What a Young Professional Resume Should Look Like

entry level

Can you sew or repair a button?

If you answered “No”, you might be a millennial.

A finds baby boomers are much better at sewing and even doing laundry than we are. OK, sure. Maybe we aren’t perfect in the life skills department. But we never had “” like our parents and learned to use a needle and thread by age 13. I blame the school board.

I can’t help you sew a button, but I don’t want our generation to also fall behind in the job market. That’s why I created a template for an effective young professional resume. In my opinion, this one will get the job done.

Why is the resume template effective?

Three reasons:

1. The resume is one page long and only includes the most essential information.

If you want to see the resume as a one-page Word doc, .

2. It uses hard numbers and specific details to describe work experience.

3. It demonstrates how the person is a problem solver.

The resume below is for a person with three years of work experience in fundraising/development. Read it all the way through and then see the explanations for each section at the bottom.


Email: john.doe@gmail.com o Mobile: 555-555-5555 o Address: Street, City, State, Zip

LinkedIn URL o #johndoeportfolio

Experienced development professional who has managed capital campaigns and organized volunteers who raise money in their own communities. Strong knowledge of online fundraising tools and effective team manager on projects and events.


  • Proficient with fundraising websites DonorsChoose, Kickstarter and Crowdrise
  • Oversee e-newsletter campaigns through ConstantContact, Mailchimp and HubSpot
  • Manage WordPress websites and Facebook fan pages
  • Often use Microsoft Excel to organize large databases, conduct financial forecasting and monitor ongoing campaigns


NON PROFIT A o Washington, DC o November 2012 – Present

Associate Director of Development

  • Part of an organization that raises more than $8 million annually for cancer research
  • Grew organization’s social media presence 400% over two-year period
  • Over four months, led a team of six people to digitize 2,000 financial documents and create a more streamlined fundraising process

NON PROFIT B o Milwaukee, WI o June 2011 – October 2012

Development Associate

  • Coordinated fundraising efforts to build playgrounds in low-income areas
  • Managed event coordination for the inaugural “Come Play, Milwaukee,” a cocktail party and fundraiser that exceeded expectations and brought in $350,000; oversaw caterer, decorations, sponsorships, live music and silent auction
  • Wrote organization’s weekly blog posts, grew e-mail list from 110 to 1,200 people and created tracking spreadsheets to better organize fundraising efforts


  • Member, Association of Fundraising Professionals (DC Chapter)
  • Member, Social Media Marketing and Fundraising (Meetup group – DC Chapter)


University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A. in English

Graduated 2011

The Explanation

You might think “I dunno. This resume doesn’t feel very long.” And you would be right.

Here’s the deal with resumes: you don’t earn extra credit when you include a ton of information. In fact, a wordy resume that spills onto two or three pages hurts you. That’s because employers either don’t read the entire document or can’t discern the most important parts.

With resumes, it’s not about including everything. It’s about including the RIGHT things.

Here’s a section-by-section breakdown.

Introductory Lines

I see too many resumes where the opening “mission statement” or introduction is a giant paragraph. Give the employer two sentences on your career to this point. You may need to adjust the description depending on the industry or job. Remember the audience and what the reader should know.

Bio Information

Standard stuff with your name, email, phone and address. The two wrinkles are your and a new idea called a “.” With a personal hashtag, you can share your best stuff on Twitter like an online resume.


In the Skills section, it’s all about practical, technical abilities. Stay away from “skills” like “excellent time management.” That’s important, sure, but on a resume, the employer needs to know what you can do in the job.

That’s why John Doe, who wants a new position in development/fundraising, makes clear he has strong command of fundraising and e-marketing tools. Now the employer knows John can handle, for instance, fundraising campaigns on popular crowdfunding sites. That information is more valuable than if John claims he’s a “fast worker.”


Brevity and details are key. Note how John explains the nature of the work at each organization but doesn’t dwell on it too long.

Part of a team that raises more than $8 million annually for cancer research.

Cancer research, $8 million. Got it. Moving on.

Then, he offers two bullet points that focus on hard numbers and his ability turn challenges into opportunities.

Over four months, led a team of six people to digitize over 2,000 financial documents and create a more streamlined fundraising process.

Managed event coordination for the inaugural “Come Play, Milwaukee,” a 500+ person cocktail party and fundraiser that exceeded expectations and brought in $350,000.

The hard numbers:

  • Four months
  • Team of six
  • 2,000 financial documents
  • 500+ person cocktail party and fundraiser
  • $350,000

Problem solving:

  • Transformed the organization from paper to digital and made it more competitive for fundraising dollars
  • Took a brand-new concept for a cocktail party and made it a success in year one


John is a member of two organizations relevant to the job and his industry. So he lists them. He also makes sure to spell out any abbreviations and doesn’t assume the reader knows what they mean (Association of Fundraising Professionals and not “AFP”).


Education goes at the bottom of a resume. Your skills and work experience matter more than where you went to college.

Even if it’s a super impressive school. Even if you had a 4.0 GPA. .

What’s the toughest part of a resume for you?

Share below!

Danny Rubin is communications expert and author of the forthcoming book, Wait, How Do I Write This Email?, a collection of 100+ templates for networking, the job search and LinkedIn. Visit Danny’s blog, , where he highlights the career advice “hidden” in the headlines. .


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