General Resume Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

You’re not in a position to tailor your resume to a particular employer—the next best thing? Write a general resume that’ll give you the best possible chances. See how.

Bart Turczynski
Editor-in-Chief
General Resume Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

Abstract: A resume is ideally a document that you modify or write from scratch for each new job application. Sometimes, though, you need to prepare a resume ahead of time (like for a job fair or networking event) and this is where a general resume template can save the day.

They say it’s better to tailor your resume—

 

To target it to each and every new job ad you respond to.

 

And you know what?

 

They’re absolutely right:

 

A tailored resume is always better than a general resume.

 

But—

 

A general resume is always better than no resume.

 

Read on to see how you can do a lot with very little.

 

In this guide:

 

  • A general resume sample better than most.
  • How to write the perfect general resume objective.
  • How to make you general resume stand out.
  • Expert tips and general resume objective examples.

 

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general resume templates

 

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Ready to write a targeted resume? Changing careers or transitioning into civilian life? This is just a taste of the guides we have to offer:

 

 

General Resume Template

 

[Your Name]

[Your Job Title]

 

Personal Info

 

[Phone Number]

[Email Address]

[LinkedIn]

[Optional: Personal Website, Twitter, Other Relevant Links]

 

Summary

 

Entrepreneurial [job title] with [X] years’ experience working with [character of your job]. Helped [numbered achievement], increasing [numbered achievement] by [X]%. Seeking to leverage proven [type of skills] skills and [type of expertise] knowledge.

 

Experience 

 

[Your Job Title]

[Company Name]

March 2019–present

  • [Job duties and accomplishments]
  • [Job duties and accomplishments]
  • [Job duties and accomplishments]
  • [Job duties and accomplishments]

 

[Your Job Title]

[Company Name]

January 2016–January 2019

  • [Job duties and accomplishments]
  • [Job duties and accomplishments]
  • [Job duties and accomplishments]

 

Education 

 

[Degree], [major]

[Name of the college or university]

2011–2015

  • [Relevant courses]
  • [GPA, Latin honors, memberships]

 

Certifications

 

  • [List special certifications]

 

Awards

 

  • [List of awards]

 

Key Skills 

 

  • [Soft skill]
  • [Communication skill]
  • [Hard skill]
  • [Technical skill]
  • [Computer skill]

 

Now here’s how to write a general resume that’s better than most:

 

1. Go With the Right General Resume Format

 

Your general resume is doomed to sometimes miss the mark when it comes to speaking to a given job ad’s requirements—

 

Make sure it at least always looks the part:

 

Choose a resume format that’s clean and sleek. One that recruiter’s are used to seeing and actively prefer. Here’s how:

 

General Resume Format

 

 

When it comes to preserving the formatting of your resume, PDF always trumps something like *.docx, but—

 

That’s not the whole story:

 

Some Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) can’t deal with PDF so well. Always check the job ad and follow any requirements listed there.

Expert Hint: Perfect resumes have one thing in common. They include a powerful resume introduction. And that’s what we’ll cover next.

2. Start With a Winning General Resume Objective or Summary

 

No matter what job you’re going for, and even if you don’t know yet, you’ll need a quick, attention-grabbing resume profile.

 

Got some relevant work experience to your name?

 

Start with a resume summary—

 

It’s like your main arguments for getting an interview in a nutshell.

 

Use:

 

  1. One relevant adjective (efficient, reliable, friendly)
  2. Job title (just as it appears in the majority of job ads)
  3. Years of experience (2+, 5+)
  4. What you intend to do for your new employer (provide excellent customer service)
  5. Your best 2–3 achievements (98% customer satisfaction, reduced overhead costs by 25%)

 

These general resume summary examples show how:

 

General Resume Summary Examples

Good Example
Entrepreneurial real estate broker with 5+ years’ experience working with both commercial and residential listings. Closed $17.35M in first year with KH Booker, increasing commercial lease revenue by 22%, and reducing closing time by 9% across the board. Seeking to leverage proven sales skills and market knowledge.
Bad Example
Upbeat real estate broker with 5 years’ experience. Worked hard to sell properties and close leases. Seeking to leverage proven sales skills and market knowledge.

Big difference.

 

The first one is specific and concrete. It puts numbers to hard facts.

 

Great, but—

 

What if you don’t have any relevant work experience?

 

Write a resume objective and focus on relevant achievements from other lines of work, college, school, and volunteer work.

 

These general resume objective examples will give you a better idea:

 

General Resume Objective Examples

Good Example
Entrepreneurial, newly licensed real estate broker with demonstrable market knowledge. Finished Business Studies major with a 3.8 GPA, developed sales skills in retail sector. Seeking to leverage proven sales skills and market knowledge.
Bad Example
Inexperienced, but ready to succeed in real estate. Looking for an agency that offers good advancement prospects.

Once again—

 

Concrete, focused on achievements, and backed by numbers.

Expert Hint: Leave writing your general resume objective or summary until last. You’ll have all the ingredients you need to write one after you’ve written your job descriptions and skills section.

3. Write the Perfect General Resume Job Descriptions and Skills

 

Convince them you can do the job—

 

By describing how you’ve done something similar.

 

Use resume achievements to accomplish this. 

 

Make your resume work history section a non-stop showcase of accomplishments.

 

How to write a job description for a general resume:

 

  1. Look through some relevant job ads ahead of time.
  2. Pick out the most common skills and duties.
  3. Think of times you’ve wowed past employers with those skills.
  4. Write resume bullets that describe these achievements, with numbers.

 

These general resume examples show how:

 

General Resume Job Description

Good Example

Real Estate Agent

KH Booker

March 2019–present

  • Developed customized marketing plans for high-end listings, closing $17.35M in the first year.
  • Increased revenue from leased commercial properties by 22% from Q2 2019 to Q1 2020.
  • Educated other realtors at the agency by organizing at least two property tours per month.
  • Reduced closing time by 9% cloud syncing documentation to reduce slack time.
Bad Example

Real Estate Agent

KH Booker

2019–present

  • Developed customized marketing plans for high-end listings.
  • Increased revenue from leased commercial properties.
  • Educated other realtors at the agency.
  • Reduced closing time.

Who would you hire?

 

Employers know more or less what your duties were just based on your job title.

 

Impress them with what you achieved for prior employers.

 

The key here?

 

Specific examples and quantified achievements.

 

But what if you are writing a resume with no relevant work experience

 

Describe achievements from jobs that are only indirectly relevant, from volunteer work you’ve done, or from your college or school days (if you recently graduated).

Expert Hint: How to show multiple positions at the same company on a resume? Stack the job titles under the company name umbrella.

One more thing—you’ll definitely need a resume skills section.

 

But—

 

More isn’t always better.

 

All the other applicants have access to the same internet as you, and that means the same skills lists.

 

Stand out by being selective with the skills you choose.

 

The list of general resume skills below is a good jumping-off point:

 

Skills for a General Resume

 

Hard Skills

 

  • Accounting skills
  • Controlling skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Computer skills
  • HR skills
  • IT skills
  • Management skills
  • Marketing skills
  • Office skills
  • Project management skills
  • Security skills

 

Soft Skills

 

  • Coordination
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Flexibility
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

 

When listing your skills, aim at a mix of 5-10 soft and technical skills. Don’t include those skills you don't feel confident about. You don’t want to get caught lying on a resume.

 

The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.

 

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Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.

 

4. Make Your Education a Key Part of Your General Resume

 

Some jobs have strict education requirements—

 

Others, not so much.

 

Either way:

 

A bad education resume section will let you down.

 

Keep it simple and to the point:

 

Degree, school, and graduation date.

 

Plus, for that extra edge over your competition:

 

Add a couple of bullet points that touch on academic achievements and relevant skills.

 

General Resume Sample Education Section

Good Example

BA in Business Studies, University of Denver

2011–2015

  • Pursued a passion for sales management coursework.
  • Worked part-time in a conveyancing firm.

Simple and effective.

 

Writing a resume for a first job? 

 

Add more bullet points to detail projects, classes, and accomplishments and use this part of your resume to outline relevant coursework you’ve completed.

Expert Hint: What else can you include in this part of a resume? Scholarships, memberships, awards, school projects, and the like. In other words: anything that can prove your skills.

5. Give Your General Resume an Edge With Added Sections

 

A general resume doesn’t have to mean a generic resume.

 

Customize your resume while keeping it general by adding extra sections that paint a better picture of you as an employee.

 

Add one or two extra resume sections:

 

 

These two general resume examples show yes vs maybe not:

 

General Resume Sample Extra Sections

Good Example

Certifications

 

  • Colorado Real Estate Broker License, 2016

 

Awards

 

  • Held the Red Blazer for 13 out of 20 months, 2019–2021
  • Cookie Kwong Up-and-Coming Broker Award, 2017
Bad Example

Hobbies

 

  • Scrapbooking, SCUBA diving, painting (mainly watercolors)

 

Awards

 

  • Red Blazer
  • Up-and-Coming Broker Award

As you can see, this is something you can get wrong.

 

The first example follows the two golden rules of resume writing:

 

  • Everything has to be directly relevant to the job
  • Everything has to be specific and concrete.

 

One last step, but it’s a big one—

 

You’ll need a cover letter to go with your general resume. It’s a great opportunity to target your application even when you’re not able to target your resume.

 

Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

 

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CREATE YOUR COVER LETTER NOW

 

Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

 

Key Points

 

For a general resume that gets interviews:

 

  • Use the general resume template given up above. It’s about as effective as a general resume can be.
  • Put relevant achievementsin your summary or objective, work history, and education section to show you’ve got what it takes.
  • Choose the right skills to put in your general resume. Check many job ads and identify what skills they have in common.
  • Write a cover letter. Use it to show your passion for the role and target your application to the job ad at hand.

 

Got any questions on how to write a generic resume that gets results? Leave us a message down below and we’ll be sure to get back to you.

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Bart Turczynski
Bart Turczynski is a career expert and the Editor-in-chief at ResumeLab. His career advice and commentary has been published by Glassdoor, The Chicago Tribune, Workopolis, The Financial Times, Hewlett-Packard, and CareerBuilder, among others. Bart’s mission is to promote the best, data-informed and up-to-date career advice on ResumeLab’s blog as well as through numerous online communities and publications. At ResumeLab, Bart manages a large team of career experts and editors in delivering top-quality, unique content. Bart’s life-long passion for politics and strong background in psychology makes all the advice published on ResumeLab unique, accurate, and supported by detailed research.

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