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There's nothing more frustrating about writing a resume than having to start with a blank page.
You don't have to.
With our resume outlines, writing a job-winning resume turns into a paint-by-numbers kind of thing.
In this article:
- Resume outline you can copy and start filling in now.
- Three universal resume outlines you can customize to any job offer.
- Advice and hints on what to put in each section of your resume.
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Want to see some resume templates? Check:
1. Examples of Resume Fill-In the Blanks Outlines
Let’s jump right in:
Here’s a basic resume outline you can copy-paste into any blank document. You can use it as a resume outline for Word, or Google Docs for instance.
Once you fill in all the information and format your resume, you can export your resume outline to PDF.
When you choose a resume outline, make sure you pick the right one:
- Chronological resumes work great in the vast majority of cases.
- Functional resumes can help you hide employment gaps.
- Combination resumes could be a good choice for career changers.
Note: More on how to match the resume outline to your needs in the next section.
Basic Resume Outline—Chronological Resume Outline
[Resume Objective] or [Resume Summary]
- [Responsibility 1]
- [Responsibility 2]
- [Responsibility 3]
- [Achievement 1]
- [Achievement 2]
[Graduation Date] or [Attendance Dates]
It’s not enough to copy-paste this resume outline, though. You must know what information each resume section should contain, and how to present it in the best way possible.
And this is what chapter two of this article is about.
Before we move on, here come two more resume outline examples: a functional resume outline, and a combination resume outline:
Functional Resume Outline
Functional resumes are relatively easy to outline, but it’s notoriously hard it is to get them right in terms of content.
If you want to find out how to make the most of a functional resume, our dedicated guide has all the answers.
Combination Resume Outline
[First and Last Name]
Summary of Qualifications
[Skill Name 1]
[Skill Summary 1]
[Skill Name 2]
[Skill Summary 2]
- Skill 1
- Skill 2
- Skill 3
- [Responsibilty] and/or [Achievement]
- [Responsibilty] and/or [Achievement]
- [Responsibilty] and/or [Achievement]
[School Name & Address]
A combination resume outline is supposed to have the best of both worlds.
If you don’t know how to use the full potential of this kind of a resume outline, it may turn out to be more of a curse than a blessing.
With our dedicated guide on how to write a combination resume, it’s a walk in the park.
You can easily copy any of the resume outlines above, paste them into a blank document, and start filling in the information.
Once you're done, simply format the resume outline to make it look just the way you want.
In the next section, you'll learn how to choose the best outline for your needs and how to personalize it.
Expert Hint: If you’re having mixed feelings about whether to save your resume as DOC or PDF, our guide sheds light on the advantages and disadvantages of each format.
2. How to Outline a Job-Winning Resume: Writing Tips
Here’s the thing—
There’s much more to outlining a resume than putting resume sections in the right order, just like the copy-pastable outlines you can see above do.
It’s vital to know how to use your resume outline’s full potential.
First and foremost:
Find a job offer that matches your skills and experience level.
Once you do, decide which resume format is the right one for you.
In the vast majority of cases, the chronological resume outline is the best choice. The functional resume outline may be good for you if you want to hide gaps in employment. If you're a career changer, the combination resume outline may be worth giving a thought.
Here’s a brief guide to writing each section of your resume outline of choice:
Add Personal Information
Regardless of which resume outline for a resume you use, the personal information section needs to look professional and contain up-to-date information.
Typically, you’d include:
- Your name
- Email address
- Phone number
- LinkedIn URL
Just make sure there are no typos there and your email looks professional.
Your personal details are usually placed at the top of your resume in the resume header.
Expert Hint: Learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile before you add a LinkedIn URL to your resume.
Write a Resume Profile
The resume profile refers to a short paragraph that tops your resume outline.
It serves as a short version of your entire resume, and it’s supposed to hook the reader enough to read the entire document. As such, it serves as a sales pitch of a sort.
The basic difference between the two is that a summary highlights your professional experience, whereas the objective focuses on the skills you can bring into the company.
That’s why you’d rather go for the latter when outlining an entry-level resume, and the former when you already have a couple of years of experience behind the belt.
Include Relevant Professional Experience
Cut to the chase:
Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation Report reveals that for 92% of the recruiters the candidate’s experience is the most important hiring factor.
Out of the three simple resume outlines above, it’s the chronological resume outline that focuses mostly on your experience and achievements.
And this is exactly why we always recommend this particular resume outline over any other.
The secret to making the most of your resume’s experience section is—
Luckily, we have an in-depth guide on how to tailor your resume to the job offer, which will take you step-by-step throughout the entire resume customization process.
Expert Hint: If you’re looking for examples on how to outline a resume for a particular profession, take a look at our repository of resume writing guides.
Show Off Your Skills
Your skills are just as important as your experience, so make sure you pick the ones relevant to the job:
- Start with brainstorming and writing down all your skills.
- Once you have the list, compare it with the job offer and tick off the skills you have.
- The skills you’ve identified this way are exactly the ones you should focus on in your resume outline.
But this is not everything.
The secret is to sprinkle your entire resume outline with relevant skills and present them in terms of achievements.
Expert Hint: If you don’t know where to start, head straight to our guide on how to pick the best skills for your resume.
Put Your Education to Good Use
Your resume education section can reinforce your resume.
But only if you know how to get it right.
If you’re a seasoned pro, keep it short and sweet. The graduation date, degree, and school name will do most of the time.
Expert Hint: If you’re making a resume outline for high-school students, consider putting the education section first. Especially if you have serious academic achievements to boast about.
Consider Adding Extra Resume Sections
All the resume outline sections above are something you’d see on any resume.
There’s still quite a bunch of other sections you might want to include in your resume outline format.
Head straight to our dedicated guide on what to put on a resume to see if nothing’s missing from yours.
Here’s all you need to remember about making a resume outline:
- There are three basic resume outline formats you can use: chronological, functional, and combination.
- Your success depends as much on choosing the right resume outline as on tailoring it to the job offer.
- In the vast majority of cases, a chronological outline works best.
- Each part of your resume outline needs to be tailored to achieve the best effect.
Do you have any questions about making the best job resume outline? Would you like to share your advice on how to make an outline for a resume? We’re always happy to hear from you. Give us a shout out in the comments below!