A traditional resume template should have a heavy emphasis on your professional experience, which is listed in reverse-chronological format. These resumes are white with a traditional black font, such as Times New Roman or Arial.
There should be a section for your work history, education, and certifications, but a traditional resume can still have a key skills list and profile summary. Overall, your resume should have a classic, clean look. Use organized headers and a description of your skills and qualifications tailored to the specific job you’re applying for.
A traditional resume keeps the focus on your work history, but it still includes several sections, giving you plenty of room for a well-rounded resume. Here is a list of each resume part and its purpose:
This should include your full name, email, phone number, and city and state. There’s generally no need to provide a specific address unless requested.
LinkedIn | Portfolio
City, State Abbreviation Zip Code
The profile goes at the top of your resume and is a short two to four-sentence summary of your most important skills and qualifications. It can also include a major career achievement or industry award. If the position requires a degree or certification, mention this here.
In a bulleted list, add relevant skills that are important to the hiring manager. Some positions may make sense to divide your skills into two lists. For example, a software developer may have lists of technical skills and soft skills (things like communication or leadership).
Make the most of your job duties and responsibilities by starting each bullet with an action verb. These are high-value words that communicate what you did in your role and why it mattered. Here are some common action verbs appropriate for a traditional resume:
Also called the professional experience section, this part of your resume lists your previous jobs. This section takes up most of the space in the traditional resume. Each job should include the title, company, dates of employment, and a bulleted list of duties and accomplishments.
Professor, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
August 2019 – present
Associate Professor, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
August 2016 – May 2019
It’s not enough to just tell a hiring manager what you’ve done; also show you did it well. Using metrics and data points in your resume quantifies your experience and provides more legitimacy to your claims.
The kinds of numbers you can include depend on your field. Look for things such as the volume of requests handled each shift, satisfaction ratings, or how you’ve increased or decreased key company metrics.
Check out our example for a better idea of how to do this:
If you don’t have years of work experience to pull from, think about other situations where you have learned valuable skills that can be transferred to the professional world. Volunteer positions, extracurricular activities, and academic pursuits can all qualify for space on your resume as long as you can explain what you learned and how you’ll use it in this job.
This section includes your highest level of education completed. If you have multiple degrees, list those most relevant to the position. Certifications and licenses can also go in this section.
Doctorate in Molecular Biology, August 2010 – May 2015
Boston University, Boston, MA