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Writing a great resume is the first step to getting a job, as a professional document is easy to read, making a recruiter more likely to be impressed and call you in an interview. View our online resume template for Word and the steps below to create a professional digital resume that’s ready to make an impact. You will see how to format important sections in your resume, including your summary statement, skills section, work history section and education section.
Writing Your Summary Statement
Your summary statement goes right below your personal and contact information and is often the first thing a recruiter reads. As in the online resume template for Word included here, you want a summary that stands out and highlights the most important things about you. Here are some tips to keep in mind while writing your summary.
• Keep your summary short and pointed
• Use only three sentences or bullet points
• Write in first person with personal pronouns removed
This short style of summary statement prevents the reader from getting bored and gives him or her a taste of the experience and qualifications covered in your resume. Here are some more examples of summary statements for common occupations to help you visualize what your summary statement should be like.
Experienced account manager with skills in computing and mathematics. Capable of updating systems to current technology and maintaining a high level of industry compliance. Team player with strong leadership abilities.
Hard-working sales representative with international experience. Proficient in many industry software platforms. Quick thinker able to perform in high-stakes environments.
• Energetic salesperson with over a dozen years of experience in retail
• Committed to staying up to date on fashion trends
• Currently in contact with multiple independent fashion designers
Writing Your Skills Section
Showing off your abilities is an important part of putting together a resume. As in the online resume template for Word accompanying this guide, you need to list multiple skills in short bullet points. To decide what skills to include, see the following tips.
• Put the most important skills first
• List 6-8 skills that relate to the industry and position
• Include keywords directly from the job description
The exact skills you list depend on the job for which you are applying. Here are some examples of skills that may show up on a resume for an administrative assistant.
• Excellent oral and written communicator
• Leader and motivator
• Fluent in Spanish
• Average typing speed of 72 words per minute
Writing Your Work History Section
Your resume should describe your work history so a recruiter knows what you bring to the company. In the accompanying online resume template for Word, you will see how to format your work section with job titles, locations and dates. The information under each job is important and should adhere to the following best practices.
• Use multiple bullet points instead of paragraphs
• Do not use too many repeated words; utilize a thesaurus and the job description
• Start each bullet point with an action verb
• Use metrics whenever possible
These best practices ensure your resume is focused on informing the reader in a professional and easy-to-understand way. To give you a better idea of how to write, here are some examples of work descriptions for three common occupations. Later in this guide you will find more pointed tips for using action verbs and including metrics.
Customer Service Representative
• Communicated with suppliers to verify and monitor delivery times and inventory numbers
• Established relationship with international peers to maintain accurate information on changing global trends
• Researched technology best practices and recommended useful upgrades to clients
• Presented financial data weekly to the board of directors
• Managed five high-profile accounts worth over $250,000 each
• Entered historic financial data into spreadsheets for use in market projections
Writing Your Education Section
Job descriptions often have an education requirement, which is why you need to include this section in your resume. Within your education section, you can include college degrees and certifications. Here are some tips to keep in mind while writing your education section.
• For degrees you haven’t completed yet, list your expected graduation date
• Only include your GPA if you are a recent graduate
• Include continuing education, professional seminars and career development courses
You can see an example on a complete education section in the online resume template for Word included with this guide and another example below. This education section is for a typical administrative assistant applicant.
Certified Administrative Professional – 2015
International Association of Administrative Professionals
Associate of Applied Science in Finance – 2014
Minnesota West Community and Technical College – Jackson, MN
Using Action Verbs in Your Online Resume
Using action verbs in your resume adds a dynamic element that won’t be missed by recruiters. Your resume stands out more when you use action verbs at the start of each bullet in your work experience. The online resume template for Word you’ll find here along with the examples below will show you how to write work experience bullets that make an impact.
• Prepared speeches for public relation directors to use when communicating with the press
• Communicated with managers and employees about compliance concerns
• Organized and planned status meetings to accommodate seven different schedules
• Updated office software to increase efficiency by 30 percent
• Modified existing best-practices manual to reflect changing technology
Adding Metrics to Your Online Resume
To show a potential employer the contributions of which you are capable, use metrics in your work experience. Quantifying your work activities and accomplishments shows an employer how much you can do for the company in a specific timeframe. Metrics to use include service ratings, number of actions completed, percentage of efficiency and money saved. Try to have at least one bullet point in each of your past jobs include a metric. If you get stuck, try asking questions that include “how many” or think about how often you completed a specific task. The online resume template for Word included here and the following examples show you how to include metrics in your own resume.
WITHOUT METRIC: Edited articles for weekly publication
WITH METRIC: Edited 10 articles for weekly publication
WITHOUT METRIC: Drafted project timelines every month
WITH METRIC: Drafted six project timelines every month
WITHOUT METRIC: Managed multi-line phone system
WITH METRIC: Managed phone system with 20 separate lines