Jump-Start Your Resume Writing Today

Let’s be honest – Resume writing can be one of the most daunting and intensive tasks to perform. What should be a simple summary of your interests, skills, education, prior experience, and extra curricular activities soon turns into a nightmare of formatting and condensing your life into one or two pages. What should you include? What can you cut out? What big verbs or adjectives can you use to boost your skills and accomplishments?

I cannot tell you how many revisions I made to the first draft of my resume before actually sending it to anyone. And yet, a well-written resume is an essential tool in every young professional’s portfolio. The ink should never dry, as it is a living and breathing summary of your professional story. This is why it is so important to capture the format and content of your resume now, early in your career. When the time does come to update it or adapt it, the only thing that should change is your story.

The guide below is designed to lead young professionals through creating the formatting and structure of a classic professional resume. There may not be many trendy or flashy elements in this content, but follow this guide and you will emerge with a resume sample, a template, a “toolbox”, and the confidence to create your best first resume!

The Resume Sample

The Resume Sample

The first key to building your own resume is having a sample to refer to. I created a sample resume for Mr. “John A. Smith”, a recent graduate who is looking for a new role in the operations world.

I am attaching this Resume Sample file below, for your free use!

The Resume Template

Now that you have your sample, it’s time to use the matching template to begin creating the resume of your own!

Once again, you can download this resume template below for your free use.

The Resume Toolbox

In addition to the free sample and template, The Young Professional is excited to provide you with a Resume Toolbox, designed to guide you through each step of the resume writing process and each section of the resume. You will find suggested words, formatting tips, and more.

We will detail the contents of this below, but please see below if you would like to download this guide for free!

Now let’s get started unpacking the contents of our new Resume Toolbox:

The Intro

No story is complete without a name, and this is a great place to put it! (Along with any other identifying information that a recruiter or employer might need)

Objective Statement

Here is your chance to introduce yourself: Who are you? Why are you here? What do you bring to the table? You could get as existential as you like, but one or two sentences containing the following elements are one of the best ways to express your interest to your potential recruiter or employer:

  • Several adjectives to describe your personality and work ethic
  • Brief description of what you are seeking to gain from this role (industry experience, future career with the company, etc)
  • Several existing or developing skills you are bringing to this role

***See Resume Sample for possible format***

****See Resume Toolbox Adjective Word Bank for possible examples****

Education

This section requires little story or elaboration – use this as an opportunity to share the high-level details of your recent academic career. Include your Master’s Degree (if applicable/completed or in-progress), Bachelor’s/Associate’s Degree (completed or in-progress), along with any study abroad experience. Note: High School Diploma or GED information is optional here.

***See Resume Sample for possible format***

Skills

What do you bring to the table? You may have kept this answer brief in your Objective Statement, but now is the time to share your skills in greater detail. The three categories below are a great place to start:

  • Language – Your honest level of proficiency in any additional language(s)
  • Computer – From word processing programs to video editing software, in today’s world one universal truth is that technology skills sell
  • Industry – Any existing experience with industry-specific programs, skills, etc

***See Resume Sample for possible examples***

Relevant Experience

It is understandable to feel that this is the most daunting section to complete, and it is undeniable that this section is the optimal place to truly share your story. Here, we will break down the steps to best convey your relevant experience from each prior role you are sharing. All prior roles should feature a combination of “Hard Skills”, “Soft Skills”, and “Supervisor Feedback” that you demonstrated, each of which are explained in detail below:

  • Hard Skill – Any accomplishment or competency directly related to an industry process/methodology, technological skill, etc., and best supported by quantifiable results
  • Soft Skill – Any accomplishment or competency often related to organizational, interpersonal, or cross-functional skills, with results not necessarily quantifiable
  • Supervisor Feedback – Any accomplishment or competency commended or recognized by supervisors, oftentimes in the form of demonstrated Soft Skills

***See Resume Sample for possible examples/format***

****See Resume Toolbox Skill Word Bank for possible examples****

Community Service

Proven contributions to the community can range from volunteering at a local soup kitchen to directing a food drive on a college campus. This section offers an opportunity to share the ways in which you have given back to your own community.

***See Resume Sample for possible examples/format***

Additional Activities

President of French Club? Recognize it! Member of the County 4H Club? Don’t leave it out of this section! Potential employers and recruiters want to know what extracurricular or recreational programs contribute to the well-roundedness of their rising young professionals.

Adjective Word Bank

Driven             Problem Solver           Analytical Thinker     Team Player               Leader

Decisive          Adaptive         Flexible           Customer Focused      Diplomatic            Collaborator

Soft Skill Word Bank

Continuous Improvement       Customer Focus          Decision Making        Developing Others

Diplomacy      Adaptability    Goal Achievement      Goal Orientation         Analytical Thinking

Leadership      Emotional Intelligence           Problem Solving         Communication

Conclusion

A resume is a living and breathing document that grows as your professional story grows.

Whew! We made it! There’s no way around the fact that it is no easy task creating a rich and compelling resume. Nevertheless, the tools we explored today are a fantastic way to create the first edition of your resume that tells your professional story, and that will continue to tell your professional story for years to come. I hope that you have found these free tools useful, and I encourage you to share them with any other young professionals in your life who might find use in them!

Have thoughts or feedback on these resume tools? Do you have tools of your own that you have found useful? Please share in the comments below!

Leave a Reply