Professional Resume Examples and Writing Tips

Man reviewing resume
jamesteohart / IStock

One of the most important documents in your job search is your resume, which offers a window into your professional history. The information candidate might included on a resume varies based on their career level.

The resume of an entry-level employee, for instance, generally looks quite different from the resume of a mid-career professional. While experienced workers can rely upon their career history to make a strong case for their job candidacy, recent graduates may need to showcase their qualifications and potential instead.

Before you start putting your resume together, it's helpful to determine which type of resume highlights your strengths and achievements. Likewise, when reviewing templates and examples, choose the format that is best for your situation. While all resumes should reflect your work and education experience, as well as your skills and accomplishments, there are different ways to present this information.

Resumes in other countries are typically referred to as “Curriculum Vitae” (CVs) and may need to provide personal information (such as date of birth, gender, and marital status) that would be illegal for an American employer to request.

Resume Samples Listed By Type

No matter what sort of work experience you have, there’s a resume format that will make your qualifications shine. If you have a significant employment gap since your last position, you may want to use a functional resume rather than a chronological one. Determine which format is best for you.

Resumes to Promote Your Qualifications

Resumes in today’s job market are no longer mere summaries of one’s work experience as they were in the past. Rather, they are self-marketing documents that demonstrate how your qualifications align perfectly with those requested in a job posting.

Highlighting qualifications is particularly important because many employers use automated applicant tracking systems that are programmed to search for keyword phrases related to their desired qualifications in their candidates. Here’s how to make your qualifications “pop” on your resume.

Resume Template to Download

This chronological resume shows job experience beginning with the most recent position. Download the resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see the following list for more examples.

Free Professional Resume Example
 ©TheBalance 2018

Resume Example (Text Version)

Amanda Billings
10 Paper Road
Milltown, MA 70543
555.123.1234
amanda_billings@email.com

Accounting Manager

Highly organized and diligent professional drawing upon ten years of experience in accounting and finance to contribute to smooth and productive operations. Excellent command of budget development, financial analysis, and accounting best practices. Collaborate cross-functionally across organizational levels to build consensus, track benchmark achievement, and troubleshoot emerging issues.

Core Competencies

  • Bookkeeping: AP, AR, Account Reconciliations, Payroll
  • Oral and Written Communications
  • Federal and State Tax Preparation
  • Office Administration
  • Positive Teamwork and Collaboration
  • QuickBooks and Microsoft Office Suite

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Barclay Professional Accounting Services, Inc. – Milltown, MA
Practice Manager, October 2014 to Present
Handle and optimize all administrative operations for 7-physician medical practice. The scope of responsibilities includes accounts receivable/payable, accounting, budget review, and preparation of financials for CPA. Selected Contributions :

  • Eliminated backlog in financial reporting responsibilities within 25 days of initial hiring.
  • Successfully project-managed the acquisition and installation of state-of-the-art healthcare billing software that reduced errors by 30%.
  • Developed and organized office policies, procedures, and administrative and accounting workflows resulting in a significant increase in office efficiency.

Reddington Hardware – Wellington, MA
Accountant, August 2008 to October 2014
Skillfully performed all office accounting tasks for a small hardware store. Gathered and analyzed financial data, and processed accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll for workforce of 35 personnel. Selected Contributions:

  • Created monthly and annual budget and forecast reports that contributed to a 5% decrease in annual expenditures.
  • Migrated accounting system to a new software provider and integrated all accounting, bookkeeping, tax, and payroll functions into the new system.
  • Prepared company state and federal tax returns and ensured compliance with filing deadlines.

EDUCATION

Vermont State College, Rutland, VT
Bachelor of Science in Accounting, 2007
Graduated Magna cum Laude

Resumes for Special Circumstances

The career trajectory for people today is much different than it was for their grandparents. Millennial workers are increasingly willing to “job hop” in order to find their perfect life balance. This might involve a change in career, the decision to stay at home with young children, or even taking “time out” from their career to travel or engage in volunteer work. In these cases, there are ways of handling specific situations and non-traditional work histories on a resume.

100+ Resume Examples and Templates

The following professional resume types fit a variety of employment situations. Use them for inspiration when writing your own resume. Remember, your resume needs to impress the hiring manager enough so you get the interview. That means it needs to be perfect.

Accounting and Finance

Individuals with strong math and analytical skills often pursue careers in the accounting and financial services fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, the predicted rate of growth for these jobs is 6%.

Childcare/Education

Teachers are currently in high demand in many parts of the country; the demand for high school teachers alone is expected to grow by 5% between 2018 and 2028.

The format of a teaching or childcare resume will vary, depending upon one’s level of experience and the grade level one hopes to teach.

Communications/Marketing/PR

Yes, there are jobs for English majors—strong writing and editing skills are in greater demand (at more lucrative rates of pay) than ever before, thanks to the Internet and rich opportunities in the marketing and public relations sectors.

Customer Service

It takes both patience and a sincere desire to help others to excel in customer service roles. If you have strong interpersonal and communication skills, here’s how to structure a resume that will help land a rewarding customer service job.

Food and Hospitality Services

In our service economy, there are always jobs available for people who enjoy the challenges and rewards of restaurant work. Here’s how to create an effective resume for both front- and back-of-house positions.

General Business/Management

More undergraduate and graduate degrees were earned in the fields of business than almost any other profession. Trained to fill key leadership roles, effective managers are skilled in organizational development, employee supervision and training, conflict resolution, project management, and regulatory compliance.

Human Resources

Human Resources (HR) employees can either be HR Specialists (who focus upon a specific discipline such as recruiting and hiring), or HR Generalists (who perform all HR functions for an organization).

Information Technologies (IT)

Since being pioneered by visionaries like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in the mid-'70s, the IT industry continues to flourish. Unlike resumes for most other professions, IT resumes need to emphasize a candidate’s strong technical skills; it can be a useful strategy to include a tech table listing the hardware and software with which one is proficient.

Manufacturing and Engineering

Despite outsourcing, the career outlook in the engineering and manufacturing sectors is still strong. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the total number of engineers in the will increase by 139,300, from 1.68 million to 1.82 million by 2026.

Medical/Healthcare

With the aging of the “Baby Boom” generation and the development of new medical therapies and technologies, there’s never been a better time to enter the healthcare industry. Here’s how to focus a resume on a few very popular healthcare roles.

Nonprofit Sector

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of nonprofit jobs are found in the healthcare and social assistance sectors. Here are examples of the fairly conservative style of resumes used for nonprofit jobs. 

Office Administration

Resumes for administrative professionals demonstrate adeptness in data processing, phone and office reception, scheduling, supply purchasing, and record keeping.

Sales

As a sales professional, your resume is your most powerful calling card—it should be designed to demonstrate, through its enthusiastic language and use of persuasive examples, the strong sales skills you have to offer.

Seasonal Jobs

If you’re a student who needs tuition or gas money, check out these summer jobs. (A word to the wise: Start applying well before spring term ends, since there can be a lot of competition from other students for these jobs).

Skilled Trades

Here’s how to clearly present the specialized skills you’ve developed, either through certification training or apprenticeship, to potential employers.

Article Sources

  1. Gallup. "Millennials: The Job-Hopping Generation." Accessed Jan. 10, 2020.

  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Accountants and Auditors." Accessed Jan. 12, 2020

  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Education, Training, and Library Occupations." Accessed Jan. 22, 2020.

  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Engineers: Employment, Pay, and Outlook." Accessed Jan. 22, 2020.