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Resume Writing: Proper Resume Layout

Updated on October 20, 2015

Proper Résumé Layout

Your résumé has less than 10 seconds to hit its mark and impress a potential employer. As a career snapshot, it needs to concisely portray your professional personality and emphasize your accomplishments.

While that the actual content varies depending on the job you're applying for, the layout and format of a proper résumé is less flexible.

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1. Prominently display your name, address, phone and email address at the top of your résumé.

2. (Optional) Under that, concisely state your employment objective.

3. Next, list a skills summary.

4. List your professional experience in reverse chronological order.

  • Place the company name, job position and the dates of employment. Location is optional.
  • Under that, list your duties, occupational skills and accomplishments from that job. Use action words.
  • Do not include the name of your manager or their contact details.

(continues below image ...)

© I Am Rosa
© I Am Rosa

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5. List your education and academic institution, as well as any academic honors or awards.

6. (Optional) There are various sections that can be included: Continuous Education, Awards, Membership, Affiliations and Community Involvement.

7. (Optional) List at least three references.

  • Include the reference’s name, company, job position and contact number.

(continues below image ...)

© I Am Rosa
© I Am Rosa

What to Avoid

There are several things that should never be included on a résumé:

  • Personal information, such as; age, sex, marital status, political and religious affiliations.
  • Hobbies (unless relevant to your career).
  • Salary and bonus expectations.


  • Write the résumé in the third person.
  • Proof-read! Spelling errors, misused words and grammatical mistakes will get you eliminated.
  • Use positive action words to describe your job duties.
  • Keep it under 2 pages.
  • Use consistent formatting.
  • Be honest!

The Job Hunter's Guide

This information and more can be found in my book, The Job Hunter's Guide. This easy-to-use book will guide you through your job search process, step-by-step. It includes helpful tips on:

  • Networking and Research;
  • Informational interviews;
  • Writing resume and cover letters;
  • Preparing for a job interview;
  • Interview do's and don'ts, what to expect, how to answer difficult questions; and
  • Follow-up.

The Job Hunter's Guide includes valuable examples and is a must have for employment service agencies, labour boards, career coaches and job hunters alike.


You can also get a free copy of Samples and References: A Companion Book to The Job Hunter’s Guide which includes worksheets and helpful checklists.

© 2011 Rosa Marchisella


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