The Modern Receptionist Resume
A receptionist never has time to rest. There is always someone who’s phoning your business that needs messages relayed “yesterday,” or managers who want to spill their workload on to your desk… all while you’re completing your own “To-Do” list! We’re sure you already accept the fast-paced nature of the work – and may even welcome it!
Don’t write one resume and hand it in to dozens of companies at a time – Each receptionist resume you hand in needs to be customized to the position, so the person reading it doesn’t feel like your willing to work for anyone that offers you a job – but rather that you’re a professional and targeted their company because you want to work for THEM specifically. This page will provide you with a few simple guidelines for writing a modern receptionist resume, that will complement the rest of your job hunt strategy, and get you that interview you need so desperately.
Nail down the details!
Start by finding a business that requires a receptionist (sometimes referred to as a customer service representative or office assistant.) Once you’ve found a job posting, or two – look over the qualifications for the job and determine whether you have the skills and background the company is looking for. Next, pay close attention to the wording of the job description.
Employers will often use specific keywords to describe their expectations of job candidates and the duties they will be responsible for. For example: experienced, computer abilities (word 2007, excel, etc.), phone mannerisms, customer service, reading, writing, documentation, dictation, etc.) These are also words that are going to be used heavily in your receptionist resume, to make you a “shoe in” for the job!
Two of the most commonly used formats that are utilized in modern receptionist resume writing are: A “chronological” receptionist resume or a “functional” receptionist resume. You can view other resume examples to get a better idea of each, but here’s a brief explanation of each:
Chronological – You’re going to need 1 or 2 years of experience working as a receptionist to use this style of resume. The focus of the document will be your work experience: Information is usually presented with your most recent experiences first, followed by the rest of your history in a backwards fashion.
Functional – A functional format is the exact opposite of a chronological style. You’re going to put the focus on the skills and knowledge you bring to the job, instead of on your experience as a receptionist or other office professional.
Start writing your receptionist resume…
Summary statement: You will also see this heading referred to as an objective. This statement will tell the hiring manager what job you’re applying for, briefly state your years of experience (if you have any), and it’s also customary to state something unique that you feel you bring to the position.
“Professional legal receptionist, with over ten years of experience applying for the office representative posting in your company. My expert computer skills (Microsoft Office: word 2007, excel, presentation software) will make me an invaluable member of your support team.”
“Inventive and creative medical receptionist willing to fill your senior receptionist position. Five years of thinking on my feet and adapting to changes in various work environments will allow me to be a flexible member of your team.”
If you’re writing in a chronological style, your experience in the field will come next on your receptionist resume. State up to 3 jobs you’ve held, and include 4 or 5 bullet points that detail what you did while you were at that job. You’ll want to include as many of the keywords you noted while reading the job posting as possible. Start each sentence with these keywords if possible:
Example keywords: managed, responded, answered, documented, typed, communicated, coordinated, etc. – These words can tell a lot about you and employers will scan through resumes looking for keywords from their job posting, to find a resume that’s worth reading. Look through some example receptionist resume samples, or templates if you need more ideas.
If you’re writing in a functional style, then place your qualifications after the summary section of your receptionist resume. You want to focus on skills and qualities you have that relate as closely as possible to the position you’re writing the resume for. List them in a bullet format, or a comma separated list. You’ll notice that education is mixed in with this heading as well. That’s because you don’t need a great deal of education to gain this type of work – that isn’t to say you don’t have to be smart though! Your ability to multi-task while dealing with the public is more important than anything you’ll learn in school.
Other considerations for your receptionist resume…
You can also include a references section if you wish. It’s becoming more common that modern resumes don’t include a reference section at all. Most employers will assume that you have references available, and feel that putting it on a resume is redundant – they’ll ask you during the interview if they decide you are worth hiring. Pay attention to the job posting though, as more traditional managers will request you include references on your resume, or on a separate sheet of paper.
Include a cover letter to introduce yourself, and to summarize your receptionist resume for the reader. Follow a conventional format, by introducing yourself in the first paragraph, followed by a summary of your most important skills in the second/third paragraph – then closing in the final paragraph by requesting an interview and telling the employer when/how you can be reached for a job interview.