60 Resume Ideas
That Have Worked for 2000 Clients

These 61 resume ideas, tips and resources show you exactly how to write a professional document that shows you at your best and gets employers interested.

The tips you'll find on this page are real-world tested techniques that have helped approximately 2000 of my clients land great jobs, and they can help you, too.

There is an enormous amount of information on this page.

If you have time and want a really thorough understanding of the topic, read through all of the resume ideas on the page and click on the links to more detailed information about each topic. You will become a resume expert!

If you are in a hurry and just want some specific information, you can use the links below to navigate this page and quickly find the information you are looking for.

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General Resume Ideas and Tips

Resume writing in 12 steps
  1. Easy 12 Step Guide
    Here's a quick, 12 step overview that outlines the process you need to go through to write a winning resume. Thinking about writing your resume in broad, general terms can be stressful. This article breaks down the process so you can think it through clearly, one step at a time.

12 good writing rules
  1. 12 Writing Tips
    Write a document that highlights your most marketable skills and creates a great first impression at a glance. With these 12 rules of good resume writing you'll avoid common mistakes that knock people out of consideration for jobs before they even get started.

Most important factor in good resume writing
  1. Most Job Seekers Skip This Crucial Step
    Discover the single most important step in good resume writing that most job seekers overlook.


Harmful resume writing myths exposed
  1. Common Myths That Hurt Your Job Search
    Discover the truth about the biggest resume writing myths that can really hurt your job search.


How to research a company
  1. How to Research a Company
    If you know the company you're applying to, you absolutely must research that company before you being to write your resume. No exceptions!

    Here's what information you should look for when you research a company, how to find that information even when it is not easy to find, and how to use the information to make a great impression with employers.

How to research a company
  1. Employer Resume Writing Tips and 7.  Job Search Advice
    Do you ever wonder what employers are thinking when they read resumes? What makes them keep one and toss out another? I asked employers to share their advice for job seekers. Here is what they said.


  1. Common and Avoidable Mistakes
    Take a look at these common and completely avoidable resume writing mistakes that can damage your job search if you are not careful.



Resume Workbook

My book, The Resume Writing Guide, is the only book I know of that breaks down the process of creating a resume and takes you from blank page to winning resume one small, manageable step at a time.

It is the next best thing to having an experienced resume writer by your side.


Styles and Formatting

There are three commonly used styles or formats:

  • Chronological
  • Combination
  • Functional

Each of these three formats have different strengths and weaknesses and work in different situations.

Chronological
Highlights a strong work history, but it can be difficult to highlight your skills when you use this formaat.

Functional
Highlights skills without showing any work history, but it is not trusted by many employers.

Combination
Highlights both skills and work experience and provides a lot of flexibility to organize your information in a way that shows your skills and experience in the best possible way.

A fourth format, the electronic resume will be read by a computer as opposed to a human. It must be formatted correctly for the computer, and it is crucial to include strategic key words so the document will be found in computer-based searches.

Chart describing 3 common resume styles

Overview of Chronological, Combination and Functional Resumes

Three most popular resmue formats
  1. Formats
    An outline of the three commonly used formats. Learn the basic characteristics of chronological, combination and functional resumes. Plus, here's a little more general information about the three most commonly used styles and when to use each one.


How to choose the best resume format for your situation
  1. Choose the Best Format for You
    Each resume format has its own strengths and weaknesses. Discover which style will show you at your very best depending upon your own unique work history, and learn which popular format you should never use.

Detailed Descriptions of Chronological, Combination and Functional Formats

Below are links to detailed descriptions of each resume style, formatting guides, and samples of each type of resume.

Combination

Description, formatting instructions, and example of the combination style

This is the most versatile resume format. It works for most people most of the time and provides the flexibility you need to highlight your most impressive achievements while minimizing any less than ideal aspects of your work history.


  1. Combination Description
    An in-depth description of the combination style including strengths and weaknesses and who should use this format.

  2. Combination Format
    Guidelines for formatting a combination resume.

  3. Combination Example
    Most of the sample resumes on this site use the combination format because, in my opinion, it is the best format for most people. The link above shows you a standard combination style resume, and if you jump down to the rest of the examples, you'll find more samples that show variations on this style.

Chronological

Description, formatting instructions, and example of the chronological style

This format highlights your work experience, so it is a good option for people who have a solid career history. It is generally not the best option for new graduates, career changers, people with gaps in their work history, or people who have held a lot of jobs in a short period of time.


  1. Chronological Description
    An in-depth description of the chronological style including strengths and weaknesses and who should use this format.

  2. Chronological Format
    Guidelines for formatting a chronological resume.

  3. Chronological Example
    Sample chronological resume.

Functional

Description, formatting instructions, and example of the functional style

Before you continue reading, please be aware that I never recommend using a functional resume. Employers do not trust this format because it is missing crucial information that most employers want to see. They often feel you are purposely hiding something when you use a functional style resume.

I am only covering this format here because it is a style that a lot of job seekers want to know about. I'm hoping by describing the functional format and all of its weaknesses, I can steer you towards a more effective format (i.e. the combination style) which allows you to minimize weaknesses without raising red flags to employers.

  1. Functional Description
    An in-depth description of the functional style including strengths and weaknesses and who should use this format.

  2. Functional Format
    Guidelines for formatting a functional resume.

  3. Functional Example
    Sample functional resume.

Electronic

Description, formatting instructions, and example of the electronic resume format

Electronic, or scannable resumes are specially formatted to be read by a computer. You may also hear people refer to them using the terms ASCII, text, or plain text.

A human will eventually read your scannable resume but only if it is formatted and written correctly to get through the initial electronic scan.

This fourth style is significantly different from combination, chronological or functional resumes because it is all about writing to please the computer software first, and the human who will read it second.

  1. Scannable Formatting Tips
    Use these tips to ensure you write a scannable resume that gets noticed.

  2. Targeted Keywords
    How to use targeted keywords to ensure your scannable resume gets found in employer searches.

  3. Scannable Sample
    Sample scannable resume.


Resume Ideas for Specific Situations

Career Change Resume Ideas

  1. Career Change
    Discover how to present your current skills and experience in a way that is relevant to your new career.

  2. Career Change Resume Example

Student Resume Ideas

  1. Student Format
    How format a student resume.

  2. Recent High School Graduate Example

  3. Recent College Graduate Example

Technical Resume Ideas

  1. Technical Resume Writing
    A technical resume uses almost the same strategies as any other kind of resume with one crucial exception.

  2. Technical Template
    Are you looking for an IT job? Here's the best way to structure your resume if you have a lot of crucial technical skills to highlight.


Sections

Outlines and Formatting Tips

  1. Outline
    Outline and overview of the information to include in each section of a resume no matter which style you choose.

  2. Sample Format
    How a combination resume will typically look once it is correctly formatted.

  3. Outlines
    Links to all of the different resume format outlines on this site including functional, combination, chronological, technical, student, and scannable formats.

Objectives and Profiles

How to write job objectives and profiles

Objectives and profiles state the type of work you are seeking. They bring focus to your resume and make it easier for employers to read your resume more quickly and intelligently.

Objectives simply state the position you are seeking and are really only suitable for those seeking entry level jobs.

Profiles highlight your area of expertise. They can include a job title, but they don't have to. Profiles are suitable for all job seekers and they are a better choice when you are pursuing any job that is not entry level.

  1. Job Objectives
    Tips on writing a great job objective.

  2. Sample Objectives
    Several sample job objectives.

  3. Objective Examples
    More job objective examples and explanations about how and why you would use each type of objective.

  4. Profiles
    If you aren't using an objective, you need a profile. Use these tips and examples for inspiration when you write your own profile.


Keywords

Keywords, descriptive words, and action words
  1. Key Words
    Discover how to research the most important buzz words in your industry so you can write a highly targeted document that gets noticed by employers whether it is scanned electronically or human reviewed.


  2. Action Words
    A list of strong verbs, as well as tips to help you avoid common mistakes when choosing and using verbs to describe your experience.

  3. Descriptive Words
    A list of strong, descriptive words (adjectives) to use to define and describe your skills and experience.


Examples

Here's a page with quick links to all 16 of the good resume examples below. Consider bookmarking it so you can access them all for easy reference.

  1. Teacher Example

    Sample Teacher Resume
  1. Career Counselor Example
    Sample Career Counselor Resume
  1. Customer Service Example
    Sample Teacher Resume
  1. Recent College Graduate Example
    College Grad
  1. Librarian Example

    Sample Librarian Resume
  1. Retail Manager Example
    Sample Retail Manager Resume
  1. Manufacturing Example
    Sample manufacturing resume in functional style
  1. Quality Assurance Example
    Sample quality assurance resume in chronological style
  1. Administrative Assistant Example
    Sample administrative assistant resume
  1. High School Graduate Example
    Sample high school graduate resume
  1. Forklift Operator Example
    Sample forklift driver resume
  1. Music Teacher Example
    Sample teacher resume
  1. Wastewater Operator
    Sample manufacturing resume
  1. Administrative Assistant Sample
    Sample administrative assistant resume
  1. Career Change Example
    Sample career counselor resume
  1. Case Manager
    Sample case manager resume
    Resume Guide
    The Resume Writing Guide

    Check out my book, which is a companion to these examples. It teaches you step-by-step how to create your own, original resume that shows you at your best.


Reference Page

How to prepare great job references
  1. Good Job References
    Discover all you need to know about choosing the best people to provide good job references for you.

  2. Reference Page Template
    Once you have several good references in mind, setting up a reference page is quite simple. Use this reference page template to get started.

  3. Job Reference Check Tips
    Learn about the job reference checking process. Discover how and when to submit your list of references to employers and how to ensure your references are prepared to do a great job for you.


Submitting Resumes

61 resume ideas

  1. Resume Distribution
    Hove you considered the fact that how you submit your resume can have an impact on whether you get invited to an interview or not? It's true! There are good ways and bad ways to submit a resume. Here are the best ways to do it.
  2. Job Search Strategies
    Before you can distribute your resume, You'll need to find some targeted employers who may need to hire someone with your background. These tested job search strategies have helped many of my clients find great job leads.


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Have You Seen a Really Unusual Resume?

Unusual resumes may not make the kind of serious impression you want to make on an employer, but, for better or for worse, they do get noticed. What is the most unusual resume your ever seen or heard about?

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What Other Visitors Have Said About Unusual Resumes

Click the links below to read visitors' stories about the most unusual resumes they have seen.

Unusual Resumes and Job Search Strategies 
I had worked in process engineering and six sigma in manufacturing for several years. My experience had been that software was often a big hurdle on the …

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