Upword Resume

This is the Anatomy of a Killer Resume (complete breakdown + 15 examples)

Whether you’re new to the workforce or shifting careers, there’s one thing that remains, decade-after-decade, essential for successful career development.

A killer resume can make or break career opportunities, boost your salary, or expand your options in the job search process.

Crafting a resume isn’t a simple task. Just ask the 20,000+ people who Google “How do I write a resume?” every month. Fitting your career (or lack of career) into one document is daunting—not to mention ATS optimization and constant adjustments for different job applications.

Whether you’re figuring out how to create a resume for your first job or you’re already climbing the career ladder, we’re here to provide all the resume help you need. This guide will demystify the resume-building process by breaking it down, piece-by-piece.

Buckle your seatbelts, because we’re practically giving away trade secrets here.

Let’s take it from the top.

Resume Header

This may be the most simple part of a resume, but it’s also easy to mess up. Mistakes here can prevent an interested recruiter from reaching you.

Here’s what belongs in a resume header—

  • Your legal name (we recommend against using your middle name unless your first and last name are very common)
  • A professional email address (no [email protected], please)
  • A current phone number
  • A LinkedIn url, if you have a profile set up.
  • Your current city and state

We should also talk about what doesn’t belong. Never put your full mailing address in your resume header. Not only is it unnecessary, but it can actually raise privacy and discrimination concerns, potentially hindering your job search.

Resume Header Checklist:

☐  Does the header contain correct contact info? ☐  Does the resume header have a link to your LinkedIn account? ☐ Are all numbers in the resume header correct? ☐ Are all links in the resume header working?

A resume title is an easy and super-effective way to align your resume with your target job. Match your resume title exactly to the title of the target job. That way, ATS software knows you’re a good match for the position. Adjust the job title for each job application submitted.

Adding a line below your title can allows you extra space for alternative titles, descriptors, or keywords that describe specific expertise within an industry. It’s best to use keywords directly from the job post you’re applying for to maximize ATS optimization. You can also use a mission statement.

Resume Title Checklist:

  • Does the resume title match the job description?
  • Is the subtitle / keyword list / mission statement optimized with ATS-friendly keywords?

Summary Section

Crafting a compelling resume summary sets a tone for the entire document. It’s the first (and sometimes the last) thing a recruiter reads before passing your resume up the chain or throwing it out completely.

Your summary should quickly address your biggest selling points. Think of it as an advertisement. Essentially it’s a sales pitch to get an interview. It shouldn’t belong or elaborate (5-7 sentences, max). Recruiters will spend only a few seconds reading through a resume summary, so every word should pack a punch.

Resume summary checklist:

  • Is the summary section language is tight and accomplishment-driven?
  • Does the resume summary contain ATS-friendly keywords, pulled directly from job description?
  • Do resume bullets highlight career accomplishments or professional credentials?

Skills Section

Have you ever heard a real estate agent chant location, location, location ?

Keywords in a skills section are the “location” of a resume. Many companies (especially those hiring at a high volume) use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to streamline the hiring process and weed out unqualified candidates. It’s actually a fairly simple process: An ATS program scans incoming resume keywords to see how well they match the job postings.

More resume keywords matches = higher ATS score.

Higher ATS score = resume is passed to a human hiring manager.

Create a skills section in your resume to house some of these juicy keywords. They’re also useful for human readers with a checklist of core skills they’re recruiting for.

Professional Experience

Now, we move on to the real meat of your resume.

The work history portion of your resume should highlight professional experience, including titles, employers, start/end dates, responsibilities, and most importantly job accomplishments .

If you’ve been at your current job for a while, add a brief description of your scope of responsibilities in paragraph form, then bullet points that describe specific accomplishments, KPIs, and goals for each job.

If you’re at the start of a career path, you can always fill gaps in your resume with part-time work and temporary roles — just make sure to tie them into the job you’re aspiring to as much as possible.

Resume job history checklist:

  • For each job, do you provide company name, location, job title, and years of employment?
  • Do you provide a brief description of your duties and scope for each position?
  • Do you provide quantified accomplishments ?
  • Do you provide the most detail for your latest jobs, with less detail on older/less relevant jobs?
  • Did you omit information that is personal, outdated, or off-target?
  • Is work history listed in reverse chronological (newest to oldest) order?

Volunteer Work

This section isn’t mandatory, so include it only if the service is relevant to your target job—maybe by extending your years of experience or demonstrating leadership skills.

Resume Volunteer Section Checklist:

☐ Have you listed committees, leadership roles, and professional associations in chronological order? ☐ If your volunteer experience is extensive, have you limited the section to the 4-5 most notable entries? ☐ Have you listed any major recognitions in your volunteer history?

Unless you’re a recent college graduate with limited experience, education and professional training should go at the bottom of your resume. Keep it clean and simple—no need to list every class you’ve ever taken.

Unless you’re a current student or have graduated in the past year, leave dates out of this section. It often does more harm than good by allowing ageism into the hiring process.

Resume Education Checklist:

☐ Are education entries in order from most recent to oldest? ☐ Are areas of study clearly listed? ☐ Have you listed any relevant certifications and professional development courses?

Final checklist

Last but not least, here’s a handy checklist of the major components of a strong resume. How does your resume measure up?

  • Is it in a clear, readable, commonly used font? Arial and Times New Roman are classic stand-bys. Calibri is one of my new faves.
  • Does it have ample white space in the margins? (Keep one-inch margins on the sides and at least a half-inch on top and bottom.)
  • Is it limited to two pages?
  • Is it free from typos and errors?
  • Does it convey a clear, unified message about who you are and what you do (aka your personal brand)?
  • Is it focused on accomplishments and benefits more than responsibilities and duties?
  • Does it speak to the desired qualifications for the type of job you’re seeking?
  • Does it replace niche industry jargon or company-specific phrases with better-understood translations? (Imagine a recruiter or HR person who isn’t necessarily familiar with the technical details of your target job.)
  • Is it consistent in terms of formatting, verb tense, organization?
  • Does it aim toward your next job (not your current job)?

If creating a resume still sounds daunting reach out to the pros at Upword Resume .  Our team of professional resume writers includes experts from every sector, from engineering to communications to healthcare. You can also follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter for monthly career tips and information to help you keep your resume polished and focused!

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Resume Examples & Samples

5 steps to a killer resume summary [with examples].

Dayana Aleksandrova

Create a Resume in Minutes & Get More Job Interviews

Table of Contents

Resume summary basics, where does the summary go, aim for 3 to 6 sentences, perfect your elevator pitch, what is the difference between a resume objective and summary.

  • Step by Step Guide to Creating a Killer Resume Summary

Scan the job post carefully

List your accomplishments, use key words, throw in your title, use brand name association.

Your resume summary can be the single reason you get the job or have your resume thrown in the shredder. Recruiters give your average resume only a glance of 6 seconds - and the first thing they see is your summary.

Think of a resume summary as that first impression. A great one can help you stand out from the competition. While it is no easy task to boil down your passion, dreams, and experiences to one short paragraph, there are ways to create a great resume summary.

Find out how to write a killer resume summary in just 5 steps. We'll have a look at the goal of the resume summary as well as what it is that recruiters specifically look for.

Don't have a resume to work with yet? Check out these resume templates .

#resume-summary-basics

What is a resume summary? The resume summary is a short paragraph explaining your professional experience and goals. Your resume summary should answer two simple questions:

1. What is your experience?

2. What do you care about?

You have to clearly state what your experience is focused on. For example, if you’ve worked in hospitality for the past five years, this can be mentioned in your summary as “extensive experience in the hospitality industry.”

This is the place for you to showcase your best achievements and strongest interests. It is also a fantastic opportunity to mention your core values. Do your research on the company beforehand. Find out what their mission statement and values are. Make sure yours align with theirs and place them at the beginning of your resume summary.

  • I have experience in hospitality which I’d like to advance and develop at your company.
  • Concierge with 4+ years of experience in luxury hotels. Highly sociable, detail-oriented and patient, I am proficient at fostering lasting relationships with guests, working with Amadeus, and have a BA in Hospitality.

Now let’s break down what does and what doesn’t work. In the first example, there isn’t enough information. We don’t know how many years this person has been in the industry and whether they hold a degree in it. Moreover, it makes it seem like the applicant is saying...

how to write a killer resume

The second example, on the other hand, is complete with detailed information. We know that this candidate is an established figure with 4+ years of experience in the field.

He tells us what his strongest suits are, which are specifically tailored to the job. We see that his values are to “foster lasting relationships with guests,” which again, is tailored to the hotel he is applying to. Finally, we see that this candidate holds a degree in the specific field.

Overall, the second summary tells us 90% of what we need to know about the applicant in just a few clear sentences. This is what our goal is.

In your resume summary, you may mention a quick detail about your hobbies and interests provided that it's relevant to the company mission and the job description. You may mention any noteworthy accomplishments as well.

#where-does-the-summary-go

The summary goes at the very top of the page. This makes perfect sense, as it is the first place the recruiter looks at. Having to search the entire document for this tiny fraction does not make sense.

It should be neatly formatted and easy to read. Remember, you are trying to sell your skills to the hiring manager.

As any good salesman would tell you, you have to show your value right away.

Need help? Check out our resume builder .

#aim-for-3-to-6-sentences

You want to keep it short, yet mention all of the important information. The golden number of sentences is about three.

Anywhere from three to six is acceptable.

This, of course, will vary based on how many years of experience you have and whether you have some noteworthy accomplishments you need to mention.

If you use social media, think of your summary as a well-crafted Tweet. It has to:

  • Peak interest quickly
  • Include numerical values (e.g. years of experience, monetary goals fulfilled)
  • Explain your values briefly
  • Include a connection to the company (which can be your values)
  • Mention your education (unless you’re an industry veteran with over 10 years of experience)
  • Be clear - there is no room for ambiguous wording or spelling mistakes

Your resume summary is the first impression of you the hiring manager will get. Not having one or having it badly written can be a disaster.

A great one, on the other hand, will quickly let the recruiter know who you are and why you are a great fit for the job. For some extra inspiration, have a look at these resume templates .

#perfect-your-elevator-pitch

While it is not obligatory to have a resume summary, it is necessary to include one if you really want the job. Not having a summary to the hiring manager means that they will have to go through your experiences one by one.

This takes time which they do not have. Make the recruiter’s life easier by explaining who you are.

how to write a killer resume

Note: elevator pitch doesn’t literally mean pitching an elevator.

If you do not have a great summary, however, the extra work they will have to put in to review the resume will diminish your chances. The resume summary is not necessary for everyone. Those who can benefit the most are:

  • Professionals with over a decade of experience
  • Those looking to advance their career in the same sphere
  • People without long gaps in their career history

What if you’ve had job history gaps or are changing industries? Not to worry. You will benefit from crafting a resume objective .

#what-is-the-difference-between-a-resume-objective-and-summary

The resume objective aims to tell the recruiter two things:

  • Who you are
  • Why you want the job

It does not need to be as detailed as the summary, as it focuses on what you want to achieve as opposed to what you already have.

example of resume objective

Italian food lover, cheese whisperer, and pizza tossing champion. Dedicated, funny and perpetually hungry, James is seeking to leverage his 8+ years of cooking experience to bring you pasta so good, it will put Mario Batali to shame. Has an MA in wine tasting and has won the pesto-making contest for three years in a row .

In this case, the resume objective gives broader information and focuses heavily on what the candidate aims to accomplish. The resume objective is a good solution for those who:

  • Are still in school
  • Have work history gaps
  • Are looking to change industries
  • Have less than 2 years of work experience

STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO CREATING A KILLER RESUME SUMMARY

#step-by-step-guide-to-creating-a-killer-resume-summary, #scan-the-job-post-carefully.

Let’s think about this for a second: perhaps you know that you are the best fit for a social media company, but the hiring manager doesn’t yet. What do you do? You give them what they want.

Does this company need a results-oriented worker who pays a great deal of attention to detail and can work under pressure? Tailor your profile to the needs of the company.

The job post is hands-down the easiest way to see exactly what they need from you. Applying for jobs is no guessing game. This is why ads exist.

Let's look at this example.

Hotel Blossom is 5-star boutique hotel which strives to offer its guests a unique travel experience. We want to pamper our guests at our state of the art spa and healthy restaurant.

We are looking for a Front Desk Receptionist who represents these values. This is a Full-Time position beginning in May.

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Welcome guests and give tour of the hotel
  • Give sightseeing recommendations
  • Plan a trip route if desired
  • Perform concierge duties - making restaurant reservations
  • Offer Blossom's signature excursions to guests
  • It is crucial to be on time and to be dressed elegantly

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • BA in Hospitality or 3 years of related experience
  • Extensive knowledge of boutique hotels
  • Easy-going, friendly and with a great attention to detail
  • Willing to make an extra effort and leave a great impression
  • Previous concierge experience
  • Sales experience is a plus

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Be able to lift 25lb boxes
  • Have the stamina to stand up for eight hours a day when needed

As you can see, the Front Desk Receptionist needs to be able to plan trips, be on time and act as a concierge. Make sure to mention these aspects in your resume summary, along with your attention to detail and sales experience.

A great summary in this case will read:

Leverage your most relevant skills

Concierge with 3 years of experience in boutique hotels. Easy-going and detail oriented, I always do my best to leave a great impression with guests and help ensure that they have a unique experience. BA in Hospitality and prior sales experience.

#list-your-accomplishments

They say that being humble makes life better, but your resume is not the place to be humble. If you have accomplishments, talk about them. After all, this is the best way to demonstrate confidence and value. Recruiters like those who go out there and get things done.

Being passionate and hard working is great, but not as great as having run 5K races for your company and won for years in a row, or managed to get promoted in a week. How do you know what your biggest accomplishments are.

Think back to the toughest problems you solved, how you got your promotions, why you were elected to lead and why your colleagues came to you for advice. These are all distinguished skills.

Sometimes it can be harder to see your own biggest achievements, so you can go ahead and ask your friends and family as well. Seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes can bring a great new perspective. Include numerical values in this section. More often than not, great accomplishments can be quantified.

We know you're a rockstar. Now show it to the recruiter. Learn How to Mention Accomplishments on Your Resume (10+ Examples)

Successfully lead a team in order to achieve monthly quota

Is not the same as saying:

Successfully lead a team of five in order to reach a $200K sales quota

Numbers are your friends. Use them. Besides, imagine that you are the recruiter, staring at words all day. Processing numbers is quicker and easier. Do them a favor.

#use-key-words

Scanning through the job description is a great way to pick out the keywords. After all, it's most likely that the recruiter wrote it.

Make sure to:

  • Use strong verbs - spearheaded, executed, founded, resolved, etc.
  • Choose descriptive adjectives - motivated, loyal, organized, patient, etc.
  • Pay attention to the tasks they need you to perform
  • See any additional requirements

how to write a killer resume

If it comes to physical requirements (e.g. be at least 5’10” tall, lift 25+ lbs), mention that you are capable of performing the tasks without a problem.

Try to mirror the language of the job description. If it says that one of the requirements is to “provide personalized care and attention to guests,” you can directly borrow that line.

In your resume say: “Provided personalized attention to guests at Hotel X.” This will make the recruiter instantly relate to your profile because you are giving them what they need.

#throw-in-your-title

There is a reason we all have titles. Their aim is yes, to make us look important. This is why it’s imperative that you mention yours. While some successful people will simply say “I write” or “I’m a frequent traveler,” you have to actually explain what it is that you do.

Saying “I write” for someone like J.K. Rowling is perfectly nonchalant, but unless you are very well-known in your industry, you should say that you are the “Executive Writer for show X” and have been recognized by the TV Writers’ Guild. Make sure that your title on the resume grabs attention.

Make it bold and place it at the very beginning of your work experience section and in your summary. Your title will be the gateway into your professional chronology. The worst thing you can do is to leave the recruiter wondering what you do.

Your position has to be clear and straightforward. Including all of your titles from previous experiences. It will show the hiring manager your progression in the industry.

#use-brand-name-association

I bet you’ve heard the old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This applies in the professional sphere still as strongly today as it did in the past.

Having a big name on your resume can open doors. It’s not the same to say that you’ve worked at a luxury hotel and to mention that you’ve been a Housekeeping Manager for The Four Seasons.

Make your references more concrete. Recruiters like to see who you’ve worked with and if they recognize the name, this can tip the scale to your advantage. The truth is that recruiters aren’t always right about hires and they know that.

No one is infallible, so having the affirmation that a big brand has already trusted you makes hiring managers’ lives easier.

How do you mention brand names in the

resume summary?

Something to bear in mind here is to be casual about it. For example, you can say: "Manage outsourced sales teams for multinational companies including Nike, Asics, and Adidas."

Now let’s take a look at how to leverage your personal connections in the job hunting process.

THE TRUST FACTOR

People are more likely to favor those who have already been deemed appropriate by an acquaintance.

I’ll give you a basic example. If I went to the shoe store to get sneakers, I’d see 20 different pairs. Instead of having to choose, I’d rather ask a runner friend of mine which is best from his experiences and buy based on trust.

Connections can:

  • Get you interviews
  • Help you get ahead of the competition thanks to the “tried & true” element
  • Give you an insight of what skills you should leverage
  • Make you seem more important and valuable to the recruiter

How do you find connections?

Some people get intimidated by the idea of seeking connections. There’s nothing scary or awkward about it. You don’t have to sell your soul for a good word. Just go on LinkedIn .

Based on your industry and connections, you will see “suggested contacts.” You can add them, mentioning that you both know "John Smith" or that you both share an interest in virtual reality.

How to start a conversation

First off, choose to write a personalized message when you send a friend request. The sample LinkedIn invite message reads:

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

This gets 0/10 points for originality. If you’ve ever worked in cold calling or sales, you know that people get dozens of random invites like this daily. You have to peak their interest right off the bat.

Do a quick research on the person. The fastest ways to do that are through:

  • LinkedIn history and shared content
  • Their Tweets
  • Their personal website/ blog

See what you have in common. Did you both read The 4 Hour Work Week ? Do you both like to sail? Instead of the random invite say this:

For example:

I see that both you and I share an interest in photography. I’m a fan of Canon myself. I see from your blog that you just got the new Mark IV model. What are your thoughts on it so far? Would love to connect and get your insight.”

This message is highly personalized. It shows that you:

  • Did your research
  • Took the time to read their blog content
  • Indeed share the same interest and know what you’re talking about
  • Believe that their opinion is expert and want to hear more of it

This will make the person feel important and let’s be honest; everyone likes to feel important.

Another strategy you can utilize with LinkedIn is to ask your contacts to introduce you to the hiring manager. If you see that you went to college with someone who works at Lonely Planet, for example, drop them a message casually saying:

How’s everything going? I thought of you as I’m applying for a position at Lonely Planet’s sales division and was wondering whether you could introduce me to John Smith at HR. It would be much appreciated.”

The trick here is not to seem too selfish. Ask your friend how things are going so that it’s not all about you and the favor you want. Use your Emotional Intelligence.

Don't skip the resume summary. It is a vital element of your profile and having one can increase your chances of landing the job.

Make sure to be specific about your past experience. Use strong verbs and elements from the job description. List any brand names that could add value to your candidacy.

Ease the recruiter's job by clearly defining your title and industry . They have to be able to tell what you do within a second of seeing your resume.

Remember that it's not about you, it's all about the business , so demonstrate clearly the value that you will bring to them. Show that you care and do your research.

When you think about it, businesses want to invest in employees who care . Would you want to train someone and pay them so that they can use you to advance their skills only for their own benefit and not the company's? That's right; you wouldn't.

Your resume summary should explain why and how you want to help the company advance.

Finally, don't be shy when it comes to using contacts. Reaching out to a common connection and asking for an introduction can be a great way to establish a conversation with the hiring manager.

Be genuine in your outreach and don't hold back on bragging about your past accomplishments . Incorporate this advice into your resume summary and be confident that you will do well.

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You might have an impressive working history or hands-on experience, but if you do not know how to put that down on paper, your potential employers will never know what a talent you are.

A perfect resume is something that not everyone has but a resume is an important document that can help you land a job or gain a promotion, effectively ensuring that you earn a higher income.

This piece of paper, your resume or CV, is a representation of yourself and should reflect you accordingly. While you might be tempted to make yourself sound more confident and competent than you really are, remember that you will have to live up to your resume.

When they call you in for a job interview and they realize that you aren’t all that your resume makes you out to be, what do you think are your chances of getting the position? Not only does it show the employer that you are inadequate, it also reflects on your attitude when it comes to working. Nobody wants a liar on their team. Would you?

Keep these things in mind when you’re crafting your resume

Now how do you write a resume that will look impressive but not be braggy or come across as arrogant? There are a few tips that we’ve compiled to help you put yourself and your achievements down on paper in a straightforward but also unforgettable way - it has to make a strong first impression in order to get you noticed by HR in the first place, so here are our top tips on penning a killer resume.

Think about what a hiring manager is concerned about

Put yourself in an employer’s shoes . What do you think that they are more interested in, your achievements or your day-to-day duties? If you answered the latter, you might want to start tweaking your resume so it highlights your achievements and not your responsibilities. You have to remember that anyone in charge of recruitment is likely to have a large volume of resumes to go through and hiring managers are likely to gloss over the fluff to get straight to the good stuff. Furthermore, by including your daily duties, it shows that you don’t have a big role to play in the organization and have no achievements to exhibit. This screams of a ‘coaster’ mentality, whereby employees join a company simply to do the bare minimum and reap the maximum rewards of getting a salary on top of employee benefits.

Your achievements should highlight how you brought value to your previous company. Did you host a highly successful event which resulted in a big company win? How did you increase bottom line revenue? Perhaps an introduction to a CRM increased sales and productivity by 300%? If you have numbers that demonstrate your achievements, then include those numbers. If you have any awards, certificates, or accolades, let your potential employer know about them. Allow your resume to boast about your accomplishments for you.

Cut the vague crap and insert something substantial

You know how team members on a project can all say that they were a part of a project, even if they only carried maybe 5% of their own weight? Well, employers know this so if you add vague statements like “increased sales” or “improved productivity”, it is an open-ended indication with no solid evidence. Give solid examples of what you accomplished, tell your employers how much you did and paint a picture for them so that they can understand how you contributed to the company. Perhaps you can say that what you did led to “$50,000 revenue in sales over a 2-month period”. Be specific and as detailed as possible.

How you add your skills to your resume is important too. Simply adding one skill after another won't cut it. You'll need to think carefully about how you do this and make sure you convey the right message. Pick the skills that are most relevant to the job position and decide on how you want to add them.

Be smarter than Artificial Intelligence

We’re not suggesting that humans are inferior to machines, but the fact is that many employers are now employing the use of robots in their hiring - and even firing - process. Specialist software will filter resumes based on keywords that are relevant to the job position. To get through such filters, look at the job description carefully and include as many keywords as you can in your resume. And, yes, this means that you will need to go through and edit your resume for every new job position you apply for, as you should.

Important keywords will include the job position but may also be certain skills or a number of years of experience. Make sure you hit the minimum requirement or else don’t bother because your resume might not even be looked at. However, if you’re determined, give it a try anyway - who knows? Some hiring managers might have the minimum requirements as a guideline instead of a strict rule and would be willing to bend it in the favor of someone who is really worth it - just make sure that you have an equally killer cover letter .

Be aware of the information that you include in your resume

If you have an extensive background, it might be tempting to include everything you can think of in your resume, but you should refrain from adding everything such as your volunteer experience or every single part-time job you have had. As mentioned above, you should be tweak your resume to meet the requirements of each job position. If you’re applying for a job at a pet-related industry, it does stand to reason why you should include any animal-related experience and even managerial experience you might have. However, if you’re applying to a tech company, you might want to focus on the qualifications and experience that you have which will be an asset for their company. For example, a digital marketing agency might be more interested in your skills in web development than your stint at McDonald’s when you were working part-time during your university years.

Too much information will only turn the reader off and too much noise will cancel out your main message of how you’re such a great fit for the position. Focus on the job scope and position that you’re applying for when you’re writing a resume for a certain position. Don’t create one generic resume and apply to as many positions as you can because this will not increase your chances at all.

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This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.

About the Author

Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.

Continue to: Interview Skills Emotional Intelligence

See also: The Skills Gap Eight Skills for a Killer Resume How to Showcase Skills on a CV or Resume Resume Advice from Recruiters Who Help Screen 4 Million Resumes a Year

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An in-depth analysis of the résumé that got me interviews at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and more.

This résumé got me interviews at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple.

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I obtained these interviews by sending my résumé to the résumé black hole , also known as applying online.

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Applying online is the most common way people go about applying for a job and therefore the least effective way to land an interview due to competition. Yet that is exactly how I obtained all my interviews.

How did I accomplish this?

In this article, I will go through a line-by-line analysis of my résumé for the following purposes:

  • explaining the choices that I made in creating my résumé
  • why I believe this résumé worked to help me land those interviews, and
  • how you can create an even better résumé!

I decided to write this article because I struggled a lot with landing interviews when I first started looking for a job. It would have been extremely helpful for me to have a real-life example résumé to look at.

This article is organized into the following sections:

  • The All Too Familiar Way of Not Landing an Interview - a short anecdote of my frustrations when I first started applying for jobs
  • Evaluating the Options: Moving Forward - a reflection on different strategies to improve the odds of landing interviews
  • Learning How to Write a Killer Résumé By Example - the step-by-step analysis of my résumé with each of the following sections corresponding to my résumé:

The Essentials from a Glance

  • Who Are You
  • Contact Information
  • Personal Projects

The All Too Familiar Way of Not Landing an Interview

Applying online.

You probably know the link that every company provides for online applications. It’s the classic career site that shows you a bunch of job titles which you think you are totally qualified for until you open the job description and read the minimum requirements.

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A job description with a bunch of words that you have never heard of, may have heard of, or hoped you had heard of. And it has an innocent-looking “ Apply” button .

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Despite the uncertainty you may feel about your qualifications, you apply anyway because you want a job.

So you fill out the application form, press submit — and wait and hope for a positive response.

Your results will be varied:

  • Phone Interview ? (yay, a chance at employment!!!)
  • Immediate Rejection ? (darn, back to the drawing board)
  • No reply  ? (ugh, at least give me the courtesy of having some closure)

Repeat Until Success… Right?

Sadly, this is the typical process that many people go through when looking for a job/internship.

Apply to a couple of companies. Get a couple of rejections or no replies. Apply to a couple more companies. Get a couple more rejections or no replies. Over, and over, and over again.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We spend all this time doing the same repetitive task to obtain the same, disappointing results.

Because this is what everyone does to get an interview, right? Because at least we’re working towards the right direction and have a glimmer of hope, right? How else are you supposed to get an interview?

Evaluating the Options: Moving Forward

“Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” - Dale Carnegie, (author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”)

We can think of approaching the problem of not getting interviews in two ways:

  • Putting your application/ résumé under the microscope
  • Questioning the process in which you go about obtaining an interview

This article focuses on the former, because no matter what avenue you end up taking to get an interview, essentially every company utilizes your résumé as a basis for evaluation . Therefore, we will examine my résumé under a microscope and focus on learning how to write a remarkable résumé.

Getting an interview via online application is extremely challenging because your résumé has to pass numerous stages before it gets into the hands of the hiring manager.

It has to bypass online keyword filters , stand out to a recruiter who reviews it for about 6 seconds and meet the expectations of the hiring manager who decides whether you are worth interviewing.

Yet, despite all those hurdles, I obtained all my interviews by applying online. How? Trial and error . I’ve applied to hundreds of different software engineering positions since my sophomore year of college.

When I first started applying, I faced a staggering number of rejections, but over time I learned how to adapt. By the time I was a senior, I was extremely successful in landing interviews from almost every company I applied to.

The résumé that landed me all those interviews is the exact one in this article.

It took me four years of iteration and real-life testing to get to this point. From this experience, I have come up with a list of résumé writing principles to help you write an even better software résumé. These are principles that have helped me land my dream job and are principles that can help you land yours.

While it took me four years of college to figure this all out, you don’t have to go through all the leaps and bounds because you can learn all of it right here, right now.

My goal is to be the one-stop hub for all your questions on how to obtain a software engineering interview. That way, you don’t have to waste countless hours cross-referencing Google search results to find the best answer on how to write a software engineering résumé that gets interviews.

Your valuable time could be better spent on writing your killer résumé.

So start here and now with this article. Reap the benefits from my past experiences and let’s begin the step-by-step walkthrough of my résumé!

Learning How to Write a Killer Résumé — By Example

“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s take another look at this résumé:

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One-page résumé

Recruiters do not have all day to read your résumé. On average they view it for less than 6 seconds. Keep it short and concise .

Sections (Header, Education, Employment, Software Projects, Skills)

Place sections in order of importance from top to bottom. The ‘ Personal Projects ’ section is a unique, must-have for people looking for a software engineering position.

Consistent layout + font per section

Make sure each section contains a uniform look. Consistent style is important as it enhances the readability. Readability is essential.

So why does this résumé work? Let’s explore the numbered bullet points.

Who Are You (1)

Target Audience: Anyone writing a résumé

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Starting off real easy. Your name. Place your name at the top of your résumé in a large legible font.

No need to be all fancy about it with extravagant colors or fancy fonts. Plain and simple does the trick. You want the recruiter to see this easily from a mile away because you want them to know who you are. A recruiter who has to do minimum work is a happy recruiter. A happy recruiter is one who is more likely to give you an interview.

Recap: Make it ridiculously easy for the recruiter to read and find your name.

Contact Information (2)

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Your contact info should be as easy as identifying your name. This is so important. Of all the things in the world, please do not mess this one up because how else on earth will the recruiter contact you?

Recap: Put in the correct contact information or you’ll never be contacted.

Education (3)

Target Audience: Anyone writing a résumé with a degree

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If you are attending or attended college, this should be the first section of your résumé, because going to college is a huge accomplishment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only “66.7 percent of 2017 high school graduates age 16 to 24 enrolled in colleges or universities”. So be proud of it and include it!

Right off the bat, this tells the recruiter that you are invested in education and learning, which is crucial because technology is continuously changing. Furthermore, this information serves as an indicator of your successes, so be sure to put it down.

Recap: Put down where you got educated.

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Be sure to include relevant coursework corresponding to the position that you are applying for. While a course on the History of Italian Gastronomy sounds exceptionally appetizing, it doesn’t have a place in a résumé that is trying to get you a job in computer science.

This will significantly improve the ability of the recruiter and the hiring manager looking at your résumé in deciding whether you are a good fit for the position. And as previously mentioned, a happy recruiter is more likely to give you an interview.

Recap: Only include relevant coursework.

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Okay. GPA. Before we talk about this, let’s remind ourselves of the main purpose of a résumé.

The main purpose of a résumé is to highlight your knowledge, skills, and accomplishments succinctly. You want to include things on your résumé that you are proud of, but also things that will impress. You want to paint a picture of yourself in the best light possible so that recruiters and hiring managers want to interview you.

Now back to your GPA. It should be fairly obvious whether or not your GPA is impressive. If your GPA is below a 3.0, don’t put it on your résumé. There’s nothing wrong with excluding your GPA from your résumé if it only harms your chances.

If you have a GPA between 3.0–3.2, this is a judgment call. From personal experience, I have talked to some companies that require a minimum GPA of 3.2, but these were primarily financial or quantitative companies. Most software companies have little regard for your GPA. If you have anything above a 3.2, I would place it on your résumé.

If you have a low GPA, fear not, as this gives you the opportunity to be creative! My overall GPA was a 3.2 due to poor grades from my freshman engineering prerequisites and humanities classes. But once I finished and started taking courses within my major, my in-major GPA (GPA calculated from courses in my major) was a 3.44, which was significantly higher. So that’s what I put down (but make sure to qualify it as a departmental GPA).

There are many ways of going about presenting yourself in the best light possible, even when it may seem like the odds are stacked against you. I only provided one example of accomplishing this, but there are many more ways waiting to be discovered by you. Fully embrace your failures and accomplishments because they make up who are you. Be honest and truthful, and always focus on highlighting the best parts about yourself.

Recap: Your GPA does not define you. The purpose of your résumé is to present yourself in the best light. Never forget that! Be creative when going about this and DON’T LIE.

Employment (4)

Target Audience: Students with software engineering work experience

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If you are a college student without any experience, don’t be afraid! This was my senior year résumé when I was applying for a full-time job. I was fortunate enough to have accumulated relevant work experience from summer internships, but this isn’t absolutely necessary to get an interview. If you find that you don’t have much to put in section, jump down to the ‘ Personal Projects ’ section.

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While it is great to have past work experience, not all work experience is treated equally when it comes to looking for a job in software engineering. Focus only on including work experience that has relevance to the job that you are applying for. For instance, if you have experience working as a cashier in retail or a waiter in the food industry, don’t include it! Unfortunately, your abilities to handle money or serve food did not provide any indication that you will succeed as a software engineer.

A recruiter’s goal is to match candidates with jobs that fit the candidates’ skill sets. Therefore it is essential only to include past work experience that has some relation to the position that you are currently applying to, on your résumé.

Part of accomplishing this means creating a collection of various résumés, each tailored specifically for the different job that you are interested in. This is analogous to the college application process, where you had to write separate essays for each university that you applied to. Each college has its own values, culture, and vision, making it nearly impossible to write a generic, one-size-fits-all college essay. Therefore, tailor your résumé to the job that you are applying for.

Lastly, a note on dates. Order your experiences in descending order starting with your most recent experiences. For undergraduates, this means being mindful of including experiences that are both recent and relevant. Sadly, no one cares about whatever accomplishments you had in middle school or high school. If the experience is outdated, leave it out.

Recap: Have various versions of your résumé tailored for each job you are applying for. There is no one-size-fits-all résumé.

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The hardest part about résumé writing is having descriptions that fully encapsulate your accomplishments from past work experiences in a meaningful and impressive way.

What does it mean for your descriptions to be meaningful and impressive? It means getting the recruiter to think: “This is someone that has the skill sets we are looking for. This is someone that has made a significant impact in their past jobs. This is someone we would like to interview and potentially hire.”

The primary objective of the Employment section is to show the impact and value that you had while working at an established institution. Your goal is to show recruiters that you are a candidate that can get things done and do them well.

To best showcase my accomplishments in my résumé, I adopted the following powerful formula, created by the Former SVP of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock:

“Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]” — Laszlo Bock

You can see this very clearly in the very first bullet point of this section on my résumé.

Improved device’s battery lifespan by 8% by integrating a fuel gauge sensor and establishing a battery saving state

Let’s break it down:

Accomplished [X]- Improved device’s battery lifespan

Measured by [Y]- by 8%

By Doing [Z]- integrating a fuel gauge sensor and establishing a battery saving state

I leveraged this formula in some shape or form in almost every sentence in my résumé.

To help you along this process, below is a word bank of excellent verbs you can and should use:

08UNCYv26D5hz87HF-XkHIzD-G1PBj6X0PsE

Here are some examples of fill-in the blank sentences that I have come up with for you to get started:

  • Reduced _____ by _____ by _____.
  • Redesigned _____ for _____.
  • Implemented _____ for _____ by _____.
  • Improved _____ by _____ through _____.
  • Utilized _____ to _____ for _____.
  • Increased _____ by _____ through _____.
  • Integrated _____ by _____ for _____.
  • Incorporated _____ for _____ by _____.

Recap: Use the “Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]” formula. It’s the most effective and most apparent way of showing recruiters/managers your impact.

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Lastly, I end each work experience with a leveraged knowledge bullet point. The utility behind this last bit is it enables the reader to really get a sense of the technology I am familiar with by explicitly stating the technologies that I used for the project.

This also allows me to have a concise, but clean ‘Skills’ section located at the bottom of my résumé. Recruiters can then look at the bottom to immediately obtain a sense of my capabilities by seeing which computer languages I am familiar with. If they are looking to see if I have specific knowledge in a particular tool, framework, or library, then they can find this out by looking at my projects.

Recap: Including technologies that you used in your descriptions will help you bypass online keyword filters when applying online. This will also give recruiters a clearer idea of your experiences and knowledge.

Personal Projects (5)

Target Audience: Students looking for software engineering internships/full-time positions + Unique section for software engineering applicants

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Maybe if I say it enough times, you will understand the importance of this section, especially for those that do not have work experience .

Personal projects are integral to piquing recruiters and hiring managers interest as it shows you are passionate about programming.

A personal project can be anything programming related, whether it be a Python script, Java program, web page, mobile application, etc. These projects show that you are genuinely interested in computer science and you have strong desires to work as a software engineer because you are willing to go beyond your schoolwork and create something on your own.

Taking the initiative to build something on your own is extremely impressive. It shows that you are dedicated to expanding your knowledge of computer science and that you are not afraid of putting in the extra work to do so. Ultimately, it is a fantastic way to demonstrate self-initiative and genuine interest in this field.

The other benefit of doing personal projects is that you inevitably gain the skills that apply to work in the real world. Things that you don’t usually do at school, but you will do at work such as using standard frameworks/libraries, understanding full-stack web development, creating mobile applications, setting up a development environment, or programming efficiently with Vim.

Tip: Create a personal website that showcases and documents all of your personal projects. This is a little hack that ‘virtually extends’ your résumé beyond the one-page limit.

To reiterate one last time, personal projects show your passion and dedication towards developing the necessary skills needed for a job that you don’t yet have. This is a must-have on any software engineering resume.

“Build some iPhone apps, web apps, whatever! Honestly it doesn’t matter that much what you’re building as long as you’re building something. You can build a fairly meaty project in one weekend. This means that with about 3–4 weekends of work, you can make your résumé go from so-so to fantastic. Seriously — I’ve seen lots of people do this.” - Gayle McDowell, former Google Engineer and Author of Cracking the Coding Interview

If there is a specific company that you really want to work at, one of the best ways to stand out is doing a personal project that is directly related to the job that you are applying for.

I got my internship at Autodesk by taking a free online interactive computer graphics course on Udacity. The course taught me to use a JavaScript library called three.js , and it just so happened that there was a software engineering internship opening at Autodesk looking for someone with full-stack website and knowledge in three.js (aka ME).

A word of caution on this technique. This strategy is not perfect. This only really works for companies like Autodesk which do not have generalized software engineering internships like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. When starting off early in your career, it is better to generalize and figure out the different disciplines of computer science. Nonetheless, this is an excellent method worth trying if there is a specific company you want.

Recap: Personal projects are imperative. If you haven’t already, start NOW! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Target Audience: Anyone looking for a software engineering job

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The title explains it all. Keep this section dumb, simple, and clean. List all the relevant skills that you want the recruiter to know you have. The more skills you have listed here that match key technical words in the qualification section of the job description, the better your chances!

This will allow you to bypass the online keyword scanner easily. However, this is not a fool-proof method of circumventing the scanner. Ultimately it is a recruiter who gets their hands on your résumé that decides, but they will also be more inclined to give you an interview if they see you as a good fit for the job!

A thing to note about the skills section is to NOT simply list all the keywords on the job description just for the sake of showing you’re a good fit. It will come back to bite you as you will be questioned on the skills you claim to know.

Part of giving yourself some leeway in this is including an indication of your proficiency level. Since you are probably not practicing every language you’ve ever encountered on a day to day basis, including a proficiency level can help the recruiter know your strongest languages at a moment in time and other languages that you are familiar with.

I’ve opted to use two tiers:

  • Proficient - Languages that I am very familiar with, feel very comfortable using, and can interview with right now.
  • Familiar - Languages that I have utilized in the past but may not be as knowledgeable in currently, but can pick back up given time.

Other valid options include:

  • Intermediate
  • Working Knowledge
  • Basic Knowledge

Recap: When applying for a specific job online, cross-reference the job description and add essential technical keywords on your résumé to increase your chance of getting an interview.

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure your name and contact information is correct and legible
  • Be sure to include your education. If your GPA is low, leave it out or be creative!
  • Utilize the “Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]” formula to effectively show the impact that you had in your past employment
  • Do personal projects — especially if you do not have past experience working in tech

Final Thoughts

While this résumé got me interviews at numerous software engineering companies, there is no guarantee that following all the principles and techniques I have explained here will yield the same results for you.

This was my senior year résumé in 2017. It is a showcase of my journey and interest in software engineering. Copying it will do you no good, as technology is constantly evolving and the talent search is an ever-changing process. Instead, use this as a reference.

Use my résumé and this article as a resource to become a better résumé writer and a more effective communicator. Focus on learning how to best convey your skills and achievements to others. This in itself is an invaluable, lifelong skill that you will need wherever you go.

As you write your résumé, please remember — be yourself!

Your résumé is a list of your own accomplishments, achievements, and interests. Your goal is to craft the most polished version of yourself. Lastly, have fun and enjoy the process!

For anyone interested in using this resume template, I obtained it from CareerCup which was founded by Gayle Laakmann McDowell, author of Cracking The Coding Interview .

From personal experience, what’s most important is the content. The resume writing principles discussed above can be applied to any template!

Also, check out my new website, memlayout.com , which helps students learn programming through visualizing their python code line-by-line.

software engineer @tesla. consider donating to https://oeop.mit.edu/. visualize python code line-by-line with https://memlayout.com/

If this article was helpful, share it .

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How to Build a Killer Resume

Table of contents.

How to build a killer resume ? A killer resume is your ticket to success in today’s competitive job market. It’s the first impression you make on potential employers, showcasing your skills, experiences, and qualifications. Crafting a standout resume requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of what employers are looking for. In this blog, we will delve into the art of building a killer resume – one that grabs attention, highlights your strengths, and opens doors to career opportunities. From essential tips and tricks to the benefits of an impressive resume, we’ve got you covered. Let’s explore the journey to creating a resume that leaves a lasting impact.

  • Begin your resume with a compelling summary that highlights your key skills, experiences, and career objectives in a concise manner.
  • Customize your resume for each job application. Align your skills and experiences with the specific requirements of the role to make your resume more relevant.
  • Whenever possible, use numbers to quantify your achievements. Numbers provide context and demonstrate the impact you’ve had in previous roles.
  • Create a dedicated skills section that lists both technical and soft skills . This section can quickly grab the attention of employers.
  • Prioritize the experiences that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Emphasize achievements that demonstrate your fit for the role.
  • Use strong action verbs to describe your accomplishments. Action words make your resume more engaging and dynamic.
  • Aim for a resume length of one page for early-career professionals and two pages for those with more experience. Be concise and avoid unnecessary details.
  • A killer resume sets you apart from other candidates and leaves a strong impression on employers.
  • Your resume’s effectiveness increases your chances of being selected for interviews, the next step in the hiring process.
  • A well-crafted resume effectively communicates your value to potential employers, highlighting how you can contribute to their organization.
  • A strong resume not only impresses employers but also boosts your confidence as you present yourself as a qualified and capable professional.

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, Zip Code] [Your Email Address] [Your Phone Number] [LinkedIn Profile]

: Results-oriented marketing manager with [X] years of experience driving successful marketing campaigns. Expertise in digital marketing, brand management, and team leadership. A proven track record of increasing brand visibility and revenue.

Marketing Manager | [Company Name], [City, State] | [Dates]

  • Led a team of [X] marketers in executing multi-channel marketing campaigns that increased online engagement by [Y]%.
  • Successfully launched [Product Name], resulting in [Z]% revenue growth within the first quarter.
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to develop and execute integrated marketing strategies.
  • Digital marketing and SEO optimization
  • Team leadership and project management
  • Data analysis and market research
  • Excellent written and verbal communication

: Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing | [University Name], [City, State] | [Graduation Year]

: Enthusiastic software engineer with a strong foundation in programming and problem-solving. Graduated with a degree in Computer Science and eager to apply my skills to contribute to innovative software solutions.

: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science | [University Name], [City, State] | [Graduation Year] Relevant Coursework: Data Structures, Algorithms, Object-Oriented Programming

  • Proficient in programming languages, including Java and Python
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Familiarity with software development life cycle
  • Developed a web application that streamlined data entry and improved team efficiency by [X]%.
  • Implemented an algorithm to optimize route planning for delivery services, reducing delivery times by [Y]%.
  • Collaborated on a group project to create a mobile app for event organization.

Crafting a killer resume is an investment in your professional journey. It’s a powerful tool that presents your qualifications, experiences, and potential in a way that captivates employers. By following the tips and tricks provided and drawing inspiration from the resume examples, you can create a resume that stands out in the crowded job market. Your killer resume will not only open doors to interviews but also instill a sense of confidence as you present yourself as a valuable asset to potential employers. As you embark on the journey of building your resume, remember that it’s more than just a document – it’s your gateway to showcasing your unique abilities and aspirations.

Buildfreeresume.com has a consumer rating of 4.83 stars on Sitejabber .

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Introducing John Smith: Your Expert Resume Writer, Cover Letter Specialist, and Career Coach. Meet John Smith, your dedicated partner in crafting the perfect resume, compelling cover letter, and charting your career path to success. With a passion for helping individuals reach their professional aspirations, John brings a wealth of expertise to the table as a resume writer, cover letter specialist, and career coach.

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How To Write A Killer Resume Objective (With 2024 Relevant Examples)

In 2021, work applications must be well-thought-out, tailored, and personal. As a result, resume goals are becoming more popular in the worlds of career hunters and recruiters. 

These days, one must demonstrate to prospective employers that they are the best choice by combining their job aspirations, expertise, and the goals of the job they are working for in a succinct factual argument that will pique the hiring manager’s interest.

This post will go through what one will need to know to write a successful resume objective. It doesn’t matter whether someone is applying for an entry-level career with an advertising firm or a role as a market turnaround specialist. It shouldn’t matter whether someone is applying for an entry-level career with an advertising firm or a role as a market turnaround specialist. 

How To Write A Killer Resume Objective

Resume Objective: What is It?

A resume objective is located at the top of the resume. It is not supposed to be more than three sentences long and includes a proposal about how you will provide value to the job. The Resume objective illustrates your greatest achievements, displays your insight, and outlines your career.

 The objective statement demonstrates what you want to do with your profession, as well as your talents and skills, and expertise. This demonstrates to employers how you can contribute to their growth as well as your own. 

A resume target, rather than a traditional resume overview that summarizes your entire career experience, reflects on your long-term aspirations. 

You can also address your short-term career aspirations and how they relate to the position you’re applying for. Employers want to know why you’re eligible for the position you’re interviewing for and that it matches your qualifications. 

By finding the right balance between your skills and career aspirations, you’ll signal to the interviewer that you’re a great fit, increasing your possibility of success in the first interview.

Importance of Resume Objective

If you’re at a job crossroads or plan to change paths, the resume objective is essential.

Therefore, in the first words of each resume, a line that outlines the current path of movement and transferable talents and qualities becomes extremely important to explain. 

It isn’t necessarily enough to have a career goal. If you have a strong marketing manager background and intend to stay in the industry, there’s no point in spending valuable resume space detailing your ambitions and career path.

Keep in mind that a recruiting manager will only invest 6 seconds on average reading your resume. As a result, every section on your resume should clearly state that you are deserving of an interview. 

Since the resume objective would be the first thing that the person reading the resume can see, it’s best to leave it out if it’s basic or vague.

For more specifics, a resume objective can be used if:

  • You’ve decided to change careers. You’ll have to quickly explain why you’re making the move and why you’re eligible to do so. 
  • You’re on the lookout for your first role. So, whether you’re a student or an entry-level candidate, speak about your qualifications and why you want to work in this area.
  • You’ll take some time to develop a convincing, customized resume objective for every role you apply for.

Including an objective statement on your application allows recruiters to quickly understand why you’re applying, what motivates you , and what skills you have. You must integrate the personal objectives to align them with the requirements of the boss. 

A well-written resume goal can spark recruiters’ attention and encourage them to read the whole resume. Your odds of being called in for an interview would be better if the objectives are closely related to what the organization is seeking to do and there is a shared desire to help both sides. 

What Is The Best Way To Write A Resume Objective?

In any way, a positive resume objective can portray you as the prime fit. Make sure your resume is appropriate to the position and business before submitting your application. Often, ensure to be clear and to the point. 

Make a Specific Statement

The more specific you are, the more likely you are to be accepted for the role. Writing a new resume objective for every position you apply for is a smart idea. 

[ Note: You should concentrate on specific skills and activities that are closely relevant to the work when writing your resume objective.] 

Make use of keywords

Incorporate keywords from the job description into the resume target for another successful approach. Not only will this boost the likelihood of your resume being picked up by an employer’s candidate monitoring scheme, but it will also highlight how your credentials match the job description. 

Make a Link

You can only state job objectives that are realistic for the organization. If you want to be an executive editor at a magazine in the future, but you’re applying for a position at a publication, don’t mention it. Concentrate on how you’d like to progress in the organization.

Concentrate on how you would add value

One of the risks of a resume target is that you can concentrate too much on your career goals and not enough on how you can bring value to the organization. Whereas your resume objective should provide specifics about the profession you seek, you must also clarify why you are a better candidate for the role. 

Include any material that illustrates your background, such as years in the industry, specific skill sets, and any other credentials, briefly. Include suggestions of how you could bring value to the enterprise or even boost it. 

For example, state that you have ten years of good budget reduction experience and that you plan to add these experiences to the organization’s budget.

Make a list of all applicable permits, certifications, or degrees

Although your educational background will be specified somewhere on your resume, having any relevant certifications or degrees in your resume purpose will help you stand out to employers right away. When you’re new to the work market or changing professions or occupations, this is particularly crucial to add.

Examples regarding Resume Objective

  • A qualified project analyst with extensive experience in project management and diagramming applications. The ability to manage efficient programs and procedures, as well as analyze dynamic applications, has been shown. Capable of using SCRUM to approach all tasks to ensure value optimization. 
  • Advertising specialist who used a creative launch strategy and good leadership capabilities to sell $200K in SnaP merchandise. Seeking a sales management role where I can use my experience inspiring and educating teams to help the organization grow. 
  • Interior designer with 5 years of volunteer and freelance experience. I completed 20 commercial and residential interiors, receiving a 9.4/10 rating overall. Adobe Suite and Sketch are two of my strongest skills. With over 200 000 views on my posts in Architectural Digest, I’m a frequent contributor. 
  • A recent C.S. graduate and co-founder of the SavelT student aid management service, who is currently interning at SAP’s tech department, is excited to join an ABC production team as a software engineer.
  • College graduate with previous sales and customer service experience. Leadership and listening abilities. With a Business Administration degree and sufficient managerial experience. I’m looking for a job as an assistant store manager at Macy’s.
  • https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1022974232557
  • https://www.pxu.org/cms/lib/AZ01001825/Centricity/Domain/6038/Guidelines%20for%20What%20to%20Include%20in%20a%20Resume.pdf

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Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.

I am a full-time professional blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I love anything related to the Web, and I try to learn new technologies every day.

All the team management, content creation, and monetization tasks are handled by me. Together with the team at PrepMyCareer, the aim is to provide useful and engaging content to our readers.

Readers who read this also read:

  • How To Make A Resume 101 (With 2024 Relevant Examples)
  • How To Write A Nursing Resume Objective? (With 2024 Relevant Examples)
  • How To Write A Teacher Resume Objective? (With 2024 Relevant Examples)
  • How To Write A Customer Service Resume Objective (With 2024 Relevant Examples)
  • How To Write a College Resume? (With 2024 Examples)

How To Write A Resume Objective Statement (Examples Included)

Mike Simpson 0 Comments

objective for resume

By Mike Simpson

UPDATED 5/18/2022

Resumes. We all know what they are. We all know how important having a good one is…and how much a bad one can hurt your ability to get your dream job. That’s why reviewing different resume objective examples is essential, ensuring you can create well-crafted, carefully targeted resumes for hiring managers.

So, how do you make sure your resume objective – and entire application – stands out? We’ll tell you. Come with us as we explore some resume objective statement examples, as well as tips on how to ensure yours shines.

What is a Resume Objective?

how to write a killer resume

“My objective? Well, that’s easy. My objective is to get the job.”

Absolutely, we couldn’t agree more. But an objective on your resume is so much more than just writing, “Hey, hire me. I’m super awesome.”

So, what is an objective for a resume?

Well, according to the Marquette University College of Business Administration , “an objective statement is a concise, position-centered statement describing the value you can add and the needs you can fulfill.”

Our friends over at Indeed.com take it a step further, saying: “A well-written resume objective statement can be customized for the job you’re applying for and add value to your resume that sets it apart from other applicants.”

Essentially, a resume objective is a targeted snippet that clearly outlines your career direction while simultaneously positioning you as someone who fits what the employer is looking for exactly.

Sounds pretty ingenious, right? So why don’t more people have them on their resumes?

Resume objectives can be a bit controversial. Some people think they can make you look amateurish…which, if you don’t do it correctly, is absolutely true. But that can be said for any section of your resume.

Other schools of thought think that the objectives should be taken out entirely and replaced with the more popular “ resume summary statement .”

You may be wondering, “What if I use a resume objective and the hiring manager looks at it and laughs? Are they going to throw out my resume…or worse, put it on the wall of shame?”

Now, nobody is going to laugh at your resume objective as long as you use the right approach. Additionally, if your career is moving in certain directions, using a resume objective makes more sense than the alternatives.

When Should You Use a Resume Objective?

Are you relatively new to the job search market or lack work experience?

Are you changing industries?

Are you targeting a specific job or position?

If you answered “YES” to any of these above questions, then the resume objective is potentially perfect. If you answered “NO” to all of the above questions, you might be better off with a “Resume Summary Statement.”

For those of you in the middle of a career change or who might just be starting out, a resume objective statement allows you to define your goal to a potential employer…something that your work history might not otherwise be able to do for you.

Imagine how confused a hiring manager would be if they were looking for candidates to fill an office coordinator position and you sent in a resume with ten years of experience in marketing. Without an objective statement, the hiring manager might just assume your resume has been accidentally sent to them and simply discard it.

With an objective statement, you can not only let the hiring manager know that your resume IS in the right spot but also explain that you’re making the switch and show that your skill set does align with this new career path.

If you’re targeting a specific job or position, a resume objective statement can help reinforce that idea that you know EXACTLY what you’re after. That can work in your favor, too.

Overall, and most importantly, the biggest reason to put an objective on your resume is…it’s better than having nothing. Remember, your goal is to catch the hiring manager’s eye and stand out from the rest of the paper in that pile.

Common Mistakes

There are several common mistakes job seekers can make when writing their statement with the number one being using the same objective for every job application.

1) Using the Same Objective For Every Job Application

To obtain a job within my chosen field that will challenge me and allow me to use my education, skills and past experiences in a way that is mutually beneficial to both myself and my employer and allow for future growth and advancement.

Your goal is to be the ideal candidate and that means making sure you’re exactly what the hiring manager is looking for…and unless you’re applying to a cookie cutter factory in a cookie cutter job town where every job every employer is listing is exactly the same then I guarantee you 100% that your statement will NOT be a “one size fits all” statement.

2) Making It All About You

This is a trap that many job seekers fall into, as they can’t resist to use the objective to list off all of the things that they want to get out of the position.

Hi, I’m Joe Jobseeker and I really want a job in a company where I make a ton of money doing as little as possible. Oh, and a corner office. A company car would be nice too. While we’re at it, let’s talk benefits, retirement…and the company vacation policy.

Yes, we’re being over the top with this one, but we need you to look at this and laugh…because even a slightly toned down one where you list only what YOU want is going to come off just as ridiculous to the hiring manager as the one we’ve blown out of proportion.

3) Being Too Vague

Mistake number three is being vague. Like we said, this isn’t a one size fits all so by being ambiguous in the hopes of somewhat fitting what they’re looking for is going to get your resume sent directly to the circular file. (In case you don’t know, the circular file is the trash can. It just sounds fancier but the end result is the same…no job.)

Looking for a long term full time job where I can apply my extensive skills and knowledge to the position for which I am hired.

Blah. Who is this person? All we know by reading this statement is that they have skills and knowledge…but other than that, not much else. What skills do they have? Do they really apply to the job? And what knowledge can they draw from that will benefit the company? See what we mean? It’s so generic you could literally fit anything into those blanks…it’s like Resume Mad Libs!

4) Going On… And On… And On… And On… and zzzzzzzzzzzzz….

Mistake number four is being too long. This isn’t a novel. It’s a quick little blurb to catch their attention so they can bring you in for an interview…then you can get into more detail!

Not going to put one here. Why? Because the example we were going to do was going to be so long and ridiculous that you and everyone else reading this post would just get bored and move onto another article. Just remember, it’s all about short and sweet. Anything over a sentence or two is TOO LONG. Remember that.

5) Adding Absolutely No Value

Mistake number five is probably the worst…and the easiest to fall into (outside of mistake number two, the “all about me” statement.) Mistake number five is writing a statement that basically fills space but doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything about the value you bring to the table. This can also be confused with the too vague statement…

To obtain a position within my chosen field where I can utilize my skills as a hard-working, well-educated employee in exchange for a steady market-fair paycheck.

Congratulations. You’re educated and you’re hard working and you want to make money. So what? So are 90% of the people you’re going up against. Why are YOU the ideal candidate? What makes the hiring manager want to bring YOU in over everyone else? See what we mean?

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY:

How are you going to fulfill the needs of the company?

When writing your resume objective, you should always have the intention of answering this question.

How To Write An Effective Resume Objective

So how do you write a GOOD resume objective?

One thing every one of these bad examples has in common is the fact that not a single one of them is tailored to the position you’re looking for. Any hiring manager who looks at a resume with objectives like those is going to immediately move on to the next candidate.

Because whoever those potential hires are, they’re not ideal candidates. You need to not only catch the hiring manager’s eye; you must make sure that they look at your statement and say, “Here’s the perfect fit!”

So, how do you make it happen? Well, a really good place to start is by looking at the job description. According to Indeed.com , “…when you include an objective that’s specific to the job role, the recruiter is more likely to dig deeper and learn more details about your professional experience.”

After that, make sure it’s tailored to not only the position but the company as well. By incorporating a few tidbits that speak to the company’s mission and values, you can take that quick statement up a notch.

Nice, right?

Additionally, focus on how you’re a benefit to the company, not how the company can benefit you. Showcase value, ensuring you point out what you bring to the table.

Keep it short and sweet, too. Skip overblown adjectives in favor of action verbs, which will help “raise the energy levels” of your objective and ensure that it is more dynamic and interesting.

If you’re someone who is changing careers, demonstrate how your past experiences relate to your future tasks. The same goes for those who are just starting out or who are relatively inexperienced.

Resume Objective Examples

In some cases, nothing makes the points above clearer quite like a few resume objective examples. Here are a handful of samples, each targeting different situations.

New to Workforce, No High School Diploma

“Diligent, dedicated individual looking to apply communication and collaboration skills in a fast-paced customer service role. A self-motivated team player with an outgoing personality who’s ready to learn the ins and outs of a new industry and provide ample value to a retail employer.”

New to Workforce, No College

“Well-organized high school honor graduate with exceptional problem-solving and collaboration skills seeking opportunities in the office administration field where strong communication, time management, and research skills can provide excellent value to an employer.”

College Student, Aspiring Intern

“Current accounting student with an emphasis on accounts payable and accounts receivable seeking developmental opportunities with a local firm. Diligent, focused, and tech-savvy, looking to provide value to a skilled team.”

Recent College Graduate

“Hard-working business administration graduate with proven leadership and organizational skills. Looking to leverage knowledge or operational processes, emerging commercial trends, and supply machine management to increase efficiency and support broader productivity goals.”

Recent College Graduate with Internship Experience

“Honor graduate with a Bachelor’s in Human Resources and one year of experience at a leading staffing firm looking to leverage a deep understanding of leading ATS solutions, modern interview techniques, and conflict resolution strategies to support the goals of an enterprise-level HR department.”

Career Change

“Ambitious professional looking to leverage 5+ years of customer service experience and exceptional communication skills in the fast-paced field of real estate. Proven ability to build lasting, long-term relationships, understand client needs, and find solutions designed to ensure customer satisfaction.”

Career Change with New Education

“Experienced accounting professional and recent college graduate with a Bachelor’s in IT looking to leverage mathematical and analytical capabilities in a data analyst role with an enterprise-level employer. Impeccable attention to detail and organizational skills, as well as strong desire to learn and grow on the job.”

Targeting Specific Role

“Skilled software developer with 7+ years of experience with Java, Python, and C++ seeking out opportunities in team-oriented environments that prioritize Agile methodologies, Lean strategies, and DevOps principles to accelerate timelines and achieve challenging goals.”

Speaking of specific roles, we thought that it might be prudent to dig deeper into a couple careers that we get the most questions about (in terms of resume objectives). Here are our deep-dive articles into Teacher Resume Objectives , Customer Service Resume Objectives and Nursing Resume Objectives . Enjoy!

Putting It All Together

So, there you have it. We’ve covered what a resume objective statement is, who should use one, and how to properly execute it. Plus, there are some handy resume objective examples that can serve as inspiration.

While some people might claim that the objective statement for a resume is outdated, if done properly, it can make a difference. Use all of the information above to your advantage. That way, you’ll be one step closer to your dream job.

FREE : Resume Objective PDF Cheat Sheet

Ok the next thing you should do is get our handy Resume Objective Cheat Sheet PDF .

In it you'll get word-for-word sample resume objectives covering a variety of scenarios you can use right away .

CLICK HERE TO GET THE RESUME OBJECTIVE CHEAT SHEET

how to write a killer resume

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com.

His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Mike simpson.

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Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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