In 2022, being able to make a top-quality resume is vital for getting a top-quality job. The pandemic has changed lives in many ways, but submitting a resume (with a cover letter) remains the best way to land the position you want.
There are three ways to create a resume for a job in 2022:
Ready to make your resume? We’ll walk you through the two fastest ways, then show you how to write a resume step by step.
How to make a resume (the quickest ways)
Using online resources and tools can speed up the resume writing process. Here are two of the quickest and most effective ways of creating a resume online:
1. Use a resume builder
Using an online resume builder can help you create a resume in under 15 minutes.
Resume builders work by asking you a series of questions to find out about your experience, background, and skills, and then provide you with prewritten bullet points that you can add to your resume.
Resume builders are your quickest option for doing a resume. They:
- are easy to use
- provide a selection of professional templates
- offer 1-on-1 support, like being able to ask a Certified Professional Resume Writer for advice
- make resumes that are fully compatible with ATS software
- let you download your resume in multiple formats like .pdf or .docx
2. Download a resume template
When you pick a resume template, make sure its design and color suit the company you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying for a job in a traditional field like finance or law, pick a simple resume template in a conservative color like dark blue or green.
Here’s a copy-paste resume outline you can transfer into a Word processor or your preferred resume template. Follow the instructions, write your resume, and you’ll soon be ready to begin applying for jobs:
Your Current Job Title
(xxx) xxx-xxxx | firstname.lastname@example.org | 47 Your Address, City, State, ZIP Code
Three to four sentences that describe your years of experience, your most noteworthy accomplishments and skills, and your target role. Try to include hard numbers in your resume introduction as you describe your accomplishments, and add the target company’s name here to show that you’re writing a targeted resume.
Current Job Title
Company Name | City, State | Month, Year–present
- Use the present tense as you write bullet points that describe your current job
- Start each bullet point with a strong action verb that keeps the hiring manager reading
- Use hard numbers in each bullet point to provide context for your successes
- Write 3–4 bullet points for each role
Previous Job Title
Company Name | City, State | Month, Year–Month, Year
- Use the past tense to write bullet points describing previous jobs
- List up to 15 years of work experience on your resume to prevent age discrimination
- Use your bullet points to show how you applied your skills in action
- Keep each bullet point to one or two lines so that the hiring manager isn’t overwhelmed reading your resume
Institution, City, State
Year of Graduation
- GPA: x.x/4.0
- List your skills. It’s important to prioritize any skills mentioned in the job ad — if you have them
- Group similar skills under one bullet point; for example, any coding languages you know
- Include a mix of hard and soft skills to show hiring managers your skill set is mixed
How to write a resume from start to finish
Writing a resume is straightforward. Here’s how to create a resume yourself in 10 steps if you’ve never written your own or need a refresher:
- Format your resume
- Add a resume header
- Use a resume introduction
- Target your work experience
- Use numbers and action verbs
- Showcase your skills
- Highlight your education
- Add other optional sections
- Proofread your application
- Save your resume as a PDF
1. Set up your resume formatting
- Set ½”–1” inch margins on all sides
- Make sure your page is set to US Letter size and portrait orientation
- Select a professional font for your resume, such as Arial or Helvetica
- Adjust your font size between 10 and 12 points
Additionally, format your resume so that it emphasizes your most relevant qualifications.
Most job seekers organize their work experience with their most recent job at the top because that’s what the majority of employers are looking for. This format is known as the chronological resume format:
However, other formatting options include the combination resume and functional resume. These resume formats are great if you’d rather highlight your professional skill-set (functional), or have an equally impressive range of skills and experience to emphasize (combination).
2. Add a resume header
Your resume should feature an eye-catching resume header at the top of the page to quickly highlight your contact details for hiring managers.
A resume header needs to include your:
- email address (use a professional one like email@example.com)
- telephone number
You can also add these optional details:
- an online portfolio or website (if relevant to the job)
- your LinkedIn
- your mailing address (if you wanted to show you’re local)
- a resume headline (a subtitle that describes your experience)
Here’s what a resume header should look like:
3. Start your resume with a professional summary or objective
A resume introduction provides a quick snapshot of your experience, skills, and qualifications at the very top of your resume. Your introduction should be between 3 to 5 sentences, and can be written in either sentence or bullet-point format.
In 2022, job seekers are finding the most success using the following types of resume introductions:
- resume summary
- resume objective
A resume summary is an introduction that highlights your most impressive professional achievements and skills.
Resume summaries are ideal for candidates with:
- several years of relevant work experience
- accomplishments that can be tied to actual numbers (thus providing context to that accomplishment)
Here’s exactly how to structure a resume summary:
A resume objective focuses on your professional goals and career path, and how they align with the company’s goals. For this reason, a resume objective is ideal for candidates who:
- have just graduated from school, and lack professional experience
- are writing a career-change resume
Here’s the formula for putting together an effective resume objective:
4. Target your work experience to the job ad
Next is your work experience section, which many recruiters and employers are most interested in (so it’s important to get it right).
To make your work experience section shine, target each bullet point to the specific job you want. Look carefully at the skills mentioned in the description, and showcase any of those skills you have with clear examples.
To get an idea of how to find these skills for a specific job, here’s an example of a marketing specialist job ad (with orange underlines for verbs and yellow for nouns/skills) courtesy of Indeed.com:
There are numerous clues about what the company wants from an applicant’s resume in this job description. It’s up to you to capitalize on them.
Here’s what you might write to respond to this job ad in your marketing resume:
Taylord’s Marketing Firm, Reno, NV
July 2017 – August 2018
• Collaborated with the outreach department to develop innovative marketing solutions for 6 unique products
• Developed branding materials for a new mobile app, resulting in a 14% increase in sales
• Analyzed weekly performance statistics, ensuring that effectiveness of outbound marketing activities
5. Use numbers & actions verbs throughout your resume
Many job seekers make the mistake of simply listing past responsibilities in their experience section and resume introduction. However, to make a resume better than those job seekers, you should instead focus on your achievements.
Here’s an example of a resume work experience section bullet that provides a compelling number:
- Spearheaded the development of the first media kit for all company projects, increasing annual revenue by 12%
There are two reasons this bullet point is more effective:
- It starts with a strong resume action verb. Action verbs catch the hiring manager’s eye and make you seem proactive and responsible. Start all of your bullet points with an action verb to make your application stand out.
- The candidate includes a hard number. Hard numbers provide context to your accomplishments, and show hiring managers what you can achieve for their company if hired.
- How much cash did you handle every day?
- How many customers did you help per day?
- How many emails did you send out each week?
- How have you helped increase profits or reduce losses?
- What positive feedback rating have you received from your clients or students?
If you haven’t already, consider creating a Google Sheet that tracks this kind of information. Then next time you apply for a job, you can use these specific numbers to make more compelling work experience bullet points that give you a better chance of getting hired.
6. Showcase your skills
Hard skills are learned through specific training, workshops, work experience, or school and include the skills you need to operate equipment at work (like point-of-sale systems).
24 Hard Skills for Resumes
|Accounting Tools (SAP, Oracle, etc.)||SEO & SEM|
|HTML / CSS||UX / UI Design|
|Business Intelligence||Mac, Linux, and Unix Systems|
|Perl / Python / Ruby||Vulnerability Analysis|
|Content Management Systems (CMS)||Data Engineering and Data Warehousing|
|Adobe Creative Suite||Database Management and Software|
|Cloud Apps (JSON, Rest, etc.)||Automotive Services|
|Statistical Analysis and Data Mining||Public Speaking
|Foreign Languages||Software Development|
|Software QA and User Testing||Data Presentation|
|Web Architecture||Technical Reporting|
24 Soft Skills for Resumes
Include a mix of hard and soft skills on your resume in your skills section to show employers you have a balance of technical savvy and the ability to work well with colleagues and clients.
Here’s what skills on your resume will look like in a skills section:
One important resume writing tip is don’t limit your skills to your skills section. Expand on each skill in your resume introduction and work experience bullet points.
For example, if you list Spanish as a key skill, you can talk about how many customers you served in Spanish during a previous position on a server resume.
7. Write out your education details
Your education section should normally come after all of your work experience, but you can place it first if you’ve never held a full-time job.
An effective education section on a resume for a job includes only your highest degree. If you didn’t go to college, you can add your high school diploma instead.
Here’s what to include in your education section:
- your degree name
- the name of the college or high school (and its location)
- your graduation date (if it’s within the last 15 years)
- if higher than 3.5, your GPA
- Latin honors
Check out this example of a resume education section for a job seeker who graduated in 2020 (so it includes more details than you might see on an experienced professional’s resume):
8. Add any additional relevant resume sections
Depending on your experience and background, consider adding optional resume sections. For example, certifications and awards are great if they’re relevant to your chosen career, whereas hobbies and volunteer work are useful if you’re writing a resume with no experience.
- hobbies and interests — if they’re related to your target job
- volunteer work — if you picked up skills relevant to the job you’re seeking
- certifications — if you have many industry certifications (otherwise add them in your education section)
- awards and honors — for example, “employee of the month” helps you stand out by showing you’ve been recognized by management
However, in some professions, these sections are essential. For example, nurses must hold a state-recognized certification to practice nursing, so a nursing resume should contain a certifications section.
9. Proofread your application (several times)
Finished writing your resume? Don’t just fire it off straight away.
Spend some time reading through it at least a couple of times. You’d be surprised how easy it is to make a typo and how hard it is to spot them in your own writing.
You should also give your resume to a friend or relative to read through so that they can help you cut down on common resume writing mistakes.
Software tools you can use to check your resume for grammar or spelling mistakes include:
To help make the proofreading process easier, here’s a checklist you can tick as you complete it:
Is your contact information accurate?
Does your resume NOT include details like headshots or sensitive personal information?
Does your resume fit on one page (or two pages if you’re highly experienced)?
Is your information easy to read (fonts are above 10pt, sections don’t look too crowded)?
Is the design of your resume appropriate for the position you’re applying for?
Did you include all relevant sections on your resume?
Did you include quantified achievements in your work experience section?
Does your resume address the requirements stated in the job ad?
Is your resume free of typos and grammatical errors?
Is all of your information clearly formatted and professional?
Feel free to use our on-page checklist, or make a copy in Google Docs and begin reviewing your resume.
10. Save your resume as a PDF
When you’re sure your resume is finished and you’ve checked for errors, you can save it. The best option is to save your resume as a PDF. PDFs save your formatting even if you use fonts that aren’t installed on the hiring manager’s computer, so they’ll appear exactly as you intend them to appear.
However, if the job ad specifically asks for your resume in Microsoft Word (.docx) format or some other format, follow those instructions.
Once you’ve saved your resume, keep it somewhere on your computer. If you’re called into an interview, you can then print out hard copies to hand to your interviewer. You can also refer to your resume if you’re writing one for a similar job opening in the future.
Additional Resume Writing Resources
In addition to our resume making guide, we also have many other resources to help you build a competitive job application (no matter your industry or level of experience):
- Resume guidelines (21 formatting rules)
- Internship resume example
- Military to civilian resume example
- Stay-at-home parent resume example
- College student resume example
- How to put your GED on your resume
- How to write a resume for an internal position
- Resume for older workers
Resume Making FAQs
If you still have some questions or concerns about writing your resume, here are a few commonly asked questions about resumes that we’ve answered in greater detail:
- Can I send a resume instead of a CV?
- How many jobs should you list on a resume?
- Is it OK to lie on your resume?
- Is it resume or resumé?
- Can I make a resume on my phone?
- What are red flags on a resume?
- Do you list every job on a resume?
- Can I just put years on my resume?
- Should I put a job I got fired from on my resume?
- Should I put my resume on LinkedIn?
- Can you say “I” on a resume?
- What do I put on my first resume with no experience?
- How can I update my resume in 2022?
- How bad is a gap on my resume?
- What should you name your resume file?