How To Make a Comprehensive Resume (With Examples)

June 2, 2023

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Formatting and Layout
  3. Contact Information
  4. Professional Summary/Objective Statement
  5. Work Experience
  6. Education and Certifications
  7. Skills
  8. Achievements and Awards
  9. Projects and Portfolio
  10. Additional Sections (Optional)
  11. References
  12. Resume Examples
  13. Resume Tips and Best Practices
  14. Proofreading and Editing
  15. Conclusion

1. Introduction

When it comes to job applications, your resume is your first opportunity to make a strong impression on potential employers. A well-crafted resume can open doors and help you stand out from the competition. It serves as a snapshot of your professional background, skills, and qualifications, providing employers with an overview of what you have to offer.

In today's competitive job market, employers often receive numerous applications for a single position. As a result, they typically spend only a few seconds scanning each resume. It's crucial to grab their attention and make an impact right from the start. A comprehensive resume not only presents your qualifications but also showcases your unique value proposition and highlights why you are the ideal candidate for the job.


In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating a comprehensive resume that effectively communicates your skills, experiences, and achievements. We will cover various sections and elements of a resume, providing you with practical tips and examples to help you craft a compelling document. Whether you are a recent graduate, an experienced professional, or someone looking to make a career change, this guide will assist you in creating a resume that gets noticed and increases your chances of landing your desired job.

2. Formatting and Layout

The formatting and layout of your resume play a crucial role in making it visually appealing and easy to read for employers. It's important to create a clean and organized document that highlights your qualifications effectively. Consider the following formatting guidelines:

2.1 Font and Font Size: Use a professional and easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Maintain a font size between 10 and 12 points for the main content of your resume.

2.2 Headings and Subheadings: Use clear and consistent headings and subheadings to structure your resume. This helps employers quickly navigate through the different sections of your resume.

2.3 Margins: Set appropriate margins (usually around 1 inch) on all sides of the page to create sufficient white space and prevent your resume from looking crowded.

2.4 Bullet Points: Use bullet points to list your achievements, skills, and responsibilities. This format makes it easier for employers to scan your resume and quickly identify your qualifications.

2.5 Alignment and Spacing: Ensure that your text is aligned properly, either left-aligned or justified. Use consistent spacing between sections and subsections to maintain a balanced layout.

2.6 Length: Keep your resume concise and limit it to one or two pages, focusing on the most relevant information that showcases your qualifications and experiences.

By paying attention to formatting and layout, you can create a visually appealing resume that is easy to read and highlights your qualifications effectively.

3. Contact Information

Your contact information is essential for employers to get in touch with you. Make sure to include the following details:

  • Your full name
  • Current address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn profile (optional)

Ensure that your contact information is accurate and up-to-date. Use a professional email address and provide a phone number where you can be easily reached. Including your LinkedIn profile is beneficial as it allows employers to learn more about your professional background.

4. Professional Summary/Objective Statement

The professional summary or objective statement is a brief paragraph that highlights your relevant skills, experience, and career goals. It serves as an introduction to your resume and should grab the attention of the reader. Here's what to include:

  • Summarize your professional background and key qualifications.
  • Highlight your areas of expertise and industry-specific skills.
  • Showcase your career goals and how they align with the position you're applying for.
  • Keep it concise and focused, ideally 2-3 sentences.

Remember to tailor your professional summary or objective statement to match the job you're applying for. It should provide a clear and compelling snapshot of your qualifications and career aspirations.

5. Work Experience

The work experience section is one of the most important parts of your resume, as it showcases your professional background and accomplishments. Follow these tips to effectively present your work experience:

  • List your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent or current position.
  • Include the name of the company, your job title, and the dates of employment.
  • Provide a concise description of your responsibilities and achievements in each role.
  • Quantify your achievements whenever possible by using numbers, percentages, or other metrics.
  • Highlight any promotions, awards, or significant projects you were involved in.
  • Use bullet points to make your information easy to read and scan.

It's important to tailor your work experience section to the job you're applying for. Focus on including relevant experiences and accomplishments that demonstrate your skills and qualifications for the specific role.

6. Education and Certifications

The education and certifications section of your resume is where you highlight your academic background and any relevant certifications or credentials you have obtained. Follow these tips to effectively present this information:

  • List your educational achievements in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent degree or certification.
  • Include the name of the institution, the degree or certification earned, and the dates of attendance or completion.
  • Provide additional details such as majors, minors, concentrations, or honors if applicable.
  • If you have relevant certifications or licenses, include them in this section.
  • Highlight any academic achievements, research projects, or significant coursework that is relevant to the position.

Remember to include any professional development courses, workshops, or training programs that are relevant to the job you're applying for. This section should demonstrate your educational background and any additional qualifications that make you a strong candidate for the role.

7. Skills

Your skills section is an essential part of your resume as it highlights your key abilities and qualifications relevant to the job you're applying for. In this section, you'll want to showcase both hard skills (technical or job-specific skills) and soft skills (personal attributes and interpersonal abilities).

Include a diverse range of skills that align with the job requirements and emphasize your strengths. Some examples of skills you may include are:

  • Technical skills related to your industry or field
  • Computer skills, including proficiency in specific software or programming languages
  • Language skills, such as fluency in multiple languages
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking abilities

For more ideas and examples of skills to include in your resume, you can refer to our comprehensive article on Best Resume Skills. This resource will provide you with a list of top skills employers look for and guidance on how to effectively showcase your skills in your resume.

8. Achievements and Awards

The achievements and awards section of your resume is an opportunity to highlight your notable accomplishments and recognition throughout your professional or academic career. Including this section can help you stand out from other candidates and showcase your strengths. Here are some tips for effectively presenting your achievements and awards:

  • Identify significant achievements that are relevant to the job you're applying for.
  • Include both quantifiable achievements (such as exceeding targets, increasing revenue) and qualitative achievements (such as leading successful projects, receiving positive feedback).
  • Highlight any awards, honors, or recognition you have received, such as Employee of the Month or Scholarships.
  • Use bullet points or short statements to concisely describe your achievements.
  • Focus on the impact and outcomes of your achievements, showcasing the value you brought to your previous roles or projects.
  • If possible, include specific numbers, percentages, or metrics to quantify your achievements.
  • Consider using action verbs and strong language to convey the significance of your accomplishments.

Remember to tailor your achievements and awards to align with the job you're applying for. Choose the most relevant and impactful accomplishments that demonstrate your skills and qualifications. Including this section can help employers understand the value you can bring to their organization.

9. Projects and Portfolio

The projects and portfolio section of your resume allows you to showcase your relevant projects, work samples, and demonstrate your skills and expertise in action. Including this section can provide evidence of your abilities and give employers a better understanding of your capabilities. Here are some tips for effectively presenting your projects and portfolio:

  • Select projects that are relevant to the job you're applying for and highlight those that demonstrate your skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Include a brief description of each project, outlining the goals, challenges, and outcomes.
  • Showcase your contributions and specific responsibilities within each project.
  • Include links to online portfolios, websites, or GitHub repositories, if applicable.
  • If possible, provide visual aids such as screenshots or images to accompany your project descriptions.
  • Highlight any notable achievements, awards, or recognition received for your projects.
  • If you don't have professional projects, consider including relevant personal projects or academic assignments that demonstrate your skills.

Remember to tailor this section to highlight projects that are most relevant to the job you're applying for. Select projects that showcase your strengths and expertise in a way that aligns with the employer's needs. Including a projects and portfolio section can provide a comprehensive view of your capabilities and increase your chances of standing out to potential employers.

10. Additional Sections (Optional)

In addition to the core sections of your resume, you may include additional sections to provide further information about your qualifications, achievements, or interests. These additional sections can help you stand out and showcase your unique attributes. Here are some optional sections you may consider:

  • Licenses and Certifications: Include any relevant professional licenses or certifications you have obtained.
  • Professional Affiliations: List any professional associations or organizations you belong to.
  • Languages: If you are fluent in multiple languages, mention them in this section.
  • Publications: Include any publications, articles, or research papers you have authored.
  • Volunteer Experience: Highlight any volunteer work or community involvement you have participated in.
  • Interests and Hobbies: Mention any personal interests or hobbies that may showcase relevant skills or qualities.

Remember, these additional sections are optional, and you should include them only if they add value to your resume and are relevant to the job you're applying for. Be selective and choose sections that enhance your qualifications and align with the employer's needs. Including additional sections can provide a more comprehensive picture of your background and demonstrate your well-roundedness as a candidate.

11. References

References provide credibility and validation of your qualifications and character. Including a references section allows potential employers to reach out to individuals who can vouch for your skills, work ethic, and professional demeanor. Here's how to handle references on your resume:

  1. Choose the right references: Select individuals who can speak positively about your work and character. Ideal references include former supervisors, colleagues, or mentors who are familiar with your abilities and can provide relevant insights.
  2. Seek permission: Before listing someone as a reference, ask for their permission and inform them about the jobs you are applying to. This ensures they are prepared for potential inquiries from employers.
  3. Format: Create a separate section for references, typically titled "References" or "Professional References." Include the reference's full name, job title, company name, contact information (phone number, email address), and their relationship to you.
  4. Keep it concise: Include 2-3 references, unless the job posting specifies otherwise. Avoid listing references on your resume if the employer explicitly states not to include them.
  5. Prepare a separate reference sheet: Create a separate document that includes a more comprehensive list of your references. Bring this sheet to interviews or provide it upon request.

Remember to inform your references when they might be contacted and keep them updated on your job search progress. Be sure to express your gratitude for their support and provide them with any necessary information to assist them in giving a strong and relevant recommendation on your behalf.

12. Resume Examples

Looking at resume examples can be helpful in understanding the format, layout, and content of a comprehensive resume. Below are a few examples to give you inspiration and guidance as you create your own:

Example 1: Administrative Assistant

Summary: A highly organized and detail-oriented administrative assistant with 5 years of experience in managing administrative tasks and supporting executives. Proficient in office software and excellent communication skills.

Key Skills: Office Management, Calendar Management, Communication, Time Management, Attention to Detail

Work Experience:

  • Managed office operations, including scheduling appointments, coordinating meetings, and maintaining records.
  • Provided administrative support to executives, handling correspondence, and managing travel arrangements.
  • Assisted in budget preparation and expense tracking, ensuring accuracy and adherence to deadlines.

Example 2: Software Developer

Summary: Results-driven software developer with 7 years of experience in full-stack web development. Proficient in multiple programming languages and frameworks, with a focus on delivering high-quality, scalable solutions.

Key Skills: JavaScript, HTML/CSS, Python, SQL, Agile Development, Problem Solving

Work Experience:

  • Developed and maintained web applications using JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and various frameworks.
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to design and implement new features, ensuring adherence to project timelines.
  • Performed code reviews and debugging, identifying and resolving software defects.

Example 3: Marketing Manager

Summary: Dynamic marketing manager with a proven track record in developing and implementing successful marketing strategies. Experienced in leading cross-functional teams and driving brand growth through innovative campaigns.

Key Skills: Strategic Planning, Brand Management, Digital Marketing, Campaign Development, Team Leadership

Work Experience:

  • Developed and executed marketing campaigns, driving brand awareness and increasing customer engagement.
  • Managed a team of marketing professionals, providing guidance, support, and performance evaluations.
  • Analyzed market trends and customer insights to identify opportunities for growth and develop targeted marketing strategies.

These examples serve as templates that you can customize to match your own skills, experience, and career goals. Use them as a starting point and tailor the content to make it unique to your background and the specific job you are applying for.

13. Resume Tips and Best Practices

Creating a comprehensive resume requires attention to detail and adherence to best practices. Follow these resume tips to ensure your resume stands out:

  1. Customize for each job: Tailor your resume to match the specific requirements of each job you apply for. Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that align with the job description.
  2. Use a professional format: Choose a clean and professional resume format that is easy to read. Use consistent fonts, headings, and bullet points to maintain a neat and organized appearance.
  3. Showcase your achievements: Focus on your accomplishments and quantifiable results. Use action verbs and specific examples to demonstrate the impact you have made in previous roles.
  4. Include keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords and phrases from the job description to increase the chances of your resume getting past applicant tracking systems (ATS) and noticed by hiring managers.
  5. Keep it concise: Limit your resume to one or two pages, depending on your experience level. Be concise and use bullet points to convey information efficiently.
  6. Proofread for errors: Review your resume multiple times for any spelling or grammatical errors. Ensure proper punctuation and consistency in formatting throughout the document.
  7. Include a professional summary: Begin your resume with a compelling professional summary that highlights your key qualifications and career goals.
  8. Emphasize relevant skills: Tailor your skills section to include the most relevant skills for the job you are applying for. Include both hard skills (technical skills) and soft skills (interpersonal skills).
  9. Quantify your achievements: Whenever possible, use numbers, percentages, or other quantifiable metrics to showcase your accomplishments and the impact you've had in previous roles.
  10. Consider a chronological or functional format: Choose a resume format that best highlights your experience and skills. A chronological format is suitable for candidates with a consistent work history, while a functional format emphasizes skills and abilities.

By following these resume tips and best practices, you can create a comprehensive resume that effectively showcases your qualifications, stands out to hiring managers, and increases your chances of landing interviews.

14. Proofreading and Editing

Proofreading and editing your resume is a crucial step in ensuring its quality and professionalism. Follow these tips to effectively proofread and edit your resume:

  1. Take a break: After completing your resume, take a break before proofreading. This allows you to approach it with fresh eyes.
  2. Review for errors: Carefully check your resume for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Pay attention to formatting consistency as well.
  3. Check for clarity: Ensure that your resume is clear and easy to understand. Avoid jargon or overly complex language.
  4. Verify contact information: Double-check that your contact information is accurate, including your phone number and email address.
  5. Read it aloud: Reading your resume aloud can help you catch any awkward phrasing or grammatical errors that you might have missed.
  6. Get a second opinion: Consider asking a trusted friend, family member, or mentor to review your resume and provide feedback.
  7. Use online tools: Utilize online proofreading tools and grammar checkers to identify any errors or areas of improvement.
  8. Print and review: Print a hard copy of your resume and review it carefully. Sometimes, errors are easier to spot on paper than on a screen.
  9. Ensure consistency: Check that your formatting, font styles, and bullet points are consistent throughout the resume.

By thoroughly proofreading and editing your resume, you can ensure that it is error-free, clear, and professionally presented. This attention to detail will enhance the overall quality of your resume and leave a positive impression on potential employers.

15. Conclusion

Congratulations! You have now learned how to create a comprehensive resume that showcases your skills, experiences, and qualifications. A well-crafted resume is a powerful tool that can help you stand out from the competition and land your dream job.

Remember, a successful resume is tailored to the specific job you're applying for and highlights your relevant accomplishments and strengths. Use the structure and guidelines provided in this article to create a resume that effectively represents your professional profile.

Additionally, keep in mind that your resume should always be up-to-date. Regularly review and update it with new experiences, skills, and achievements to ensure its relevance.

Lastly, don't forget to customize your resume for each job application. Tailor your summary, skills, and experiences to align with the specific requirements and qualifications mentioned in the job posting.

With a comprehensive and well-crafted resume in hand, you are now ready to confidently apply for job opportunities and make a strong impression on potential employers. Good luck with your job search!