The Resume Format for Receptionists

Written by morgan rush
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The Resume Format for Receptionists
Receptionists format their resumes to highlight skills such as managing multiple phone lines. (Todd Warnock/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Receptionists establish a company's first impression, whether it's greeting clients or vendors as they walk through the door or fielding incoming phone calls. Other tasks may include routing calls, coordinating office mail and monitoring visitor access for safety and efficiency. Because companies rely on receptionists to keep business processes running smoothly, prospective job applicants should follow a crisp, concise resume format to detail job experiences, skills and qualifications.

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If you're a receptionist who has worked in the field before, accumulating experience and skills related to reception jobs, opt for a chronological format. Chronological resumes list previous experience in reverse order, starting with your most recent position. As you list prior receptionist positions, highlight accomplishments and training using specific examples rather than listing appealing-sounding adjectives. If you worked in more than one receptionist position at the same firm -- for example, you started out as an entrance lobby receptions but were eventually promoted to serve as receptionist for the company's administration department -- you may choose to list these as separate items to appropriately detail your responsibilities and achievements.


If you're applying for a receptionist position with little to no professional experience working in the role, opt for a functional resume format that highlights skills rather than previous job titles. You'll still want to list previous work experience, but spend more time highlighting responsibilities and tasks related to the job at hand. For example, if you worked as an appointment booker at a busy hair salon, spend time enumerating your skills answering the phone, interacting with clients and helping stylists manage the flow of appointments since these skills transfer into the types of duties held by receptionists. Skills learnt through volunteer work count too; for example, you may describe the organizational skills, record-keeping and communication techniques learnt while fundraising for your child's elementary school last year.


The formatting type should permit you to cover some of the key skills that receptionists must have to successfully complete job responsibilities. Bullet points or spacing can be used to draw attention to skill sets including managing the telephone, handling correspondence, filing company documents and overseeing maintenance calendars to minimise work disruption. If you speak another language, such as Spanish, in a community where many members speak that language, highlight this in the receptionist resume. Observe simple formatting when listing technical skills including e-mail, accounting software programs and office hardware such as copiers, fax machines and printers -- employers should be able to quickly scan through this basic information without being tripped up by fancy formatting.

Other Considerations

No matter how expertly formatted, your receptionist resume will be tossed in the recycle bin if it includes grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, ink smudges or cheap, flimsy stationery. Since your job is to represent the company to the business world, employers want to see evidence of quality, professionalism and polish. Proofread twice, print on quality paper and submit in an envelope large enough to accommodate the resume without folding. When e-mailing your resume, stick to simple formatting to avoid distortions should an employer open the document in a different word processing program.

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