From Blank Page to Job Offer: A Resume Writing Guide


Keep your skills, talents and positive personal qualities in mind


A well-written and concise resume is an important part of your job search process, even when applying online for a job. There are resume writing services that you can consider, but those are costly so that option does not work for everyone. Yet you still need a solid resume. With a little guidance, you can create a resume that stands out from the crowd. In this blog post, we will walk you through some essential tips for resume writing that will help you present your education, training, experience and career goals in a professional way.

1. Choose the Right Format

Your resume’s format sets the stage for the entire document. Some people may not know that there are different formats for writing a resume. There are three main formats to consider: chronological, functional, and combination (or hybrid). Depending upon your experience and the type of position you are applying for, one format may be better than the others. Having the correct format also makes writing your resume easier.

Type 1: Chronological – The chronological format is ideal for those with a strong work history in a specific field or area.  The chronological resume format lists your work experiences in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent job and moving backward in time. It provides a clear overview of your career progression, making it easy for employers to see your work history and achievements.

Type 2: Functional – A functional format is suitable for individuals with career changes or those with gaps in their work history.  This format emphasizes your skills and accomplishments rather than your job history.

Type 3: Combination (Hybrid) – This format is a blend of the chronological and functional formats. This approach allows you to highlight both your skills and work experience effectively.

If you’re a recent graduate or an individual with limited work experience, consider a functional or combination format to emphasize your skills and education.

2. Tailor Your Resume for Each Job

One size does not fit all when it comes to resumes. You need to customize or tailor your resume for each job application by matching your credentials, skills and/or work experience with the specific requirements of the position. Highlight your relevant skills and experiences that match the job description. Use keywords from the job posting to make sure your resume gets through applicant tracking systems.

Example: If the job posting emphasizes teamwork and project management, showcase your collaboration skills and any relevant projects you’ve led.

3. Start with a Strong Summary or Objective

Your resume’s opening statement should grab the reader’s attention. A well-written summary or objective gives potential employers a snapshot of who you are and what you can bring to the job opening and your interest in a particular position. Some examples of Objectives are as follows:

  • Results-driven marketing professional with a proven track record of increasing brand visibility and driving revenue growth through strategic campaigns.
  • Dedicated and highly motivated tradesperson seeking a challenging role in [specific trade or vocation, e.g., “electrician,” “welder,” “plumber,” “automotive technician”] to apply my extensive hands-on experience, technical expertise, and commitment to safety.
  • Eager to contribute my skills in [mention key skills or areas of expertise, e.g., “electrical system installation,” “precision welding,” “pipefitting,” “engine diagnostics”] to ensure the highest quality workmanship and customer satisfaction while advancing my career in the trade industry.
  • Dedicated and detail-oriented marketing professional with a strong background in digital marketing and data analysis. Seeking a challenging role to leverage my expertise in SEO, content marketing analytics to drive results and improve online visibility.

Notice how these objective statements clearly communicate the candidate’s career goals, the specific position, trade or vocation they are interested in, their relevant skills, and their commitment to quality and safety and results.

4. Show, Don’t Tell

Use accurate, quantifiable achievements or “success markers” to demonstrate your impact in previous roles. Instead of just listing job duties, focus on what you accomplished and how it benefited your previous employers. Use specific numbers, percentages, or metrics to showcase your achievements. Below are some examples:

  • Increased monthly website traffic by 40% through SEO optimization strategies.
  • Achieved a 98% customer satisfaction rate through prompt and effective [specific service, e.g., “plumbing repairs,” “electrical installations,” “welding projects”], consistently exceeding the company’s target of 90%.

These success markers quantify your ability to reach company growth objectives and/or to satisfy customers by providing high-quality services. Let these statements showcase your dedication to delivering excellent results, which is a valuable asset for potential employers. Remember to use specific numbers and percentages whenever possible to make your achievements more impactful on your resume.

5. Keep It Concise

A resume should ideally be one page for less experienced candidates and up to two pages for those with extensive experience. Be concise and omit irrelevant details. Accurately represent your education, training, skills and responsibilities. Prioritize information to highlight the most important details first. You can use bullet points for easy readability and brevity.

6. Proofread and Edit

Mistakes on your resume can leave a lasting negative impression. Proofread carefully to ensure there are no typos, grammatical errors, inaccuracies or inconsistencies. It is always helpful to ask a friend or colleague to give you feedback on your resume and to proof read your resume for you.  Use spell-check and grammar-check tools.

7. Include Relevant Sections

In addition to your work experience and skills, consider including sections like education, certifications, awards, and volunteer work if they are relevant to the job.These sections can help you stand out and demonstrate your well-rounded qualifications.

Example: If you’re applying for a teaching position, include a “Certifications” section listing your teaching certifications and relevant training.

8. Use Professional Language and Formatting

Maintain a professional tone throughout your resume. Choose a clean, easy-to-read font and maintain consistent formatting. Use professional email addresses (avoid using email addresses like and avoid using quirky fonts or excessive graphics. Stick to standard fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. Avoid contractions and informal language. You can still be “you” while presenting yourself as a professional for any type of position.


The tips above will help you write a strong and professional resume that helps you to stand out from other applicants. The process of thinking through and writing your resume can also help you to think about your professional goals and remind yourself of your skills and credentials. You are then in a better position to review job openings (and interview) with your unique skills, talents and goals in mind. The process helps you to know “you” and what you have to offer even if your experience is limited.

Written by Lisa J Meier with support from ChatGPT