient education.

Compliance: Maintain compliance with all regulatory standards, including JCAHO and HIPAA.

Key strengths: Patience, compassion and leadership. Proven record of effective collaboration in motivating and mentoring nursing staff on their daily responsibilities as well as occasional one-time tasks.

Professional Experience

Miami-Dade Medical Center

Miami, FL

Registered Nurse

June 2015 – Present

Provided skilled nursing care at a Level 1 trauma center to patients experiencing strokes, cardiac arrests, traumatic injuries, drug overdoses and respiratory distress. Performed intubations, defibrillations, Medlock (iv) insertions and other life-saving interventions.

  • Supervised nursing staff of 20–25 nurses
  • Mentored new nurses
  • Worked with physicians, surgeons, police, EMT and other emergency and medical personnel

Jackson Memorial Hospital

Miami, FL

Registered Nurse

September 2011 – June 2015

Provided emergency nursing care and performed many lifesaving procedures and interventions alongside a team of physicians, surgeons and other medical personnel.

  • Supervised nursing interns
  • Worked overnight, holiday and weekend shifts and remained on call for most days off
  • Learned many lifesaving techniques through observation, practice and the mentorship of medical doctors


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), 2011

Florida International University College of Nursing, Miami, FL

Registered Nurse (RN) Certification, State of Florida

ACLS, BLS, First Aid, CPR and PALS certified

Key Skills

  • Patient assessments
  • Catheterization
  • Medlock insertion
  • Infection control
  • Wound care
  • Pre- and post-op care
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving

Functional resume example

Use this professional resume sample when you want to focus on your relevant skills and education:

Kristin Gonzalez


Fort Lauderdale, FL


Dedicated journalist with more than five years’ experience in public relations, journalism and copywriting/editing seeking to bring extensive research, writing and editing skills to a full-time position as a staff writer/editor at Fort Lauderdale Herald.

Professional Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Journalism
  • Proven ability to meet multiple deadlines without compromising accuracy or quality
  • Thorough investigative writing skills
  • Proven record of discretion and protecting the privacy of information sources
  • Proficient using Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office, Hemingway and Slickwrite
  • Member of National Professional Journalists Society since 2016


  • Research
  • Objectivity
  • Audience focus
  • Writing
  • Editing: grammar, punctuation, sentence structure
  • Storytelling
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Time management
  • Versatility
  • Critical thinking

Work History

Staff Journalist, 2015 – Present

The Lauderdale Ledger, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Editorial Intern, 2014 – 2015

Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Newspaper Editor and Journalist, 2013 – 2014

Fort Lauderdale High School, Fort Lauderdale, FL


Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Bachelor of Arts: Journalism, 2015

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