Anatomy of a resume example
A resume should include five critical sections — contact information, career summary or objective statement, work experience, education and skills — plus a handful of optional sections depending on your career history and aspirations.
All great resume examples include the following sections:
Always provide your name, phone number, email address and location at the top of your resume, as shown in the example. Also be sure to add links to your LinkedIn profile and professional website or portfolio to showcase your work if you have them.
A professional summary or objective statement is a three- to five-sentence summary of your qualifications or career aspirations that always goes directly underneath the contact information. An objective tends to put greater focus on the candidate’s goals.
This resume sample is a chronological resume example, but functional and combination resume formats also organize work history starting with an applicant’s most recent job, helping employers see what job applicants have done most recently at a glance.
A substantial resume skills section containing a mix of hard, soft and transferable skills can enhance a job seeker’s work credentials. Display your skills in a bulleted list for clarity, and compare the list to the job description to cover your bases.
Resumes must have an education section, so look for professional resume examples that include one. Feature coursework relevant to your field, a degree-in-progress and any other training or certifications you have received that is specific to the job.
Awards and achievements are an optional section that would list any notable awards you’ve received throughout your career. Other optional sections include volunteer work, certifications/licenses, languages, hobbies, associations and accomplishments.
Other popular resume examples
Here’s What People are Saying About Us
Resume examples by format
Resumes come in three formats — chronological, functional and combination. Check out the examples below to see which format would be best for your career situation.
Example of a chronological resume
Chronological resumes are the most common. As you can see in the example, this format puts work experience at the forefront, listing roles in reverse-chronological order.
This sample is great for candidates who:
Have a steady work history
Show a clear career progression
Have already worked multiple jobs
Example of a functional resume
Functional resumes de-emphasize work history in favor of skills and achievements. Also known as “skills-based” resumes, this format highlights your practical ability to perform the job.
This type of resume is great for applicants who:
Are looking for their first job.
Have significant gaps in experience.
Are hoping to change careers.
Example of a combination resume
The combination resume, also known as the hybrid resume, gives equal weight to work experience and skills, showing employers the link between the two.
Hybrid resumes are perfect for job seekers who:
Are returning to the workforce after a short break.
Want to emphasize certain skills.
Possess at least one year of experience.
8 benefits of using a sample resume for a job application
A good resume example will help you:
- Avoid common mistakes when writing.
- Showcase your most relevant skills.
- Highlight your measurable achievements in your work history section.
- Customize your resume for each job and fill out all sections appropriately.
- Understand how to use a professional summary versus a resume objective.
- Choose the appropriate structure based on your experience.
- Format your document properly.
- Create a resume quickly and easily using our builder.
Avoid copying from resume samples. Your resume must reflect what makes you uniquely qualified and should speak directly to the company and the position. You’re bound to get rejected otherwise.
Look at the job description closely to find keywords for your resume. Notice which skills and other qualifications in the job requirements match yours. If the employer lists “nice to have” credentials, then add those too because they will help you stand out even more. But be honest! Only choose words that genuinely reflect your employment history and skill set — chances are hiring managers will ask for details should you get an interview. Plus, your employer will expect you to put those qualifications to use if you get the job. Once you have a substantial list of keywords to use, study an example of a resume for guidance on how to place them in your resume sections.
Your resume format can help you work around a career change or a gap in your resume work history section. The functional resume format, for instance, works well for job seekers with employment gaps because it emphasizes resume skills over experience. It makes your qualifications clear to prospective employers before noticing inconsistencies in your job history.
Another way to address job changes or gaps when writing a resume is to explain them in a cover letter. In about three sentences or less, explain what you learned from your experience in a way that assures the hiring manager that you learned from it (if it’s a gap) or why you feel a new job path is right for you (if you seek a career change).
There are many ways to build a resume that stands out, but pay particular attention to the following six:
Start with a professional resume example that matches your industry and desired job.
Use the correct resume format and design for your industry and goals.
Add quantifiable achievements, such as “Delivered an average of 45 meals per day on time and efficiently while maintaining excellent customer service.”
Use keywords from the job description without overdoing them.
Write a three-sentence professional resume summary or resume objective explaining who you are and what you can do for the prospective employer.
Proofread it so that it's error-free!
Yes! You should always send a cover letter with your resume when you apply for a job unless explicitly told not to hand one in. Not only will it help you stand out but it’s also your chance to introduce yourself to the employer, explain any possible red flags on your resume (such as many short-term jobs) and show your personality. Plus, it lets you convey your enthusiasm for the job and tell the employer exactly why you want to work for them. We have many excellent cover letter examples to help you get started.