How To Write a Basic Resume

Gather your experience, skills, and education information to create a basic resume. Make a list of your recent jobs and what you did at each. Think about the value you brought to those organizations, and brainstorm a list of skills you have relevant to the job you want.

Then, use a resume template to present all that information professionally. In this guide, you’ll learn more about compiling your work history and other facts to catch a hiring manager’s attention.

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level
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1. Summarize your basic qualifications in a dynamic profile

The start of a strong resume is a professional profile that introduces you and shows why you’re the best candidate for the position. You can include details such as your years of experience or most impressive skills.

The professional summary is usually a few sentences long and should contain keywords from the employer’s job posting when possible.

Profile Example 1

Food service manager with 15 years of experience seeking ,a position in ,a high-volume fast food restaurant. Qualifications include strong leadership skills, the ability to thrive in hectic environments and Foodservice Management Professional certification.

Profile Example 2

Certified medical assistant seeking a position in a pediatric office where I can utilize my clinical and front desk training. My strong written and verbal skills promote effective communication between patients and coworkers, and I am compassionate and dependable.

2. Add your basic experience with compelling examples

Consider your value to past employers and how you can describe those results in your work history section. Use the format “action verb + accomplishment + metric” if possible.

For example, if you worked as a retail sales associate in a clothing store, you might write, “Participated in seasonal sales competition and placed third or higher every year.” Or, if you were an administrative assistant, you might say, “Implemented scheduling app to reduce double bookings and increase customer satisfaction by 20%.”

Professional Experience Example 1

Assistant Manager, Burger World, Orlando, FL – January 2010 – present

  • Count drawers, verify safe contents, create deposits and make bank runs
  • Create a weekly schedule based on hourly sales and employee availability
  • Prepare burgers, fries, nuggets and onion rings using restaurant equipment
  • Implement and monitor safety guidelines to promote employee safety
  • Transform frustrated customers into satisfied guests by following company recommendations

Professional Experience Example 2

Shift Manager, Yummy Nuggets and Fries, Orlando, FL – January 2005 – January 2010

  • Counted drawers and assembled deposits for the night manager
  • Achieved daily labor and production goals by helping the restaurant cut expenses as needed
  • Provided top-notch customer service while taking orders and handling customer complaints
  • Launched an employee appreciation program which included weekly and monthly incentives for top crew members

3. List any education and certifications relevant to basic experience

In nearly all cases, give basic details on your education. If you’re applying for jobs that don’t require a college degree, employers may still want to see that you’ve graduated high school or have some trade school experience.

Brainstorm and add any certifications or training you have related to your field. For example, if you’re applying as a barista, a Coffee Diploma from the Specialty Coffee Association illustrates your knowledge and experience and may help you stand out from other applicants.



  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] – [Graduation Month and Year]


  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Graphic Design
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA – June 2016



  • [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]


  • UX Design Professional Certificate, Coursera, 2018

Employers often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to find the most relevant resumes for a position, and those programs look for certain skills and phrases.

For example, if you’re applying for a bank teller position, you might want to include that you have accounting and customer service skills.

Some common skills that apply to numerous industries and positions are listed below to provide some inspiration.

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Conflict resolution Creative thinking
Critical thinking Customer service
Data analytics Leadership
Microsoft Office Office administration
Presentations Problem-solving
Project management Sales
Social media Teamwork
Time management  

How To Pick the Best Basic Resume Template

To quickly format a professional resume, start with a template. Choose one without many design elements, as simple templates are easiest to work with. They also tend to translate into various digital application processes better.

Consider your comfort level with software programs when you select a template. If you’re used to working in Microsoft Word, for example, choose a template for that program instead of one designed for Google Docs.

Templates that let you create resumes in word processing programs make it possible to use spell checkers and other editing tools to ensure your resume is free of problematic typos.

Basic Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Example #1
  • Example #2
  • Example #3

William Jones
9898 West Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034
[email protected]

Resume Objective

Certified medical assistant seeking a position in a pediatric office where I can utilize my clinical and front desk training. My strong written and verbal skills promote effective communication between patients and coworkers, and I am compassionate and dependable.


Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
Rockwood College of Health and Wellness, Redwood City, CA – September 2016 – June 2018

Professional Experience

Volunteer, Wildwood Home for Young Mothers, Location –  December 2017 – present

  • Provided care for infants and toddlers while their mothers attended school
  • Created meals for 20 to 25 household members with donated goods
  • Hosted health and nutrition classes for pregnant and parenting teens on a weekly basis
  • Provided one-on-one mentoring sessions for young mothers
  • Hosted kid-friendly game nights on a monthly basis

Volunteer Patient Care Representative, Wildwood Hospital, Location – October 2016 – March 2017

  • Organized files and other documents for front desk staff
  • Provided companionship for young patients, including babies, toddlers and school-aged children
  • Helped kids decorate their hospital rooms to make long-term stays more comfortable
  • Delivered letters and packages to patients

Key Skills

  • Compassionate
  • Dependable
  • Clinical and Front Desk Training
  • Medical Assistant Certification
  • Medical Assisting Degree
  • Experience Volunteering with Babies , Toddlers and School-Aged Children


  • Certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants
  • CPR and First Responder Training

Frequently Asked Questions: Basic Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for basic resumes?-

Action verbs make your resume more engaging and easier to read. Start sentences with these compelling verbs to pull in the reader, and vary them in the bulleted lists of your professional experience section to create additional interest.

The right action verbs also position you as a confident candidate who gets work done. For instance, writing “organized Google Docs processes to support 10% increase in efficiency” is stronger than simply listing “Google Docs management” as a responsibility. 

If you’re not sure what types of action verbs to include in your resume, consider pulling from the list below.

Action Verbs
Achieved Analyzed
Assisted Collaborated
Communicated Completed
Coordinated Created
Demonstrated Enhanced
Implemented Improved
Initiated Organized
Participated Resolved
Supported Trained
Used Worked
How do you align your resume with a job posting?-

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest-growing occupations from 2022 through 2032 include wind turbine service technicians, nurse practitioners, data scientists, statisticians, and information security analysts. Whether you’re applying to one of these positions or any other type of job, you can increase your chances of success in even the most competitive markets by including the right keywords and skills on your resume.

Read the job posting for your desired position, paying close attention to the wants and needs of the employer. Use those terms in your resume when they overlap with your experience.

What is the best basic resume format?-

In general, the best format to choose for any resume is a combination format. It puts emphasis on both work history and skills, making it easier to pass through ATS.

Easy-to-scan skills help hiring managers understand whether you’re a qualified candidate, and a professional work section in reverse chronological order helps you tell a compelling story about your experience. Choose a format that provides room for other critical details, such as your education.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume

Dress your resume to impress with a professional cover letter. This accompanies your resume and explains why you’re a good fit for the position in more detail than bullets in a resume allow. You can start with our administrative assistant cover letter examples to understand what they look like before you create your own.

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