Learning how to write a resume is easy! Follow our expert tips to get your resume past the robots and into the hands of a human recruiter.
How to Write the 5 Sections of Your Resume
Most resumes can be broken down into five major sections, as we show you below. Follow our tips for filling out each section, and you’ll have a winning resume in no time.
- Tucson, AZ
- (555) 555-5555
Feature your contact information at the top, or in a prominent position. Include your name, phone number, and city of residence. Make sure that everything is up to date and professional — this means changing your email address and even updating your voicemail greeting if needed.
Reliable Retail Sales professional offering top-notch sales expertise, customer service skills and relationship-building strengths. Dedicated to welcoming customers and providing comprehensive service. In-depth understanding of sales strategy and merchandising techniques.
Write three to five declarative statements in paragraph or bullet-point format that describes your best professional accomplishments and capabilities. This is usually the first section to catch an employer’s eye, and must answer the question, “What do you bring to the table?” In your summary, use language from the job description to show how you can answer the employer’s needs.
- Cash register operation
- Market research
- Relationship Building
- Sales management
- Cross-selling products and services
- Prioritizing workflows
- Vendor relations
- Product and service sales
Your skills section should be a bullet list of six to eight of your most relevant capabilities. Read the job description to see what the employer needs, and match your most relevant skills to the description. Include a mix of “hard” skills (the technical qualifications you have for a job) and “soft skills” (your interpersonal talents, such as customer support).
06/2016 to Current
Zara – Tucson, AZ
- Persued resolutions to achieve complete satisfaction, including tracking down hard-to-find merchandise at diverse locations.
- Offered each customer top-notch, personal service and polite support to boost sales and cutomer satisfaction.
- Supported loss prevention goals by maintaining accurate drawers and monitoring shopper behaviour.
Customer Service Representative
03/2014 to 05/2016
Banana Republic – Tucson, AZ
- Responded to customer requests for products, services and company information.
- Preserved revenue streams by utilizing strong communication and negotiation skills, offering refunds as last resort to maintain customer satisfaction.
- Used company troubleshooting resolution tree to evaluate technical problems while leveraging personal expertise to find appropriate solutions.
Retail Sales Associate
10/2013 to 02/2014
H&M – Tucson, AZ
- Increased brand awareness through event marketing demonstrations, sales and brand promotions.
- Pursued resolutions to achieve complete satisfaction, including tracking down hard-to-find merchandise at diverse locations.
- Coordinate efficient restocking of sales floor with current merchandise and accurate signage for current promotions.
This section is particularly important for chronological and combination resume formats, which focus on showing off your extensive work history. Include your job title, name of the company, and your employment dates for each job in reverse-chronological order (your most recent job first).
Under each entry, describe your responsibilities and successes. Use industry-specific numbers, such as percentages, sales revenue or website traffic, to add tangible proof to your claims.
Associate of Arts : Marketing
Pima Community College – Tucson, AZ
Top 10 Resume Facts You Need to Know
As you write your resume, keep your audience–as well as our top 10 facts–in mind:
Recruiters spend an average of only about 6 seconds on each resume before deciding whether to interview a candidate.
The first 15-20 words of your resume are the most important; that’s how many words the average person can read in those 6 seconds.
The top one-third of your resume often determines whether a hiring manager chooses to keep reading.
Your personal summary is the section of your resume a recruiter is most likely to read.
Many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes for specific terms. ATS search terms are usually correlated to job descriptions.
A recent survey found that 54 percent of jobseekers do not customize their resumes for each job, so tailoring yours could put you ahead of more than half your competition.
Changing the wording of a keyword from the job description even slightly – for example, from “project management” to “project manager” – could cause the ATS to eliminate you.
Many ATS cannot recognize abbreviations as common as “CPA.”
Unusual fonts, spacing, and images can all throw off an ATS. Using our Resume Builder is a quick, easy way to bypass this issue.
Typos can easily sabotage your resume -- a survey of employers showed that of the most common mistakes applicants make on their resumes, 58 percent are related to misspellings. Make sure you perform a final resume check.
What People are Writing About Us
As you think about how to write your resume, sticking to a chronological format with standard headings and conservative font choices will reassure employers with more formal corporate cultures that you are serious, well qualified, and ready to contribute. It will also clearly show your career trajectory at-a-glance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Writing Your Resume
What is the best way to write a resume?Clarity and details are the two most important aspects of a strong resume. For instance, don’t just say that you "were responsible for sales." Instead, explain that you "managed a five-person sales team that consistently exceeded quarterly sales goals."
Be sure to also customize the content of your resume to fit the particular position. For instance, if you are an engineer with management experience, the skills and job accomplishments you emphasize will be different, depending on if you’re applying for an engineering job or a management position.
How do I write a resume for a career change?Identify the skills you learned from past work and relate them to the position you want. Research to see which transferable abilities you have and incorporate keywords from the job description.
How can I start my professional resume?Before you get started, follow these tips on resume preparation, and then use our best-in-class resume builder. After you choose a template to personalize, we will take you through the writing process, offering tips and an easy step-by-step guide.
How do I fill in employment gaps on my resume?To write a resume after long-term unemployment, focus on accomplishments, but don’t ignore the period of unemployment. Consider using a functional format to downplay your past. You can address the gaps in your cover letter or interview.
Should I include a resume objective?In most cases, no. Since a job seeker’s objective is to get a job, there is no need to mention this. A better option in most circumstances is a summary statement, which is a succinct sales pitch that demonstrates job-related abilities, and shows your experience and success. If you have no work experience or are changing careers, you can add an objective to your summary statement to explain your priorities to hiring managers.
Write a Resume Using Our Resume Builder
When you’re ready to write a professional resume, use our Resume Builder. You can easily make customized resumes for each job you apply for.
Start by choosing a templateRecruiter-tested designs and fonts, sure to catch the hiring manager’s eye.
Everyone is welcomeTips for recent graduates, executives, and everyone in between.
Step-by-step guidanceOur builder leads you through how to make your resume.