What to Include in a Receptionist Resume
As you review the receptionist resume samples presented here, you’ll notice that each sample varies widely based on the job seeker’s level of experience, targeted industry, goals, and expectations. Just like these examples, you’ll adjust your language and formatting based on your long-term career plans and the credentials and abilities you intend to show off.
The take home message: there’s no single right way to create a document that gets noticed. But as these receptionist resume samples indicate, there are a few basics items that should appear in your application no matter what. At a minimum, you’ll need to include each of the subsections below.
Work Experience Section
You’ll notice that these receptionist resume samples assume one of two primary formats; these two options are known as functional and chronological.
The receptionist resume samples that use the chronological format emphasize the order and specific details of past positions. In these documents, job seekers list each of their past job titles in the order in which they occurred, beginning with the most recent. This kind of approach is the most common, and it’s primarily used by job seekers who’ve had a largely straightforward career progression.
The functional format, by contrast, emphasizes abilities and skills more than the details of previous jobs. This style is best for those who’ve experience employment gaps, who are changing careers or who’ve done a large amount of independent contract work.
Review the receptionist resume samples and see the work experience subsection below for more on the difference between the two formats.
How to Write the Receptionist Resume Summary Statement
Just like the receptionist resume samples shared here, your document will begin with a short, concise summary that appears at the top of the page, just below your heading and contact information. Your summary should encapsulate the most important message of your entire application: You have the skills, interest, and drive to handle this job, and you’re the one who should be hired, no matter how large the applicant pool may be. This message should take place within about three or four lines of text.
In addition to those found in the receptionist resume samples, here are a few more examples:
Responsible, highly organized receptionist with three years of experience in the warehousing and materials handling industry. Cool under pressure and very comfortable in busy and chaotic workplace environments. Highly proficient with entire Microsoft Office Suite and common document sharing and schedule management platforms.
Skilled receptionist with extensive background in customer service and customer relationship management. Trained in multiple phone and voice communication protocols and fluent in three languages. Have held receptionist positions for both small and large corporations, including a medical office and a growing tech company.
- Computers & Technology
- Installation & Maintenance
- Real Estate
- Human Resources
- News & Media
- Food & Beverage
- Most Popular Resources
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How to Write the Receptionist Resume Education Section
While your resume summary should always appear at or close to the top of your document, your education section can be placed anywhere in the text below, either before or after your work experience and skills sections. But no matter where it occurs, your education section should adhere to a few simple formatting guidelines, just like the receptionist resume samples featured here.
No matter how many years of education you’ve had, you’ll want to start this section by listing your most recent academic achievement, which may include high school if your education ended after that point. If you continued your classroom experience and gained an associate’s, bachelors, or master’s degree, list each degree and the institution that granted it in reverse chronological order and forego listing your high school diploma.
If you choose, you can also list your completion dates, your cum laude status, and any special honors or awards you earned in each academic program. You’ll also want to list each of your certifications, licenses, and any important educational programs that you’ve completed. Use these receptionist resume samples as a guide and find a way to highlight your leadership, software, or customer service training.
How to Write the Receptionist Work Experience Section
As mentioned above and demonstrated in these receptionist resume samples, the work experience section of your resume can be presented in either a chronological or functional format. You can also share this information using a hybrid version of the two, if there are elements of both that you’d like to include.
If you choose the chronological format, you’ll list the title, employer, and dates of each of your previous jobs. Then you’ll provide a list and description of your most relevant responsibilities and accomplishments within each role in bullet point form. Use action verbs to bring these descriptions to life, and if possible, try to make your achievements quantifiable to drive home how you added value to your previous employers.
If you choose the functional format, you’ll encourage readers to focus more on your future and your capabilities than on your past and previous jobs. For that reason, the functional resume work experience section won’t include employment dates or special achievements, just a list of your most relevant past employers and corresponding job titles. You’ll bring out your responsibilities and accomplishments in a flushed out and more detailed skills section.
Both formats can be valuable, depending on your targeted position and the depth and specificity of your background. But you may want to choose the functional format if your career history involves large periods of time spent away from the workforce or unexplained, potentially confusing career shifts. Take a close look at the receptionist resume samples to understand the difference between each approach and which one might work better for you.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Receptionist Work Experience Section
Here are a few action verbs that can bring extra power to your resume work experience section:
How to Write the Receptionist Resume Skills Section
The skills section of your receptionist resume will serve as a vital part of your profile, no less important than your education and work experience sections. So make sure this section represents you at your best and includes every detail that might help you stand out in the eyes of potential employers.
Use the job description for the role in question as a guide and create a detailed list of the skills and abilities that were mentioned and that you hold. These may include customer service, customer relationship management, vocal training, problem solving, or phone system operation.
Be aware that your skill sets may have the power to set you apart from your competition, so don’t miss a chance to shine and be remembered.
Should I Include References in my Receptionist Resume?
Most of the time—and in most industries—there’s no need to include your references within the text of your resume. Your references should be assembled in a separate document and should include a neat list of the names, titles, and contact information of at least three people who are prepared and able to speak on your behalf.
This list can be sent to your potential employers as an attachment to an email, and it can accompany your resume and cover letter or follow at some later point after your employers have specifically asked you to send it.
But applications for receptionist jobs don’t always resemble applications for other positions, and there is a chance that your employers will want your references to appear within your resume document. Some employers need to fill receptionist positions very quickly, and they may not want to wait very long between the resume review, interview, and reference check process. Look closely at the language and instructions included in the job post before you finalize and submit your materials.
Receptionist Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
As you review the receptionist resumes and follow the guidelines above, you’ll also want to watch out for some of these common mistakes:
Typos and Errors: Receptionists are expected to pay close attention to detail, and this applies to all aspects of speaking, writing, and presentation. One small typo or grammatical error in your resume can suggest a sloppy approach to your work.
Disorganization: Keep your subheadings clear and closely follow the formatting and layout tips discussed above. The receptionist resume samples presented here are neat, organized, and easy to skim, and yours should be too. Make sure your readers can find the information they need quickly.
Length: A receptionist resume should not take up more than two full pages of text. If your resume is longer than this, find a way to summarize your message; you don’t want employers to put your document down before they reach the end.
Job Prospects in the Receptionist Industry
A receptionist position in a modern workplace may look very similar to a corresponding position that may have existed a few decades ago. If you occupy this role, you may very well be taking on some timeless tasks, like answering the phone and redirecting calls, taking phone messages for your employer, sorting mail, or greeting clients and visitors in the lobby. But just ask likely, you’ll be tackling tasks and responsibilities that weren’t part of the job years ago. These may include scheduling travel, database management, organizing personal schedules, and using technology to handle all types of back office management jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 1,028,600 new receptionist positions were made available in 2014. This number is expected to grow by about 10 percent by 2024, which exceeds the average across all industries.
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