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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

3 Resume outlines: templates and examples to use

15 min read
3 Resume outlines: templates and examples to use
If you are pondering how to start your resume, it may be worth using one of our resume outlines to structure the telling of your career story. We investigate how to structure your job search sales pitch.

When you haven’t searched for a new role for a while, writing a resume can be a daunting prospect. The internet is full of conflicting advice, and you find it hard to understand the right approach for your application. After hours of reading articles, that blank page is still there. The cursor is flashing invitingly, but where do you start? You need a resume outline.

In this blog, we explore a couple of resume outlines that you might adapt to your situation. Not just random pieces of advice, but actual outlines of a resume with examples of what you might write. They are from a specific industry, but you should be able to adopt some of the learnings for your own resume.

We’ll offer lots of advice along the way, covering:

  • Why do you need a resume outline?
  • Resume sections to mix and match
  • Resume outlines: graduate, senior, functional

Why do you need a resume outline? 

It might be the case that you are aware of the basic ingredients for a resume. There is certainly nothing mystical about this most practical of documents. However, as with every good recipe, the end result will depend on care taken during the preparation. 

Starting with a solid resume outline will allow you to pick and choose the very best aspects of your application. It is so easy to rattle off a few bullet points and fill the page. Slow down a little. Ask yourself whether each sentence (and even individual word) deserves its place on the page. What messages are you sending to the hiring manager? What questions will your resume prompt during an interview?

Starting with a detailed resume outline of what you wish to say in each section is the best way to begin the process of sharing your career story.

Resume sections to mix and match

As you will see from our examples, there is a bewildering array of resume designs and formatting options. While there is no agreed standard for how a resume should be set out, there are some sections that are essential to include at some point in the document. Whether you are a recent graduate or a board director, every resume should mix and match the following sections.

Contact information

There aren’t many options with this section. Include your full name, email address, mobile, location (just city and state), and LinkedIn profile. This should be at the top of your resume, not hidden somewhere at the end. Some applicants decide to put their name in a bigger font and in bold. That is not a bad idea as you want a hiring manager to find it easily. You might put this information in a sidebar, but it should be at the top. 

Summary

The summary is a chance to offer an overview on your career aims, objectives and why you would be a great fit for this specific role. You would be surprised at just how much difference an engaging couple of sentences can make.

Try to avoid meaningless adjectives and lead with the most impressive (and relevant) achievement that you can muster. This summary section should ideally include one or two impressive numbers or percentages that quantify your performance and potential.

Work experience

The work experience section showcases your professional journey. Start by listing your past positions in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent. For each role, include the job title, company name, location, and the dates of employment.

Detail your responsibilities and achievements in bullet points, focusing on quantifiable results and specific skills used. Use action verbs to begin each point, which adds dynamism and clarity. For instance, words like "managed," "developed," or "increased" are impactful.

Highlight experiences most relevant to the job you're applying for. Tailoring your resume to the job description can make a significant difference. If you have a long work history, focus on the last 10-15 years to keep the resume concise.

Skills

The skills section of a resume is a concise showcase of your abilities relevant to the job you're applying for. It should include a mix of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are job-specific abilities, like proficiency in software programs, language fluency, or technical expertise. These are often acquired through education and training. Soft skills, on the other hand, are interpersonal traits like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management.

When listing skills, be specific and honest. Tailor this section to match the skills mentioned in the job description. Remember, the skills section should complement your work experience and highlight why you're a suitable candidate for the position.

Education 

For recent graduates or those with limited work experience, place the education section near the top of the resume. For those with more extensive work experience, it should follow the work experience section. List your educational experiences in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent.

For each institution, include the name of the school, its location (city and state), and your degree or the program you studied. If you're still in school, mention your expected graduation date. Include the type of degree (e.g., Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts) and the major. If you have a strong GPA (generally 3.5 or above), you might also include it.

If applicable, especially for recent graduates or those with limited work experience, you can include relevant coursework to highlight specific skills or knowledge pertinent to the job. Mention any academic honors, scholarships, or awards, particularly those that demonstrate skills or competencies relevant to the job.

3 Resume outline templates

We will now share several resume outline templates. For ease of comparison, they will all be from the marketing industry, but you should be able to discern the differences and decide which one is right for your situation.

Graduate resume outline 

Things to note: The graduate summary may not contain any quantifiable achievements of note, while there is an expanded education section which is more prominent than a normal resume. The work experience section should follow, but this can also contain volunteering or internship roles. It is important to highlight any transferable skills that may highlight your potential.

Summary

Recent marketing graduate from (University) with a strong foundation in market research, digital marketing, and brand management. Skilled in creating engaging content, conducting consumer analysis, and utilizing social media platforms to increase brand awareness. Eager to apply my academic knowledge and innovative ideas in a dynamic marketing role.

Education

Bachelor of Science in Marketing (University), (City, State) Graduated: (Month Year)

GPA: (GPA, if above 3.0)

Relevant courses: Digital marketing, Consumer behavior, Market research, Brand management

Honors: (Honors or awards)

Work experience

Marketing Intern (Company), (City, State) (Month Year) – (Month Year)

  • Assisted in the development and implementation of social media strategies, increasing online engagement by 25%.
  • Conducted market research to identify customer trends and preferences, contributing to a 10% increase in campaign effectiveness.
  • Collaborated with the marketing team to create and distribute promotional materials.
  • Managed and updated the company's content calendar, ensuring timely publication of materials.

Student Brand Ambassador (Brand Name), (University), (Month Year) – (Month Year)

  • Promoted (Brand) on campus through social media campaigns and events.
  • Increased brand awareness, leading to a 15% rise in student engagement.
  • Provided feedback to the marketing team on student preferences and trends.

Skills

Digital marketing, Social media management, Market research & analysis, Content creation & SEO, Adobe creative suite (Photoshop, Illustrator), Data analysis (Google Analytics, Tableau), Strong communication and presentation skills

Certifications

  • Google analytics certified
  • HubSpot content marketing certified

Senior professional resume outline 

Things to note: The more senior resume outline highlights the longer executive summary at the beginning of the resume and includes a longer work experience section. Education is less relevant, so should come at the end of the resume. Bullet points within the work experience section should always contain numbers. Employers won’t be impressed if you simply parrot the job description. Some of your bullet points might be more than one line, since you will likely have some significant achievements to share.

Executive Summary

Highly accomplished Marketing Director with over 15 years of experience leading marketing departments in Fortune 500 companies. Orchestrated a comprehensive digital transformation strategy that increased online revenue by 40% within two years. Expert in global brand management, and data-driven decision-making. Recognized for leading high-performance teams and pioneering marketing initiatives that have set industry standards.

Work experience

Director of Marketing (Company), (City, State) (Month Year) - Present

  • Led a global rebranding initiative, resulting in a 30% increase in brand recognition.
  • Developed and executed a multi-channel marketing campaign that won the (Award).
  • Managed a budget of over $20M, optimizing allocation for maximum ROI.

Senior Marketing Manager (Company), (City, State) (Month Year) – (Month Year)

  • Directed the launch of a new product line that became the market leader within one year, generating over $50M in annual sales.
  • Implemented a data analytics program that improved targeting precision, increasing customer engagement by 25%.
  • Negotiated strategic partnerships with major industry players, expanding market reach and creating synergistic marketing opportunities.

Marketing Manager (Company), (City, State) (Month Year) – (Month Year)

  • Successfully restructured the marketing department, improving efficiency by 30%.
  • Increased annual sales by 20% through the development of an integrated marketing strategy combining traditional and digital media.
  • Initiated a customer loyalty program that enhanced customer retention by 15%.

Education

Master of Business Administration (MBA), Marketing (Business School), (City, State) Graduated: (Month Year)

Bachelor of Science in Marketing (University), (City, State) Graduated: (Month Year)

Skills

Strategic planning & execution, Digital marketing & e-commerce, Global brand management, Market research & Consumer insights, Data analytics & business intelligence, Leadership & team development, Budget management & Cost optimization

Accomplishments

Speaker at (Industry conference) on digital marketing trends.

Published articles in (Industry magazines).

Recipient of the (Industry award) for marketing innovation.

Certifications

Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Functional resume outline

Things to note: While the two resumes above follow the reverse-chronological format (with the most recent job experience at the top), the functional resume adopts a more skills-based approach. This is perfect for gig economy freelancers who have worked in lots of roles across multiple industries. The functional resume contains details about core competencies and can then detail a separate “professional experience” list of clients and relevant projects. Employer will want to see this detail as it outlines your level of proficiency.

Professional profile

Experienced and dynamic Marketing Manager with over 8 years of experience in developing and executing marketing strategies in fast-paced industries. Adept at driving brand growth, engaging audiences through digital marketing, and leading cross-functional teams. Recognized for creative problem-solving, analytical prowess, and a results-driven approach.

Core competencies

Marketing Strategy Development

  • Designed and implemented comprehensive marketing plans that increased market share by 15% for (Company).
  • Led cross-functional teams in the development of targeted campaigns, resulting in a 20% increase in lead generation.

Digital Marketing Expertise

  • Managed digital marketing campaigns across various platforms, achieving a 30% increase in online engagement.
  • Proficient in SEO, SEM, and social media marketing, consistently improving website traffic and online presence for brands.

Brand Management & Growth

  • Revitalized underperforming product lines through targeted branding initiatives, leading to a 25% increase in sales.
  • Conducted market analysis and identified new market opportunities, resulting in the expansion into two new market segments.

Team Leadership & Development

  • Supervised and mentored a team of 10 marketing professionals, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Developed training programs for junior staff, improving team productivity and efficiency.

Work experience

Marketing Manager (Company), (City, State) (Month Year) - Present

  • (List achievements and responsibilities)

Assistant Marketing Manager (Company), (City, State) (Month Year) – (Month Year)

  • (List achievements and responsibilities)

Education

Bachelor of Science in Marketing (University), (City, State) Graduated: (Month Year)

Skills

Digital marketing (SEO, SEM, PPC), Brand development and positioning, Market research & analysis, Content creation & management, Data analytics & reporting, Team leadership & project management, Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

Key takeaways

If you start writing your resume with an informed view on what aspects of your career story to share in each section, you will find that your career highlights will flow onto the page.

  • Decide on the structure of the resume. Which sections come where?
  • Look at the mix of text and bullet points within your accomplishments.
  • Include skills that have not been mentioned in the work experience section.
  • Make sure that there is a logical “flow” to the resume.
  • Think carefully whether your resume should be more than a page.
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Use professional field-tested resume templates that follow the exact ‘resume rules’ employers look for.
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