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Rossen reports: how to create a winning resume, as layoffs loom.

how to make a good resume for a job


Deals, scams, your money, unemployment— Jeff’s newsletter cuts through the noise.

The damage is being done and a lot of us are feeling it. Job cuts have soared from this time last year. So whether you’ve just gone through a layoff or you’re looking to polish up your resume for the potential chance that layoffs could impact you, you need your resume to stick out from the rest of the pile.

Here are some of the best tips and tricks from the experts on how to grab a future employer’s attention:

Florida job fair

Watch the video above for more tips on how to land your dream job online.

Good Housekeeping

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how to make a good resume for a job

The Main Library at Goodwood is home to the Baton Rogue Career Center, a free service that provides help with resumes and general career advice.

With over 35 years' experience, certified resume writer and career coach Laurie James has a range of tips to help bring your resume up to scratch.

A lady walks into the Goodwood Main Library, home of the Baton Rouge Career Center.

Avoid 'the ultimate no-no' and other tips to build a winning resume for Louisiana jobs

Jack Barlow

Jack Barlow

Looking to stand out from the crowd? For job seekers, presenting a perfectly curated resume can go a long way toward landing that all-important job interview. 

While resumes can vary by form and content, there are some definite do's and don'ts. Here are tips and tricks to help your resume make its way to the top of the pile, as opposed to the bottom of the wastebasket.

Make it snappy

According to certified resume writer, career coach and motivational speaker Laurie James, overly detailed resumes are a surefire way to make a recruiter's eyes glaze over.

"You're going to want to keep it tight and, if possible, to a single page," she said. "The average eye of the person reading the document is going to get overwhelmed if it's not compelling information. Unless it's very impressive and competitive they're gonna say 'Yeah, next,' and lose interest."

If it does end up stretching over multiple pages, make sure the added information is necessary. "We always say, 'Say as much as you need to say, and not one word more,'" James said.

Typos: the ultimate no-no

It sounds obvious, but a resume riddled with typos and spelling errors is pretty much guaranteed to be tossed aside. "It’s just ... glaring," James said.

Keep your eyes on the prize

Lynnette Lee, from the East Baton Rouge Public Library's Baton Rouge Career Center, says paying attention to the job that's being applied for is critical.

"Many people see a resume as simply a reflection of themselves and who they are," Lee said. "It's also a reflection of what job they're applying for. It’s a sales pitch, so it also needs to be a reflection of the potential consumer."

Tailor your resume

On that note, it's not a bad idea to tweak a resume with an eye toward the job you're after.

"A lot of people have a generic, one-size-fits-all resume," Lee said. "The problem with that is it's like one-size-fits-all clothing: it doesn’t look particularly attractive on anyone."

Useful alterations include promoting accomplishments and career highlights that line up with the job that's being applied for.

This is especially true for people who have worked a range of jobs, since putting everything down can look unfocused.

"If you've been a certified pharmacy technician, a CDL truck driver and you have a teaching license, well, that’s great, but don’t put all those on the same resume," Lee said. "I can promise you that no job on earth is going to need you to do all three of those things."

Fill in gaps ...

"Applicants who have unstable work histories make hiring managers nervous," Lee said. "Do your best to cover up or remove gaps and short-term jobs from your resume."

... but don't try and write an autobiography

A resume is not your life story. "If people look at their resume as a biography, they're going to feel compelled to put down every single thing they do in their daily job," James said.

"Instead, I'd encourage people to look at their resume as a sales pitch. Think: what's the most important and impressive stuff I do? Most importantly, what is the person reading this resume going to care about? What do they need and what are they looking for?"

Sweat the small stuff

In resumes, little things do matter. James points toward a host of quick fixes that can make a big difference: make sure a ZIP code is added in the address line. Keep fonts a uniform and reasonable size (and whatever you do, don't make them too small). Put credentials at the top. Add a cover letter. Avoid writing in first person. Add a link to LinkedIn.

Make sure it flows and, especially, don't have "orphan lines" that stick out and make things look clunky. 

And don't use the word "objective." Those in the know say it's 30 years out of date.

A good resume can go a long way

Having a good resume won't land a job by itself, but it may well get your foot in the door.

"The role of a resume is to get you in for an interview," James said. "It'll never get you a job, but a good resume should get you in for an interview with someone of interest."

Email Jack Barlow at [email protected]

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how to make a good resume for a job


Deals, scams, your money, unemployment— Jeff’s newsletter cuts through the noise.

The damage is being done and a lot of us are feeling it. Job cuts have soared from this time last year. So whether you’ve just gone through a layoff or you’re looking to polish up your resume for the potential chance that layoffs could impact you, you need your resume to stick out from the rest of the pile.

Here are some of the best tips and tricks from the experts on how to grab a future employer’s attention:

Florida job fair

  • Follow the F Pattern: Eye-tracking studies that have been done show that on average, recruiters spend 6-8 seconds looking at your resume before they decide whether you’re a good candidate or not. That’s it! So follow the F Pattern. Those same eye-tracking studies show our eyes scan the top horizontally first. Then we spend a lot of time on that horizontal middle section. Then our eyes scan down the left side of the page, forming the letter F. Key information should be in that “F” section. A LinkedIn article says there’s also Z Pattern we read in as well. Read about that here .
  • Keep the layout simple: Too much clutter can be overwhelming to read. Make sure each section has clean, bold headings and titles. Some experts say you should put things like “awards” in a box that will draw the eye.
  • Include numbers: It’s all about logic. Show how effective you are with numbers. How much money did you manage? How many employees attended your last event? Did you write an article that was published online and got a lot of views? Include all of those numbers. Think you don’t have numbers in your job? You do. Everyone does.
  • Don’t use useless words: Studies show these are the most used verbs on resumes: worked, helped, responsible for, etc. Instead, replace those words with strong ones such as implemented, streamlined, strategized, improved, executed, collaborated, etc. Those words stand out and show initiative.
  • Use their words: Check out the company's website and its mission statement. Look at the job posting as well. Use words you see in those places, too. People reading your resume will see that you’ve done your homework and that your work values line up with theirs. On the plus side, if they’re using a computer program to scan resumes, this will help put yours in the yes pile.
  • Mention the switch: Millions of people are making major career switches. If you’re one of them, don’t be afraid to mention that in your cover letter. Experts say talking about how your skills can be easily transitioned into a new job is important to show that you’re ready to take on the new task.
  • Show competition: If you win an award or get chosen to be a part of a special team or in a program, show that off! You can do this by showing how coveted that was by others. Show how many people went after that award, applied to that program, or get chosen to be on that special committee every year.

Watch the video above for more tips on how to land your dream job online.

Good Housekeeping

Amazon has uncanny dupes of cb2's popular dining chair for hundreds less, great jones cookware review: is it worth buying, kelly clarkson's home collection is up to 74% off during way day deals, the best wayfair way day deals 2023 — starting at $30.

How to Write a Resume

Need some basic information about how to write a resume that stands out from the competition? Or maybe you’re looking for advice on how to fine-tune your career summary, craft your work history section, and show off your education and skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Check out the following resume writing tips to learn how to make your own, optimizing each section for maximum success.

Resume overviews

Resume critique checklist To put it simply, you need to know how to make a resume be as perfect as humanly possible. Use this resume checklist to ensure all your bases are properly covered.

How to get your resume ready for a job search Condensing your entire work history into a perfectly-worded, typo-free document is maybe just a little stressful. But what if we told you it doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think? Check out our easy-to-follow guide.

How to write your first resume You don’t get a second chance at a first impression and your resume is your introduction to your hopefully-soon-to-be employer. (No pressure though…) But don’t panic. This super-easy guide shows you how to write a resume for your first job and makes it easy. TBH, you’ve got this.

Resume tips for older workers with skills to spare By building a resume strategically, you can combat ageism in your job search and showcase the qualifications that are most relevant to the job you’re seeking.

The perfect resume Think your professional resume is nothing more than a few sentences and a handful of bullet points? Think again. Your resume must be crafted with care, each line contributing to a larger snapshot of who you are and what you do.

This simple resume recipe will make recruiters hungry for more (video) There’s a kind of algorithm to making a good resume: Go heavy on experience, throw in a dash of skills, make this part spicy, make this part mild.

What is a CV and how does it differ from a resume? People make the mistake of using the words CV and resume interchangeably. Though they have a lot in common, they’re also two distinctly different documents.

Resume elements

Five critical elements of any resume No matter what your level of experience is—or what industry you’re in—experts say every resume should have these core elements.

How to write a resume title Get employers' attention from the top by writing a memorable and professional headline for your resume. Check out these samples to see how it's done.

What's your resume objective? Learn the how, where, what, when and why of incorporating your professional goals into writing your resume.

How to write a resume career summary Follow these six steps to develop a hard-hitting introductory qualifications statement that's packed with your most sought-after skills, abilities, accomplishments, and attributes.

Top skills to put on a resume Coupled with the descriptions of your achievements, your skills will paint a clear picture of what you can do and how you do it. Your goal is to make your talents easily identifiable.

Showcase marketable skills in your resume skills section Get as much mileage as you can from listing your skills on your resume. Learn about the three types of skills you can highlight and how you can incorporate them into your resume.

How to write accomplishments on your resume You need to know how to write a resume that stands out from the crowd. Employers look for examples of accomplishments to help them pinpoint achievers, candidates who go above and beyond their job duties.

Nine tips to writing a winning employment history Check out nine ways you can jazz up your resume's work experience section to capture hiring managers' attention.

Put your education to work on your resume Unsure about the best way to present your education on your resume? Here are some common scenarios and strategies.

Including relevant coursework on your resume There's a designated spot on your resume for your education history, but some prospective employers might be interested to know the details of your studies—and others might not. Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine when and how to use your course experience to your best advantage.

When and how to include your GPA on your resume If you are currently in college or will soon be graduating, these tips can help you determine whether or not to include your GPA on your resume, as well as show you where and how to properly include it.

Should you include high school on your resume? Do potential employers really care about where you went to high school? Short answer: Sometimes.

Round out your resume with additional information Take your resume to the next level by including additional information that supports and reinforces your qualifications. Here's how.

How to write a core competencies resume section Building core competencies for a resume will support your application and strengthen your appeal to employers. They show employers that you’re well qualified to perform the job that you’re applying for.

How to include certifications on a resume Certifications are typically earned after demonstrating industry-specific knowledge and proficiencies by passing an exam or evaluation process. This is where to put them on a resume.

Resume appearance

Resume examples by industry Monster's sample resume library includes resume templates for a variety of industries. Having trouble knowing what to write? Check these out for inspiration.

The one-page resume versus the two-page resume There’s an age-old debate about whether size matters that affects job seekers: How long should your resume be?

The best fonts for your resume Your resume communicates your skills, assets and hire-ability. So if a recruiter can’t read it, or is put off by a funky font, you won’t even get a second look.

How your resume should look so that you look good From a recruiter’s perspective, your resume’s look is just as important as its content. Resume design matters. Check out what makes a resume visually appealing to hiring managers.

10 things your resume is probably missing—that recruiters definitely want to see We asked career experts what they consider the absolute must-haves for recent grad resumes—and what your resume is likely lacking if you’re still not getting a callback.

Resume strategy

Use keywords to boost your resume Want to know how to make a resume stick the landing? Keywords are search terms that help people find what they’re looking for online. But in the job search world, they help recruiters find you! This is how to sprinkle keywords throughout your resume to make sure you're found when a recruiter searches for a specific set of skills.

Use numbers to make your resume seem more impressive Metrics, data, or any kind of stats help recruiters and hiring managers see the impact you made. The right data can make your experience seem more substantial, and send a signal to a recruiter or hiring manager that you’re a serious candidate.

Buzzwords to include and avoid on your resume It’s time to break from hackneyed buzzwords that carry zero weight in the eyes of a recruiter or hiring manager.

The most powerful action verbs for professional resumes Take the opportunity to liven things up a bit. Weak, vague or overused verbs can actually diminish the excellent work you did at your last job, so choose words that more accurately reflect what you do.

How to describe attention to detail on a resume Phrases like this are on almost every resume of everyone trying to find a job. To increase your chances of landing a job, you need to show what makes you different. So what do you do?

Should your resume be in the past or present tense? As with so many elements of a good resume, the ultimate choice comes down to your individual style and preferences. Use these guidelines to help you choose the right approach.

Leverage volunteer work on your resume Volunteer experience can enrich your resume and give you a leg up on the competition, regardless of what stage you're at in your career. This is how and where to add it.

5 times in your life you should update your resume We get it: When you're gainfully employed, updating your resume is no longer a priority. But if you let your resume turn stale, you put yourself at a disadvantage. If you've had any of these five events happen to you, it's time for a resume review.

Tips to keep your resume updated Most people shelve their resumes once they're comfortably employed, letting them gather dust. Bad move. Use these five quick “spring cleaning” resume tips to get yours in shape.

Resume no-nos

The biggest resume lies to avoid Whether you’re telling a little white lie or a blatant fabrication, getting caught could amount to career sabotage. These are the most common lies people put on their resumes, how you can get caught lying, and easy ways to avoid lying.

The 10 worst resume mistakes to avoid the worst resume mistakes are the ones that are deceptively easy to make and exceptionally difficult to repair once an employer sees them. You can avoid being careless by knowing which pitfalls to be on the lookout for.

What you should never put on your resume There are a few things that don’t belong on your resume—things that might not tank your chances at a job, but won’t do you any favors, either.

10 words that ruin a resume If your resume is like that of most people, it’s not as good as it could be. The problem is language: Most resumes are a thicket of deadwood words and phrases. Let's fix that, shall we?

The worst fonts for your resume ranked Before you make the unfortunate choice of a passé or obnoxious font, here’s a list of the 10 worst resume fonts, and why they just don’t work in the professional world.

20 ridiculous skills you should never include on your resume We’ve rounded up some of the more questionable abilities people have shared on Twitter—rather than with recruiters—for you to enjoy.

Resume writing 101

Learning how to write a resume is crucial to your job search. After you put together your resume, you want to make sure that it's highlighting your skills and experience, as well as the value you'd bring to a company. Could you use some help double-checking your work? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service . You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression. Don't start a job search without it!

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How to Make a Resume in 2023

Kellie Hanna

Forty percent of hiring managers spend less than a minute reviewing a resume . That’s why you need a strong and eye-catching document that perfectly captures your relevant skills and work experience to make the cut.

If you’re wondering,” How do I write a resume for a job application?,”  “How do I make a resume successfully?,” or “How do I update my resume?,” don’t worry! We’re here to help. In this guide, we will show you how to make a good resume in just a few easy steps and detail exactly what to include in each resume section.

We’ll cover:

  • How to write a resume.
  • How to prepare a great resume.
  • Picking the right best format.
  • What to put in your resume contact information.
  • How to write a resume summary or objective statement.
  • What a resume work experience section should include.
  • How to make a great resume skills section.
  • What to put in a resume certification, licenses and training section.
  • How to write resume sections for optional credentials, such as awards.
  • How to build a resume free and fast with our professional Resume Builder .

Plus, we’ll provide expert resume-writing tips, professional resume examples for popular jobs in 2023, sample resumes for special circumstances, and resume templates to get you started.

Make a resume with My Perfect Resume

Our Resume builder can help you write the perfect resume. Start Now!

How To Write Resume

How to write a resume

Chances are, if you write a resume well, you’ll be booked for interviews for every job you seek. But what’s the secret? How do you make a resume that employers respond to?

Keep reading! We’ve broken down the instructions for how to create a resume, step-by-step.

How To Write A Resume Steps

STEP 1 Gather your professional information to prepare to write a great resume.

Preparation is key to writing a resume that stands out. Having your essential information ready will save you time and ensure you put your best foot forward. Here’s how to prepare a resume effectively.

Proper resume preparation means you must take the time to review your relevant qualifications and compare them to the requirements for your target job.

Then make a list of your:

  • Significant accomplishments from previous jobs.
  • Soft, hard and technical skills and match them to the required skills in the job ad.
  • Employers’ names, dates of hire, locations, job titles and responsibilities.
  • Educational credentials such as a college degree, certifications or licenses.
  • Volunteer work.
  • Awards and honors.

Pro tip Tailor each resume you write to the target job to make it most effective.

STEP 2 Pick the best resume format for your needs

Now that you’ve prepared your information, here’s a secret on how to create a resume that many job seekers overlook: You have to choose a suitable resume format before you can begin to write a resume.

How to choose the best resume format? There are three standard formats. Each uses the same resume sections but organizes them differently, so choose one that works best for your work experience level and your professional goals.

Chronological resume format

The chronological resume format is the most commonly used. It’s ideal for candidates who want to focus on their work experience when building a resume because this section sits front and center.

It’s perfect for people with a lot of professional work experience and no employment gaps, and those applying to jobs that put heavy emphasis on experience.

Functional resume format

The functional resume format highlights your skills and training, focusing on the abilities that can make you a great addition to the team, even if you’re applying for your first job.

This format is excellent for first-time job seekers, people changing careers or those with employment gaps.

Combination resume format

Also known as the hybrid resume, the combination resume format combines the functional and chronological resume formats. It’s ideal for mid-level job seekers who want to know how to write a resume for a job when switching to a different industry or reentering the workforce.

STEP 3 Add your contact information.

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date and easy to find. Always put it at the top, in the header.

Here’s what to include in your resume contact information:

  • Phone number
  • Professional email address
  • City and ZIP code
  • A link to your professional social media account, website or portfolio if you have them.

For example:

Resume Contact Info

STEP 4  Write a resume summary or objective statement

Use a resume summary if you have work experience and you are not changing industries or jobs.

When making a resume, use a resume objective statement if you are a first-time job seeker, changing careers, returning to work after a long absence, or applying for a new job (such as a managerial role) in the same company.

Whether you use a summary or an objective, it must be compelling, concise and clear.

Resume Summary Objective

Pro tip  We have more than 35 resume summary examples to help you write your own.

STEP 5 Make a resume work history section

Format this resume section by listing jobs in reverse-chronological order, with the current or latest position at the top and display. Here’s how to create a resume work experience section. You’ll need:

  • Company name
  • Company location (city and state)
  • Dates of employment (month and year)
  • Three-to-five bullet points with your top work achievements and duties

Step 5 Bg

Your work history section should give employers a glimpse into what they can hope to gain by hiring you.

Don’t write a resume job history section as a list of duties, like “Prepared and maintained financial reports” and “Responsible for daily inventory,” because they don’t tell hiring managers anything about how well you can perform in the role.

Instead, for each job, display your work accomplishments in three-to-five bullet points and quantify them when possible. A recent study showed that job seekers who use numbers in their resumes see a 40% boost over the competition.

For example, a teacher might write: “35% of senior class improved end-of-semester test scores by 25% within three months.”

Pro Tip Use action verbs like “Spearheaded project X” or “Oversaw process Y” for impactful resume job history statements.

Resume Action Verbs

  • Accelerated
  • Administered
  • Established
  • Coordinated
  • Revitalized
  • Facilitated

STEP 6 Create a resume skills section to highlight your strengths.

When building a resume, you must include at least one bulleted list of skills, no matter what resume format you use.

When thinking about what to put on a resume skills section, aim for an average of six to eight of your top strengths, as long as they are relevant to the job you want. If you are changing careers or applying for your first job,, focus on transferable skills like communication and critical thinking, which can apply to almost any job.

Pro Tip Here’s a secret for how to do a resume that makes an impact: Show hiring managers that you’re well-rounded by adding to your resume a mix of hard skills , such as accounting, and soft skills , such as adaptability.

These are the top-ten hard and soft skills employers want to see in 2023:

Hard Skills

10 hard skills for resume writing

  • Data analysis (data visualization, programming skills or statistics knowledge)
  • Cybersecurity (risk identification and management, or computer forensics skills)
  • Programming (HTML5, Java development and other programming languages)
  • Marketing (SEO, email and social media marketing or Google Analytics)
  • Accounting (Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks and other accounting software)
  • Design (UX design, Adobe Creative Suite or photo editing)
  • Writing (content writing, copywriting or creative writing)
  • Cloud computing (Cloud architecture, networking or data management)
  • Specialized machinery (forklift or backhoe)
  • Foreign languages

Soft Skills

10 soft skills for resume writing

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Active listening
  • Organization

STEP 7 List your education accurately

When writing a resume education section, list your education credentials, even if you don’t have a degree.

Here’s what goes on a resume education section.

  • If you did not attend college, display your high school diploma or GED.
  • If you attended college or graduate school but did not complete a degree, then add the name(s) of the schools you attended and your courses of study.
  • Add your anticipated date of graduation, if you have one. You don’t need to include the graduation year if you graduated more than 10 years ago.

If you want to know how to make a resume correctly, every resume education section must have:

  • The name of your university, community college or school. Only include high school if you’re a high school student or didn’t attend university.
  • Location of the school: Write the city and state.
  • The month and year you graduated. If you still haven’t graduated, then write the expected graduation date.
  • The type of degree you received or expect to receive and the program. For example, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Bachelor of Arts in English.

Columbia University, New York, NY May 2014 Bachelor of Science in Social Work

You may also include:

  • Your GPA if it is higher than 3.5 and you just graduated college, or it’s required. Otherwise, you shouldn’t add it.
  • Relevant coursework. If you have not graduated or have recently graduated but don’t have work experience, then add a bulleted list of relevant coursework you’ve completed.
  • Honors, scholarships and awards such as Dean’s List or Rhodes Scholarship if they were recent. Always provide the full name of the award and the year you received it.

STEP 8 Add relevant certifications, licenses and training

Some jobs, like nursing , accounting and teaching , require candidates to have certifications and licenses. Some job seekers go the extra mile and get additional training or certificates to establish their expertise in their chosen fields.

When making a resume, create a separate resume section for certifications, licenses or professional training you have completed.

Here’s how to make a good resume certifications section for any additional training.

Directly below your education section, list:

  • The title of the certification, course or license
  • Name of certifying agency or body
  • The date you obtained each certificate
  • The expiration date of your certificate (if applicable). If you have not yet finished the course, write “In Progress” with the expected date of completion.

Consider the following examples when building a resume:

Certifications on resume example:

Example of current certification:

Current Certification

Example of “in progress” certification:

Progress Certification

Licenses on resume example:


STEP 9 Include optional resume sections if you have them

How do you make a resume that stands out? Good resume writing is more than just making sure you have all the basics. Add optional sections, like volunteer work, awards, honors and publications.

If you have published work or have received relevant awards that will help you further highlight your accomplishments, then you should include them — they can’t hurt, but they can help your resume to stand out.

Only add a separate section for awards, honors, publications or volunteer work if you cannot tie them into other resume sections.

  • If the award, honor or publication is tied to your degree, you can include it as a bullet point in your education section below the university or high school name.
  • You can include it in your work history section as a bullet point if it’s relevant to a specific job.
  • If you have the space, create a separate section for awards, honors or publications under your education section. List them as bullet points in reverse-chronological order with the year you received or published them.

Volunteer work can add value to a resume because it shows that you are willing to help others and have passions outside of work, which are not necessarily motivated by money. These traits are attractive to employers in 2023 and can help you stand out from candidates who do not have volunteer experience.

Pro tip Be highly selective when adding resume sections for optional qualifications. You only have so much real estate on a one-to-two-page document, and everything you add must count!

Unsure how to write a simple resume with optional sections? Here’s how to create a good resume with optional qualifications:

Below your education section (or certifications section if you have one), write the name of the optional credential followed by one-to-five bullet points listing the names of the certificates followed by the dates earned or published.

Example of how to make a resume awards section:

Awards Section Mobile

Example of how to create a resume honors section:

Honors Section Mobile

Example of how to write a resume publications section:

Publications Section

STEP 10 Proofread, check your formatting and save your final product.

Typos and grammatical errors are the most common resume-writing mistakes — and a deal-breaker for about 80% of hiring managers. When making a resume, reread it thoroughly to ensure that you’ve written everything perfectly — and that all your dates and company names are correct.

Pro tip Our Resume Builder has a helpful spell-checking tool that scans your document and lets you know of any mistakes.

Formatting errors are also a big turn-off for hiring managers. You can make a resume easy for them to read by following these simple formatting resume tips:

  • Keep it short. A resume should only be one-page long unless you have more than 10 years of work experience and need the extra room. In that case, two pages maximum is acceptable.
  • Set margins to 1 inch on all sides of your document.
  • Use appropriate fonts , like Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica.
  • Stick to a font size between 11-12 on the body and 14-16 on headers.
  • Choose between single or 1.5 line spacing.
  • Save your resume as a PDF , plain text or DOCX and name it appropriately with “[YourName]-[Desired Job]-Resume.pdf. ” Sometimes employers specify in the job description which file type to use; always follow their directions. If they don’t specify a file format, save your resume as a PDF.
  • Your resume file name matters! We recommend this formula: First Name-Last Name-Target Job Title-Resume.

And that sums up how to make a resume. When you finish downloading your document, it should look something like this:

How to make a resume free and fast

Start your resume on the right track with a professional resume template. Our expertly designed templates organize your job credentials correctly in all three standard resume formats, and they meet the latest applicant tracking system (ATS) requirements.

Download one to create a resume from scratch, or use a template with our Resume Builder to build a resume in minutes. You can also upload your existing resume and edit it with our builder! Resume writing has never been easier!

We make it easy to make a resume for work with the following:

  • Job-specific phrases and skills: No matter the job you’re applying for, we provide the best words to help showcase your job qualifications.
  • Step-by-step guidance: Get expert advice at every step to help you present your best self and get the job.
  • Easy customization: Write a cover letter for every job application and save as many versions of it as you need.
  • Multiple download form( ATS ): Save and export your resume as a PDF, DOCX or plain text.

Effective resume examples by job title and circumstance

Choose an example to guide you through creating a resume that impresses hiring managers, then use our builder to customize it for your target job.

Resume examples for popular job titles in 2023

We offer thousands of resume examples to help you learn how to make a resume for a job in almost every industry.

Here are the top 15:

  • Data entry clerk
  • Entertainment director
  • Massage therapist
  • Nursing aide
  • Operations manager
  • Outside-sales representative
  • Payroll specialist
  • Personal trainer
  • Receptionist
  • Registered nurse

Resume samples for special circumstances

Example of a resume for someone with no work experience

Career change resume sample

Employment gap resume example

Expert resume-writing tips to help you land the job

How do you make a resume that gets past ATS software and wins the hearts of hiring managers? Follow these simple tips for success!

  • Create a resume for every job application and customize it for your target job. The best way to do this is to use keywords or phrases in the job description and adjust your work experience, skills and summary or objective to the potential employer’s needs.
  • Find time to dedicate solely to your resume. Writing a resume is pretty straightforward, but it takes time and focused effort to make a resume for each job that rises above the competition.
  • Write and don’t stop to perfect your resume along the way. When you get it all down, step away for a few hours and return to it with fresh eyes to refine your resume writing.
  • Include only relevant experience in your work history section and required skills that you know are relevant to the job at hand.
  • Include up to 10 years of work experience for any job you target.

Create a complementary cover letter

Nice work! You’ve followed all of our advice about resume writing. You know how to write a great resume and you’ve spent a few minutes building a resume that makes you proud. Now you’re ready to send it off for your dream job.

Not so fast!

You need more than the perfect resume to get an interview. Your job application isn’t complete without a compelling cover letter accompanying your perfect resume. Cover letters are vital to job applications because they show potential employers the person behind the qualifications and provide in-depth information about your experience and career goals. And they are a great way to explain employment gaps and career changes.

Not sure where to start? Let us show you how to write a great cover letter with our professional cover letter examples ; then, choose a cover letter template and use our Cover Letter Builder to make a professional cover letter effortlessly.

How to make a resume for a job: Important takeaway

Before we officially wrap things up, let’s make sure you are completely clear on how to write a resume that will impress potential employers.

7 Key Takeaways

Key Takeaway Bg

How to make a resume FAQ

What should a resume look like in 2023.

A good resume in 2023 should look a lot like the examples on this page. In 2023, resumes can be in any format that works for your goals, but they must look professional. That means they must be formatted correctly with clear sections, written concisely with a proper resume font , and framed inframed in in a professional template with a clean design

How do I make a resume?

The easiest and fastest way to make a resume is to use one of our professionally designed resume templates with our Resume Builder. We provide tips, advice and tools to help you build a resume that looks good, is easy to read by hiring managers and ATS software, and is properly formatted. Plus, you can download it in multiple formats and save it to tailor to your next job.

Can I update my resume in your builder?

Yes! You can update your resume in our builder easily. All you have to do is upload it and it will reformat to your new resume template automatically. After that, all it takes is a few clicks to update and save your perfect resume.

What are the basic steps to writing a resume?

The instructions for writing a resume are fairly simple:

How to make a resume with no experience?

If you don’t have work experience and you’re not sure how to write a resume for the first time, you can still make a resume and get the job! Here’s how:

Where can I make a resume free?

You can make a resume for free right here! We’ll guide you through every step. All you have to do is upload your resume or select a template in our builder, answer a few questions, and within minutes, you’ll have a professional resume you can download for free!

How to write a resume on Google Docs?

There are several pros and cons to each Google Docs template, so make your selection carefully.

We make it easier to build a resume in Google Docs !

Here’s how:

What are three tips to writing a good resume?

Our three top tips for writing a resume for jobs you want are:

How to fill out a resume template?

It’s easy to fill out a resume template in just a few simple steps:

What are the differences between a CV and a resume?

People often ask if a CV is the same as a resume. The short answer is no. Although CVs and resumes have similar features and purposes, they follow different rules. A CV is an in-depth, lengthy document that covers your entire professional career, while a resume is short and concise. It focuses on your most relevant job qualifications and is accepted by most employers for a wide range of industries. In the U.S., a CV is typically reserved for jobs in academia, medicine, law and science.

What if I don’t know how to write a CV?

Making a CV is as simple as making a resume! We have a CV Maker that will do the work for you — and it’s fast and easy to use.

Plus, we offer a variety of ATS-friendly CV templates and provide professional CV examples to get you started. Our experts have also created a detailed CV writing guide filled with helpful instructions and tips.

How we reviewed this article

Since 2013, we have helped more than 15 million job seekers. We want to make your career journey accessible and manageable through our services and Career Center’s how-to guides and tips. In our commitment to bring you a transparent process, we present our Editorial Process .

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How to Write a Resume in 2022

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Kellie Hanna

Content strategist, career advice expert.

Kellie is the content strategist for My Perfect Resume. She has more than 20 years of experience in digital media and is passionate about helping job seekers navigate their careers. She has a B.A. in English and writing from Temple University.

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How To Make A Resume 101 (Examples Included)

Mike Simpson 0 Comments

how to make a good resume for a job

By Mike Simpson

how to make a good resume for a job

If you are reading this article, I think it is safe to say that we can call you a “job seeker”, correct?

But what kind of job seeker are you?

Are you looking for a change of pace from your everyday job?

Are you just starting out in the workforce?

Maybe you’re a seasoned veteran trying to make the leap up the chain of command?

Or perhaps you’re just fed up with the way things are going (or not going) with your career and it’s time for a change?

Well, no matter what stage you are in your career, you’re going to need to know how to write a good resume for a job interview … and we are going to show you how! So start by downloading our Free “Perfect Resume” Checklist that will help you overhaul your resume and will get you more interviews.  Click here to get the “perfect resume” checklist

What Is a Resume?

Don’t laugh.

Believe it or not, some people (especially those who are completely new to the workforce) have never seen a resume before, let alone written one.

If you’re one of those people, this section is for you!

So what is a resume?

A resume   is a document used by job seekers to help  provide a summary of their  skills , abilities and accomplishments .

In other words,  a resume is typically a short and quick way for a job seeker to introduce themselves to a potential employer. (In North America a resume should not be confused with a CV . Check out our blog post on the difference between a CV and a resume if you’re interested.)

Resumes are normally submitted to hiring managers along with a cover letter (Need help writing a cover letter? Check out our article How To Write a Cover Letter 101 ), usually via email or on online job posting.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Just take a piece of paper and put some basic info on it and “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am, I’m right for the job and can start tomorrow,” right?

Unfortunately (or fortunately, which I’ll explain later) it’s not that easy.

In fact, writing a bad resume is much easier than writing a good one…and trust me, there are lots of bad ones out there…which is why you want to make sure you have good one…no wait, a GREAT one so when employers look at it, they say, “Heck yes, bring this kid in for an interview!”

Why Do I Need a Resume?

I know the (company CEO, boss, hiring manager, owner’s dog walker who works on Tuesday’s and they’ve totally promised me a job no matter what.)

If that’s true, then hey, you probably don’t need a resume…you’re essentially guaranteed the job already… but what about when that job ends?

Betcha no matter how great your hookups are right now, at some point in your career, you’re gonna need a killer resume, and luckily we’re here to tell you how to create a resume.

And not just any resume… a professional resume .

For those of us who don’t have direct connections to killer jobs, a resume is essential to getting your foot in the door.

Employers use resumes as a way to quickly screen potential applicants , selecting only the individuals they feel are right for the position, so making sure your resume is in tip-top shape is absolutely vital.

Here, let me walk you through a quick little scenario and we’ll see just how important those little pieces of paper actually are:

Imagine you’re a hiring manager and it’s your job to find the perfect candidate for an open position with your company.

You’ve trolled the usual job listing sites and posted what you’re looking for and the response has been…overwhelming.

Your desk is COVERED with resumes. Pile after pile. Stack after stack.

All you need is that one qualified person, but as you look through the piles of paperwork, you feel your stomach starting to knot up. These resumes are a mess. Most of them are sloppy, with spelling errors, confusing headings, and lists of qualifications that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the job at all. You need an IT specialist and a third of these resumes have things like ‘underwater basket weaving specialist,’ and ‘professional poodle groomer’ listed under relevant skills. How is that relevant?

You call maintenance and ask them to empty your trash can, again. It’s filling up too quickly with all these rejected candidates.

You continue to slog through the pile of papers, your eyes growing heavy with each rejection. You’re sleepy, you’re bored, and you’re frustrated. Does NOBODY really qualify for this job?

And then you see it. A single resume that’s clean, crisp and clearly written. The font is professional, the layout is well organized and thoughtful and the qualifications are…gasp…actually on target! You smile as you read it, your heavy eyes suddenly snapping open in excitement as you realize you’ve got someone here who might actually be able to do the job!

You carefully set that resume to the side, a bright yellow note stuck on top of it: “ Interview THIS one. ”

Then you turn back to your unending mountain of resumes. Back to the slog.

Okay. Story time is over…back to reality. How would you like to be that hiring manager?

No fun, eh? Absolutely not!

Unfortunately, odds are, your current resume is probably buried in that mountain of not quite right resumes…or worse yet, in the trash waiting to go out with the next trash run.

Wouldn’t you rather be the one with the yellow “Interview THIS one” sticky?

Okay, then… it’s time to give you all the resume help you need! That’s why we created this fantastic (and free) Resume Checklist for you to use to make sure your resume stand out against your competition.  Click here to get the “perfect resume” checklist .

In this article, we’ll show you SECTION 1 , “How to Build a Resume” or proper resume format and SECTION 2 , “How to Write a Resume.”

Section 1 – How To Make a Resume (or Proper Resume Format)

Good resume writing (and proper resume format) is an art form and can make the difference between getting lost in the pile and being invited in for an interview.

(Here’s the good news. We’ve dedicated an entire blog article just to resume format and the best practices for 2017 and beyond! Click here to head over to that article now! )

The problem is, a lot of people don’t see it as an art form…rather an obligation. Most people look at writing a resume as just something you have to do to get a job.

There’s no time put into it. No thought. And certainly no enthusiasm.

Just a bunch of stuff thrown on a page with the expectation that if the company really want to hire you, they should be able to look at that mess and pull what they need out of it and bring you in based off of that.

Reality check!

Research has proven that hiring managers only bring in about 1 person per 200 resumes received .

Those are some pretty miserable odds!

Time to step up your game and go from one of the 200 to that one out of 200!

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Okay, so we just finished telling you that writing a resume is an art form and that you need to stand out. BUT (there’s always a “but” isn’t there?) this doesn’t mean that you should paint your resume in water colors or build a resume diorama out of Play-Doh and Legos.

In fact, you should know that a lot of companies today are using Applicant Tracking Systems to help them screen resumes and find the best candidates.

How does this work exactly?

Well, a piece of software analyzes your resume for certain keywords and gives you a score based how well your resume matches a predetermined list of keywords chosen by the company you’re interviewing with.

There are a few things you can do to ensure your resume gets past the software and into the hands of hiring managers, which Lifehacker does a nice job of outlining here .

In the meantime, here are our best practices to follow when it comes to formatting your resume.

Resume Fonts

Of course you want your resume to stand out, but for the right reasons…and you have to understand that it starts with the very first second someone looks at it.

Your resume is a marketing tool to sell you to an employer and that means making sure it clearly represents you in a professional manner.

Notice the word professional. That’s what this is. PROFESSIONAL .

This isn’t a time for artistic expression or a place to make a personal statement using gimmicks or tricks..and that means say goodbye to cartoon fonts.

how to make a good resume for a job

No. Comic. Sans.


Look at it. It’s ridiculous.

Who is ever going to take that font seriously? Nobody. That’s who.

You get, on average, 10 to 20 seconds to make a first impression with your resume… so make it count!

If your resume is sloppy or has unprofessional font, odds are those 20 seconds are going to end with you in the trash.

For anyone with a basic word processing program, it’s easy to see there are hundreds of fonts out there to choose from and picking the right one can be difficult. We’ve already discussed Comic Sans (no) but what fonts are good ones to use?

There are two categories of font. Serif and San-serif .

Serif fonts are stylized fonts with tails and other (subtle) decorative markings. Examples of serif fonts include Times New Roman . They are perceived as being reliable, authoritative, and traditional.

Other serif fonts include: Bell MT , Bodoni MT , Bookman Old Style , Cambria , Goudy Old Style , Calibri , Garamond, and Georgia .

San-serif fonts are also often used and are characterized as being simpler and no-frills. San-serif fonts include Helvetica and Arial and are associated with being clean, universal, modern, objective and stable.

Examples of san-serif fonts include: Verdana , Trebuchet MS , Century Gothic , Gill Sans MT , Lucida Sans , and Tahoma .

No matter which font you use, the biggest consideration you have to keep in mind is legibility .

You need to make sure that your typeface is easy on the eyes and shows up well both in print and on screen, regardless of formatting or size.

Another consideration to keep in mind is that not everyone has the same operating system on their computer so unique or gimmicky fonts that look great on one computer system might show up as absolute nonsense on another.

Also, remember in today’s increasing digital age that most resumes are first scanned by an automated applicant tracking software program and any form that can’t be read will be automatically discarded!

Which one is right for you? It’s up to you really, but if you really want a recommendation then I suggest keeping it simple and going with  Helvetica . It’s the perfect combination of style and clarity.

Mike's Tip:

Resume layout & formatting.

Okay, now that you’ve got your font picked out, it’s time to focus on your resume formats (or layouts).  Don’t worry if you can’t remember all of this stuff, because we summarize it all on our “Perfect Resume” Checklist we made for you.  Simply click here to get your copy .

The first rule of layout is, keep it clean and clear. You want a resume that’s easy to read and easy to follow.

Again, remember, you get 10-20 seconds to catch a hiring manager’s eye so handing in something that’s messy, unorganized or confusing is going to end up in the trash.

Margins – Keep your margins to ½ to 1 inch on all sides of the paper, especially if you’re sending your resume to anyone you think might print it out. The last thing you want is to have a printer crop your resume and leave off important information!

Font Size – With the exception of your name which can be larger, you want to keep your font size at between 10 and 12 point. Keep in mind that some fonts are larger and/or smaller than others so an Arial 12 is larger than a Times New Roman 12. Ideally you want your resume to be a single page so feel free to tweak your font size a bit to make it fit (some programs allow you to adjust sizes by half points) but remember, keep it readable! Don’t sacrifice legibility in order to get everything on the page .

Spacing – Generally single spacing works the best, with a blank line between each section of content.

Paper – If you’re printing out your resume make sure to use a laser printer or inkjet printer that produces high-quality results. Use off-white , ivory or bright white paper and always stick to the standard 8 ½ X 11 paper in the highest quality you can afford. Make sure if there is a watermark on the paper that it’s facing the correct way and whatever you do, keep it readable. Don’t cram so much on the page that it’s crowded or confusing!

Resume Categories

Resumes are really nothing more than a bunch of specific categories that quickly outline who you are and what you’ve done and can do. Making sure your categories are well organized is a quick way to help put you in the “yes” pile and keep you out of the “trash” pile.

One of the biggest problems with many resumes is they lack focus and clarity. Double check yours and make sure your categories are well defined and organized.

Header – Start your resume off with the most important information first: your personal information! Include your full name, phone number, email and personal branding website if you have one . It’s also appropriate to include your permanent mailing address, but this can be optional.

Objective or Resume Summary – Depending on what sort of job seeker you are and what job you’re applying for, you will have to choose between an objective statement (what your employment goals are with the company you’re applying to) or a resume summary (a quick recap of your skills and experiences that highlight your value to a potential employer.) Regardless of whether you include an objective or a summary, keep this short and sweet (no more than a sentence or two.)

Experience/Qualifications – This part is all about your work history and should not only include who you worked for but what you did and how long you did it. Include the title you held and a quick bulleted list of responsibilities and/or duties. This is listed in reverse chronological order with your most recent job first .

Skills & Abilities – This section is a quick outline of the skills to put on a resume that relate to the position/career you’re applying to. These can include things like computer skills , technical skills , language skills , anything that can help make you the perfect candidate!

References – Including references is no longer a requirement. It’s a good idea to have references, but the days of listing them at the bottom of your resume is a thing of the past. Instead, have them as a separate list, and if requested, you’ll be able to provide it. Check out our article on professional reference letters if you need more info. (If you need a character reference, check out our article .)

Interests – This category is a tough one. Not every resume should include an interests section…this isn’t Facebook and your potential IT employer probably doesn’t need to know you spend your weekends dressing up as a troll warlord and reenacting great battles… Interests and hobbies can be a double-edged sword and listing something that has nothing to do with the job you’re applying for can not only waste valuable resume space but can also make you seem unfocused or scattered. HOWEVER…there are times when including interests can help you out…especially if they’re related to the job you’re applying for and show interest outside of the office, such as volunteering for an organization you know the corporation is already involved in (do you research first)! This category should be carefully considered before you add it. Weigh the pros and cons very seriously.

Types of Resumes (And 3 Resume Samples)

There are three major types of resumes: chronological, functional and combination (sometimes called targeted or hybrid), and we’ve included a description of each below along with some good resume examples.

Chronological Resume

Chronological resumes are the most commonly used layout and is exactly what it sounds like, a chronological listing of all your work history with your most recent positions listed first.

Employers tend to really like this type of a resume because it’s easy for them to quickly see what jobs you’ve held and how long you’ve held them. It also often includes an objective or career summary as well as education, certifications, and special skills.

For job seekers with a strong working background, this is a great way to showcase what you’ve done!

Here is a great chronological sample resume:


Source: Vault.com

Functional Resume

Functional resumes focus more on skills and experiences rather than on chronological work history and are perfect for people who are changing careers or have a gap in their work history as they focus attention on specific skills and capabilities.

Rather than displaying a timeline of your work history, the functional resume focuses on the actual skills you possess and highlights what you know rather than when you did it.

If you’re applying for a job with specific skills or clearly defined requirements and/or traits, this is the one you want to choose!

Here is a great functional sample resume:


Combination Resume

Combination resumes are exactly that, a combination of chronological and functional. A combination resume lists both your skills and experiences as well as your employment history in chronological order.

The idea is to not only highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying to, but also provide your potential employer with a chronological record of the jobs you’ve held in the past.

Because this type of resume is essentially two different types mashed together, it’s typically broken into two parts. The first part is your functional resume section and highlights your skills, achievements and qualifications and the second part is your timeline of work experience.

Although more complicated to pull together and keep cohesive and clear, this type of format is effective when used by an applicant who wants to show off the most relevant skills while still documenting work history. It’s also a great way to explain gaps in work history as well as career changes.

Here is a great combination sample resume:


So How Long Should A Resume Be?

Once upon a time the fast and hard rule was keep your resume to one-page MAX! Job seekers who found their resumes exceeding the one page limit were forced to either cut out valuable information or tweak their formatting, font sizes and/or margins to make it work, often resulting in either difficult formatting or incomplete histories.

Nowadays the rules are a little more relaxed and the new rule is: Your resume should be long enough to entice the hiring manager to call you in for an interview.

Confused? Don’t be.

First off, your resume is an introduction to who you are…give them enough information to get them comfortable, but brief enough that they’re left wanting more (and call you in for an interview!)

This isn’t a novel. It isn’t a 10-page dissertation on who you are or a 20-page essay on everything you’ve done from your first moments on earth to the moment you sent it to the company.

It’s a career marketing tool and should be used exactly like any good advertising is used…to build excitement, pique curiosity, and encourage the viewer to ask “ Okay, I like this so far…what else? ”

Remember our hiring manager from story time at the beginning of this article? Remember, they’re looking through hundreds, if not thousands of resumes and the last thing you want to do is to hand them a long document they’ll have to pour over to get the info they need.

Be concise . Be brief . Be clear . Be professional .

The best way to determine how long your resume should be is to follow these simple rules:

If you have less than 10 years of experience, are in the middle of a career change, or held multiple positions with one single employer, keep your resume to one page.

If you have more than 10 years of experience, your field is technical or engineering related and you need space to list all your skills and qualifications then two pages is appropriate.

And only in the most rare of situations, usually scientific or academic fields where extensive lists of publications, speaking engagements, professional courses, licenses or patents are normal, can you have a resume three or more pages long…

Okay, got all that? Ready to move onto Section 2 – “How to Write a Resume?”

If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to get your free Resume Checklist. It will help to have it open as you go through the next section!  Click here to get it now .

Section 2 – How To Write a Resume

Now that we have a general idea of what a resume should include, let’s look at how to write one that helps you stand out from the crowd.

Again, let’s go back to our poor beleaguered hiring manger toiling away over mountains of unfocused resumes…and while we’re there, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Out of all of those resumes, there are hundreds of qualified candidates…people who would probably do an amazing job and would be great additions to any company.

Sure, there are those in that pile who have NO business applying for the job…but I guarantee there’s a big chunk of applicants who are qualified and would be great hires…problem is, their resumes…well…suck.

Luckily yours…doesn’t. In fact, yours is brilliant and you are the perfect candidate! You’re the answer to the hiring manager’s prayers. You’re the reason they post jobs and slog through piles of paper poo and when they finally stumble on your little nugget of job history gold, jump to their feet in excitement and yell “Bring this one IN!”

Or at least, if you follow these guidelines and rules, you will be!

Tailoring Your Resume

No, we don’t mean tailoring like getting a nice suit and having it professionally fitted to you (not a bad idea for interview wear, but that’s a different post for a different time.) but tailoring as in making your resume absolutely perfect for the job you’re applying for.

Job hunting is exactly that, hunting…and if you’ve ever done any sort of hunting, you know each and every animal requires different skills. And before you get all upset and tell me “Hey, I’ve never hunted an animal and I never plan on doing it and your analogy is horrible,” let me TAILOR this even further down.

Have you ever tried to get an animal to come to you?

Have a cat? Have a dog? Have a bird? Even a fish?

Each one requires a different approach and what works for one won’t work for another.

Ever tried to entice a horse to come to you with a juicy steak? How about tossing some hay to a tiger and wondering why it isn’t eating? Of course not! That’s because you tailor what you’re doing to the situation you’re in.

Give the steak to the tiger and the hay to the horse!

Cats typically respond well to string and lasers. Dogs love to chase balls. And job hunting is exactly the same!

If you’re sending out the exact same resume to 500 job listings, then you’re not doing it right.

Odds are, you’re not getting many interviews either, and you’re probably wondering what’s wrong with all those hiring managers.

Is it possible all 500 are idiots and can’t tell how amazing you are and how you’re incredible and they’re totally missing out by not hiring you?

Possibly, but I doubt it.

Tailoring means making sure that every resume is unique and specifically written to appeal to the hiring manager for the job you’re applying to. That means if you send out 500 resumes for 500 job listings, each and every one of those 500 resumes will be different.

Exhausting? Hell yes.

Worth it? When you get the job of your dreams…you bet!

The problem is, each job is different and what each hiring manager is looking for is different. There is no physical way to satisfy each and every employer’s individual hiring requirements using just one blanket resume.

If you want to catch the attention of the hiring manager, you have to give them what they want. You need to invest the time into each application and ensure that your resume is tailored to each employer and the job you’re applying to.

Of course, we’re not saying you have to write 500 resumes from the ground up…it IS okay to start with a basic resume that lists your skills and qualifications…but you have to make sure you customize it for each job you apply for.

Let’s start with our categories from the previous section, shall we?

Header – Again, this is your basic personal information. It’s your name and contact info and really shouldn’t change.

Objective or Resume Summary – Again, you need to decide which one will work for you…an objective statement or a resume summary . We recapped the difference between both in the above section. The key here is be concise and clear. One to two sentences MAX.

Experience/Qualifications – This is where WORK EXPERIENCES go. Include anything you’ve done for which you’ve been paid. This includes full-time and part-time work as well as anything you did that qualifies for self-employed work.

Make sure for each job you list:

The hardest part about writing this section is making sure that you list your contributions to the company while still being concise and clear, as well as accurate.

Highlight the relevant information that relates directly to the job you’re now applying for and cut out any clutter that might add unnecessary length to your resume.

Speaking of length, keep your bullets short and sweet.

Wrong : “Daily I worked hand in hand with the company’s most important clients assisting them with problem-solving and ensuring that they were happy and satisfied with our work.

Right : Worked daily with high profile clients to solve problems.

Do not include unpaid , volunteer or charitable work in this section. If you feel you have an unpaid experience or volunteer job that a hiring manager would find valuable, consider creating a new category labelled “Relevant Experience” or “Other Experience” and be sure to include the same identifying information you include for your “Experience/Qualifications” lists.

Skills/Abilities – Every employer is looking for specific resume skills and abilities for the job they’re trying to fill. Your job (while you’re trying to get a job) is to make sure you fit what they’re looking for. These are the job specific skills and should be tailored (there’s that word again!) for each application you submit. But did you know there are skills to put on a resume  that are almost universally valued by potential employers???? Those skills go HERE in this section.

Skills like:

Communication (listening, verbal and written) – This is the number one skill mentioned by employers when asked what they valued in an applicant.

Computer/Technical Literacy Skills – Almost every job these days requires some level of computer proficiency including basic word processing, spreadsheets, and emails.

Interpersonal Skills – Basically how well you work in a team and your ability to relate to co-workers.

Planning/Organization Skills – How well you can design, plan, organize and execute projects and tasks within a specific time frame. Can also apply to goal setting and achievement.

This is just a small sampling of what can go in this section. For a more in-depth look at what to put in this section, check out our previous blog all about it here!

Education – This one, much like your personal information, is pretty straight forward. You want to list your education in reverse chronological order (degrees or licenses first followed by certificates and advanced training).

If you include your college information, list only the school, your major and distinctions and or awards you’ve won. If you’re still in college or a very recent grad , include your GPA ONLY if it’s over a 3.4.

Dropped out or had to leave school because of extenuating circumstances but still want to include the fact that you went? No worries! List the field you were studying, then the school and then the dates that you attended.

If you’re listing just schooling, keep the title of this section “Education.” If you’ve graduated, are including other training, and or other certifications, try to include that in the title. Examples can include “Education and Training,” or “Education and Licenses.” Make the title fit what you’re listing…

Awards – This section is NOT for school-related awards. Include those in your education section. Rather, this section is for awards received, commendations or praise from senior sources. Make sure to mention what the award was for if you can.

Affiliations – If you are affiliated with an organization, guild or club that is relevant to the job you are applying for, the go ahead and include it. Include leadership roles if appropriate. It’s also a great idea to include any sort of affiliation or membership to any organization that might increase your appeal as a prospective employee to an employer.

For almost anything you want to include on a resume, there is a category to help organize it. We’ve listed the most popular above but feel free to do your own research online, especially if what you’re trying to include is unique or hard to categorize.

Action Verbs and Power Words

Speaking of unique, the primary goal of your resume is to make you stand out from the rest of the people applying for the same job and another way to make that happen is to use action verbs and power words (also referred to as “resume verbs”).

Action verbs and power words are exactly that…they’re words that help catch a hiring manager’s eye and give you an edge. After reading hundreds of resumes, many using the same words and phrases, it’s nice to have one that stands out and one of the best ways to do that is by incorporating action verbs and power words!

You’re not exaggerating and you’re certainly not lying, you’re just swapping out old and tired words for ones that are a bit more…dynamic and exciting!

When listing skills , accomplishments, or job described, try using the most impressive words you can think of (without overstating what you actually did).

Were you a leader of a project ? Instead of saying “Led,” use one of these words:

Chaired, controlled, coordinated, executed, headed, operated, orchestrated, organized, oversaw, planned, produced, programmed.

Did you pull a project from conception all the way to completion? Instead of saying “developed, created, or introduced,” try:

Administered, built, chartered, designed, devised, founded, engineered, constructed, established, formalized, formed, formulated, implemented, spearheaded, incorporated, initiated, instituted, introduced, launched, pioneered.

Are you an organizing wizard? Are you increasing productivity ? Sales ? Efficiency? Use these words to really hit home how dynamic you are:

Accelerated, achieved, advanced, amplified, boosted, capitalized, delivered, enhanced, expanded, expedited, furthered, gained, generated, improved, lifted, maximized, outpaced, stimulated, sustained.

Did you achieve something ? Did you hit your goals? Try these words:

Attained, awarded, completed, demonstrated, earned, exceeded, outperformed, reached, showcased, succeeded, surpassed, targeted.

This is just a small selection of action verbs and words you can use to spice up your resume and help you stand out in the crowd. (Need more? Head over to our blog article “68 Dynamic Action Verbs to Enhance Your Resume.” )

Grab your thesaurus and go through your resume…find words that are common and pedestrian and swap them out!

Wow, that’s a ton of information…can you just distill all this epic awesomeness down into a top ten list of tips for creating a resume??

Drum roll, please…

Here Are Our Top 10 Resume Tips

If you’re one of those people who likes to skim through an article or if you plan on coming back for a quick review before your interview, here are our best resume writing tips.

1) Tailored

You’re bringing steak to the tigers with your resume. The employer can look at it and know immediately that not only are you qualified but that you’ve done your research into what the job is and what they’re looking for in an employee. Your goal s are clear as are your skills , areas of expertise and or body of experience .

2) Aesthetically Pleasing

Remember what we said about a resume being a work of art? It should be clean, concise and have a simple structure that invites a reader to glance at it and immediately know what they’re looking at. It’s balanced and flows between sections smoothly. It’s not crowded, the margins are clean, and the font is professional. It’s also devoid of ANY ERRORS . No missing periods, no misspelled words, no grammar issues. It’s also correct and the information included is current and accurate.

3) Complete

That means everything you need to include is included, including (but not limited to) your name, current phone number and accurate email address, a listing of all the jobs you’ve held (in reverse chronological order), educational degrees (including any certifications and the highest degree achieved – again in reverse chronological order) and any targeted information that will help a hiring manager realize you are the perfect candidate.

The easiest way to make sure you remember all of this is to keep track using the “Perfect Resume” Checklist we made for you. You can simply check off the boxes as you complete them. Click here to your “perfect resume” checklist .

4) Accurate

Jobs listed also include your title, the name of the company or organization you worked with, the city and state where you worked and the years you were employed. The bulleted lists are summarized in a clear way that highlights the key ideas without taking up too much space.

And PLEASE! No fibs. Hiring Managers can easily verify anything you put on your resume, and getting busted lying isn’t exactly a winning formula for getting job offers.

The hiring manager can look at your resume and immediately know what you’re applying for and what you bring in value to the company. It’s clear and concise. There’s no confusion as to what your profession is and what you can do.

One page to two pages max, depending on your field, level of experience and skill set. Don’t bore people with details, keep them wanting more…but also learn the balance between not saying enough to saying just enough.

7) Relevant

Never include anything on a resume that might turn off an employer including political or religious affiliations, anything controversial, or that could be taken in a negative light.

8) Professional

This includes font, layout, and paper as well as content. Again, this is for a job and should be used as such. This isn’t a platform for personal statements or a novel detailing every job you’ve ever had since birth to present. It’s printed on high-quality paper in an appropriate color and is clean of any smudges, tears or wrinkles.

Every time you apply for a new job, check your resume to ensure that it’s not only targeted, but also current. Make sure your dates are correct and that you include the most up to date information (this is especially important if you’ve changed your phone number or contact email!)

10) It Is YOURS

That’s right…it might seem strange to say this, but the number one thing you have to remember when applying for any job is to be honest! Use action verbs and power words to give your resume life, but don’t let yourself get carried away and overstate your skills, positions, or abilities. Remember, they’re hiring you …and the last thing you want is to get a job you can’t do.

11) BONUS TIP – Your Resume Contains A Link To Your Personal Website

We’ve been seeing an interesting trend in 2017. Job seekers who add a link to a personal branding website are getting more job interviews and in turn getting more job offers. The fact is, having a simple personal website that highlights your skills and more importantly your personality go a long way to creating a three dimensional persona for the hiring manager . A personal website makes you stand out when compared to all the other candidates who just hand in a resume and cover letter. To find out more check out this blog post .

What Not To Put On Your Resume

Don’t title your resume “resume.” The hiring manager should know what it is just by looking at it. If they don’t, then it’s not a resume and you should re-read this article.

Don’t “fluff” your sentences with unnecessary words. Remember, short and sweet.

Don’t include salary requirements or information. For more info on how to discuss your salary and when and how to bring it up, check out our blog on “When to bring up Salary.”

Don’t list why you left your last job or jobs…and on that same topic, don’t trash former employers…ever…

Don’t include personal information beyond your name and contact. They don’t need your age, race, marital status, sexual orientation or hobbies.

Don’t include a photo of yourself. Unless you’re an actor and applying for a role…otherwise, it’s just creepy.

Don’t get sloppy. Double-check for errors. Then check again.

Resume Templates

Now, we imagined that you’d like some resume templates to help you build a resume, so we combed the internet for some job-specific free resume templates that you can use as a guiding tool.

Customer Service Resume

Administrative Assistant Resume

Teacher Resume

Nursing Resume

Receptionist Resume

Medical Assistant Resume

Project Manager Resume

Cashier Resume

NOTE : These are templates, meaning they are a good place for you to start. But keep in mind that other applicants will also have access to these templates so you don’t want to copy them exactly. Don’t forget you want to stand out among the other applicants, not blend in!

Putting It All Together

So there you have it! How to make a resume …or better yet, how to make an AWESOME resume! Just remember that no single resume is right for every job…make sure to keep it short, sweet, and relevant.

Now re-read this article, but as you do, go through your old resume and see where you can make improvements . Clean it up , pare it down , punch up your action verbs and make it the best possible resume you can…

And above all…good luck!

FREE : "Perfect Resume" PDF Checklist

Ok the next thing you should do is download our handy "Perfect Resume" Checklist PDF ".

In it you'll get a 38 point checklist that will let you overhaul your resume and make sure you aren't missing any critical components.


how to make a good resume for a job

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com.

His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Mike simpson.

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Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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