Resume Template: Receptionist

It’s no secret that looking for a new job can feel competitive.
With so many qualified candidates and the ease of applying online, it can feel like no one’s looking at your materials — especially if you’ve been in the market for a new position for a while.

One thing you can do to help move your job search in the right direction is to ensure that you have a well-written resume. A good resume can give you and your qualifications the push you need to get your information in front of the hiring manager and hopefully, called in for an interview.

We’re going to help you write one.

Writing a resume might feel intimidating, especially when a job involves so many different areas of expertise, like yours does as a receptionist. But really, putting together a good resume is all about the way you describe your experiences to show why you are the right candidate.

We’re going to go through each section of your resume and talk about the “Dos” and “Don’ts” (including examples!) to help get you started with crafting the perfect resume.

Let’s get into it.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample receptionist resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best receptionist resume you possibly can.

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Receptionist Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Jeremy Blunt
[email protected]
(786) 332-8823
Miami, FL 33101
linkedin.com/jblunt

Summary Statement

Receptionist: Experienced receptionist with a proven track record of excellent customer service, conflict resolution, and attention to detail. Highly skilled in Microsoft Office Suite, bill-pay software, and effective scheduling.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Type 90 WPM
  • Customer Service
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • QuickBooks
  • Scheduling
  • Multiline Phone Systems
  • Mail and Package Delivery
  • Data Entry

Professional Experience

Ocean Breeze Assisted Living | Receptionist
Miami, FL | November 2017–Present

  • Direct multiple incoming calls to appropriate recipients
  • Improved patient file organization by implementing software systems that reduced errors by 32%
  • Input and maintain patient information into database

Thomas Medical Office | Receptionist
Miami, FL | June 2014–October 2017

  • Processed copays and deductibles
  • Assisted clients in scheduling appointments with physicians and specialists
  • Implemented new billing system that increased on-time bill payments by 36%

Rothford Accounting | Receptionist
Miami, FL | September 2011–May 2014

  • Organized mailing list of 450+ clients and potential clients
  • Prepared and maintained meeting rooms and ensured there were no scheduling conflicts
  • Reduced office supply costs by 19% by streamlining ordering process

Education/Certifications

Bachelor of Arts in Office Administration
ASA College: Miami, Miami, FL
Class of 2011

How to Format Your Resume

As a receptionist, organization is probably one of your top skills, so you’re already a step ahead when it comes to resume writing.

That’s because some of the most common resume mistakes just have to do with the formatting!

How you organize your receptionist  resume is so important because the typical hiring manager only looks at a resume for an average of six seconds. Since you need to grab their attention right away, the hiring manager needs to be able to find your most impressive details right away.

Throughout your resume, you should utilize a format called reverse chronological order. Because what you’ve done most recently is probably the most relevant for the role you’re applying for, you should list your most recent experience and work backward.

Your receptionist resume will most likely be read by human reviewers — but also bots (we’ll expand on this topic later), so it needs to be easy to read. Go with a simple font like Arial or Times New Roman and streamline your formatting. This is not the time to try to stand out — you’re content will do that for you.

Don’t forget to use white space to guide the eye. No one wants to read big blocks of text, especially a busy hiring manager, so use bullets and even spacing.

With those details out of the way, let’s talk about what information you should include.

Start With Your Resume Summary

So you only have six seconds to grab the hiring manager’s attention. How are you going to do it?

A quick way to make an impression on the hiring team is to start off with a resume summary.

A resume summary is a short paragraph that shares your top skills, experiences, and attributes. It should be about two to three sentences long and describe your “greatest hits.”

Since it’s just a summary, be as specific as you can and avoid language that is repetitive or overly general.

Here’s an example:

Yes!

Experienced receptionist with a proven track record of excellent customer service, conflict resolution, and attention to detail. Highly skilled in Microsoft Office Suite, bill-pay software, and effective scheduling.

No!

I am an experienced receptionist that is experienced. Looking for new opportunities in customer service.

What are the differences between these examples?

The first summary is detailed and specific. It is informative and inspires confidence in your abilities.

The second summary is very general. It doesn’t really tell us anything about your skills and doesn’t share why you’re a good candidate. This example also uses the first person, which is not recommended in resume writing.

Areas of Expertise/Key Accomplishments

The next section is where you will share your key accomplishments.

Because this section follows the resume summary, which is in paragraph format, you are going to draft this part in a bulleted list. This gives a busy hiring manager a way to quickly scan your areas of expertise to see if you’re qualified enough for them to keep reading.

So what should you include in this list?

Think about the skills you have that would set you apart from other candidates. Do you have any experience using a certain kind of software or any notable leadership experience?

PRO TIP: Be sure to read the job description carefully. If the employer is looking for any particular skills, they will be included, so be sure to list those skills if they fit.

Example:

  • Type 90 WPM
  • Customer Service
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • QuickBooks
  • Scheduling
  • Multi-line Phone Systems
  • Mail and Package Delivery
  • Data Entry

While thinking about your areas of expertise, think about them in terms of hard skills and soft skills.

What’s the difference?

Hard skills are technical skills. They’re usually quantifiable and can be taught, so they are skills you might learn in school or at work, like computer programming.

Soft skills are a little more subjective. You may have heard of this category referred to as “people skills.” These skills usually cannot be taught, like communication or leadership.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested hard and soft skills to include in your resume.)

Work History

You’ve captured the attention with your informative resume summary and shown that you’re qualified with your detailed list of key accomplishments.

Now it’s time to use your work experience to show why you’re the perfect candidate for the position.

Remember in the formatting section when we discussed reverse chronological order? That comes into play here. Because your most recent position is probably the most relevant to the role you’re applying for, you’re going to list it first and work backward through your work history.

Use three to five bullet points for each position and be as specific as you can. If you have any quantifiable information that is easy to understand, like a website traffic increase or sales numbers, be sure to use it here. Don’t make your job sound easier than it actually is! Use strong language and avoid sounding repetitive.

Remember, you don’t have a lot of space. Most resumes, with very few exceptions, should only be one page. That means you do not have to list every single job you’ve ever had — be selective, and choose only the most relevant, impressive roles.

Here’s an example:

Yes!

Ocean Breeze Assisted Living | Miami, FL | Receptionist | November 2017–Present

  • Direct multiple incoming calls to appropriate recipients
  • Improved file organization by implementing software systems that reduced errors by 32%
  • Input and maintain patient information into database

No!

Ocean Breeze Assisted Living | Miami, FL | Receptionist | November 2017–Present

  • Answered calls
  • Organized files
  • Data entry

The first example is specific and informative, not only sharing what you did in the role but also your accomplishments. These descriptions inspire confidence and show that this experience makes you a good candidate.

The second example, on the other hand, does not inspire the same confidence. It outlines the basic duties of a receptionist — but not much else.

PRO TIP: Start each bullet off with an action word. This will help demonstrate not only what you did in the role, but also the impact you had during your time at the organization.

More About Bots

In the formatting section, we talked about using simple fonts and streamlined formatting to ensure that your receptionist resume will be easily understood by a hiring manager.

But most likely, the hiring manager will not be the only one reading your resume — a bot might be, too.

Because employers receive so many applications for each job posting, it is nearly impossible for them to go over the materials of every single candidate. That’s why hiring teams will use software programs called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

An ATS helps narrow the applicant pool by searching resumes for certain keywords, usually from the job description, and setting aside those resumes to be read by hiring managers.

Because of ATS programs, it is absolutely critical that you carefully read the job posting for keywords to use in your receptionist resume. Even if you are totally qualified for a role, if you don’t use keywords, your materials might end up tossed out.

PRO TIP: Make sure to use keywords exactly as they appear in the job listing, because synonyms won’t get flagged by an ATS. For example, if the employer is looking for “proficiency with QuickBooks” and you write “experience with accounting software,” you may not get flagged as a good candidate.

Some candidates will try to use more keywords and impress a potential ATS by writing their work histories in paragraph format, instead of using the bullet point format.

Let’s look at what both look like.

Bulleted list:

Ocean Breeze Assisted Living | Miami, FL | Receptionist | November 2017–Present

  • Direct multiple incoming calls to appropriate recipients
  • Improved patient file organization by implementing software systems that reduced errors by 32%
  • Input and maintain patient information into database

Paragraph format:

Ocean Breeze Assisted Living | Miami, FL | Receptionist | November 2017–Present

Direct multiple incoming calls to appropriate recipients. Improved patient file organization by implementing time-saving new software systems that reduced employee errors by 32%. Input and maintain patient information into database.

What’s the difference between these two examples?

As you can see, both use the same number of keywords, but the second example creates a big block of text. The bullet point format creates a scannable list that is easier to read, while still being keyword-rich. Both would impress an ATS, but the first example is more tailored to a human reviewer.

That’s why Big Interview recommends using the bullet point format.

Your Education Section

Since your work history will make up the largest portion of your receptionist resume, the hardest part is over!

The next part is your education section. Much like your work history, you should list your educational background in reverse chronological order. Start with your most recent, highest degree and work your way backward. For example, a bachelor’s degree would come before a high school diploma.

Be sure to list the school you attended, your field of study, and the year you earned your degree.

If you are a recent graduate, you may choose to list your GPA. The longer you are in the working world, the less relevant this will become, so be sure to reevaluate over time.

Example:

Bachelor of Arts in Office Administration
ASA College: Miami, Miami, FL
Class of 2011

If you have any other certifications or online coursework, feel free to include them in the education section.

Example:

  • “Advanced Microsoft Office Techniques,” University of Miami Weekend Course, Miami, FL
  • “Introduction to Social Media,” Online Course, University of Miami, Miami, FL

Other Sections

What if you have some extra space on your receptionist resume, or other areas of interest that don’t necessarily fit into the other categories? It’s okay to add more sections.

Alternative sections you could include are:

  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

What if You Have no Experience?

It may seem like it’s impossible to apply for a job in an industry in which you have no experience, but it’s actually very possible!

If you’re making a career shift or are a recent graduate, it’s all about positioning the experiences that you do have to show why you’re a good candidate.

You should still start off with a resume summary, but instead of discussing your work history after, list your education background next. This section is more relevant, so you want it to be seen earlier.

When it comes to showing your knowledge of the industry, you may have more experience than you think you do. Be sure to list any certifications, weekend workshops, or courses you’ve taken that demonstrate your qualifications. Don’t forget about volunteer work, internships, or summer jobs.

PRO TIP: Remember your soft skills. It takes a mix of hard and soft skills to be a good receptionist, so think about any experiences that you’ve had that show you would be a good receptionist.

Resume Points to Remember

Phone a friend

If you stare at the same page for too long, it gets harder and harder to actually see what you’re actually looking at. That means you might miss typos, spelling errors, or misaligned margins. Find a friend with fresh eyes to take a look at your finished receptionist resume and make sure everything looks good.

Use action words

The hiring manager already knows the basic duties of a receptionist. To convince them that you are the best candidate for the job, you need to go beyond describing what you did in your experiences and talk about your accomplishments. Starting off each bullet point with an action word will help you do this.

Simple is best

When it comes to fonts, formats, and overall style, simple is best. Your stellar content should stand out — not what your resume looks like. (Chances are, a funky font will stand out in a bad way.)

Resume “Don’ts” to Remember

Don’t use the first person

Though it might seem strange, personal pronouns don’t really have a place in resume writing. Avoid “I” and “me” even though you are writing about yourself.

Don’t write a novel

With very few exceptions, your receptionist resume should stick to one page. Select only your most relevant work experiences and keep the descriptions brief, yet informative. A hiring manager does not have time to read big blocks of text.

Don’t forget about the job description

Keywords are crucial — and those keywords come from the job description. Be sure to read the posting carefully and highlight anything you think might be useful. The job description will also include the details you need to make sure that you’ve submitted all the required materials.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested power words.)

Helpful Tools:

Power Words

  • Assisted
  • Maintained
  • Coordinated
  • Scheduled
  • Handled
  • Supplied
  • Arranged
  • Directed
  • Established
  • Improved
  • Managed
  • Processed
  • Organized
  • Implemented
  • Planned
  • Prepared

Skills List

Hard Skills Soft Skills
Multiple-line Phone Systems Scheduling
Typing Customer Service
Microsoft Office Conflict Resolution
QuickBooks Organization
Data Entry Detail Oriented
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