How to Write a Professional Resume (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 10, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Resumes are essential to your job application in any industry. Writing a professional resume helps you describe the skills, experiences, and qualifications that make you a good fit for a job. Learning how to write your resume to highlight your achievements may increase your chances of getting the job. In this article, we discuss the importance of these resumes, explain how to write one, and provide a template and example you can follow.

Importance of writing a professional resume

Writing a professional resume is essential in presenting your qualifications and skills to the hiring manager. A well-written resume may increase your chances of gaining the job. Professional resumes typically notify employers of your career goals and motivations for the job. Your resume displays your hard and soft skills and shows the benefits you can provide a potential employer.

A resume can also help you prepare for interviews, as it gives you an outline of the skills and qualifications to discuss. It may also shape and influence the roles you apply for by indicating your capabilities. A good resume may differentiate your application from the applications of other candidates.

How to write a resume

Here are steps you can follow to write a resume:

1. Select an appropriate format

You can use various resume formats depending on the role and your qualifications. Some resume formats are more suitable for specific types of resumes. For example, a chronological resume emphasizes your skills and work experience and lists the most recent experiences first. This resume format typically benefits those with few gaps in their employment history and those who have consistently worked in the relevant industry that is necessary for the role.

A functional resume highlights your skills and focuses less on your work experience. This format may be helpful for recent graduates who possess minimal work experience or professionals changing career paths. A combination resume uses the chronological and functional resume features, which allows for flexibility.

Related: Using a Chronological Order Example Resume (With Tips)

2. Add your contact information

You can include your name, phone number, and e-mail address in the header of your resume. Including your city and province as a physical address isn't mandatory. If you have an extensive online portfolio, you can include a link to those profiles or social media accounts. This may give hiring managers more in-depth information about you and your qualifications. Adding your contact information typically helps employers identify you and notify you if necessary. Ensure that your e-mail address is professional before including it.

Related: What Is the Standard Canadian Resume Format? (With 7 Tips)

3. Include a resume objective

A resume objective is a brief statement that shows your professional goals and reasons for applying for the job. This summary may be beneficial if you're changing careers or possess little work experience, as it may convince hiring managers of your enthusiasm for the role. Ensure that this objective is relevant to the job description and highlight your strengths and skills. In this objective, you can also describe how you can contribute to the company.

4. Describe your educational background

Explaining your educational background typically helps hiring managers to understand your competence for the role. You can include the name of the degree or diploma, the institution, and the date you gained the degree. If you have a high GPA, you may include it on your resume. Relevant coursework, academic awards, and courses may also be in the education section. The most popular way of including your educational background is by writing the higher degrees first.

Related: How to List Relevant Coursework on a Resume (With Examples)

5. Highlight your relevant work experience

Most candidates usually write their work experience in a reverse-chronological format, starting with the most recent one. You can write the name of the company you worked at, its location, your position, and the duration of your work experience. Ensure that you explain your role at the company, the tasks you were responsible for, and your positive contributions to the company. You may use data and percentages to show the value of your work to the company. Your work experience may also include relevant projects you've worked on in your previous roles.

Related:

  • How to Describe Your Work Experience on a Resume

  • How to Use Resume Adjectives (With Examples and Tips)

6. Discuss your skills

Hard skills are capabilities that are specific to the role or industry. They may include technical skills and training that allow you to perform specific tasks relevant to the position. You may find the hard skills relevant to the position by studying its job description and keywords. Soft skills are popular skills that generally help you build connections and make reasonable decisions in the workplace.

For example, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management skills are soft skills that are good additions to your resume. You may ask your previous colleagues and leaders to provide some insight into soft skills you may possess. Some companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that assesses resumes by scanning for certain relevant keywords. Including appropriate and specific skills may increase your chance of getting the role.

Related: What Are Resume Qualities and How to Include Them on Resumes

7. Mention certifications, licences, awards, and volunteer experience

Including awards and recognitions you've received may be an excellent way to make a good impression on the hiring manager. For example, employee of the month and community awards show dedication and commitment to your previous roles. You may include these awards in the education or work experience section. If you have multiple awards, you may create a separate section for them.

Depending on the role you're applying for, certifications may not be mandatory. It may be helpful to include it to show your training in a skill that may be useful to the company. Highlighting the volunteer experience you've engaged in may help hiring managers view your commitment to the role and understand your personality. If you speak additional languages, you may include this as a skill and describe your proficiency.

Related: How to Include Your Accomplishments on a Resume

8. Proofread read your resume

Ensure that the details of your resume are accurate and up-to-date. Correct any grammatical and formatting errors. You may also ask your friends, mentors, and colleagues to review your resume and make changes as necessary.

Related: How to Make Your Resume Stand Out to Employers (With Tips)

Tips on writing a resume

Here are some tips that can help you write a good resume:

  • Apply professional font. While designing and selecting the format of your resume, ensure that it's professional. You may also choose typing fonts that are clear and formal.

  • Include keywords from the job description. Study the job description and note the keywords that this description uses. You may include them in your resume to make it more relevant to hiring managers and applicant tracking systems.

  • Make it brief. A standard resume is typically one page. Due to the volume of applications that hiring managers receive, it's important that you include short descriptions of your qualifications and experiences.

  • Use action verbs. Ensure that you communicate your abilities clearly, using simple language. Using relevant and persuasive verbs helps convince hiring managers of your suitability for the role.

Resume template

Here's a template you can use when writing your resume:

[Full name]
[Phone number]
[E-mail address]
[Relevant social media page]

Objective
[Brief statement of your qualifications, goals, and achievements]

Education
[Name of institution] [Graduation date]
[Name of degree or diploma]

Work experience
[Job title 1]
[Name of company], [City], [Duration]
[Bullet points that describe your responsibilities and achievements in this role]

[Job title 2]
[Name of company], [City], [Duration]
[Bullet points that describe your relationship and achievements in this role]

Skills
[Brief list of hard and soft skills you possess]
[Language proficiency]

Certifications and Licences
[List of certifications and training programs you've attended]

Awards
[Recognition and awards you received at previous roles and institutions]

Example of a resume

Here is a sample resume that can guide you:

Kate Rose
(012) 589 1743
katerose@email.com

Objective
Seeking a mid-level marketing role to expand my marketing and negotiating skills. Possesses excellent communication skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Four years of professional experience in conducting market research and developing feasible advertising strategies, with certifications in digital marketing. My research and sales skills can contribute to the profitability of the company's products.

Education

BSc. in Business Administration
Clover University, Winnipeg, 2016

Work experience
Sales associate
Greenfood company, Winnipeg, 2017 - 2018

  • welcomed customers and assisted them in finding specific products

  • recommended new products based on customer preferences and needs

  • responded to inquiries concerning payment and information about company products

Marketing consultant
New horizons company, Winnipeg, 2018 - Current

  • analyzed the marketing strategy and made recommendations for its improvement

  • studied the brand audience and developed suitable advertising campaigns to improve brand awareness

  • created marketing plans and monitored its progress

Skills

  • communication

  • problem-solving

  • social media marketing

  • copywriting

  • attention to detail

  • time management

  • proficient in Spanish

Certifications

  • Certificate in digital and social media marketing

  • Certificate in data analytics

Awards

  • employee of the month, March 2019

  • content marketing award, July 2020


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