How to make a resume on Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word makes it easy to create a professional, well-formatted resume for any industry. We’ll show you how to build your own great resume using Word in seven easy steps.
1. Open Microsoft Word and pick a template
First, open Word and search for ‘resume’ by selecting the search icon in the top right-hand corner.
This will bring up a range of options. Choose ‘templates’, which will display your choice of resume templates, and then select the one that you like best:
For our examples, we chose Microsoft Word’s “Bold” resume template.
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 is 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 introduction
Next, add a new section on your Microsoft Word template 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 three sentences, and works 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 will also take up the bulk of your resume.
To start, click on the section of your Microsoft Word document labelled “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 3-5 bullet points describing your duties and achievements under each job title. Remember to use strong action verbs to show off your skills and accomplishments.
Here’s an example that you can follow to write your own work experience section:
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 (optional)
- 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
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 that are 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:
Additionally, if being able to speak multiple languages is valuable to the job you want, include the languages you speak in your skills section.
7. Include career accomplishments and awards at the bottom
This will usually go at the bottom of your resume, like so:
Tips for formatting your resume on MS Word
You’ll probably need to make some adjustments to get your resume on Microsoft Word just right. Here’s how to make a few key formatting tweaks.
Adjust your margins
You can do this in Microsoft Word by selecting Layout, 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. There are a few different ways of adding them to your resume in Microsoft Word:
- 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 equals 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.
Use Microsoft Word to build the perfect resume
Now that you know how to make a resume on Word, it’s time to get your resume written and ready to go.
Additionally, if Microsoft Word doesn’t have the type of template you’re looking for, try one of the many downloadable resume templates for MS Word available online.