With the help of our qualified résumé experts, we sourced the most impactful professional documents in terms of content and layout to guide and inspire you when putting together your very own résumé. Our list is all-inclusive, featuring examples across a wide variety of professions and career situations so no one gets left in the dark.
So, whether you’re applying for an executive role, changing careers or transitioning from the military to a civilian job, we’ve got you covered!
Best CV and résumé examples
Résumés work best when tailored to the position you’re applying for. At the same time, the structure must also suit your current situation so that it best illuminates your strengths: your skill set, experience, or a combination. Let’s look some examples below!
Before you consider different ideas for the fonts and colors you’re going to use, it’s good to understand the differences between the three main types of résumés (chronological, skills-based, and functional) so you can find the one that suits your situation best.
1. Chronological format
Chronological résumé example
Chronological résumés are the most common and widely used. As hiring managers are accustomed to seeing them, structuring your document chronologically can increase your chances of passing the screening process quickly. The recruiter will be able to scan and assess the information at a glance!
In this particular example (as is usually the case), the individual’s employment history is listed with the most recent position at the top, above previous roles. Work experience is clearly indicated under a heading, while skills and additional information take up a smaller chunk of the page.
2. Skills-based format
Although less commonly used, skills-based CVs and résumés can be useful in some cases, such as when a person possesses limited relevant experience or has big gaps in their employment history. When this is the case, it’s best to shift the focus to technical and transferable skills, which can still communicate the candidate’s suitability and commitment to a subject.
The résumé above is a great example of this, with a clearly labelled, detailed skills section. Each skill mentioned is followed by bullet points that provide proof of how their know-how was developed and put to use.
3. Combination format
Combination résumés can be thought of as a combination of skills-based and chronological résumés. As equal emphasis is given to skills and experience, combination résumés (also known as hybrid résumés) are ideal for professionals with substantial work experience but who may also have some gaps in their employment.
What’s great about this example in particular is that, although it contains lots of information, it’s all clearly laid out and labelled, and broken down into digestible bits. The use of bullets, bolding and columns makes things “pop”!
Are you looking to address a gap on your CV or résumé? Apply for a job abroad? Or has your role simply grown stagnant and it’s time to move on? Different situations may call for different résumé structures. We’ve put together some common ones below:
4. Traditional résumé
A traditional résumé is the safest route to take when applying for a job. This style of résumé follows a straightforward and simple format, thus avoiding complicated layouts and vivid color palettes. However, a considerable drawback to this is that it will look identical to dozens of other résumés. The content itself, then, needs to be unique and grab recruiters’ attention.
As you can see from this example, a traditional résumé follows a simple chronological order, starting from the most recent experience to the oldest and then continues with an education and a skills section. It makes effective use of bullet points, ensuring the entire résumé is easily scannable and, as a result, giving recruiters an in-depth impression of the candidate’s skills and abilities.
5. Career break résumé
There are many ways to deal with employment gaps on your résumé, but there’s no better way than to be completely open and honest about it. Indeed, ignoring the elephant in the room can only do more harm than good — remember: people have wild imaginations, and recruiters might assume the worst about you if they spot an employment gap you didn’t address.
In the résumé example above, the jobseeker lists her employment gap among her work history, where she briefly explains the reason for her time off (looking after her baby daughter). She then expertly shifts the focus to what she has done during that time, including volunteering and setting up an online business.
6. Career change résumé
If you’re changing careers, you likely don’t have any relevant experience in your target role and industry — at least not on first impression. Indeed, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that the skills and experience you’ve gained along the way might be transferable to your target career.
Consider this résumé. Its owner Cora works in sales but is now looking to break into copywriting, and she’s done a great job in spinning her résumé and making it relevant to her target job. Take note of the bullet: “Created content for and presented a pitch deck that secured a $15M deal” — this was previously: “Prepare and execute presentations/demos and provide solutions to customer inquiries”.
7. International résumé
International résumés are essentially the same as any other résumé — they’re both used to showcase your skills, qualifications and experience. But instead of targeting local jobs, they’re written for an international job search. This means that, in addition to tailoring your résumé to the specific job and company you’re applying for, you also need to tailor it to the unique requirements of the country in which you’re applying.
This can include things like adding a photo of yourself if you’re applying for a job in Germany, or listing personal details (like your date of birth, nationality and marital status) if you’re looking for jobs in the UAE. Résumé writing conventions vary from country to country, and sometimes region to region, so it’s best to carefully study — and understand — those conventions before you set out to write your résumé.
8. Military-to-civilian transition résumé
If you’ve decided to leave the military and enter the civilian job market, you might find writing a résumé a little daunting. The trick, though, lies in knowing how to translate your military experience for civilian recruiters and hiring managers. Indeed, while someone in the military industry most likely knows that an E6 is a staff sergeant, it will leave your average Joe scratching their head in confusion.
Here’s a great example of military-to-civilian résumé. Here, the jobseeker avoids using military-specific language and instead opts for everyday language that everyone can understand.
In some instances, skills-based and hybrid CVs work better than chronological ones — and the other way around. Check out the examples below and see which one suits your level of experience the best:
9. Student résumé
As a high school student, gaining some work experience is a great idea. You might wonder, however, what do you put in a résumé if you’re a teenager with limited work experience? Lots of things! The key here is to utilize what you have and highlight your skills via extracurriculars, high school courses, achievements and volunteer work.
Take a look at the above résumé example. It neatly encompasses these elements, which are also separated in concise and orderly segments. Detailing the main responsibilities under each entry is also a nice touch, as the jobseeker provides potential employers with a better idea of the main skills and abilities they bring to the table.
10. Internship résumé
Internship programs are often quite competitive, which is why a generic CV or résumé won’t make the cut. It’s important, then, to tailor your résumé to the program you’re applying for and to include information that will emphasize your suitability for the particular role.
First, start with key skills. This should be followed by a detailed work experience section that summarizes previous projects, competitions and job roles related to the internship you have your eyes on. As for your education, it’s important to list your qualifications in reverse chronological order and include a predicted grade for your degree subject.
In this example, the candidate emphasizes his skills and previous marketing projects, creating a résumé that is perfectly tailored to a specific marketing internship.
11. Graduate résumé
If you’re in the early stages of your career, a strong entry-level résumé will grant you access to your first professional role. A graduate résumé usually includes a brief profile section, where you can list your achievements and highlight your career objective. This is followed by a rundown of your educational background, which typically encompasses key details about your degree including relevant modules, grades and other achievements.
For reference, take a look at the résumé example above, which is based on one of our many professionally handcrafted résumé templates. The main body consists of two well-balanced sections that place equal emphasis on the candidate’s education and work experience, before proceeding to other things such as language proficiency, skills and references.
12. Academic CV
If you’re applying for a job in academia, whether an educational or research position, you’ll need to abandon the “normal” résumé and instead opt for an academic CV.
Unlike non-academic documents, academic CVs place emphasis on education, teaching experience, research work and publications, rather than on skills and work experience. They’re generally far more comprehensive, too, often exceeding four A4 pages.
Above is a great example of an academic CV, which presents all the important information in a clear and logical manner.
13. Junior-level résumé
If you’re at the start of your career, you’re not expected to have extensive work experience. However, you’re still expected to bring in value for your prospective employer! To stand out from the competition, use a skills-based or hybrid résumé to emphasize all you’ve got to offer.
This example puts the same focus on work experience as it does on education and skill set. The balance across all three sections paint the picture of a well-rounded candidate.
Design-wise, the example also makes use of contrasts to increase readability: black on white and vice versa, and dense sections accompanied by an emptier column on the side.
14. Senior-level résumé
The most effective way to demonstrate your expertise as a seasoned professional is with a reverse-chronological résumé. Among the first things a recruiter sees is your current role and responsibilities, as well as your achievements. This gives them a clear understanding of what you’re capable of.
This particular example is great because it incorporates figures, such as “increased revenue by 30%”, to back up the personal qualities it mentions (leadership, ambition). Including more assets, like proficiency in English and other languages, the résumé succeeds in presenting the person as a high-quality candidate.
15. Executive résumé
If you’re looking to land an executive role, you’ll need to make sure your most impressive achievements and relevant skills take centerstage on your executive CV/résumé, especially in the top half of the document.
You’ll need to adopt a combination résumé format to achieve this, as wonderfully demonstrated in the above example. The jobseeker here provides an overview of their career in a well-written summary, followed by a dedicated achievements section and a list of core competencies, before detailing their executive experience.
In this section, we’ll look at résumé samples for specific professions, from technical roles to creative ones.
16. Sales manager résumé
As a sales manager, your CV or résumé will have to lay out your most notable skills and experience if you want to grab the hiring manager’s attention from the get-go. The way to go about this is to start with an impressive résumé summary that includes details about relevant experience and achievements.
As for the rest, follow a reverse chronological order, starting from your latest job role. It’s important to include bullet points below each position to showcase your responsibilities and accomplishments. Ideally, these will also be tailored to the prospective job’s own requirements.
The above résumé example is a perfect illustration for a sales manager candidate, which provides the employer with essential information regarding the jobseeker’s experience in past roles.
17. Receptionist résumé
Receptionist positions can be quite competitive, so it’s essential to distinguish your strengths in your résumé. For example, if you specialize in a specific field, such as hotel reception, it’s crucial to emphasize this and mention any industry-specific skills.
A simple and informative structure will put your most recent experience upfront, making it more likely for your résumé to make a lasting impression. Using your résumé objective to expand on your skills and highlight key experiences will also boost your job application.
Take Maggie Place’s résumé for example — her introduction at the top of the page is informative and focuses on promoting her abilities, thus grabbing the reader’s attention from the start!
18. Customer service résumé
If you’re looking for a job in the customer service sector, you need to model your résumé specifically to that role. Providing a list of professional skills is a good idea, but providing evidence that will back up your claims is an even better one. If you want to go the extra mile, adding quantifiable achievements will be a great touch.
Consider the sample above, which is another great résumé template from our collection. The jobseeker here not only provides detailed descriptions of previous duties under each role but also includes statistics that emphasize her achievements.
19. Civil engineer résumé
Civil engineering résumés are often on the more conservative side of things. Hiring managers will be looking for a detailed and straightforward format that can provide them with the most essential information about your professional and educational background.
Here’s a good résumé example for a civil engineer. While maintaining a clean look, the jobseeker provides concise points about previous positions and lists key skills and attributes. He also includes relevant modules, projects and assignments which enhance his profile, making him a more attractive candidate.
20. Teacher résumé
As a teacher, your résumé needs to focus on your teaching experience, qualifications and educational background. Including a bulleted list under previous roles will be vital to clearly showcase responsibilities and transferable skills. It’s also important to include the month and year of the start and end date for every entry in your teaching experience section.
In this résumé sample, the jobseeker provides a detailed experience section that emphasizes her key duties. She also utilizes her career summary to elaborate on information that isn’t mentioned in the main body of the résumé — a smart approach to enhance her candidate profile further.
21. Actor résumé
An actor's résumé is very different than other “normal” résumés. Indeed, unlike a résumé for a receptionist position, for example, an acting document should focus less on your professional and educational background and more on your training and skills.
It should also include personal information like your hair color, height and weight, as well as a professional headshot — things you wouldn’t normally include in a professional résumé. They are, however, essential in an acting résumé, as they help producers and casting directors determine whether you fit the physical requirements of the role you’re applying for.
Check out the sample résumé above. The actress here not only includes her portrait photo and her height and other physical attributes, but she also provides a rundown of her recent performance experience, along with special skills that employers might find useful.
22. Graphic designer résumé
As a graphic designer, your CV or résumé will serve two purposes: one, to document your qualifications and professional experience and, two, to demonstrate your design skills. Indeed, your résumé (and accompanying portfolio) is your opportunity to shine and show potential employers what you can do.
Take a look at Errol Veloso’s résumé example — it’s, quite simply, living proof of his skills. Not only does it clearly showcase his education and employment history, but it also ever so superbly demonstrates his creative style, as well as his typographic, layout and illustrational skills.
23. IT manager résumé
To wow recruiters with your IT résumé, it’s important to put a spotlight on previous experience and professional skills. It’s also necessary to list the different software you’re proficient in.
In this particular example, the jobseeker has created an informative résumé that demonstrates an extensive experience section, a detailed educational background, and a thorough list of skills and software knowledge. Overall, the résumé considers the information that is necessary to match the position’s requirements.
24. Nurse résumé
If you want your nursing résumé to be in top form, tailor its contents to the requirements of the specific position. Start by utilizing your professional summary to talk about your area of specialty, previous experiences, and crucial certificates and qualifications. On a side note: feel free to use medical jargon as it’s widely accepted by medical recruiters.
Depending on whether you’re a qualified or registered nurse, the contents of your CV or résumé will vary. However, in both cases, it’s important to follow a reverse chronological order when listing your qualifications and work experience.
25. Pharmacist résumé
There are a few requirements that your pharmacist résumé should meet. To begin with, ensure that it focuses on the field you specialize in. You can do this by mentioning your area of focus under previous positions and stating your specialization in your professional summary.
On another note, you should avoid including references in your résumé. Meanwhile, mentioning the dispensing systems you’re familiar with and including your pharmacy license number will definitely boost your profile.
Gabriel Miller’s résumé makes an excellent example for all these points, as he carefully embeds them in every relevant section.
Questions about CV/résumé examples
If you haven’t updated your résumé in a while or it’s your first time building a résumé from scratch, you might have some questions! We answer some frequently asked ones below.
Why should I use a CV/résumé example to create my own?
Recruiters are used to scanning documents quickly. They can’t spend more than a few minutes on each résumé, what with the dozens or hundreds of applications they get for each listing. Applicant tracking systems do the same but faster: they automatically analyze documents to determine how suitable an applicant is.
Following an optimized example, therefore, is crucial in ensuring your CV doesn’t end up in the “Discard” pile.
How can I choose the right inspiration?
Finding the right inspiration entails “reading the room”, so to speak. When searching for the ideal template, keep the following questions in mind:
- What industry do you work in?
- What role are you applying for?
- What company are you applying to?
Taking the context into consideration will help in deciding what’s appropriate.
While a colorful résumé might look good in your eyes, for example, it might appear unprofessional if you work at a bank and not at a kindergarten. See what’s commonly done and add more subtle, personal touches if you like!
What are the best CV/résumé writing practices?
Résumés are scanned very quickly, so it’s important that you use clear headings, concise sentences, and bullet points when writing yours. You’ll also want to naturally incorporate keywords or phrases from the job listing into your résumé, as well as avoid some generic buzzwords such as “hard-working” and “successful”.
Finally, don’t make unsubstantiated claims in your document. Back up what you’re saying with figures and examples where you can!
What are the best CV/résumé builders?
Even if you have no experience in designing professional documents, you can create your own impactful CV/résumé with an online résume builder or app. There are countless options out there that can be used by anyone, regardless of how familiar they are with design. To help you get started, here are some recommendations:
While some of these CV builders require a fee, there are plenty of free resources you can use.
Some templates have photos on them. Why?
In many parts of the world, including the US, Canada and the UK, it’s inadvisable for candidates to include a photo on their résumé. That’s to eliminate the possibility of a candidate being discriminated against based on their gender, race, ethnicity, religion or a visible disability.
So, if you see a template you like with room for an image, remove that element and rearrange the information in the header.
Tailoring your curriculum vitae/résumé to the position and industry you want to enter is a smart move. It’s important to consider the different elements and content your résumé should include in order to keep recruiters happy and, ultimately, land the job of your dreams!
Before you go, make sure to check out our CVs & Résumés section for expert tips and advice on writing, formatting and designing your résumé for job search success. And if you’re not too confident about your writing skills, don’t forget that our professional résumé writers are just a click away, ready to do all the work for you!
Got a question for us? Let us know in the comments section below.
Originally published on September 6, 2017. Contains contributions by Chris Leitch, Electra Michaelidou and Joanna Zambas.