A Complete Guide to Building Your Resume (with Examples)
It’s a fact of life: recruiters are busy, busy people. Often, they’re sorting through hundreds of resumes for a single job opening—so it’s up to you to grab their attention from the get-go! But how do you do that? For starters, you can use our handy guide to build a stellar resume section by section, with plenty of examples to inspire you along the way.
- How to Write a Killer Resume Summary (with Examples)
- How to Work Your Professional Experience (with Examples)
- How to Use Your Extracurriculars to Land a Job (with Examples)
- How to Honor Your Awards and Accomplishments (with Examples)
- How to Share a Little Something Extra (with Examples)
- How to Polish Your Online Persona (with Examples)
Once you’ve typed up your contact information at the top of the page, it’s time to craft an attention-grabbing resume summary. Think of your resume summary as a snapshot of everything you have to offer a potential employer. It can save the recruiter valuable time by highlighting your most impressive achievements and clearly connecting your diverse experiences. For this two- or three-sentence brief, focus on your relevant skills, unique qualities, and quantifiable accomplishments.
Dynamic and dependable human resources generalist with ability to build relationships with employees across all levels through effective, diplomatic communication. Knowledge of employee recruitment, hiring, and onboarding, as well as benefits administration, compensation, and performance management. Proficient in ADP, MS Office, and Kronos.
Outgoing and results-driven sales associate, with dual degree in psychology and business administration. Skills in building long-term relationships and resolving customer issues led to 95% customer satisfaction rating and 36% increase in sales during first year at previous position.
Ambitious college student with 3.9 GPA, passion for social justice, and experience in creative nonprofit development campaigns. Raised record-breaking event revenue at summer internship with local anti-poverty nonprofit and increased volunteer applications by 26% during part-time volunteer coordinator role.
Highly effective social media coordinator with track record of success in building brand visibility, driving site traffic, and increasing conversions. Exceptional written and design skills, tailored to each social media platform and target market, with experience in key web metrics.
Creative graphic designer with demonstrated experience in innovative design solutions, from ideation to execution. Experience working independently and as member of in-house team. Adobe CC, WordPress, and PowerPoint.
Enthusiastic and personable communications graduate with experience in content management, social media, and event promotion. Editor of award-winning collegiate newspaper; articles published in It’s Like That (online magazine) and Minnesota Weekly. Proficient in InDesign and Illustrator.
As you progress in your career, your professional experience will make up the bulk of your resume. For each job, you’ll want to include your title, the company name and location, and your dates of employment. Then, in reverse chronological order, highlight three-to-four relevant responsibilities for the position, avoiding pronouns and using the appropriate tense. Be concise, break it down into bullet points, and frame each role in light of your achievements, including metrics of success wherever possible. And don’t stress if you’re short on work experience; anything is fair game, so share those part-time roles, summer internships, and freelance gigs.
Fashionland USA, Sales Associate
Pierre, SD, Summers 2015–2017
- Cultivated strong customer relationships through cheerful, efficient service in high-volume, fast-paced retail environment.
- Motivated fellow sales associates to work more efficiently through implementing store-wide incentives for sales, leading to 4% growth for in-store sales in August 2017.
- Redesigned in-store displays and signage, resulting in modern look and fewer in-store bottlenecks.
TechWare, Inc., Software Engineering Intern
Brooklyn, NY, Summer 2016
- Collaborated with colleagues to create web applications using PHP, including design, troubleshooting, and debugging.
- Oversaw project documentation through maintaining comprehensive database of clients, projects, and deadlines.
- Quickly learned new programming languages, including TypeScript and Kotlin, to execute team and company goals.
Unicorn Consulting Group, Recruiting Assistant
Springfield, MA, July 2017–Present
- Schedule phone screens and in-person interviews for candidates, following up as needed.
- Coordinate across all teams regarding hiring needs, maintaining a database of departmental wants and applicant profiles.
- Screen all candidates that express interest or apply to posted positions, ensuring they meet minimum qualifications.
Dogs for All, Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Chattanooga, TN, October 2013–April 2017
- Developed, wrote, and designed digital and print content for supporters, donors, volunteers, and staff, including email marketing campaigns, social media posts, newsletters, and event collateral.
- Grew nonprofit’s web and social media presence and followership, increasing e-mail click-through rate by 17%.
- Assisted in coordinating and planning fundraising events.
- Wrote gift acknowledgment letters for major and minor donors.
ABCD, Audit Associate
Tokyo, Japan, 2018–Present
- Perform cash auditing duties for assigned clients across private and public sector, compiling financial statements and providing recommendations based on each individual business.
- Support interns in work direction and professional growth opportunities.
- Ensure projects stay on schedule by attending planning meetings, providing regular status reports, and sending out confirmations.
- Develop strong client relationships to foster positive working environment and increase customer satisfaction.
McGregor and Co., Paralegal
Medora, ND, November 2017–March 2019
- Oversaw smooth office operations for team of nine attorneys and three senior partners, including answering phones and emails, scheduling travel and appointments, and performing HR-related tasks.
- Conducted research relevant to attorneys’ cases, organized and presented findings, and drafted and filed legal documents.
- Maintained firm’s paper database and overhauled electronic database to maximize efficiency.
Provo Perfect Hospital, Registered Nurse
Provo, UT, January 2017–October 2017
- Evaluated, monitored, and documented patient health needs, maintaining medical records and providing 20+ other care professionals with clear and consistent status updates.
- Awarded “Employee of the Month” three months in a row for exceptional patient care and service.
- Provided patients with specialized support in gastroenterology, partnering with doctors and nutritionists to deliver optimal care.
You’ve detailed your internships, mentioned that after-school job at the mall, and described your first full-time position … and there’s still a lot of white space on your resume. Fear not: as a recent graduate (or graduate-to-be), you’ve likely gained a lot of experience outside the office, too, through clubs, volunteering, or sports. All these extracurricular pursuits add value to your candidacy, and you can highlight those relevant, transferrable skills in a couple of ways. If your activities are all affiliated with your college, add them under the “Education” section. If they’re more varied, you might want to add a separate “Extracurricular Activities” section.
Alpha Chi Omega, Recruitment Chair
Merrywood University, Edmonton, Canada
Organize and execute annual chapter recruitment program, including planning four recruitment events to endorse membership, resulting in 28 new members in 2018.
St. Larry College Swim Team
Chicago, IL, January 2015–May 2019
- Served as team captain for the 2017–2018 season, motivating team members and mediating conflicts.
- Demonstrated dedication and diligence to meet personal and team goals, balancing academics with competition and practices.
College of Milwaukee, Resident Advisor
Milwaukee, WI, August 2015–June 2016
Demonstrated leadership, strong communication skills, and empathy by supporting students academically and emotionally, fostering a sense of community, assisting in crises, and referring students to appropriate services as needed.
Happy House, Volunteer Tutor
Toledo, OH, December 2017–May 2018
Tutored 15 students both individually and in small groups in mathematics; more than half achieved an “A” in mathematics, and all students passed.
The Harmonies A Cappella Group, Marketing Manager
Centralia University, Centralia, WA
Oversaw all promotional materials and media outreach for 14-person collegiate a cappella group, resulting in 4% increase in CD sales and 11% increase in concert ticket sales over previous season.
Activities & Leadership
- Bridgewater College Student Association, Vice President, May 2014–May 2016
- Bridgewater Farmers’ Market, Volunteer, September 2014–November 2017
- Resident Assistant (RA), September 2015–September 2016
Paloma College Daily Messenger, Copy Editor
Augusta, ME, September 2017–Present
Coordinated assignments for staff writers and edited student stories according to Chicago Manual of Style, meeting all deadlines to produce three issues a week.
Your entire resume should be an ode to your accomplishments, but sometimes it pays to call out those extra-special achievements. Depending on context, you can feature these tangible testaments to your talent in your resume summary, integrate them into individual job descriptions, or add them beneath your “Education” section. If you have three or more awards, feel free to create a new section to display them in their best light. Just remember to be specific, quantify your triumphs wherever possible, and focus on honors that are pertinent to the job description.
1. Salesperson of the Year, Pronto Printing, 2018
Named “2018 Salesperson of the Year” after generating $600k+ in new sales in territory.
2. Received $20,000 grant towards biodegradable plastic research from Floatella Company, beating out 300+ other candidates.
3. Dean’s List, 2015, 2016, and 2018
Recognized for strong academic record of 3.8 GPA.
4. Student Editor Award, College of Montana, May 2015
Recognized in creative writing class for providing superior editorial feedback to peers.
5. Raised $2,500 for Bunny Walk PDX 2016, an annual fundraising walk for rescue rabbits.
6. Recipient, DAISY Award
Cordona Hospital, Q2 2018
Merit-based award given each quarter in recognition of excellence and compassion in nursing.
7. Golden Key International Honour Society
World’s largest collegiate honor society, open to top 15% of college and graduate students by invitation only.
You’re a unique individual, and not everything about you will fit into the usual resume sections. “Additional Information” is where you can feature your professional certifications and memberships, hobbies and interests, or special projects. Feel free to switch up the section title if you wish; it should best reflect the areas that you want to highlight. As always, focus on information that applies to your target job—but remember that being an aspiring comic book artist certainly makes you stand out from the crowd!
- Guest panelist, “It’s a Woman’s World” panel, Sci-Fi Fest 2017.
- Artwork has been on display at a variety of local businesses, including Kayla’s Coffee, Ice Cream Bar, and Breathe Yoga.
- Studied in London with Performing Arts Abroad’s Summer Acting Intensive at Shakespeare’s Globe.
- Adobe Illustrator and InDesign
- Microsoft Office Suite (Certified Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Expert, 2018
- Python (basic) and C++ (intermediate)
- OSHA certified (OSHA 30-hour outreach training).
- Proficient in Spanish and Russian.
- Wrote five posts/week for personal blog using WordPress, including Yoast SEO optimization.
Publications & Speaking Engagements
- Moderator for seminar, “Busting Stereotypes, Taking Names,” Midwestern Equity Conference, February 2019.
- Keynote speaker at Katomi University’s annual Diversity Day, September 2018.
- “After the Game Ends,” Prose & Poetry Monthly, May 2017.
- Guest for podcast with average of 500 downloads per episode, “The Artist Outside.”
- Designed logo and supervised rebrand for S’more Fun for All, local artisanal s’mores shop, leading to 8% increase in foot traffic.
- Member, ArtTable, devoted to supporting women in the visual arts.
Affiliations and Memberships
- American Marketing Association
- University of Chelsea Alumni Association
- Internet Marketing Association
- The State of Us: Health Care Symposium, January 2019
- Council of Culture Change (CCC), March 2018, 2017, 2016
- National Leadership Development Conference, June 2015
In the big, wide world of the internet, everyone can learn a little more about you—and that includes potential employers. Sometimes, your resume just isn’t enough, and hiring managers take to the wilds of the internet to do some research and check those facts. To prepare, you’ll want to hone your online identity, from deleting any incriminating Facebook photos to perfecting your LinkedIn profile. Then, show the hiring manager what your resume only tells them by including a link to your portfolio, LinkedIn, and/or blog on your resume.
Ryland Storms ‖ 111-111-1111 ‖ RStorms@university.edu ‖ artbyryland.com
linkedin.com/kelseykaruthers • kelseycontent.com • @kkwrites
For examples of past projects, visit thehiddenkey.wordpress.com.
Norma Ray Reads, Founder and Blogger
Normarayreads.com, December 2013–Present
- Read and review feminist fiction for growing blog, posting at least once per week, averaging over 250 readers per new post.
- Schedule, format, and post all original content on WordPress, including SEO optimization.
- Manage online presence through posting to various social media channels using HootSuite, surpassing 1,000 Facebook followers in August 2018.
To view my artwork, see my Instagram account @matthewdragonia.
Leaane Loab │ 222-222-2222 │ ActressLeanne@mycollege.edu │ youtube.com/leanneacts