How to make a resume on a Word document
Most resume templates you’ll find online are already formatted for Microsoft Word. But if you’re looking for how to make a good resume on Microsoft Word that’s simple yet professional, we’ve got you covered.
MS Office makes it easy to create a professional, well-formatted resume for any industry and offers a number of attractive resume templates for you to customize that meet your needs.
We’ll show you how to create a resume on Word in seven easy steps.
Our free-to-use resume builder can make you a resume in as little as 5 minutes. Just pick the template you want, and our software will format everything for you.
1. Pick a template for your Word document resume
Creating a resume in Word starts with choosing the right template. Open Word and search for “resume” by selecting the search icon in the top right-hand corner.
This will bring up a range of resume template for Word. Choose “templates”, which will display your choice of resume templates, and then select the one that you like best:
For our example, we chose Microsoft Word’s “Bold” resume template.
You can also find matching cover letter templates for Word to help you complete your application.
2. Write your name and contact information at the top
Now that you have the template open, start by editing your resume header at the top of the page:
At the very least, you should include your:
- Full name
- Phone number
Here’s what a properly formatted header looks like in Word:
Optionally, you can also include your current job title in your resume header to immediately advertise your professional background.
3. Write a convincing resume introduction
Next, add a new section on your Microsoft Word document resume directly underneath your header for your resume introduction.
The best introduction for most job seekers is a resume summary. That’s because resume summaries can be modified for a wide variety of industries and experience levels.
A good resume summary lists your main work-related achievements and skills in one to five sentences, functioning as a sales pitch showing that you’re the most qualified person for the job.
Here’s an example of what a well-written summary looks like on a Microsoft Word resume:
4. Summarize your work experience
Your work experience section is the core of your resume, as it proves that you have the qualifications and skills to do the job. It’ll also take up the bulk of your resume.
To start, click on the section of your Microsoft Word document labeled “Experience”.
Then, list your work experience in reverse chronological order, meaning that your most recent job title is placed at the top of the experience section. Remember to only include experience that is relevant to the job that you’re applying for.
For each job you list, provide the following basic information:
- Job title
- Company name
- Company address (city and state)
- Dates of employment
You should also write three to five resume bullet points describing your duties and achievements under each job title. Remember to use strong action verbs to show off your skills and to highlight your resume accomplishments by quantifying them using numbers and percentages.
If your work experience is too thin to create a chronological resume you can use a different resume format in Word. For instance, you can emphasize your relevant skills with a functional resume or combination resume.
Here’s an example that you can follow to write your own work experience section:
In this example, the candidate’s job title, company name, location, and dates of employment are displayed clearly. The use of bullet points, action verbs, and hard numbers to quantify their accomplishments gives hiring managers a good idea of what they can bring to the table.
5. Add your education history
Next, fill out the resume education section on your Microsoft Word template.
If you already have a few years of work experience, you should keep your education history brief. All you need to do is include the following details for each school you’ve attended:
- School and its location
- Degree and major
- Graduation date (or anticipated graduation date)
- Awards, honors, and GPA (if it’s 3.5 or higher)
Here’s an example of a well-written resume education section:
6. List your relevant job skills on your resume in Word
Add a skills section on your MS Word resume to show that you have the expertise needed to do the job you’re applying for.
Make sure that you highlight any skills mentioned in the job listing and include a range of hard and soft skills to show employers you have a variety of strengths to offer.
Here’s an example of what your skills section should look like once you’ve filled out your Microsoft Word resume:
You can also choose to simplify this section further by listing your skills without using full sentences. This can help save space, especially if you’re using a two-column format.
Additionally, make sure to list the same skills as the ones in the job listing. This is an essential step to pass Applicant Tracking Software (ATS), which filters out job applications that don’t meet employers’ requirements.
7. Include career accomplishments and awards at the bottom
This will usually go at the bottom of your resume, like so:
Tips for a professional resume format in Word
You’ll probably need to make some adjustments to get your resume in Microsoft Word just right. Here’s how to make a few key resume formatting tweaks:
Adjust your margins
Keep your resume information visually balanced throughout the page by paying special attention to your resume format in Word. If you’re having trouble keeping your resume length to one page, try adjusting your resume margins.
You can do this in Microsoft Word by selecting “Layout” and then clicking on “Margins”:
Then, you can either choose a different preset for your margins (such as “Narrow”) or set your own by clicking “Custom Margins”. However, we recommend keeping your margins between 0.5” and 1” to ensure that your resume is easy to read.
Change your line spacing
If you need to fit more information into a section, consider adjusting your line spacing, which is the amount of space in between each line of text.
The easiest way to do this is to click the “Line and Paragraph Spacing” icon and choose “Line Spacing Options”:
You can then go to “Spacing” to change the size of the “Before” and “After” line breaks, and to “Line Spacing” to choose how much space there is between each line.
Add horizontal lines
Horizontal lines help break up information on your resume and make it easier for employers to read it, and there are a few different ways of adding them to your Word document resume:
- The most basic way is to press shift + the hyphen key to create an underscore, and then hold it until you have a line of the size you want, in the position you want it. You can also use the asterisk key to do this.
- If you need the line to stretch across the width of the page, press the hyphen key three times, press enter, and one will appear. You can do the same thing with tildes, asterisks, and equal signs for a slightly different look and feel.
- Finally, you can click on the “Borders” icon and choose “Horizontal Line”, and an adjustable line will be added for you.
Finally, when you finish writing your resume in Word, make sure to save it with a professional resume name.
Not sure what your resume should look like? The best way to learn is by taking inspiration from resume examples written by other candidates in your industry.