top of page

Building a Resume: Ultimate Guideline for Beginners

Craft a winning resume with our step-by-step guide! Learn to compile achievements, match skills to job descriptions, choose the best resume format, add essential contact information, write impactful summary statements, create a detailed work history, highlight hard and soft skills, accurately list education, and showcase relevant certifications.

1. Gather your professional information to prepare to write a great resume.

Take the time to compile a comprehensive list that includes:

  • Measurable accomplishments from your previous positions that highlight your achievements and contributions.

  • A comprehensive inventory of your soft, hard, and technical skills, matching them to the required skills outlined in the job description.

  • Detailed information about your previous employers, including their names, dates of employment, locations, job titles, and a clear outline of your responsibilities.

  • Educational credentials, such as your college degree, certifications or licenses that demonstrate your expertise in specific areas.

  • Any volunteer work you have undertaken, showcasing your commitment to community involvement and additional skills gained.

  • Notable awards and honors you have received, which further validate your exceptional abilities and dedication.

2. Pick the best resume format for your needs

The following three are the three major resume types:

  • Chronological resume: most commonly used. It’s perfect for candidates who want to highlight their work experience when building a resume because it places it front and center. It’s the ideal format for individuals with consistent professional backgrounds and no employment gaps. 

  • Functional resume: focuses on showcasing your skills and training. It’s designed to highlight the abilities that make you a valuable addition to any team, even if you’re applying for your first job or changing careers. This format is especially beneficial for those with employment gaps or limited work experience.

  • Combination resume: also known as the hybrid resume, combines the best of the functional and chronological formats. This resume format allows you to showcase your skills while also highlighting your relevant work experience.It’s an excellent choice for job seekers with more than 10 years of experience and those seeking to move up in their careers.

3. Add your contact information

Here’s what to include in your resume contact information: 

  • Your full name.

  • A reliable phone number.

  • Your professional email address.

  • Your city, state, and ZIP code. 

  • A link to your professional social media account, website, or portfolio if you have them.

4. Write a resume summary or objective statement

A resume summary or objective statement is a critical component of a successful resume because it provides a concise and impactful overview of a candidate’s qualifications, skills, and career goals. 

Example resume summary: 

Efficient, accuracy-driven Secretary successfully delivering key clerical support to internal teams, customers, vendors, and other stakeholders. Demonstrated success in analytics problem-solving and boosting operational efficiency. Bringing 10 years of superior performance in related roles.

5. Make a resume work history section 

  • Your title.

  • Company name.

  • Company location (city and state).

  • Dates of employment (month and year).

  • Three to five bullet points with your top work achievements and duties.

6. Create a resume skills section to highlight your strengths.

10 hard skills for resume writing

  • Data analysis: Data visualization, programming skills or statistics knowledge

  • Cybersecurity: Risk identification and management, or computer forensics skills

  • Programming: HTML5, Java development and other programming languages

  • Marketing: SEO, email and social media marketing or Google Analytics

  • Accounting: Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks and other accounting software

  • Design: UX design, Adobe Creative Suite or photo editing

  • Writing: Content writing, copywriting or creative writing

  • Cloud computing: Cloud architecture, networking or data management

  • Specialized machinery: Forklift or backhoe

  • Foreign languages

10 soft skills for resume writing

  • Communication

  • Problem-solving

  • Adaptability

  • Leadership

  • Teamwork

  • Attention to detail

  • Time management

  • Creativity

  • Active listening

  • Organization

7. List your education accurately

Here’s what goes on in the resume education section:

  • If you did not attend college, display your high school diploma or GED. 

  • If you attended college or graduate school but did not complete a degree, then add the name(s) of the schools you attended and your courses of study.

  • Add your anticipated date of graduation, if you have one. You don’t need to include the graduation year if you graduated more than 10 years ago. 

  • If you want to know how to make a resume correctly, every resume education section must have: 

The name of your university, community college or school. Only include high school if you’re a high school student or didn’t attend university.

  • Location of the school: Write the city and state.

  • The month and year you graduated. If you still haven’t graduated, then write the expected graduation date.

  • The type of degree you received or expect to receive and the program. For example, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Bachelor of Arts in English.

You may also include:

  • Your GPA if it is higher than 3.5 and you just graduated college, or it’s required. Otherwise, you shouldn’t add it.

  • Relevant coursework. If you have not graduated or have recently graduated but don’t have work experience, then add a bulleted list of relevant coursework you’ve completed.

  • Honors, scholarships, and awards such as Dean’s List or Rhodes Scholarship if they were recent. Always provide the full name of the award and the year you received it.

8. Add relevant certifications, licenses, and training

Directly below your education section, list:

  • The title of the certification, course, or license.

  • Name of the certifying agency or body.

  • The date you obtained each certificate. 

  • The expiration date of your certificate (if applicable). If you have not yet finished the course, write “In Progress” with the expected date of completion.

More information at: 

6 views0 comments


bottom of page