How to Write a Resume Based on Job Titles (for the Highly-Qualified Applicant)

by Fred Pinnegar, Resume Coach and Professional Writer

When applying for an advertised position for which you are highly qualified by training and experience, emphasize your job titles. If you are responding to an advertisement, the content and language of it will provide important information about what you should say in the resume. Discuss your qualifications in order of importance.


1. Identification. Provide complete information at the top to identify you. Include name, address, phone number, and e-mail, as well as a fax number, if you have one. Symmetrically balance the information and make your name stand out by using a slightly larger font than you use for the other major headings.

Example 1, standard centered heading

3010 South 14th Street
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009
(613) 333-7348


Example 2, heading information balanced across top of page


John Doe

1212 Westwood Drive Phone: (213) 235-7865
Springfield, Iowa 95634

Phone: (213) 235-7865
Fax: (213) 235-6549


Example 3, heading for student with two addresses


John Doe

School Address (until 4/10)
1212 Westwood Drive Phone: (213) 235-7865
Springfield, Iowa 95634
Phone: (367) 387-9753

Permanent Address
5612 Riva Drive
Carmichael, CA 95853
Phone: (156) 286-7958

Example 4, side heading

John Doe

5612 Riva Drive
Carmichael, CA 95853
Phone: (156) 286-7958

2. Objective. Use an objective section to identify and define the position you seek. Echo the language of the job advertisement or posting.

Example 1.

Identify the position by job title,


Administrative Assistant
Customer Service Representative
Human Resources Director
Assistant Manager
Purchasing Manager
Construction Estimator
Physical Therapist
Bank Manager
Real Estate Associate
Construction Supervisor
Construction Estimator
Lab Technician
Elementary School Teacher (K-12)


Example 2.

Identify the position by the work to be performed.


To teach Spanish in a secondary school
To sell building materials and construction equipment
To manage an apartment complex
Computer programming position with a company that encourages creative thinking
Position as an accountant in a construction firm
An accounts receivable position in a local company
Position as a lab technician performing medical research
Research scientist doing work involving gene cloning
Position as a medical records technician
Tool design position

Example 3.

Identify the position by job title and type of industry.


Pharmaceutical salesperson in a high-volume company
Medical equipment salesperson
Manager of a large hotel
Manager of an upscale, high-volume restaurant
Sales representative in the food or catering industry
Programmer position in educational software development
Chair side dental assistant in a large, private dental office
City planner in a small community

Example 4.

Identify the position by level or time commitment.


Entry-level position in medical equipment sales
Entry-level position in financial planning services
Entry-level position in retail management (men's clothing) with a large company
Entry-level position as a fireman
Mid-level management
Assistant director of development
Assistant manager of a large hotel
Senior-level international business development
Senior position in medical equipment sales
Director of a family medical practice
Full-time position in public relations
Part-time position in drafting
Summer position in the construction industry

3. Education. If your education or degree is a central qualification for the position, make it the first section after the objective; otherwise, subordinate it. Provide information (in inverse chronological order) on all post-secondary schools you have attended and degrees you have earned. Identify the degree and major field, where you earned the degree, and when it was awarded. You can also list important, relevant courses you took or projects you completed.

Example 1.

For someone with a recent undergraduate degree



Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, 2005-2009

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky


Example 2.

For someone soon to receive his or her undergraduate degree



Bachelor of Science, University of Arizona (expected 5/2010)

Major: Business Economics


Related coursework:

Business Policy Economic Price Theory

Business Calculus Operations Management

Accounting: Personnel Management

Business Management Business Law

Marketing Computer Science

Small Group Decision Making Business Statistics

Organizational Communications Psychology


Additional example



Purdue University

2Bachelor of Arts in Communications; expected 4/09

Minors in Spanish and Speech Therapy


Major Courses

Interpersonal Communication Debate

Public Speaking Persuasion

Oral Interpretation Interviewing

Mass Communication Technical Writing


Example 3.

For someone with two graduate degrees



JD, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. 2009

MBA, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. 2004

BA, South Florida University, Miami Florida. 1995


Example 4.

For someone applying for an internship while going to school



George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Junior year in Mechanical Engineering major. GPA: 3.47

Expected graduation, May 2010

Important courses:

Technical Writing

Example 5.

For someone who has attended more than one college or university



California State University, Bachelor of Science, May 2008

Major: Industrial Supervision


Utah Valley State College, Associate of Science, May 2006

Emphasis: Aviation Maintenance Technology


Example 6.

For someone who is qualified by their degree plus certification



California State University, Bachelor of Science, May 2008

Major: Industrial Supervision


Utah Valley State College, Associate of Science, May 2006

Emphasis: Aviation Maintenance Technology



Federal Airframe and Power plant Mechanic's License, 2006

4. Work Experience. Organize your work experience by listing the job or professional titles you have held. List them in inverse chronological order, and emphasize particularly those jobs that are relevant to the position you are seeking. Provide the name and location of the company and dates of employment. Then, itemize responsibilities, skills, duties, and achievements particularly relevant to the job for which you are applying. Use quantifiable measurements whenever possible (for example, "Decreased department overhead by 17%."

Example 1: Recent graduate seeking a retail management job



Business Day Coordinator, 6 months, University of Arizona (2008)


Retail Sales, 2 years, Goldwater's and Zales Jewelers (2006-2008)


Apartment Manager, Daniel Baker Investments (2006-2008)

Example 2: Job seeker is in restaurant management with many years of experience


Restaurant Manager, Market Square High Wheeler, 2006-2009; Kalamazoo, Michigan


Store Manager, Brass Lantern, 2002-2005, Prudenville, Michigan


Country Club Manager, Orchard Hills Country Club, 1999-2001, Buchanan, Michigan


Manager, Shawnee Country Club, 1997-1999, Lima, Ohio


Clubhouse Manager/Asst. to GM, Dubuque Gold and Country Club, 1996-1997, Dubuque, Iowa

Example 3: Job seeker shows extensive experience and progression in titles

Manager, Progressive Billing and Collection Specialists, 2006-2008



Office Manager, Sunrise Counseling Associates, Inc, 2003-2005



Collection Officer/Repo Agent, Continental Bank and American Bank, 2000-2002



5. Activities. This section may include extracurricular activities during college or it can describe current activities that demonstrate your leadership, sociability, and energy level outside of the workplace. You may also discuss volunteer work here. Emphasize those activities that are most relevant to the position you seek.




6. Honors. Itemize awards and achievements, including competitive scholarships based on ability rather than need.



Received academic scholarship from College of Biology




7. Language. List languages you know in addition to English (or the dominant language of the country in which you reside). Indicate your degree of proficiency (good, fair, excellent, near-native) in reading, writing, and speaking.


For a person bilingual by national circumstances




For a person who developed skill by living abroad




For a person who is multilingual through education






8. Publications. List titles of articles, book chapters, or books you have published. For articles, include the name of the journal in which the article appeared, as well as the volume number, date, and inclusive pages. For books, provide the publisher's name, the place of publication, and the date.



Women, Design, and The Boston School, West Fairfield, Indiana: PBA Publishers, 2000.

Plan Graphics for Experts, West Fairfield, Indiana: PBA Publishers, 2002.

From Lines to Designs: Design Graphics, Chicago, Illinois: Design Publishers, 2004.

"Spacial Analysis Is the First Step," Designer's Quarterly, 45 (December 1989): 56-61.


9. Professional associations. List relevant associations and the length of your membership.




10. Interests and Personal Information. Generally, you should include information about your personal background or traits only if they are pertinent to the job you seek.



Family activities, church service, sports, reading


11. References. You should include a reference page with your resume. A reference page is a list of contacts who know you well and who can vouch for your knowledge and skills in a particular area, your ability to work hard, or your previous work experience. Some applicants choose not to include a reference sheet with their resume and instead include a statement such as "References Available upon Request" on their resume, but doing so is discouraged. Busy hiring managers or human resource representatives may not feel like putting in the extra time and effort to contact you in order to obtain your references, so you might find yourself out of the running prematurely if you choose not to include your references with your resume.




Larry Gibbon

Preventive Maintenance Supervisor, Oak Tree Professional Building

626 North 42nd Street

Kalamazoo, Michigan 55551

Phone: 555-5555



Gerry Bandek

(Former) General Manager of High Roller

5332 West Central

Benton, Michigan 55551

Phone: 555-5555



Danielle Widtsoe

Managing Director, ABC Asset Managers

123 East 2300 South Street

Detroit, Michigan 55551

Phone: 555-5555

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