Guide to Create Your Own Resume

Cropped Hands Of Business People Holding Resume On Table In Office
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When you are fresh out of school and looking for your first job, the process can be overwhelming. One of the most difficult aspects of job searching is putting together a good resume.

resume, a brief overview of your work experience, education, and skills, is a key document used by employers to narrow down the applicant pool. While your resume cannot get you a job, it can get you an interview – an important first step in securing a position.

Guide to Creating a Resume

This guide contains important aspects of resume design and tips on what to include:

  • Contact Information
  • Qualifications Profile
  • Employment History
  • Education
  • Skills

The sections listed above are the key elements of a resume. Use these sections to highlight your experiences, education, and talents. By using clear categories, you can make your resume visually engaging and more appealing to hiring managers.

Contact Information

While it may seem obvious, you would be amazed how many people submit beautiful resumes, but forget to include their contact information

Your resume should include your name, email address, phone number, and a link to your online portfolio or LinkedIn page if you have one. 

Your Address: You may want to include your physical home address on your resume, listing the city and state (many job candidates omit their street address for privacy reasons, which is fine since most communications now occur through email, texting, or telephone conversations. However, it can be beneficial to include your city and state so that an employer knows you are local and will not need to relocate for the job).

Professional Email: Make sure your email is accurate and professional (as opposed to “cutesy”); if you have an address that contains mention of your hobbies or interests, create a new account with a free service like Google or Yahoo with just your name, such as Jane.Doe@gmail.com. 

Phone: Your voicemail message also needs to sound professional. First impressions count, and hiring managers who call the phone number on your resume will draw inferences about you from the tone of voice and language you use on your voicemail.

Contact Information Section Sample

Garrison Grant
Portland, Oregon 97212
(123) 555-1234
Garrison.Grant@email.com
linkedin.com/in/garrison-grant

Qualifications Profile

In the past, objectives have usually been included in resumes. But really, objectives in resumes are all the same; everyone is trying to get a job.

Objectives are also problematic because they place too much emphasis on the needs of the job candidate as opposed to the needs of the employer the resume is targeting.

Effective resumes are neither personal biographies nor statements of intent. Rather, they are marketing documents that “sell” your professional services to an employer by showing how your training and experience is “the answer” to what they are seeking in their next employee.

Instead of listing personal objectives, then, make it easy for hiring managers by creating a short “qualifications profile” of the skills and talents you would bring to the table. It is a written form of your elevator speech, giving them a quick snapshot of who you are, what your experience is, and how your skill set meets the qualifications listed in their job announcement.

A sample overview/qualifications profile for a graphic designer would state, "Seasoned graphic designer with 10 years of experience in print and digital media. Proficient with InDesign, Quark, and Photoshop. Solid foundation in HTML and CSS for creating websites."

In both this qualifications profile and in the “Experience” section that follows, try to use (and repeat) the industry-specific keyword phrases that are included in the job announcements to which you are applying.

Many companies now use automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) to rank the resumes they receive. These systems are programmed to count the placement and number of times specific keywords are used in resumes and their accompanying cover letters. If your resume doesn’t include at least some of these keywords, it may never reach the human eye of a hiring manager. 

Qualifications Profile Section Sample

QUALIFICATIONS PROFILE

Detail- and deadline-oriented grant writer well-versed in all phases of the grant research, proposal, writing, and reporting processes. 

CORE COMPETENCIES

  • Proven success in generating over $100K in grant support annually for non-profit service organization.
  • Easily build rapport and engagement of major granting organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Superb interpersonal and presentation skills complemented by ability to seamlessly handle multiple projects and tasks at once.

Experience

The most common resume format is ordering your employment history in reverse chronological order, with the most recent experience first.

You do not have to include every role you ever had; if you are a seasoned manager, you do not need to include jobs you had in college or your internships. 

In the employment history, include your employers' names, the dates you worked at each place (with months and years), your job title, and your accomplishments at each workplace.

Focus on achievements rather than a list of tasks. For instance, if you are in public relations, instead of saying "distributed press releases," you would say, "Distributed over 200 releases to 500 outlets and had a publish rate of 50%." Try to quantify these achievements with tangible numbers, dollar figures, or percentages whenever possible.

Use the present tense to describe your work responsibilities in the job you currently hold; previous jobs should be described in the past tense. 

Experience Section Sample

ABC NONPROFIT, Portland, OR
Grant Writer, October 2017-Present

Skillfully research, identify, and apply for grant opportunities in support of local nonprofit addressing homelessness in the community. Communicate mission and objectives to potential grantors and deflect potential proposal objections; exercise due diligence in all financial tracking and reporting functions.

  • Secured grant funding in excess of $60K within first six months of hiring.
  • Expanded contact list of actively contributing granting organizations by 70%.
  • Demonstrated excellent contact development and business relationship management skills.

COMMUNITY CAMP FOR KIDZ, Portland, OR
Volunteer Grant Writer, June 2016-July 2017

Concurrent with education, built first-ever list of active grantors for camp program providing outdoor experiences for children with special needs.

  • Cold-called, visited, and attracted sponsorships of more than $10K each from local employers including Portland Energy, XYZ Manufacturing, and Riverrun Investment Corporation.

Education

In your education section, include any college or post-graduate work. If you have a bachelor's degree or higher, there is no need for you to include the name of your high school. If you do not have a college degree, it's perfectly acceptable to include where you went to high school and when you graduated.

If you have a strong GPA (3.5 or higher), feel free to include this in the education section. If you are a recent graduate, it is also a good strategy to list significant extracurricular activities (particularly those which demonstrate leadership). These include honors society memberships, Greek organizations, and campus/community volunteer roles. 

Education Section Sample

Bachelor of Arts in English, 2016; GPA 3.9 University of Portland, Portland, OR Dean’s List; Graduated Summa cum Laude

Technical Proficiencies: Microsoft Office Suite, QuickBooks, Adobe Creative Suite, and CRM tools.

Resume Sample

Here's the resume that has been compiled from each of the sections listed above.

Garrison Grant
Portland, Oregon 97212
(123) 555-1234
Garrison.Grant@email.com
linkedin.com/in/garrison-grant

QUALIFICATIONS PROFILE

Detail- and deadline-oriented grant writer well-versed in all phases of the grant research, proposal, writing, and reporting processes. 

CORE COMPETENCIES

  • Proven success in generating over $100K in grant support annually for non-profit service organization.
  • Easily build rapport and engagement of major granting organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Superb interpersonal and presentation skills complemented by ability to seamlessly handle multiple projects and tasks at once.

EXPERIENCE

ABC NONPROFIT, Portland, OR
Grant Writer, October 2017-Present

Skillfully research, identify, and apply for grant opportunities in support of local nonprofit addressing homelessness in the community. Communicate mission and objectives to potential grantors and deflect potential proposal objections; exercise due diligence in all financial tracking and reporting functions.

  • Secured grant funding in excess of $60K within first six months of hiring.
  • Expanded contact list of actively contributing granting organizations by 70%.
  • Demonstrated excellent contact development and business relationship management skills.

COMMUNITY CAMP FOR KIDZ, Portland, OR
Volunteer Grant Writer, June 2016-July 2017

Concurrent with education, built first-ever list of active grantors for camp program providing outdoor experiences for children with special needs.

  • Cold-called, visited, and attracted sponsorships of more than $10K each from local employers including Portland Energy, XYZ Manufacturing, and Riverrun Investment Corporation.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts in English, 2016; GPA 3.9 University of Portland, Portland, OR Dean’s List; Graduated Summa cum Laude

Technical Proficiencies: Microsoft Office Suite, QuickBooks, Adobe Creative Suite, and CRM tools.

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