You’re more likely to land interviews when your resume is more effective. On this page, we have resume examples for 73 different types of resume based on your type of work — everything from Accounting to Technology Management.
But first, let’s review the goal of a professional resume:
“Your resume is a professional advertisement, targeted toward your future boss, with the goal of landing an interview for a job that you can succeed in.”
Let’s dive in more deeply with some advice from our best-selling Ladders Resume Guide.
Your resume is an advertisement. The product it is selling is your work effort over the next few years. For the typical member at Ladders, where incomes range from $100,000 to $500,000 per year, that can represent millions of dollars of value. A product with this large of a price tag merits a good advertisement.
If you’ve sold a house, or a car, you know how a well-written ad can generate a lot of phone calls and interest. It’s the same for resumes, but in this case, a resume is a professional advertisement, seeking to inform and attract buyers of professional talent. To reach and entice them, you’ll showcase your professional qualities, features, and performance.
A resume is not a personal, or personals, advertisement — it’s not a place to preen or cleverly display how much of a catch you are. It is not a social advertisement indicating your social or marital status, or seeking to ensure your inclusion in the Social Who’s Who of your city.
It is an advertisement, not a Product Manual of You It’s not an exhaustive transcript of your past work experience or schooling, and definitely not a first-person bio or autobiography. You want to steer away from thinking that a resume is a precise or complete history of all your past work experiences, a catalog of prior responsibilities, or an inventory of your past staffing levels and budget authorities.
Like any good ad, a resume provides your contact info (it’s surprising how many professionals goof this up with casual or non-professional email addresses). It serves as a discussion starter for interviews. And it provides a basis for references that will come later in the process.
Unfortunately, a resume is also a place for you to make disqualifying mistakes or exaggerated claims that will come back to bite you later. Typos, simple professional mistakes, or untruthful data, can torpedo your chances. If your resume is too many pages too long, has strange formatting, or has an unprofessional filename, you’ll raise eyebrows.
If you write “Fluent Spanish and Chinese”, but meant fluent Spanish and a smattering of Chinese, it can trip you up in interviews. If you list ‘SQL’, ‘Excel’, ‘Mailchimp’ or other software, but can’t answer the basics about them, it will call into question your competence and your integrity.
Perhaps the biggest mental hurdle in writing your resume is getting over the fact that a resume’s target is not you, and that a resume is not about pleasing you, or even being the way you’d like to think of yourself most.
In fact, there’s a certain extent to which the resume does not reflect the man or woman you are. When you think about yourself as a full-fledged human being, you don’t only consider your professional achievements, but also your family, friends, religious affiliation, college ties, hobbies, and other attachments, motivations, and cares.
Because these other areas of your life tend not to have a written document — kids, thankfully, don’t require a resume before jumping on you, and mercifully, we don’t have to hand over a two-pager to gain admittance to our churches or synagogues — we tend to overestimate the extent to which our resume should reflect ‘the whole person’, and ‘everything about who I am.’ It’s often our only chance to sum it all up!
As a result, a successful resume may be even a little bit disappointing for you, personally. Because it is the single most common written document we have about ourselves, it’s relentless focus on just one, narrow, cold, and business-focused aspect of your humanity can leave you dissatisfied.
Your resume is not going to land you the job all by itself. That’s simply asking too much of a resume. Perhaps in the technological future, there will come a time when a few minutes after hitting “send”, you’ll receive a note from your future employer with a neatly formatted offer letter and a 10% raise, but that time has yet to come.
So if not an offer, then the goal of the resume is to land the interview.
If it’s a draining process for you to be sending out resumes, it’s an even more draining process for the people on the receiving end. Their full-time job is to sift through the deluge to find the pearls. That can mean reviewing hundreds or thousands of resumes, most of which, sadly, range from the wholly inappropriate to the wildly unrealistic.
While there’s a temptation to stand out with puffery, exaggeration, and hyperbole, it’s far better to stand out with facts, realistic expectations, and a sober assessment of your achievements. There’s really no need for fudging facts — there are plenty of bosses looking for someone just like you. For the poor souls on the receiving end of the flood of resumes, you want to stand out for the right reasons.
The internet has created a tidal wave of applications, resumes, and spam for HR people and recruiters. It really has been a double-edged sword for them. For every perfectly qualified rocket scientist that applies for the Rocket Scientist job at SpaceX, there are a hundred dishwashers and broom-pushers who throw in an application as a lark. It’s really unfortunate.
To land a job you can succeed in, it’s helpful for you to know who you are, what’s available in the market for people like you, and how you can apply yourself to future opportunities. You want to make a progressive step in your career with steadily increasing duties, responsibilities, staffing, and goals. For 90% or more of the professionals that we’ve worked with at Ladders over the past two decades, that’s their ambition, so it may be yours as well.
In any case, you want to have a good, plausible idea of your next role. By focusing your efforts on jobs within a range around that role, and not shooting too low or aiming too high, you can generate the most success for your efforts. Knowing who you are and who you want to be and then hammering home those points, specifically and repeatedly, is your path to getting selected.
Finding enough different verbs to say “I did it” in a clever way is often a struggle for professionals writing their resumes. Typical resume advice has focused on making sure that each verb is an active verb, but we’ve found two problems with this advice.
First, most Americans don’t work with active vs. passive verbs on a daily basis, so the concept is not entirely relevant to their lives. “Was shot out of a cannon,” for example, doesn’t count as active.
And, second, even the stable of active verbs includes some very bland duds that do nothing to help persuade a future employer.
The least effective active verb is ‘managed,’ but there are others equally as tepid such as ‘established,’ ‘defined,’ and ‘performed.’
None of these are very good, even though they are active, because they don’t sell your future employer on what you are able to do, or what benefits you are able to bring to their team.
After all, white-collar employees by definition establish, manage, define and perform a wide variety of tasks. But were you any good at them? That’s the important fact a hiring manager or recruiter wants to know.
Which makes it important that every bullet point in your resume include a success verb, not just an active verb. Success verbs demonstrate success — something got better. Because you were there, something changed, something improved, something progressed.
Verbs such as increased, decreased, improved, reduced, are all success verbs.
Explicitly forbidden are active verbs and phrases that are nonetheless static: “managed,” “my responsibilities included,” “hired to,” “was responsible for,” and so forth. Verbs that merely tell a fact rather than show you in a heroic light. When you begin a bullet point with empty non-achievements such as “I was hired, I managed and I was responsible for,” you are squandering the opportunity to showcase the benefits you brought to your boss and your company in your prior role.
Rather than leave you wondering what success verbs might be, I’m providing you a precise list of 25 success verbs you can use for the twenty-five bullets on your resume. Simplest would be to use these, and only these, verbs. Unless you have a good reason to expand your variety, the below success verbs can cover most bullets you can think of. Limiting your choices will save plenty of time and headache while ensuring a higher quality resume.
This might seem boring, but unless you are applying to be a thesaurus writer, no one looking at your resume will care how clever your success verbs are. The millions of hours lost each year to professionals like you looking up synonyms for “improved” is a complete waste of time.
Here, then, are all the success verb you should ever need:
We have assembled the best resume examples, based on our 15 years' experience reviewing and analyzing millions of resumes from our $100K+ careers club. So if you've ever asked yourself: What is the right length for a resume? Or wondered what the perfect professional summary for your resume looks like, you're in the right place.
The 73 examples below are tailored to each specialty and written in Ladders' High Score Resume format.
The perfect resume is not about you. It’s about the benefits your future employer gets from hiring you.
We also have a more generic template, if you’re looking for the best resume template without a field or specialty already built-in. Good luck!