How To Write a Traditional Resume

To craft a traditional resume that resonates with recruiters and hiring managers, feature your most compelling career achievements and qualifications. Avoid listing mundane job duties and daily tasks. Demonstrate your ability to create value for your teams, clients, and organizations using tangible examples and hard numbers. We’ll provide expert tips and insights to help build an accomplishment-driven resume and land your next big job opportunity.

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level
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1. Create a profile by summarizing your qualifications

To grab the attention of prospective employers, lead your resume with an engaging snapshot of your career. Start with an opening sentence that lists your title, years of industry experience, and three to four specializations that align with the job description. In the subsequent sentences, emphasize the nuances of your professional experience. Highlight unique aspects of your career and notable accomplishments, and brand yourself as a thought leader within your field.

Senior-Level Profile Example

A nurse manager with over 10 years of experience in health care, specializing in patient advocacy, telemetry, patient-centered care, and infection prevention. A strong history of leading high-performance nursing teams to deliver empathetic and compassionate care to patients. Adept at driving continuous improvements for clinical operations.

Entry-Level Profile Example

A junior web designer with entry-level experience specializing in user interface (UI) design, WordPress, user experience (UX) writing, and graphic design. Adept at collaborating with diverse teams to create innovative website designs and ensure consistency across desktop and mobile platforms.

2. Create a powerful list of your experience

The professional experience section serves as the foundation of your resume. This is your opportunity to feature your strongest qualifications and career achievements. As you build this section, think about the bottom-line value you’ve brought to previous organizations. Did you improve a process, reduce costs, or enhance operational effectiveness? Even a mundane job responsibility can be framed as an achievement if you provide the context and impact of your contributions.

Whenever possible, quantify your achievements using hard numbers, monetary figures, and metrics. This provides a sense of scope for the hiring manager and establishes your credibility as an industry professional. If you can’t include a number, emphasize how your project positively impacted your team, clients, and organizations.

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example

Nurse Manager, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA | July 2015 – present

  • Oversee clinical operations for a 245-bed hospital, build and manage a team of over 25 registered nurses (RNs), and coordinate 24-hour operations for seven patient care units
  • Drive change management initiatives, improve nursing metrics, utilization, patient flow, and operating room (OR) staffing, and reduced average length of stay from four days to three
  • Improve patient room turnover rate by 10% during periods of over 90% occupancy and  ensure compliance with infection prevention and COVID-19 safety protocols

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example

Junior Web Designer Internship, Cadence Web Design Consultants, New York, NY | May 2023 – November 2023

  • Provided support to senior web designers during a six-month internship and collaborated with front-end developers to design quality websites for client businesses
  • Created compelling visual assets, conducted wireframing, and defined UX design in accordance with user-centered design principles
  • Performed graphic design activities to support a major overhaul of an underperforming website and collaborated effectively with back-end developers

3. List yoiur education and certifications

In addition to your education, feature any relevant industry certifications and licenses on your resume. Although these credentials won’t guarantee you an interview, they can help establish your credibility as a subject matter expert within your field. Obtaining certifications is also a great way to demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and career advancement.



  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] | [Graduation Year]


  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Nursing
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA | 2013



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


  • User Experience Design Certification, General Assembly | October 2023
  • Certified Digital Designer (CDD), ADA | July 2023

4. List of your key skills and proficiencies

Most organizations utilize some form of applicant tracking system (ATS) to identify qualified candidates for job openings. If your resume lacks a certain number of keywords, you may be rejected during the initial screening process. Be sure to incorporate key terms directly from the job description into your profile, skills section, and professional experience. Below, you’ll find a list of potential skills you may encounter during the job hunt:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Agile methodology Artificial intelligence (AI)
Business intelligence Change management
Communication Continuous improvement
Cross-functional collaboration Data-driven decision making
Data science Digital marketing
Health care management Information technology
Marketing Operations management
Patient-centered care Process improvement
Project management Sales strategy
Software development Team management

How To Pick the Best Traditional Resume Template

When choosing your resume template, opt for a clean, elegant design that allows your content to stand out on the page. Opt for a single-column format with plenty of white space between sections. Avoid overly decorative fonts, flashy colors, and graphics that might distract the reader from your professional experience. Remember, the hiring managers and recruiters will be much more focused on your qualifications than the aesthetics of your template.

Traditional Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level

John Bergsen
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
Boston, MA 12345
LinkedIn | Portfolio


A dynamic digital marketing specialist with five years of experience specializing in paid search, search engine optimization (SEO), lead generation, and product marketing. A proven track record of developing innovative strategies to grow web presence and organic traffic for client websites. Expertise in leveraging analytics to refine data-driven decision-making for digital initiatives.

Professional Experience

Digital Marketing Specialist, New England Marketing Consultants, Boston, MA | October 2020 – Present

  • Lead paid search initiatives and digital marketing campaigns, analyze customer trends and behavior, and define marketing strategies for client accounts generating $100,000 to $400,000 in annual revenue
  • Improve lead generation and traffic for customer websites and social media accounts by 40% to 70% by aligning marketing initiatives and brand voice across all channels
  • Leverage Google Analytics to evaluate web performance metrics and create reports for the marketing team and senior leadership to refine paid search strategies

Digital Marketing Coordinator, Amherst Realtors, Amherst, MA | June 2018 – October 2020

  • Executed email marketing campaigns and digital initiatives to enhance lead generation and improve website traffic by 120% for a leading real estate company
  • Analyzed SEO performance, conducted marketing research on competitor sites, and identified refinements to web copy and design
  • Led an initiative to implement online lead-generation ads on LinkedIn, performed testing, and secured executive buy-in, resulting in a 50% increase in conversion rates

Key Skills

  • Digital marketing
  • Google Analytics
  • Paid search
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • SEO


  • Professional Certification in Digital Marketing, AMA | September 2019
  • Digital Marketing Program, CareerFoundry | October 2018


Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Marketing
Boston University, Boston, MA | June 2018

Frequently Asked Questions: Traditional Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for traditional resumes?-

Action verbs play an integral role in helping the hiring manager visualize your contributions and career achievements. For example, saying you “Managed a variety of SEO marketing initiatives, which generated a 15% increase in monthly web traffic” is much more impressive than stating you were “Responsible for SEO marketing activities to increase web traffic.”

That being said, it’s easy to run short on action verbs during the resume-building process. Often a limited number of verbs can accurately describe your career achievements. We’ve compiled a list of action verbs to craft your professional experience section:

Action Verbs
Achieved Analyzed
Built Collaborated
Conducted Created
Designed Developed
Drove Enhanced
Evaluated Executed
Identified Implemented
Improved Integrated
Led Managed
Performed Supported
How do you align your resume with a traditional job description?-

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total employment is expected to increase by 4.7 million over the next decade. Despite these positive projections, growth rates will vary depending on your occupation and industry. To maximize your chances of landing the interview, carefully align your resume with the job description.

For example, if a larger company is seeking a project manager with advanced knowledge of Agile, you might provide an example of you incorporating a Waterfall-Agile hybrid approach rather than simply listing the skill. If a hospital is seeking a nurse manager who shares their passion for patient advocacy, emphasize your unique background in delivering patient-centered care to diverse populations.

What is the best traditional resume format?-

Reverse chronological is the ideal resume format for most occupations and industries. This features your most recent and relevant experience first while also demonstrating your career progression over time. If you’re entering the workforce or making a career transition, you might opt for a combination format instead. This allows you to place your certifications, academic projects, and key skills above your professional history but still provides a framework for detailed bullet points.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume
Adding a matching cover letter can help strengthen your job application. This lets you tell the hiring manager more about who you are as a professional and why you’re the ideal fit for their organization. In the middle paragraphs, mention something specific about the company’s reputation, mission statement, or culture and why this draws you to apply for the position. For more insights, view our cover letter examples.

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