BlogResume WritingHow to Make a Resume in 2024 [Writing Tips & Examples]

How to Make a Resume in 2024 [Writing Tips & Examples]

how to make a resume

As discouraging as it might be, you aren’t alone. Recruiters get hundreds of applicants for each position, which is why many of them use software to sift through candidates. So, in reality, most resumes never even reach the hiring manager!

For this reason, you need to make a good resume that is both ATS-friendly and shows off your best professional qualities.

Not sure how to do it? We’ve got you covered! 

In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating an effective resume that will maximize your chances of landing your dream job.

Key Takeaways

  • Use the reverse-chronological resume format to make your resume organized and show your career progression.

  • Write a compelling resume statement to capture the recruiter’s attention and get them to take a closer look at your resume. 

  • Focus on your work experience section, highlight your key achievements, and leave your education section brief.

  • List your hard and soft skills separately and use additional sections, such as languages and publications, to make your resume stand out.

  • Write an effective cover letter to complement your resume and convince the recruiter that you’re the perfect match for the job.

How to Make an Effective Resume in 10 Easy Steps

functional resume

Here are all the elements of a well-crafted resume:

How to make a resume: step-by-step infographic

Without wasting any time, here are the 10 steps you need to take to make a job-winning resume:

#1. Choose the Right Format For Your Resume 

Before you dive into the contents of your resume, there’s one thing you need to consider - the resume format.

The right resume format will help you organize the contents of your resume, make it easy to read, and ensure that recruiters can quickly find the information they need. 

Essentially, there are three standard resume formats you can choose from depending on your professional background:

Common Resume Formats

  • Reverse-chronological resume format. If you have years of work experience, this is the resume format you should go for. Listing your jobs from the most recent to the oldest, puts a spotlight on your work experience. It also allows the HR manager to easily see your career development.

  • Functional resume format. The functional resume format, also known as the skill-based format, highlights your professional skills. For this reason, it can be a good choice for college students, recent graduates, candidates making a career change, and those with employment gaps. In other words, consider using this resume format if you lack relevant work experience.

  • Combination resume format. This is a hybrid of the two above-mentioned resume formats, which allows you to equally emphasize your work experience and your skills. As such, it’s a great choice if you’re applying for a senior-level position that requires a diverse skill set and experience in different fields. You can also use it when making a career change or if you have gaps in your employment history.

Popular resume formats

Although this might seem like a tough choice, it really isn’t—in most cases, your best option is the reverse-chronological resume format. Besides being the most popular resume format, it’s also ATS-friendly, easy to make, and favored by recruiters! 

#2. Get Your Resume Layout Right

When you’re looking to land a job, first impressions definitely matter—and your resume is your first opportunity to impress the hiring manager. 

In fact, your resume layout can make or break your job application. Sure, you might have years of relevant work experience, but recruiters won’t make the effort to look at your professional background if you submit a disorganized or cluttered resume.

Luckily, getting your resume layout right isn’t exactly rocket science! Here’s what you need to consider before creating one:

What to Consider

  • Resume length. As far as resume length goes, less is more. In most cases, you'll want to stick with a one-page resume. Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes every single day, so having a short and to-the-point resume increases the chances of them actually reading it.

  • Font style. As a general rule, you want your resume to be easy-to-read for both people and software. For this reason, it’s best to keep things simple and choose a professional font—and yes, that means choosing Helvetica or Cambria over Comic Sans and Papyrus!

  • Font size. In terms of readability, font size matters as much as font style. To make sure it’s easily readable, use 11-12 pts for the body of your resume and 14-16 pts for headings, depending on the font. 

  • Spacing and margins. Tweaking the margins and minimizing the space between lines to fit in more text can be tempting, we know. Still, a cluttered resume can be very hard to read, so make sure to leave enough white space on your resume. Your best bet is to set the margins on all sides to 1 inch.

  • Consistency. To perfect your resume, maintain consistency in the layout. Avoid switching between several fonts, using different headings, and such. This way, your resume will look neat and present you as a well-organized, professional candidate.

Take Advantage of Our Professional Resume Templates 

Let’s be honest—making a resume from scratch can be a real hassle. 

We’ve all been there: you make one little tweak, and it throws off your whole resume, causing it to spill over to page #2.

The truth is, you can spend hours tweaking your resume layout and making sure that it fits within one page, but you’ll still end up with a basic resume that looks just like the others.

What if there was an easy way to save time AND create a unique, eye-catching resume that stood out from the rest of the candidates? 

Well, there is—just use our professional, ready-to-use resume templates!

Resume template examples

Here’s what makes our resume templates your best option:

Why you Should Use Our Resume Templates

  • Easy to use. Choose a template, fill in your information, and you’re ready to send your resume and land that dream job!

  • Customizable. You can easily add and remove resume sections, change colors, font styles, and more to make your resume truly your own and match it to the position you’re applying for.

  • ATS-friendly. With our resume templates, you don’t have to worry about optimizing your resume for applicant tracking systems (ATS)—we've already taken care of this for you!

  • Visually pleasing. Our resume templates look fresh and modern, so you can be confident your job application will stand out from the rest of the candidates.

With our builder, you can tailor your resume to be simple & traditional, or go for a modern & creative design, depending on the field you're applying in.

Resume templates - Simple & Traditional vs Modern & Creative

#3. Include Your Contact Information 

Now that the resume format and layout are out of the way, let’s focus on the contents of your resume.

First things first, you need to include your contact information.

Although this is perhaps the easiest part of making a resume, don’t take it too easy—if you leave any typos or accidentally add your old email address to it, the hiring manager might not be able to contact you.

So, just make sure to add the correct contact information and double-check it before sending out your resume.

Here are the main contact details you need to include in this section:

What to Include

  • Your first and last name. To look professional, leave your nickname for your friends and family—the potential employer needs your full name. If you have a middle name, you can include it as well.

  • Phone number. In the event that the company you’re applying to is based in another state or country, make sure to add the correct area code.

  • Email address. Use a professional email address (e.g.

  • Location. Only mention your city and state instead of your full address.

  • LinkedIn. If your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, mention it on your resume.

That said, there are some things you should leave off of your resume. These include:

What Not To Include

  • Photo. In most cases (and countries, including the United States), you don’t need to include a photo on your resume. Your resume should speak for itself.

  • Private information. Unless asked otherwise, don’t include private information such as your date of birth, marital status, and such.

Additionally, depending on the position you’re applying for, you can add the following optional information to your resume:

Optional Information

  • Job title

  • Social media, if it’s relevant to the job (e.g. GitHub, if you’re a software developer)

  • Personal website/blog

Here’s an example of what your contact information section should look like on your resume:

Contact Information Example

Dale Barrett Dental Assistant 012-345-6789 Salt Lake City, Utah

#4. Use a Resume Summary or Objective

After adding your contact details, it’s time to write an impactful resume summary or objective to grab and secure the recruiter’s attention

Resume summary or objective

Recruiters are very busy people—for each open position, they receive around 250 applications. This means that they don’t have the time to carefully read your resume, so they need a way to determine whether you’re the perfect candidate for the position in just a few seconds.

This is where the resume summary and objective come into play. Both of them are placed at the top of your resume, but which one is right for you? Let’s find out by taking a closer look at each of them!

When & How to Write a Resume Summary

As you might’ve already gathered, the aim of a resume summary is to sum up your professional background in just a couple of sentences.

As a rule of thumb, you should always opt for a resume summary, unless you don’t have relevant work experience.

So, here’s a simple four-step formula that will help you write a powerful resume summary:

How to Write a Resume Summary

  1. Start with one or two adjectives that describe you as a professional.

  2. Mention your professional title and years of experience.

  3. Add your professional skills.

  4. Top it off with one or more of your biggest achievements.

Now, let’s see this in action—here’s an example of a resume summary that will instantly prove to the recruiter that your resume is worth taking a closer look at:

Resume Summary Example

Motivated and detail-oriented Technical Support Specialist with 4+ years in live chat technical support. Proficient in Freshdesk, LiveAgent, and Userlike. Excellent problem-solving, troubleshooting, and time management skills. Handled up to 3 chats simultaneously and provided support for 120+ customers daily with a 97% average customer satisfaction rate.

And here’s an example of a resume summary that you shouldn’t follow:

Incorrect Example

I am an experienced technical support specialist. I am familiar with customer support software and can work quickly. I always get to the bottom of a problem and do my best to leave customers satisfied.

In short, the first resume summary is more specific, catchy, and impactful than the second one. Moreover, by including numbers, the first resume summary shows what the candidate is capable of in a quantifiable way, which is exactly what hiring managers want to know!

When & How to Write a Resume Objective 

Now, what if you don’t have relevant work experience? Whether you’re looking for your first job or switching careers, worry not—that’s what the resume objective is for!

Simply put, a resume objective is a statement that shows your career motivation and intent. Its goal is the same as that of a resume summary—to convince the recruiter that you’re a viable candidate for the position.

So, here’s how to write a compelling resume objective step-by-step:

How to Write a Resume Objective

  1. Introduce yourself

  2. Mention any relevant skills and experience

  3. State your motivation to work at this particular company

Here’s an example of a resume objective done right:

Resume Objective Example

Enthusiastic English Literature third-year student looking for a part-time front desk receptionist job. Looking to apply my strong customer service, communication, and collaboration skills gained through a summer job as a waitress at Restaurant X to provide an excellent guest experience at Hotel Y.

And here’s an example of a bad resume objective:

Incorrect Example

English Literature student looking for a part-time job at a hotel. I love working with and meeting new people from different countries. I want to learn and improve my customer service skills and advance my career.

The difference between these two summary objectives is stark, to say the least. 

Besides being more detailed, the first resume objective also emphasizes what the candidate has to give to the company instead of focusing on personal gain. As such, it makes the candidate appear more valuable, motivated, and professional.

#5. List Your Work Experience 

Once you’ve crafted a convincing resume statement, you’re ready to work on the most important part of your resume—the work experience section.

Work experience on a resume

Before you get started with this section, it’s important that you know exactly which jobs you need to write down. 

Generally speaking, your resume shouldn’t include jobs that you held more than 10-15 years ago, especially if they aren’t relevant to the position. So, for example, if you’re a mid- or senior-level candidate, feel free to skip any odd jobs you had in college and make better use of this space with some additional sections.

Now that that’s sorted, let’s go over all of the elements you need to effectively list your work experience:

Work Experience Elements

  • Job title. Your job title shows the recruiter whether you have relevant work experience, so make sure that it accurately describes the role you played in the company. So, even if the company called you a “social media rockstar,” you want to list yourself as a “social media manager” instead.

  • Company details. These typically include the company’s name and location (city and state), but you can also add a brief description of the company.

  • Employment period. To make your resume easy to understand for both recruiters and ATS, list your date of employment using the mm/yyyy format.

  • Key responsibilities and achievements. List these to show the recruiter not only what you did in your previous role but also how well you did it.

5 Tips to Make Your Work Experience Stand Out 

If you list all of the above-mentioned details of your work experience, you’ll already have a well-structured work experience section.

However, to stand out among hundreds of other candidates, you need to take your work experience section to the next level. 

Here are five tried-and-tested tips that will help you do it:

Work Experience Tips

  1. List your work experience in reverse-chronological order. To maintain consistency throughout your resume, list your most recent jobs first and then go back in time.

  2. Focus on your achievements. Recruiters typically know what your responsibilities are, so listing your duties won’t impress them. To make your resume stand out from the others and show what you can do for the company, try and include at least one or two key achievements in each work experience entry.

  3. Take advantage of the numbers. Whenever possible, use numbers to give context to your responsibilities and prove your achievements. For example, “Spearheaded a team of 12 IT specialists,” “Exceeded sales quota by 40% in three consecutive months,” and so on.

  4. Use action words to list your responsibilities and achievements. Most resumes will have the usual “Responsible for…” in each entry. To make yours stand out, use action words to describe what you did in the company (e.g. managed, supported, guided, instructed, streamlined, optimized, etc.)

  5. Include keywords to tailor your resume for the position. Instead of sending a generic resume, you want to tailor it for the job. The best way to do this is to read the job listing, pick out some keywords from it, and mention them throughout your resume, including your work experience section. This increases your chances of passing the ATS scan, which means that your resume will reach the recruiter.

Example of an Effective Work Experience Section

Now that you know what (and how) to list in your work experience section, let’s see all the above-mentioned elements and tips in action.

Here’s a great example of a work experience section:

Work Experience Example

Work Experience Accountant Company X Newark, Delaware 05/2019 - 03/2022

  • Identified and fixed accounting and bookkeeping errors, saving $327,000.

  • Streamlined record-keeping and tax report operations, which saved 240 hours annually.

  • Prepared and managed month-end reports, tax returns, and other financial reports with ideal accuracy.

  • Initiated and supported the company’s switch from manual accounting to computerized accounting.

  • Ensured compliance with accounting principles, federal laws and company regulations.

And here’s an example of a work experience section that could use some improvement:

Incorrect Example

Work Experience Accountant Company X Newark, Delaware 05/2019 - 03/2022

  • Responsible for all accounting-related transactions and operations

  • Responsible for preparing and submitting financial statements and reports

  • Responsible for recommending and implementing best practices to improve accounting procedures and help the company save money

In a nutshell, here’s what the first example does right:

  • Uses active voice and action words (e.g. prepared, identified, managed, etc.) to make the resume stand out from all the “Responsible for…” resumes 

  • Highlights achievements to show off the candidate’s competence

  • Includes numbers to prove the candidate’s achievements in a quantifiable manner

#6. Add Your Education Details 

Once you’ve polished your work experience section, the next step is to write an education section

Education on a resume

In general, you want to keep your education section brief. Unless you don’t have work experience or the job requires specific education, there’s no need to go beyond the essentials.

Here’s what you need to mention in your education section:

What To Include

  • Degree, such as BA in Marketing

  • University, college, or another institution, e.g. The University of Arizona

  • Attendance years. Use the mm/yyyy format (e.g. 09/2017 - 07/2021)

Optionally, you can also include the following details:

  • Program location

  • GPA 

  • Minor

  • Honors

  • Academic achievements

  • Relevant courses

Once you’re done with the basics, here are some tips to make your education section stand out:

Education Section Tips

  • List your education in reverse-chronological format to maintain consistency throughout your resume

  • If you have a higher education, don’t mention your high school diploma

  • Only mention your GPA if you’ve recently graduated with a GPA of 3.5 or higher

  • If you haven’t graduated yet, list any completed courses

And here’s an example of how the education section should look on your resume:

Education Section Example

MA in Clinical Psychology California State University 10/2020 - 07/2022 GPA 3.9, Dean’s List (all semesters) BA in Psychology Azusa Pacific University 08/2016 - 06/2020

#7. Highlight Your Skills

The skills section is another important part of your resume that shows the recruiter that you have the professional abilities required for the job.

Skills on a resume

Before you start writing this section, you should first know that there are two types of skills:

2 Types of Skills

  • Soft skills. Also known as common skills, soft skills can be applied in a variety of positions. They include your personality traits (e.g: creativity), interpersonal skills (e.g: leadership), and communication skills (e.g. active listening), among others.

  • Hard skills. Sometimes called technical skills, these are learned abilities that you need to perform a specific job. Unlike soft skills, hard skills can be measured. Some examples of hard skills include programming languages, bookkeeping, product knowledge, and troubleshooting.

All jobs—from customer service to engineering—require you to have a set of both soft and hard skills. As such, to make a good resume, you want to include both in your resume.

How to Correctly List Skills on Your Resume

Listing your skills is one of the easiest parts of making a resume, but there are still some guidelines you'll want to follow to make the most of your skills section.

So, here’s how you should list your skills to make this section of your resume pop:

Skills Section Tips

  • Include only relevant skills. You might think that adding all of your skills will help you appear as a well-rounded person. Yet, the point of a resume is to prove that you’re the right candidate for the specific position. So, make sure to only mention skills that are important to the job you’re applying for.

  • Do your research. To make sure you mention all the necessary skills, research the most in-demand skills for that particular position. If you have them, add them to your resume. Make sure to also carefully read the job listing and note any mentioned skills that apply to you.

  • List soft and hard skills separately. You want your resume to be structured well so that the recruiter can easily find what they’re looking for. For this reason, always list your hard skills separately from your soft skills.

  • Include proficiency levels for your hard skills. Besides each hard skill, make sure to mention your proficiency level (e.g: beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc.). This will give the recruiter an idea of how good you are at each skill.

Additional Tip

Be honest about your skills and proficiency levels. While you can trick the recruiter into scheduling a job interview with you, the truth will eventually come out during the interview, trial task, probation period, or later. Ultimately, lying on your resume can do more harm than good.

Here’s a good example of a skills section: 

Skills Section Example

Skills Soft Skills Teamwork Time management Resilience Attention to detail Active listening Hard Skills WordPress—Expert Adobe Creative Cloud—Advanced JavaScript—Advanced Python—Intermediate Debugging—Intermediate

#8. Make Use of Additional Sections 

Now that we’ve covered the main parts of your resume—formatting, contact details, resume statement, work experience, education, and skills—you know the basics of how to make a resume. 

So, let’s talk about some additional sections you can add to make your resume stand out!

Naturally, additional sections are optional and not nearly as important as, for example, your work experience section. 

Still, if you have some white space on your resume, you might want to take advantage and include some extra details about your career.

Additional sections on a resume

Done right, additional sections can help you differentiate yourself from other candidates and show off your unique professional experience.


Put simply, languages are valuable in virtually any position—even if they aren’t required for the job, you never know when they can come in handy. So, if you speak any languages besides your native one, make sure to list them on your resume! 

As with hard skills, make sure to also include your language proficiency level, such as:

Language Proficiency Levels

  • Elementary proficiency

  • Limited working proficiency

  • Professional working proficiency

  • Full professional working proficiency

  • Native or bilingual proficiency

Certifications and Licenses

While some jobs require you to hold a certification or a license (e.g: CNA), it’s always good practice to list any field-related certifications and licenses. You can do it even if they aren’t mentioned in the job ad.

What you should do is start with your latest certification or license and list the following:

Certificates & Licences

  • Name of certification/license

  • Name of certifying body

  • Year of obtainment

  • Expiration date (if applicable)

If you haven’t obtained a certificate or license just yet, but you are in the process of obtaining it, you can still include it on your resume. Just make sure to indicate that it’s still in progress!

Awards & Honors

Whether you’ve been awarded Employee of the Year or received a community award, feel free to mention any relevant achievements on your resume. 

Here are some types of achievements you should consider adding to your resume:

Awards & Honors

  • Education awards 

  • Industry awards

  • Company awards 

  • Other awards (community, contest, leadership, athletic, etc.)

You can either include your awards and honors in your work experience or education sections or, alternatively, you can add them in a dedicated section.

Associations and Professional Organizations 

Are you a member of any industry-related associations or professional organizations? Perfect! Including any professional affiliations on your resume will show your dedication to the field.

As with the rest of the elements of your resume, you want to include your membership in associations and professional organizations in reverse-chronological order. 

Here’s what you should mention:

Associations and Professional Organizations

  • Name of the organization

  • Date of membership

  • Role

If your role isn’t clear, you can also add a few sentences explaining your responsibilities.


Have you written any pieces that have been published online, in academic journals, magazines, or anywhere else? 

If they’re related to the position you’re applying for, you definitely want to include them on your resume to show off your expertise!

Not to mention, listing your publications won’t take you more than a few minutes. Here’s what you need to mention:


  • Publication title

  • Name of the website, journal, book, etc.

  • Date or year of publishing

Of course, to keep your publications well-organized (especially if you’re listing a few of them), you want to start with your most recent publication and add each following publication as a new bullet point.

Personal Projects 

If you have any personal projects related to the job you’re applying for, it’s only right to include them on your resume. 

This shows that you’re passionate and interested in the field, and not just during your working hours!

On top of that, your personal projects can also show that you have the skills and knowledge needed for the job. 

For example, if you run a marketing blog, make sure to mention it on your resume if you’re looking for a job in content writing, marketing, or other similar fields—especially if you have a larger following!

Volunteering Experience 

If you have any kind of volunteer experience, it’s a good idea to mention it in your resume.

Besides showing that you are a selfless person, your volunteering experience can also attest to your skills and convince the hiring manager that you’re the right candidate for the position. 

Not to mention, your volunteering experience is especially important if you don’t have much or any work experience. 

Hobbies & Interests 

While hobbies and interests aren’t exactly the things that will get you hired, they can help you show more of your personality and thus set you apart from other candidates.

This is especially true if your hobbies and interests are related to the job you’re applying for (e.g. a gaming hobby can be very helpful if you’re applying for a position at a startup that develops games).

Not to mention, if you’re competing against a candidate with a similar professional background, the hiring manager might favor you if you share the same hobbies and interests!

So, now that you know which additional sections you can include on your resume, here’s an example of how these sections could look on your resume:

Additional Sections Example

English—Native or bilingual proficiency Spanish—Limited working proficiency Portuguese—Elementary proficiency Professional Certifications Certified Technical Professional (2020-2023) The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering Hobbies & Interests

  • Machine learning

  • Artificial intelligence

  • Board games

#9. Attach a Compelling Cover Letter

Once you’re done filling in the white space on your resume with additional sections, there’s one last thing you need to do—craft an impactful cover letter.

A cover letter is an essential part of your job application, and although it isn’t a part of your resume, it goes hand-in-hand with your resume.

In short, a cover letter is your opportunity to convince the hiring manager that you’re the perfect fit for the position and the company

It also gives you a chance to mention anything you couldn’t in your resume and provide more details on your professional background.

Although writing a cover letter might seem difficult, especially if you haven’t written one before or aren’t confident in your writing skills, it isn’t hard. Here’s how to make a cover letter for a resume in 6 simple steps

6 Steps When Writing A Cover Letter

  1. Start with the header. At the top of your cover letter, include your contact information (name, last name, phone number, email address, etc.).

  2. Greet the hiring manager. Research and mention the hiring manager’s name—this also shows that you’re willing to go one step further than expected of you!

  3. Introduce yourself. In the opening paragraph, tell the recruiter who you are. Briefly mention your professional background and list a couple of your top achievements.

  4. Go in-depth. Next, explain why you’re the perfect match for the position and give more details on your work experience, skills, etc.

  5. Convince the employer that you’re a cultural match for the company. Explain why you want to work for this particular company and why you’d be a great asset to their team.

  6. Close your cover letter right. Before signing off, include a call to action to increase your chances of getting an interview.

#10. Give Your Resume and Cover Letter a Second Look

Once you’re done writing your resume and cover letter, don’t send them just yet—first, make sure to proofread them for any errors. After all, you want your resume to be nothing short of perfect!

Pro Tip

Have a friend or a family member review your resume and cover letter. A fresh pair of eyes might notice something you might’ve missed!

To make this easier on you and ensure you mention everything you’re supposed to mention in your resume, we’ve created a free resume checklist for you. Let’s dig in!

Resume Checklist


If you’ve answered “Yes” to all of the above-mentioned questions, you can rightfully call yourself an expert on how to make a resume and submit your job application!

Pro Tip

After double-checking your resume, save it as a PDF file. This way, you can ensure that your resume will look as intended on any operating system and device.

Example of a Job-Winning Resume

Corey-Carter-Social-Media-Manager page-0001

What Follows After You’ve Perfected Your Resume? 

Now that you’ve perfected your resume and cover letter, it’s time to prepare for the job interview to secure your dream job.

Let’s be fair—no one really likes job interviews, but doing a bit of prep can help you minimize the stress. So, here are some tips that will help you nail the job interview:

Job Interview Tips

  • Do your research. Before your interview, make sure to research the company and the position you’re applying for. Read the job listing once again to make note of what the company is looking for.

  • Practice your answers. Research the most common job interview questions and rehearse your answers. To leave a good impression, make sure to focus as much as possible on what you can give to the company. Additionally, you might want to prepare some answers for STAR questions, which let the recruiter assess your behavior.

  • Pick an outfit for the interview. To avoid stressing out the morning of the interview, pick an outfit in advance. Even if you’ll have an online interview, don’t forget to look neat and professional.

  • Prepare a few questions. During the interview, you’re expected not only to answer questions but also to ask some. So, make sure to prepare some questions for the interviewer about the company and position to show your interest in the job.

FAQs About How to Make a Resume 

#1. How to make a good resume that stands out from other candidates?

To make a good resume that can help you beat your competition, you need to do three things:

  1. Craft an impressive resume statement to show the recruiter that you’re the right candidate for the position right from the get-go.

  2. Tailor your resume for the job by using keywords mentioned in the job ad and removing any irrelevant work experience, skills, and other information. 

  3. Highlight your achievements to stand out from other candidates with similar work experience.

#2. How to make a resume in Word? 

If you want to make a resume in Word, you have two options: using a Word resume template or starting from a blank page. 

Starting from scratch can take lots of time, as you will need to format the resume yourself and make sure that your resume is ATS-friendly. 

Keep in mind, however, that Word is a document editor, not a dedicated resume builder. As such, their templates aren’t optimized for ATS and often look dated

A resume from vs a text editor

#3. What do employers look for in a resume? 

When scanning your resume, employers want to immediately see that you’re the right candidate for the position. For this reason, they primarily look for relevant work experience, soft and hard skills, professional achievements, and other similar information that proves that you have what it takes to be successful in the role.

#4. Is it okay to have a gap in your resume?

Although employment gaps can be a red flag to the hiring manager, having an employment gap on your resume is okay as long as you properly address it. 

Instead of leaving it off of your resume, make sure to mention your employment gap(s) in a separate entry. There, add the dates and explain the reason behind the gap (e.g. medical reasons). 

If you don’t mention your employment gap, the recruiter will likely connect the dots and find it out anyway—but, if you address it correctly, it will no longer be a red flag.

#5. What's the difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV)?

The difference between a resume and a CV is that a resume is used in the United States, whereas in Europe it’s called a “CV.” Still, both of them are documents that summarize and present your professional background.

Moreover, in the US, CVs are typically used only in academia. Academic CVs also tend to be more detailed and longer than resumes.

#6. What should you name your resume file?

Recruiters receive tons of resumes every day, which is why you want to include your name, last name, and the position you’re applying for when naming your resume file.

To do this, you can simply use this template: “First Name-Last Name-Position-Resume.” For example, “Alan-Hendricks-IT-Specialist-Resume.”

Make sure to use dashes or underscores between words to make your resume file name ATS-friendly. And, unless asked to do otherwise, save your resume as a PDF file.

Isabelle Dupont
Isabelle Dupont
Content Writer & Editor
Isabelle Dupont is from Portland, but she now lives and works in sunny San Diego. She is a content writer and editor for She loves casual Fridays and carefree days spent on the beach and has been writing for several years now. Whether it’s creating content or fixing it up, she’s always on point and makes sure no stone is left unturned. In her free time, Isa loves to immerse herself in fantasy novels, go on long hikes, and spend time with her friends and family.

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