Writing your resume can feel overwhelming. After all, most people don’t take it for granted to summarize their career in a one-page résumé.

As with many things in life, getting started is the hardest part. This guide will walk you through how to create a resume so that you can keep your job hunt moving forward.

Table of Contents

  1. How do I start writing a resume?
  2. How to choose the best resume introduction for you

How do I start writing a resume?

You might think you should start your resume by writing an introduction, but you should actually leave it until the last time. How to write your resume:

1. Write every section except the introduction on the resume

An introduction to the résumé shortens the most important aspects of your experience in a short conversation with the hiring manager. So write the other parts of your résumé first. Then decide which items from each part to include in the introductory paragraph of your resume.

Here are the sections you need to write before you start introducing your resume:

2. Read the job description again

The first step in writing a good resume is to read the job description again. Hiring managers list the exact qualifications they are looking for in job advertisements. So make sure that the information on your resume meets the requirements listed.

Another reason to reread the job description is to find competency-related keywords for your target job. Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to automatically delete applications that do not contain the required skills.

Here is a job description and keywords that applicants should add to their featured resumes:

How to start a job description resume

In the job posting, look for keywords to add to your resume and add them naturally.

3. Gather relevant information

After you’ve written most of your resume and studied the job description to determine what skills and experience the hiring manager is looking for, put together the most impressive pieces of information from your career.

List the accomplishments relevant to the target job as well as any hard and soft skills listed in the job requirements (e.g., computer skills, language skills, communication skills, and interpersonal skills).

If an achievement you’re proud of is not related to the job you want, cut it off.

Next, you need to choose the best resume introduction. How to choose and write the most suitable type of CV opening for your situation:

How to choose the best introduction for your resume

You have four introductory résumés to choose from: the résumé summary, professional profile, career goal, and qualifications summary.

Follow our How To Choose An Introduction To Resume flowchart below to find out which resume intro will maximize your chances of employment:

How to start a resume infographic with four types of resume introductions and four examples

Now that you’ve selected your resume introduction, let’s see how you can customize it to effectively promote your experience and skills.

Below we describe each introduction to the resume and show you how to write each one. You can also find some examples of introducing résumés below. Click on the introduction to resume recommended in our flowchart to get started:

Career goal

Career goal infographic

Career goal example (text version)

Career goal

Customer service representative with more than 5 years of telephone customer service experience including sales, technical support and customer care. You are familiar with the most important customer service software and conflict resolution and have a positive attitude. With the aim of using my proven skills as a member of the experienced customer service team at (Target Company).

Career goals are great if you are just joining the workforce or if you only have 1-2 years of experience. A good career goal tells the hiring manager what you’re looking for, what you’ve got to offer, and why you deserve the position.

A career goal consists of four basic parts:

  • Years of professional experience and internship tasks
  • The main qualities, skills and abilities you have and which are advertised in the job advertisement (you must be able to demonstrate these skills in the work experience section).
  • Relevant degrees, licenses, and certifications that you hold
  • A final statement describing your goal (i.e. how you would like to use your skills to help the company)

Summary of qualifications

Skills summary infographic

Example of a summary of qualifications (text version)

Summary of qualifications

  • Conversation in English and Spanish to serve Spanish speaking customers
  • Open-minded and charismatic personality that is easy to work with
  • Spearhead customer loyalty initiative, which resulted in a 47% decrease in cancellations
  • Winner of Scottrade’s “Fastest Learner” award in 2017 at the Utica office
  • Fast and Accurate Typist (70 wpm)

A skills summary (also known as a skills summary) is best if you have a large number of skills or achievements and are changing industries. A qualifications summary contains 5 to 6 bullet points that highlight:

  • authority
  • creativity
  • Efficiency
  • recognition
  • administration
  • communication

The order of the bullet points is up to you. However, we recommend listing the most relevant and impressive first to keep recruiters interested.

Continue the summary

Resume infographic summary

Example of a summary of the summary (text version)

Continue the summary

Track record: Over 5 years of experience in customer service by telephone

Input: Fast and Accurate Typist (70 wpm)

Customer service: Received an average customer satisfaction rating of 85%

Guide: Managed a team of 7 junior customer service representatives

A resume summary is the right option if you have a lot of work-related accomplishments to showcase. Resume summaries are also versatile as they can be used when looking for a job in the same industry or trying to enter a different one.

When writing your resume summary, you can use a 2 to 3 sentence paragraph or 5 to 6 bullet points with subheadings. Add a keyword (usually a relevant skill or achievement) and a phrase listing your achievements. Link all of the information in your qualifications summary with quantifiable data such as statistics to back up your claims.

Continue profile

Continue profile infographic

Continue example of a profile (text version)

Continue profile

Customer-focused customer service representative with over 5 years of inbound phone customer service experience. A Kayako expert who has trained several new employees to use the software. Can remember the company’s full range of products and services, including prices and discounts. Received an average customer satisfaction rate of 85%.

A resume profile (also known as a professional profile) is a mix of the best of a career goal and a summary of qualifications. Your resume profile should contain four main points:

  • Years of experience
  • Specialty or professional duty in which you excel
  • Transferable Skills
  • Career successes