How To Make a Resume in 2024 [Examples]

quick answer

Resume writing may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. See how to make a resume in 8 easy steps by choosing the proper format, using keywords, and more.

Knowing how to make a resume consists of 8 easy steps:  

  1. Step 1: Compile Your Research 
  2. Step 2: Choose Your Resume Format 
  3. Step 3: Include Important Information at the Top
  4. Step 4: Highlight Relevant Skills 
  5. Step 5: Use Keywords from the Job Description 
  6. Step 6: Showcase Work Experience and Achievements 
  7. Step 7: Display Education and Certifications 
  8. Step 8: Proofread and Prepare to Submit 

They say first impressions are everything. So, resume writing skills are important.

Your resume (also known as a curriculum vitae or CV) is the first impression you make with a potential employer. Understanding that a resume is important and wanting to create one properly is the first step to success. 

Knowing how to make a resume that positions you as the ideal candidate is an important first step before you’re even ready to apply for jobs and impress hiring managers. The good news is that anybody can create a polished resume when they know how.

Current students and alumnus of Robertson should contact our Workforce team for resume writing support.

By the end of this article, you will know how to make a resume — you’ll even learn how to make different types for different purposes. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Compile Your Research

Your research will be the basic ingredients for your resume. Get a few things prepared before you start to cook later. Look at your LinkedIn profile or old pay stubs, and write down work information like:

    • Previous job title(s)
    • Name of employer
    • When you worked there
    • Key tasks you performed


“Jot down bullet points that list the job experiences you’d like to highlight…This will act as a skeleton for the resume you will eventually create,” says Rashad Welch, Workforce Team Member.

It’s important to have this information readily available to create a custom resume for each job. Employers don’t want to see a generic resume — they want one that shows you are the perfect candidate for their specific role. Preparation will help you build many types of resumes with ease. 

Want to take it to the next level? Research the job opportunity itself. Visit the employer’s website, their LinkedIn, and the job posting. Write down things like:

  • Business Model: What services do they offer? Where do they offer them? 
  • Company Culture: Are they a startup looking for hustlers? A legacy business looking for commitment?
  • Key Responsibilities: Does the job description mention specific duties or work environments? What are the daily tasks?


This information will help you build a resume (and cover letter) tailored to impress. 

Step 2: Choose Your Format

Your resume format helps tell the story of your skills and work experience. Depending on your work history, there are a few options for approaching this. The main types of resume formats include:

  • Chronological Resume: This is the best option when you have a robust work history. It details your experience in reverse, starting with your most recent job.
  • Functional Resume: This is the best option for people with gaps in employment. You highlight your key skills first and explain your work history second.
  • Hybrid (or Combination) Resume: This is the best option for people who want to make a career change, take on a new role, or have many different skills. By combining both chronological and functional resume formats, this approach highlights both your skills and experience.


Use a free resume template to create a professional-looking CV that is easy to read. Whether a human reads your resume or an applicant tracking system (ATS), you must present your information clearly and concisely.

Step 3: Include Contact Information at the Top

Hiring is a lot of work, so whoever reads your resume is probably very busy. Hiring Managers often look at each resume for less than 30 seconds during their first read-through.

With less than a minute to impress, you don’t want to waste a second. Organize your resume so that the most important information, such as required qualifications, is summarized at the top of the page.

Important information to include in the header of your resume includes:

  • Contact information: Keep it simple and avoid personal information like marital status or religion. Be sure to include a professional email and your LinkedIn profile.
  • Career Summary or Objective: A career summary can highlight your skills and be tailored for the specific job you’re applying for. Keep it simple and skill-related, like an ‘elevator pitch’ designed to impress employers.


Your summary can also include your areas of expertise, career accomplishments, and how your skills can benefit the prospective employer. Next, we’ll show you how to highlight relevant skills.

Step 4: Highlight Relevant Skills

Rather than including long, detailed descriptions of your duties, skills get right to the point. They are bite-sized pieces of information that highlight your strengths and abilities. Sometimes, they’re job-specific, but many skills are transferable. An easy way to think about this is soft vs. hard skills.

Soft skills are personality traits that you can apply to any job or situation. Advanced roles may require job-specific skills, but soft skills are always important. For people without a lot of experience, a list of soft skills will make your resume shine.

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Time management
  • Customer service
  • Teamwork
  • Creative thinking
  • Multi-tasking
  • Leadership


Hard skills are technical abilities you learn on the job or through training. These are the skills you learn, not the skills you are born with. Always include hard skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for, especially when they’re listed in the job description.

Examples of hard skills include:


For a place to start, look at your previous work research. Next, think about each job and write down all the skills you can think of. This list of skills will become a useful reference for resumes, cover letters, and more.

Career Tip: While you may already have many of these skills, you may need to upskill or reskill in order to land the job you want. If your hard or soft skills need a reboot, Robertson’s Micro-Courses are designed for exactly this purpose –– from hard skills like C# Programming to soft skills like Active Listening and Conflict Negotiation.

Step 5: Use Keywords from the Job Description

One of the most powerful ways to make your resume stand out is to insert keywords from the job description into your application. Using keywords will help your resume move forward, whether a human or an ATS system reviews it. 

Imagine a company looking for a “team player” who can “juggle multiple tasks.” You should use these keywords in your resume, even if you’ve used similar ones. For example:

  • If your summary mentions “multi-tasking skills,” rephrase it to say you can “juggle multiple tasks.”
  • If your resume says “I work well in groups,” change it to read “I’m a team player.”


Using a hiring manager’s keywords will increase your chances of getting your resume seen. ATS systems can’t read like humans, so they use keywords to discover and highlight the best resumes. Including relevant keywords will impress the ATS system and help get your resume seen by recruiters.

Step 6: Showcase Work Experience and Achievements

Your work experience describes your employment history, including full-time and part-time positions. Achievements and volunteer experience are similar but should appear in separate sections. Only include information directly related to the job you’re applying for, and avoid irrelevant details.

For example, it might not be useful to mention your high school dog grooming job when applying for a job as a Pharmacy Technician. These details are outdated and irrelevant. Your resume must show your readiness for the position you’re currently applying for.

Find opportunities to mention specific, measurable outcomes from previous roles. 

For example, if 80% of client interactions got converted into sales at your previous job, include this information in your resume. Concrete, measurable targets help Recruiters, Headhunters, or prospective employers understand how you can truly impact their business.

Step 7: Present Your Education and Certifications

While many job hunters place their education at the top of their resumes, this isn’t necessarily the best approach. Your main goal should be to highlight the most relevant content to the prospective employer.

If the employer has asked for specific education or training, they will look for this information under the corresponding header. Your unique work experiences and skills are what make your resume stand out.

Your resume tells a story, so keep things structured to achieve this. The top of your resume will include contact information, followed by your detailed work experience and then your education. Including your education and certifications at the end demonstrates that you possess the appropriate training and credentials to perform the job. 

Step 8: Proofread and Prepare to Submit

When our Career Services Team coaches students on how to make their resumes stand out, they always mention that simplicity is key. You don’t need to use fancy fonts or colourful templates. The best resumes use easy-to-read layouts organized by bullet points and headers.

The easier the information contained within your headings is to find, the more likely you’ll be selected for an interview. You can review it yourself, but sometimes it helps to get a second set of eyes. Ask somebody in your network to read your resume and provide some feedback.

Proofread your drafted resume and make a note of any final touches it needs. Don’t focus on making your resume perfect; focus on achieving your objective –– to make a resume that’s clear, comprehensive, and tailored to the job you want.

During or after this phase, you can prepare to submit your resume. Take one last look, and consider the following best practices:

  • Include relevant urls in your resume:Include any relevant URLs, such as your LinkedIn profile or portfolio website. Make sure to test the URLs and ensure they work.
  • Add a cover letter: Consider including a customized cover letter in your application that explains why you’re a perfect fit for the role. The ideal cover letter is no longer than one page — see our cover letter example for reference.
  • Make sure your information is up-to-date: Your contact information and job history should always be current. Character references should also be updated, which includes checking in to ensure they are ready to vouch for you.
  • Give your resume a proper name: Don’t settle for ‘Resume(2).docx,’ use a simple structure like ‘[Full Name] resume for [Job] position, [Date]’. A proper file name will show professionalism and make your document easy to find.
  • Save your resume in multiple formats: This tip is small but important — send your resume as a PDF so the formatting stays intact. Save your resume files in the cloud or on your phone, so they’re easy to retrieve when needed.

5 Key Resume Writing Tips

There’s no perfect resume, so keep it simple and focus on being clear. The main goal is to present yourself well enough to secure the job you’re applying for. Remember these five key tips when creating your resume:

  1. Customize Each Resume to the Job: One-size-fits-all is not a recipe for success. Stay organized, and plan to adjust your resume as needed.
  2. Backup Achievements with Data: Support your skills and experience with numbers whenever possible.
  3. Focus on Hard and Soft Skills: Note your hard and soft skills so you can tailor your resume for different positions.
  4. Be Honest: You can’t win by lying, so always be honest. Ensure your LinkedIn, resume, and digital profiles tell the same story.
  5. Seek Feedback from Your Network: Ask for feedback from mentors, career advisors, and other professionals in your network. When the time comes, you should be happy to repay the favour. 

How To Make a Resume with No Work Experience

You don’t need work experience to make a resume. Resumes can discuss job-related information like general skills, objectives, and education. Don’t mention hobbies like playing video games. Do mention personal projects, like building a custom live-stream setup. You should only share information that reflects your professional mindset. The more data you have to back up your claims, the better.

Employers will recognize your hard work, and it can pay off eventually. Eventually, you will gain work experience that you can add to your resume. Always remember to be honest, professional, and be your best self.

Here’s how to build a resume without work experience:

  1. Use a skills-based resume format.
  2. Include keywords from the job description.
  3. Showcase personal qualities and general skills.
  4. Create a solid summary section.
  5. Write an attention-grabbing cover letter.


Pro Tip: Before you start writing, you can do a little bit of research and self-reflection. In the process, write down information about yourself, including:

  • Transferable skills
  • Relevant coursework and education
  • Extracurricular activities and volunteer work
  • Personal projects and freelance work
  • Internships, apprenticeships, and part-time work

What Is the Best Resume Format?

We all have unique skills and work experience, which means there is no one best resume format. The best resume format for you will highlight your skills and experiences effectively, landing you a dream job.

At Robertson College, we know every career path is unique. That’s why we offer a range of Diploma and Certificate programs, so you can study in the way that works for you. Plus, our Workforce Team is here to guide you through your job search, from resume writing to preparing for your interview. 

Want to improve your education, skills, and job experience? Upgrade your career potential with a Robertson College Diploma.

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