How to Make a Resume on Word for 2024 (7 Simple Steps)

Welcome to our ultimate guide for writing a resume using Microsoft Word! You’ll find tips for using MS Word to format your resume correctly plus all you need to know about Microsoft resume templates.

Make my resume

CPRW, Career Advice Expert
by Gabriela Hernandez  CPRW, Career Advice Expert 
Published On : March 25, 2024  
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Want to create a resume in Word? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll show you some easy tips and tricks to make a good Microsoft Word resume that recruiters remember.

This step-by-step guide will teach you how to make a resume on Word that’s well-formatted, includes all the right sections and looks fantastic and industry-ready.

You could also use our Resume Builder to create a professional resume for you quickly with personalized content and customizable resume templates.

How to make a resume on Word
using a template

The easiest way to make a resume on Word, is to use one of its pre-existing resume templates.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • 1Open Microsoft Word.
  • 2Go to the search bar and type “resume.” Pick one of the pre-formatted resume templates that pop up.
  • 3Edit the filler text on the resume template with your professional information.
  • 4Save your document as a PDF and send it via email or submit it to an online job application form.

That’s it!

Although this is an easy way to write a resume, Microsoft Word is popular — meaning many people use it.

It wouldn’t be unusual for a recruiter to find dozens of applicants using the same MS Word resume templates (Microsoft only offers three free resume templates). Not a good first impression to have a resume that looks like everyone else’s.

If you want to stand out from the applicant pool, you’ll benefit from using an external template like those in our resume template library.

Free resume templates
to make a resume on Word

Feel free to download these resume templates and use them to make a resume on Word.

Our free templates offer instructional content to help you fill your resume sections accurately.

It’s like having a how-to-write-a-resume guide and a free template all in one!

Chronological

Who should use a chronological resume format?

  • Individuals applying for executive-level positions.
  • Job seekers with 10+ years of experience in a same industry.
  • Anyone who want to showcase an impressive career progression.

Functional

Who should use a functional resume format?

  • Applicants with very limited work experience.
  • Job seekers who prefer emphasizing skills and education.
  • Individuals with noticeable employment gaps.

Combination

Who should use a combination resume format?

  • Job seekers who want to focus on both their skills and experience.
  • Applicants with five to eight years of experience.
  • Career-changers, promotion-seekers or those returning to the workforce after a break.

How to write an MS Word resume
in 7 easy steps

If you want full control of how your resume looks, you can also write your resume in a few simple steps using Microsoft Word’s paid resume templates.

Microsoft Word offers a way to create a custom resume if you have paid the purchase fee for Microsoft Office 365.

If you’re confident you want to make a resume on a Word document, follow these steps:

STEP 1

Open the Microsoft Word program and create
a new “Blank document file.”

Choose a simple and easy-to-read font like:

  • Arial
  • Calibri
  • Times New Roman
  • Georgia

Keep the font size between 10-12 for the text and 14-16 for the section headings.

STEP 2

Build a header for your contact information.

Microsoft automatically formats your page, so you can type your contact info.

Include:

  • Your full name
  • Your phone number
  • Your email
  • City, state and ZIP code of your residence
  • Links to your portfolio, LinkedIn or relevant social media accounts (optional)
Flower1

PRO TIP

Increase the font size of your name, so it appears big and bold at the top of your resume for recruiters to immediately recognize you.

Step 2 Contact Information

STEP 3

Write a resume summary or objective.

Hit the ‘Enter’ button to create a paragraph break and continue with your second resume section: the resume summary or objective statement.

This section consists of a short paragraph where you introduce yourself to a potential employer by mentioning your role and your most relevant achievements.

Resume summary versus resume objective

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Resume summary

  • Best for experienced candidates.
  • Four to five sentences long.
  • Focuses on key skills and experiences from the job description.
  • Shares more information like job title and years of experience and licenses/certifications.
Search icon

Resume objective

  • Ideal for applicants with little to no experience.
  • Two to three sentences long.
  • Focuses on goals within the role and your career
  • Mentions what new skills and knowledge you can bring to the role like relevant coursework or internships.

In most cases, the resume summary is your best option because it allows you to write a robust introduction with your best qualifications.

However, if you’re a student or a recent graduate with virtually no relevant experience, you’d better opt for the resume objective.

This is how your resume summary should look on your resume:

Resume Summary

This is how a resume objective looks like. See how they differ:

Resume Objective

STEP 4

Outline your work experience.

Create another section with the heading “Work Experience,” and include a list of the jobs you’ve held throughout your career in reverse-chronological order.

What to include in your work experience section:

  • Job title
  • Name of employer
  • Location of employment
  • Dates of employment
  • 3-4 bullet points describing your accomplishments within each role

Resume Work history

Unsure of what to write under your job experience? Stop racking your brain trying to find the right words and let our Resume Builder do the work for you! Choose from hundreds of work experience descriptions you can copy and paste right onto your resume.

Build my resume

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PRO TIP

Are you applying for your first job and don’t have much experience? You can minimize your work experience and put the focus instead on your accomplishments within your skills section by writing a functional resume.

STEP 5

List your most job-relevant skills.

For your next section, you will create a heading titled “Skills,” and include a list of six to eight professional skills.

Don’t just list the first skills that pop into your head, be strategic and choose skills relevant to the job you’re applying for.

How to choose the right skills for my resume?

Finding the right resume skills is as easy as browsing through the role’s job description. The job ad will tell you all the skills and knowledge you need to possess for a chance to get the position.

Note all the skills from the job ad you possess and add them to your resume skills section.

This is how your skills section should look:

Resume Skills Section

STEP 6

Showcase your education to make a resume on Word.

Create a section titled “Education” and list all your academic achievements, i.e., high school diploma, bachelor’s degree, master’s or any postdoctoral degree.

Your education section must include:

  • The title of your degree
  • The university or institution that issued your degree
  • The city and state where the university is located

Generally, you should avoid including graduation dates in your education section.

While age discrimination is forbidden in the workforce, some employers may nonetheless feel a certain way about your age, which is easily determined when you list graduation dates. Why risk being passed over by an ageist recruiter? You want to convince them you’re a stellar candidate regardless, so leave these dates off your resume.

The only exception to this is if you’re in the process of obtaining your degree and have not yet graduated. You want to share that by writing “Anticipated graduation: 2024,” for example, or the year you expect to complete your degree.

Here’s how your education section should look:

Resume education Section

STEP 7

Customize your resume with extra sections.

Once you’ve completed your five essential resume sections, you might want to include additional achievements that don’t necessarily fit into these standard resume categories.

Some common extra sections you can include in your resume are:

  • Certifications
  • Licenses
  • Awards
  • Honors
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Internships
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Languages
  • Continuing Education

Wondering how to fit all your resume sections neatly into one page? Unlike Microsoft Word, our Resume Builder takes care of your resume’s formatting so you can spend more time on what matters most: your career goals and achievements.

Our Resume Builder makes writing a
resume a breeze!

In just a few clicks, our builder will create a professional resume for you in minutes. Simply fill in your personal information, type in your desired role and our Resume Builder will suggest relevant pre-written content to add to your resume sections.

Make my resume

Resume formatting tips
for making a resume on Word

  1. Use line dividers for your sections.

    Make the information on your resume stand out and look professional by adding lines that separate each resume section.

    How to insert a line on your Microsoft Word resume? Highlight the text where you want the underline to appear. On Word’s toolbar, click “Insert” and choose the “Horizontal line” option. This will immediately produce a line that goes across your entire page.

  2. Create two columns of text for your skills section.

    List your skills in two columns, rather than in one long list which creates too much wasted white space on your resume.

    Simply highlight your list of skills, click the “Format” button, scroll down to “Columns” and choose the two-column option. Now you have a two-column skills section.

  3. Include various font sizes for your resume content.

    A great way to make your Word resume look legit is by using different font sizes for various parts of your document. For instance, your section headings or titles should be in the range of 14-16 in font size. The content of those resume sections should be between 10-12 font size.

    You can also incorporate italics and bold text for your work experience section to break up any visually monotonous text.

  4. Don’t go overboard with tables and graphics.

    It’s best to keep your Word resume simple and not overload it with too many design elements.

    Tables, graphics and images are eye-catching, but many applicant tracking systems (ATS) (the software employers use to scan resumes) have difficulty scanning them correctly, resulting in jumbled text that’s hard to follow. Sticking with horizontal lines and a pop of color in your headings is best.

Use our ready-made resume examples

Our resume examples are written by professional resume writers who know what content will catch recruiters’ attention. Use these resume examples to build your resume and pick one of our professionally designed resume templates you can easily customize for a stellar resume.

Benefits of using our Resume Builder

  • Customizable professional templates

    Our builder boasts 35+ professionally designed resume templates you can customize with your favorite colors and fonts. We offer resume templates with various modern, traditional and creative styles to suit your personality while remaining professional.

  • Pre-written content for resume sections

    Our Resume Builder suggests personalized pre-written content for your resume summary, work experience and more that you can use as-is or edit to your liking. You no longer have to spend hours writing — simply copy-paste, edit and be done in minutes!

  • User-friendly editing tools

    You have creative control over your resume with our easy-to-use editing tools that help you modify text size, text placement, margins and line spacing so your resume looks sharp.

  • Automatic formatting

    LiveCareer’s Resume Builder automatically organizes your resume’s layout so all your resume sections fit neatly onto one page. Even if you go over one page, our Builder will ensure your resume is ATS-compliant and recruiter-approved.

Make my resume

Resume Builder Benefits

Key takeaways for creating a
resume in Word

  • Choose a free resume template or build your resume from scratch.
  • Fill in your contact information: name, phone number, email and basic location.
  • Write a short summary introducing yourself with your top achievements.
  • List your previous roles and outline your accomplishments.
  • Showcase six to eight skills.
  • Share your education but omit graduation dates to avoid hiring bias.
  • Customize your resume with extra sections.
  • Incorporate simple design elements such as easy-to-read fonts and pops of color.

About the Author

Gabriela Hernandez

Gabriela Hernandez CPRW, Career Advice Expert

Gabriela Hernandez is one of LiveCareer's resident writers. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Journalism. Throughout her career, she has tackled copywriting, blog articles, journalistic writing, academic writing, resume writing, and even prose and verse.

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