Who should use a chronological resume format?
- Anyone who is applying for an executive-level position.
- Job seekers who have 10+ years of experience in the same industry.
- Applicants who want to show off an impressive career progression.
Every job advertisement receives around 250 applications. You’ll need a stellar resume if you want to be one of the handful of folks who gets a callback for an interview! We’re here to show you how to present your qualifications and skills so they stand out to potential employers and get you that coveted interview.
Writing a great resume is the key to impressing hiring managers and getting interviews. Here, we show you how to make a resume for a job that gets noticed!
Choosing the right resume format and how you organize your information is just as crucial as what you include in a resume.
Here’s how to choose the best resume format for you:
Although the chronological resume is the most popular, it’s not ideal for every job seeker. Opt for the functional or combination formats if you have less than 10 years of experience.
Employers must know how to contact you, especially if you’ve secured an interview.
Share your essential contact information in the header section of your resume.
Contact information you should include:
A resume headline is an optional section that states your most attention-grabbing qualifications and your intentions as a job seeker.
This section should be high in your resume, ideally between the contact information and resume summary.
Check out these examples of resume headlines to get a better idea of what to include in one:
Efficient Administrative Assistant with Exceptional Organizational Skills and Project Management Certification
3x Award-Winning Educator with MS in Educational Leadership Recognized for Empowering Diverse Student Populations
LPN with 11+ Years of Experience in Patient-Centric Care and Proven Clinical Excellence
Recruiters spend around 7 seconds scanning your resume, so include a brief but impactful opening statement. It should only be a few sentences long and show employers your resume matches the role.
You can opt for a resume summary or a resume objective. But what’s the difference between them, and which should you use?
The resume summary, also called a summary statement or professional summary, is the recommended approach because it concisely summarizes characteristics that make you ideal for a specific job.
Your resume summary should include some of your most job-relevant skills and feature at least one career achievement. Include keywords from the job description and use action verbs; avoid phrases with “I” or “my” pronouns.
Formula to write a resume summary:
Resume summary examples
Graphic designer resume summary:
“Creative graphic designer with seven years of experience creating brand identities for over 15 clients. Experienced in creating logo typography and color palettes using Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and After Effects. Created augmented reality (AR) graphics for a mobile smartphone game application which reached an audience of 2 million people.”
Accountant resume summary:
“Diligent Accountant with three years of experience working in the public and private sectors. Adept at creating detailed financial reports and establishing and maintaining budgets. Provided strategic financial planning consultations to corporate clients like Unilever and Walmart.”
In need of a stronger resume summary? Have our Resume Builder suggest a resume summary for your desired role.
The resume objective, or career objective, communicates your goals for a job and the skills and education you have to achieve them. This statement is ideal for less experienced candidates, such as students and those relocating or changing careers.
This paragraph should contain two or three sentences mentioning job-relevant qualifications and skills that compensate for your lack of formal experience.
Formula to write a resume objective:
Strong resume objective examples
Blogger resume objective:
“Blogger with experience in fashion, beauty and lifestyle writing for personal blogs and digital publications seeking affiliate writer position at Teen Vogue to provide engaging and informative shopping advice with excellent copywriting, research and trends analysis. Possess social media management skills and basic graphic design abilities.”
Physical therapy aide resume objective:
“Physical therapy aide certified by Borough of Manhattan Community College seeking physical therapy assistant job at HD Physical Therapy Clinic to offer my PTA services in recordkeeping, equipment setup and data monetization. Self-motivated, organized and responsible PTA that works with initiative.”
Hiring managers will pay close attention to your work history section, so a big part of your success will lie in your work experience.
Your work history section is the bulk of your professional accomplishments.
You must organize this section in reverse chronological order so employers first see your most recent or current job.
When you’re listing each job, include:
Three to five bullet points describing your achievements within the job
We are hiring a dynamic and motivated sales associate for our new location in Altamonte Mall.
You will be responsible for various tasks on the sales floor, cash registers, fitting rooms and stockroom.
Once you’ve noted all the keywords in the job ad, pick the ones that accurately describe your professional experience and skill set. Check out how to use the keywords when describing your work history:
Sales associate work history example:
Sales Associate | Urban Outfitters – Tampa, FL
November 2021 – Current
Cashier | AVO Boutique – Tampa, FL
August 2019 – November 2021
Sales Associate | The Gap – Tampa, FL
January 2019 – August 2019
Start sentences with strong action verbs when you begin to write your work history. For example, “Developed new social media strategy” has more impact than “Was responsible for our social accounts.”
Make sure you use different action verbs throughout your work history. If you need inspiration, check out this list:
Your skills section should include a bulleted list of six to eight skills describing your expertise for the desired role. Add a variety of soft, hard and technical skills that show you’re a well-rounded candidate.
Your education section will communicate that you have the academic training to perform your job. Always list your education, even if you don’t have a college degree.
Lincoln High School
Dallas, TX – June 2019
High School Diploma
General Educational Development Diploma (GED)
San Diego, CA – 08/2019
If your degree is older than five years, consider removing the graduation date to avoid unfair hiring bias from employers determining your age.
You don’t have to limit your resume’s content to these sections!
Once you’ve mastered these five main resume sections, you can customize your resume with additional sections.
Some examples of additional resume sections are:
You can create a separate section to list any licenses or certifications you possess.
Example of licenses on a resume:
Example of certifications on a resume:
You can add an honors or awards section for any academic or professional recognition you’ve received.
“Honors” relates to academic achievements, whereas “awards” refer to academic and professional accolades.
Example of an honors resume section:
Example of an awards resume section:
You can add a section in your resume to showcase any large-scale projects you’ve led or participated in your company or even personal side projects.
Example of a projects resume section:
If you’re a writer or an academic investigator, showcase any publications you’ve written during your career.
For a long list of publications, you might be better off with a curriculum vitae (CV) instead of a resume. If so, we can also show you how to write a CV.
Example of a publications resume section:
Sharing volunteer work in your resume is a great way to show you mesh well with a company’s culture and have developed skills to help you professionally. It’s also a great way to show skills you’ve developed if you’re writing a resume with no work experience.
Example of a volunteer work resume section:
Digital Marketing Volunteer
Habitat for Humanity-Restore
East Bay/Silicon Valley, CA
02/2022 – 03/2023
Writing this section is as straightforward as listing the languages you can speak. However, you can add extra information, such as your fluency level.
Example of a languages resume section:
Spanish: Native language
Including a section for internships is a great addition to your resume if you’re a new job seeker just starting your career.
Example of an internships resume section:
Full-stack Developer Intern | Onyx, Miami, FL
01/2023 – Current
Software Testing Intern | DEF Software Solutions, Miami, FL
08/2022 – 11/2022t
Include additional sections if they showcase relevant skills and experience for your desired job. Don’t overstuff your resume and extend it beyond two pages with information that won’t benefit recruiters.
Double-check information like dates and the spelling of company or school names, and ensure your contact information is accurate and current.
It won’t matter if you’re the most qualified candidate in the world if your resume contains spelling and grammatical errors.
Check each of your resume sections for typos and formatting errors. Read the page from top to bottom, run it through an online spell-checker like Grammarly or have a copyeditor friend review it before deeming it ready for recruiters.
Take advantage of our Resume Builder’s built-in spell-checker, which revises your grammar and syntax as you write.
A cover letter helps you sell yourself to the employer by providing more context to the career accomplishments showcased in your resume.
We already covered how important it is to tailor your resume for every job application to increase your chances of getting hired.
The same goes for the cover letter, another document you should continually customize to show different employers how you can fulfill the role’s specific demands.
Do you need a quick cover letter for your next job application? Our Cover Letter Builder writes full-page letters according to your desired job, matches your working style, and accounts for any gaps in your work history in mere minutes.
Let’s review the major steps for writing a resume:
When learning how to make a good resume for a job, start with a strong summary of your qualifications and emphasize the value of your skill set and industry knowledge. If you have limited work experience, move your education section above the work history and list any academic honors. Remember, you may have internships or volunteer experiences that can make up for formal experience.
To learn how to write a resume that will pass an applicant tracking system (ATS). You’ll also need to study the ad carefully to ensure that your content mentions the most critical keywords from the job posting. Customize your resume whenever you apply for a job to emphasize your most relevant skills and experience.
The amount of work experience you should include in your resume will depend on your years of experience. You don’t need to include every single job you’ve ever had. Instead, list your most recent and relevant experience for your desired role.
Job seekers with no experience: Include any internships or apprenticeships you’ve completed during your education or training. Mention your participation in college associations (especially if you occupied a leadership position) or any special projects you completed during your final year. Make these accomplishments stand out in a functional resume.
Entry-level candidates: List all your work experiences up until now and emphasize quantifiable accomplishments.
Mid-level candidates: Provide a detailed description of any responsibilities that went beyond your job description, showing you’re prepared for a promotion.
Senior-level candidates: Showcase every role you’ve had up until the past 10 to 15 years.
If you’re writing a functional resume, you will choose three core skills that best reflect your abilities (even better if they’re keywords from the job ad). For each core skill, you will include two to three bullet points describing what accomplishments prove you excel in that respective skill.
Teacher functional skills section example:
Combination resumes can have just one listed skills section, or you can pair it with a “summary of qualifications” or “summary of skills.” In the summary of qualifications, you can share more job-relevant skills and achievements that demonstrate you’re prepared for the role. Junior and mid-level job seekers can use this summary of qualifications to show employers they’re ready for the job despite having little experience.
Customer service representative summary of qualifications example:
Summary of Qualifications
More resources for writing your resume
How to Write a Resume in 2024
How to Write a Resume When You Have No Work Experience
Avoid These 10 Resume Mistakes