How to Create A Great Resume

Working on a new resume can be daunting. It’s often the barrier standing between you scoring a dream job or you ending up with your last choice. The better your resume, the better the opportunities. 

Most resumes are lackluster. If your resume game is weak, your job prospects will be, too. 

Are you ready for more job interviews? Follow these best practices and start applying for jobs that you can get excited about.

Format your resume correctly 

Resumes can follow a reverse chronological format, a skills-based format or a hybrid style. Depending on the variety of roles you’re chasing, it might make sense to have two or three different formats on hand. 

1) The reverse chronological resume

Do you have plenty of work experience? Is that experience very aligned with the types of roles you’re after? If so, a reverse chronological resume format is your best bet. Organize your resume from your most recent roles to your oldest roles for an easy-to-follow experience. 

2) Skills-based resume 

Perhaps you lack job experience in the field you’re looking to transition to or you’re a recent graduate. A skills-based resume can highlight your strengths, talents and goals without emphasizing your lack of relevant job experience. 

3) A hybrid resume

Are you a go-getter with a diverse skill set? Why not make your resume match your experience? With jobs that require a background in more than one field, the best way to bring attention to all your backgrounds is to move the diverse elements of your experience up to the top of your CV. 

Sections to include on your resume

  • Contact Information
  • Objective/Resume Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Achievements/Awards
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Bonus sections (if applicable)

Contact information

Including your full name, email address and phone number is critical. You should also include location (but providing your full address is no longer considered preferable). Consider also adding your professional title, your LinkedIn profile and any online portfolios or blogs you might maintain. If you’re open to remote work, this is also a good place to make that known.

Pro tip: Don’t include a photo of yourself (even if it’s a professional headshot). 

Your objective or resume summary

First of all, pick just one of these items. Your application might only get a 10-second glance so make sure the item you choose is your strong suit.

For your resume summary, simply outline your career in three sentences. Use the space to sum up your job and years of experience, major achievements or core responsibilities and a desired goal. 

If you choose an objective (recent grads or those looking for work in a totally different space definitely should), communicate your motivation and passion for getting into the field in no more than three sentences. 

Work experience

This is probably the most important section. Display your past accomplishments, responsibilities and on-the-job talents in this section. 

Here’s how to organize it.

Job Title

Your job title goes on top of each work experience entry. 

Company Name / Location / Description 

List the full name of the company, the location of the office you worked in and what space the organization was in. 

Achievements and Responsibilities

List both your achievements and responsibilities, supporting with data if possible. A few sentences per job should do the trick. 

Dates Employed 

List the dates worked in the mm/yyyy format. 

How much work experience is too much (or too little) to include?

New grads

If you don’t have any job experience, developing the work experience section can be tough. Try and use the space for relevant experience in student organizations, internships or volunteer work.

Mid-level professionals 

Mention all relevant work experience for the position you’re applying for. 

Senior professionals 

If you’ve had too many jobs to list and describe concisely, consider only listing roles where you’ve stayed for at least one year, jobs where you’ve maintained leadership positions and positions most closely aligned to what you’re applying for. 

Properly displaying your educational background

List the program name. E.g.: “B.A. in Finance” on top. Directly below, include the university name. E.g.: “University of Missouri.” List the month/years attended underneath the institution date. Use bullet points to indicate academic achievements, honors or awards.

Your skills section

Include both hard skills (measurable abilities) and soft skills (personal skills) in your section. Make sure both sets of skills are relevant to your desired roles. Your hard skills should be listed first and you should list at least three to five. Your soft skills (communication, management, critical thinking) should not be overlooked. Feel free to include levels of proficiency: advanced, intermediate, expert, too. 

Optional Sections


Are you bi-lingual? Multi-lingual? This is always considered a plus. Include it!

Volunteer Experience

If you spend a lot of time giving back to your community, it says a lot about you. Describe the causes you regularly volunteer.

Certifications and Awards

Do you have any awards that make sense to highlight for the roles you’re interested in? What about extra certifications? List them.


A side hustle or passion project can paint you as an ambitious, well-rounded person. Share this part of yourself to give you a leg-up. 

Be sure to tailor your resume to the job

Check out the exact job requirements. Try and naturally mention each one of them in your resume. This helps Applicant Tracking Systems identify you as a person of interest.