How to Write a Receptionist Resume

FT Contributor  | 

There are well over a million receptionists in the U.S. busily organizing, planning, scheduling, and helping to run organizations of all shapes and sizes. While tens of thousands of new receptionist positions are created on a yearly basis, just because jobs are available doesn’t mean you can land one — at least not without a little effort.

If you’re thinking of applying for a receptionist job, you’re going to want to identify your interpersonal skills, work on your ability to organize, and make sure you’re comfortable with the various programs and procedures that most receptionists utilize.

You’ll also want to practice writing your cover letters, gather some references, and, critically, craft a high-quality, top-of-the-line resume geared towards helping you stand out from a crowd of candidates.

How to Organize a Receptionist Resume

There are many factors to consider when writing a receptionist resume. Treat each section with care and make sure to format your resume properly. After all, if you can’t organize a resume, it won’t reflect positively on your ability to organize a professional workspace.

Header

It’s always important to start with a good header. This should consist of clear, basic information that is left-aligned or centered and includes:

  • Your first and last name.
  • Your address.
  • Your email address and phone number.
  • Any applicable links, such as a social profile.

If you feel your physical address may hurt your chances of being hired (if you’re applying to a job out of state and you’re willing to move, for instance), simply write “Open to relocation” in place of your physical address.

Introduction, Objective, or Summary

After your header, you’ll want to add a brief introduction. You can begin with something like “About me” or “Career Objective.”

This is a short, poignant summary of yourself as it relates to the job you’re applying for. As a potential receptionist, highlight relevant work experience, such as, “Five years working as a receptionist at Paychex,” along with any particularly applicable skills.

You can also include a short description of your long-term goals and ambitions. Just make sure to connect them to the job you’re applying for.

Skills

Next up, include your skills section. While education and experience are important, your skills should come first, as they are often the essential element that can help you stand apart from the competition. Make sure to include both hard and soft skills.

Hard skills:

  • Typing skills (include your word per minute speed if it’s impressive).
  • Planning.
  • Supply management.
  • Scheduling.
  • Management software.
  • Ability to use office equipment (like a copier or fax machine).
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud.

Soft skills:

  • Verbal and written communication.
  • Collaboration.
  • Organization and planning.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Conflict resolution.
  • Multitasking.
  • Listening.
  • Learning and adaptability.
  • Time management.
  • Professionalism.

It’s worth breaking these out into two separately titled lists.

Experience

After your skills, you should add any relevant experiences that apply to the position. Include any receptionist experience you’ve had in the past, as well as any work you may have had within the industry you’re applying for.

A resume for a receptionist applying to a marketing company, for instance, could highlight the experience you had managing a professional social media platform during previous employment.

In addition to professional experience, consider any other relevant experiential items that may be worth adding in, such as:

  • Certifications.
  • Awards.
  • Volunteer positions.

If you find that you don’t have enough professional experience to make this area of your resume feel substantial, you may want to consider pushing it below your education section.

Education

Much like your experience section, make sure to tailor your education segment to focus on relatable information. A high school diploma and bachelor’s degree are the obvious primary candidates here. Format each item as close to the following as possible:

  • The name of the institution you attended.
  • The degree or certification you received — feel free to include your GPA if it’s a decent number (usually a 3.5 or higher).
  • The school location.
  • The dates that you attended.

You can also add items such as a certification in conflict resolution or other interpersonal skills, as well as extracurricular courses in specialists such as Adobe Photoshop or search engine optimization.

References

References can often be the deciding factor on your resume. However, you should never include them directly on your resume, as they can clutter things up. Instead, include your references on a separate document. As you gather a list of people willing to vouch for you, provide the following information for each reference:

  • Their name.
  • Their job.
  • Their company name.
  • Their phone number.
  • Their email address.
  • Their physical address.
  • A brief description of your connection with them.

Try to avoid using friends and family. Whenever possible, use a professional reference, such as a coworker, previous employer, or a professor, instead.

Tips for Writing a Receptionist Resume

Here are a few other tips to consider when writing your resume:

  • As you list out your skills, take time to review the description for the job you’re applying for. Look for keywords that are called out in the text and try to incorporate them into your resume.
  • Use powerful, vivid action verbs as you write. Use these in order to emphasize your accomplishments and achievements. Some verbs to consider include:
    • Research.
    • Create.
    • Design.
    • Organize.
    • Initiate.
  • Quantify qualifications whenever possible to help back up your claims with solid facts and figures. For instance, claiming that you “increased efficiency” at a past position isn’t as powerful as saying that you “implemented a new software solution that increased efficiency of inter-departmental communication by 50%.”
  • Edit and proofread everything carefully. If your resume is sloppy or filled with grammatical errors, it will make anyone hesitate. After all, they’re considering having you as the face of their company, and an ability to appear professional and accurate is critical.

Receptionist Resume Template

If you’re still not sure where to begin, the template below is a great place to start. Copy and paste it into a document and then flesh it out with your own information.

[Jeremy Crumpet.]
[721 Lily Pad Lane
Worcester, MA, 01601.]
[555-423-6785.]
[crumpet.jeremy@gmail.com.]
[linkedin.com/jeremy-crumpet.]

ABOUT ME

[A hard-working individual with 5 years of experience working as a receptionist at Paychex.]

SKILLS

[Hard skills:

  • Typing (106 words per minute).
  • Planning.]

[Soft skills:

  • Verbal and written communication.
  • Collaboration.]

EXPERIENCE

[Paychex, Rochester, NY, Receptionist, January 2014 – February 2019.]

  • [Fielded a high volume of calls on a daily basis.]
  • [Reorganized company administrative databases to increase productivity and efficiency.]

EDUCATION

  • [Ithaca High School, high school diploma, Ithaca, NY, 2013.]

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