Resume Writing

Essential Resume Guides

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Resume FAQ

  • What is a resume?

    In the most simple terms, a resume is a document that you send to employers when you’re looking for a job. The purpose of a resume is to introduce yourself to employers, present your skills and experience in a way that makes you stand out from other candidates, and get you invited to a job interview. Once you get to the interview, the resume has fulfilled its purpose.

  • How to write a resume?

    If you’re a student or fresh graduate, keep your resume to one page. Use a professional summary if you have relevant experience, followed by education, work history, voluntary experience, key skills, and then add optional sections.

    If you’re an experienced professional, keep your resume maximum to two pages (ideally). Start with a professional summary followed by your key professional skills, career history, education, certifications, relevant technical skills, language skills, volunteering, and then optional sections.

    If you don’t know what to write in each section, don’t worry. See our resume guides for more or read our Resume Writing blog articles.

  • Which resume sections are necessary and which ones are optional?

    Every resume should, definitely, include these five key resume sections:

    1. Personal information
    2. Resume summary or objective
    3. Work experience
    4. Education
    5. Skills

    Then you can add optional resume sections like: Achievements and awards, Certifications and licences, Language skills, Publications, References, Hobbies, Social media, Volunteering, or Custom sections (e.g. if you’re a software developer, you can create a “Personal projects” section).

    However, only include an extra section if you feel like you have enough to offer in that particular category.

  • How to optimize a resume for the ATS?
    1. Use an ATS-friendly resume template.
    2. Have standard headings (for instance, don’t replace “Professional summary” with “Snapshot”).
    3. Include relevant keywords from the job description.
    4. Use standard fonts.
    5. Avoid graphics (particularly if text can’t be “read”).
  • How to email a resume?
    1. Use an effective subject line. You can follow this form: “Job application” – Job title, Job ID (if applicable) — Your Name
    2. Start off with a formal greeting and address the hiring manager by name (preferably last name).
    3. 1st paragraph: State who you are, why you’re sending this email and what the email contains.
    4. 2nd paragraph: Say what are your best and proudest (relevant) achievements. Close this paragraph by saying what value you’d bring to the company and which skills you’ll use to accomplish this.
    5. Closing paragraph: Say that you’re looking forward to hearing back from them and meeting in person. You may add a captivating call for action but be careful not to sound rude or overly keen.
    6. Add a formal sign-off: “Yours faithfully” (US English) or “Yours sincerely” (British English).
    7. Add a professional signature (+include your contact details).
    8. Attach your resume as a PDF.

    For other tips, check out our article What To Write in an Email When Sending a Resume to an Employer? (+3 Email Templates)

Get inspired by professional resume examples.

All examples were either written by our professional resume writers or contributed by successful professionals who got hired.

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Follow our simple step-by-step guide on how to write the perfect resume. Learn what to write in each resume section.

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