Resumes

Resume Writing | Professional Examples to Impress Employers

Quick Navigation:


What is a resume?

Resume writing is one of the first steps to advancing your career. A resume is a short document of one or two pages that provides a snapshot of your work history, skills and qualifications for a job. A strong resume is brief, easy to read and promotes you as a qualified candidate for the position. Often it can be the determining factor for whether or not you are invited for an interview. In this article, you can follow the steps and examples to help you write resume that will impress employers.

How to write a professional resume

A professional resume, more likely to get noticed by recruiters, requires some forethought and planning. 

Follow these steps to write a professional resume:

1. First, choose a resume format

Resumes are generally formatted in one of three ways: chronological, functional or a combination of the two. Chronological (in reverse order) resumes highlight your work experience and demonstrate career growth in your industry. Functional resumes emphasize your qualifications and skills and can be helpful if you’re just starting your career, have gaps in your work history or intend to change careers. The combination format includes sections to highlight your skills, qualifications and details of your work history.

2. Second, review the job description

Once you have decided on a format that best suits your needs, carefully review the job description for your desired positions. Ensure you thoroughly understand the minimum and preferred experience, qualifications and education requirements. Identify keywords for each of these sections that closely align with your own qualifications, skills and experience.

3. Third, identify relevant skills and qualifications

After identifying keywords from the job description, consider your skills and qualifications. As you are preparing resume content, you’ll want to only include the skills and qualifications that most closely align with the job description.

4. Fourth, identify relevant work experience

Next, consider your work history and identify experiences that demonstrate your ability to apply important skills and qualifications in the workplace. Additionally, make sure to list relevant experience that can be quantified, such as increasing sales by 10%.

5. Fifth, craft powerful descriptions for your experience

The descriptions of your experience should always start with an action verb such as improved, increased or achieved. When possible, include quantifiable or measurable data that demonstrates your exact accomplishment. Finally, your bulleted experience should be specific and list relevant job duties.

For example, a strong bullet point may read: ‘Updated, maintained and analyzed personnel and payroll data for 2,400 employees.’

6. Sixth, include any relevant certifications, awards or honors

Consider your certifications, awards or honors and identify any that are relevant to your desired position or support your relevant skills, qualifications or work history. Decide which are the most relevant for this application. List each one, including the date of certification or recognition.

7. Then, fill in each section of your resume

Your name and contact information should always be at the top of your resume. The next section may include a career objective or summary. The following section will be your bulleted work history or education and most relevant qualifications, depending on your chosen format.

If you are using the chronological format, your education, skills and certifications will make up the bottom portion of your resume following your work history. If you are using the functional format, prioritize your education, qualifications and skills by listing them at the top of your resume and certifications closer to the bottom. 

Finally, consider if you will be submitting your resume on paper or online. If you are submitting your resume on paper and it is relevant for your desired position, your design can be more creative. If you are submitting your resume online, however, it is best to use a single-column format with black text on a white background and omit design elements such as shapes or images. This will improve the likelihood that applicant tracking systems will accurately read and scan data from your resume.

8. Last, review and proofread your resume

Finally, when you finish filling in the content, thoroughly review and proofread your resume. You will want to ensure there aren’t any spelling or grammatical errors and your language is professional and consistent. Be sure to use parallel construction and consistent punctuation in your bullet points.

For example, you should describe work history for your current position in present tense but use past tense for any previous experience. Also, do not use periods at the end of bullet points. Be sure to use commas, semicolons and other punctuation consistently throughout.

Carefully reviewing the job description and planning the resume content will help you build a resume designed specifically for the job you are looking for and will sell you as the right candidate for the job. Planning the content in advance eases the process of writing a strong resume and will help ensure your content is relevant, concise and complete.

Resume template

[Name]

[Address] [Phone number] [Email] 

SUMMARY [Brief summary that highlights your most relevant experience and qualifications]

EDUCATION [University or College] [Dates attended] [Year degree earned] [Major]

EXPERIENCE

[Current or Most Recent Employer], [Job Title]

[Month, Year –  Present]

  • Most important relevant experience
  • Second most important relevant experience
  • Third most important relevant experience
  • Any additional relevant experience

[Next Most Recent Employer], [Job Title]

]Month, Year] –  [Month, Year]

  • Most important relevant experience
  • Second most important relevant experience
  • Third most important relevant experience
  • Any additional relevant experience

SKILLS

  • Most relevant skill
  • Next most relevant skill

Resume example

Cody Fredrickson

Hartford, CT • (555) 456-7891 • cfredrickson@email.com

SUMMARY 

Well-qualified consultant with 3+ years of experience assisting in delivering innovative solutions to the sales manager to maintain existing customer relationships as well as ideas for working with prospective customers. Possessing superior customer communication skills between business and technical teams to meet workforce development needs.

EDUCATION 

Green Valley State | August 2010 – December 2014 | Marketing/Management

EXPERIENCE

River Tech, Consultant

February 2017 – Present

  • Assist in accessing one-stop resources, including labor market information, job fairs and recruiting assistance
  • Coordinate all outreach and marketing activities to the community
  • Provide business with information and assistance regarding incentive programs such as wage subsidy programs, tax credits and other available resources
  • Meet and exceed monthly KPIs as well as monthly quota

Cloud Clearwater, Assistant Consultant

January 2015 – February 2017

  • Contacted new businesses and employers to provide welcome information and orient them to one-stop center services and provided follow-up
  • Built and managed a strong sales pipeline
  • Assessed the human resource needs by conducting business surveys, customer satisfaction surveys and/or job profiling and job analysis

SKILLS

  • PMP
  • CPA