personal branding

How to Write a Resume in 2024 - With Real Samples that Get Results

Struggling to decide what to keep and what to leave out from your resume? This post provides clear direction for each section with real resume examples.

Creating an effective resume for todays job search can be daunting. Even more so if you’ve been at the same company or role for a while. It’s challenging to write about yourself!

Plus, as a job seeker exploring this challenging job market, you need to figure out what information to keep, how far to go back, what resume format to use, what keywords to use. Even picking a font can be downright overwhelming!

Do I need to change my resume for every job application? What resume template should I use?

Looking for resume best practices in 2024?

The post-COVID job market is wildly challenging for most professional-level roles. As a professional resume writer who has written thousands for everyone from teachers to plumbers to project managers and CEOs, I haven't seen a job market quite this difficult in a long time. 

In many ways, it's even more challenging the great recession of 2011. What this means for job seekers is that clarity is more important than ever before.

A professional resume writer now becomes more than just a resume writer. The investment is one that should be focused on clarity - getting laser focused on who you're targeting, what problems they are trying to solve, and how your unique combination of skills and experience aligns with that.

In this article, I’ll outline tips, tricks, and commonly asked questions about how to write a resume hiring managers want to read in 2024. I will focus on each section of from your header and summary to the skills, work experience, and education section.

Resume Headers & Contact Information

Always include a professional email address without numbers of your birth year or any cute nicknames. Gmail is the most commonly used for resumes because it's more current that something like AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail. While it's not going to preclude you from getting a call, it's a super easy fix to make to modernize your documents.

You can always create a gmail specifically for jobseeking and set up an automatic redirect to the account you have had forever. This is also a great way to organize your applications - all the autoresponders will be in one place.

For your address info, I recommend using City, State and Zip Code, just City and State, or a metro area instead of a full address. With the amount of information publicly available online, including your full address can be a privacy or security concern. Only use one phone number, preferably your cell. Finally, include links to your LinkedIn profile and any other relevant professional pages, such as portfolios or social media sites.

Resume Objective or Summary?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions on the topic of how to write a resume. Do I need an objective on my resume? And if not, what do I use instead?

Resumes are user-centric documents, which means you are writing it to convey your value to a potential hiring manager. Your resume is a highlight reel, not a biography.

With that in mind, try to craft 3 clear, concise, impactful sentences that highlight overarching achievements in your career.

Here's an example for an enterprise sales leader. 

Summary of Qualifications: Technology Sales | Midmarket, Enterprise, F1000

Driving Portfolio Expansion & Revenue Growth through Consultative Solution Selling

Enterprise account manager and new business strategist with expertise uncovering and capitalizing on unmet client need, building trust and rapport to turn prospects into partners, and growing projects into long-term recurring revenue through on-time, on-budget delivery and meticulous follow-through.

Influential communicator with multimillion-dollar portfolio of direct/channel partnerships at Maintech who navigates extended sales cycles and organizational dynamics to negotiate and close deals in US, Europe, Asia, and Canada.

Resume Headers and Subheaders

Your resume summary has two jobs: quickly grab attention with an impactful overview of your career brand and clearly articulate what roles you are targeting. A great way of doing that is by adding your target job on the top as a headline, right underneath your name and address. Underneath that, you can add three keywords as a subheader that highlight your top-3 job-related strengths, like this:

Rebecca Henninger
Montville, NJ 07045 | | 973.270.1777 |

Senior Marketing Manager
Integrated Campaign Planning | Social Media Management | Segmentation & Targeting

After the header, include a 3-4 line summary that outlines your value at a high-level. Don’t make the mistake of using boring, overused, fluffy adjectives. Instead of calling yourself a team player, include hard, quantified details. Remain focused on your goal of differentiating your value instead of using lines that could be on anyone’s resume. For example:

Marketing strategist with experience building and leading high-performing teams of 10+ that consistently drive double-digit increases in user engagement, inbound leads, and brand sentiment in B2B marketing environments.

Include  a skills section that showcases both soft skills, personal qualities that enable you to thrive in your role, and hard skills, job-related knowledge and abilities needed to perform the job. This is a great way to increase your keyword alignment with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). It also boosts impact on a quick scan when hiring managers are reviewing your resume.

Now try putting it all together! Here's an example of a headline, summary and achievement bullets for a senior finance leader.

Finance Executive | CFO, VP of Finance, Divisional Controller

Cash & Treasury Management — M&A / Corporate Transactions – Financial Operations – Management Reporting

Trusted finance business partner to C-suite/board executives in public, private, and PE-owned entities with broad industry experience in distribution and manufacturing operations who builds cultures of accountability, automates financial systems and processes, and elevates quality and depth of insights through financial reporting and analysis aligned with business view and strategic priorities of executive decision-makers.

Highlights of Value Delivered

  • Overhauled financial operations, introducing robust reporting and migrating legacy systems to integrated platforms.
  • Transformed depth and quality of financial insights for executive decisioning via reporting, systems, and culture change.
  • Led financial due diligence through multiple corporate transactions including sales, acquisitions, and divestitures.

Professional Experience

The most important part of any lesson on how to write a resume is the professional experience or work experience section. This is where you showcase all the work you’ve done and give hiring managers confidence in your ability to execute on the job.

There are a few general guidelines to follow here. To optimize ATS readability create an entry for each job using this format:

COMPANY, INC., City, State (Date – Date)


Under each role, start with a scope paragraph that outlines your onboarding environment (the challenge or result you were hired to address). This area should give a high-level snapshot of what you were accountable for, who you reported to, and what you accomplished. Include budgets managed, team size, departments you oversee, and any other information that will help paint a picture of the role.

The scope paragraph should be 3-5 lines max. After that include bullet points that highlight your achievements. In your achievement bullets, aim to lead with the result and use action verbs that describe your accomplishment. Using the following formula is a great way to amplify impact of your resume:

{Action verb} {result} by {action} in {environment or additional info}.

Here’s an example:

  • Boosted revenue 20% YoY without adding staff or capacity by operationalizing drop-ship program that now represents 30% of total business.

One thing to avoid when creating your professional experience sections is what I call death by bullets. Endless lists of bullets can get skimmed over. Instead, organize and condense the information so that truly giving hiring managers your highlight reel.

Avoid using job description language that does nothing to differentiate you. It is not necessary to include a generic play-by-play of everything you do during the day. Instead, aim for a carefully curated list of achievements that help hiring managers see how you would benefit their organization.

What Format Should I Use for My Resume?

Avoid using functional formats, which list achievements at the top without any context linking them to a role. Instead, use a reverse chronological format, which lists jobs in reverse chronological order, most recent first.

You can also use a hybrid format, which lists jobs in reverse chronological order, but groups achievement bullets by content or focus area to help highlight core competencies.

How Far Should I Go Back on My Resume?

Aim to go into detail for jobs in the last 10 years.

While it is ok to include older jobs, you don’t need to go in-depth as everything has a shelf life, including experience. The technology, methodologies, and working practices have changed. I believe it is important to provide some background as context on your resume but advise going back at most 20 years and to be careful with dates pre-1990.

Education & Additional Information

Your education section should go last or next to last, unless you are a new graduate or in a field where education and certifications typically go right under your summary, such as teaching.

When listing your education, include the highest degree first with the year you completed it. You can also feel free to leave the year off. If you have a masters degree, that should go first, then your bachelors. I don’t recommend including associates degrees unless you received the degree in a field that is relevant to your target and different from your bachelors. If you don’t have a degree but have some school, you can include the years attended (from-to) or area of concentration. I don’t recommend including high school as it’s assumed that you graduated and including it without a college degree only exemplifies the lack.

Include all relevant certifications and licensure. These can go in the education section or in a separate section titled as such. If your licenses are not active, but it would be relevant for a hiring manager to know you had them at one point, include (Inactive) or (Expired) to indicate that.

Volunteer experience and hobbies are always a nice touch to show you have interests outside of work, particularly if they provide additional information in support of your brand.

Use Common Sense & Think Like a Recruiter

Recruiters are extremely busy and their jobs are to source and screen candidates. If you are struggling with how to write your resume, always ask yourself whether this information will help a recruiter make the decision to call you for the job you want. Sometimes this means leaving off projects you enjoyed or things you have done, even if they are important to you, because they would just be noise on your resume.

When you are applying for a job, you are really showcasing how you solve a problem. Get super clear on the problems you solve and provide clear, measurable examples of when and how you've solved similar problems. 

For more information on resume best practices and how to write a resume that gets interviews, follow me on @TheJobGirl on Instagram or TikTok and subscribe to my blog at

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