Office and Admin Resumes & Cover Letters

Revamp Your Resume: 3 Essential Tips for Receptionists

Written by Miranda Pennington

One of the most time-consuming aspects of job hunting is making sure you rewrite your resume to target every possible position you want to apply for. You need to stay focused to show employers you’re serious about the exact job they’re offering.

So if you’re spreading the net of your job search wide and one of the areas you want to cover is reception, here are three tips to keep in mind! Don’t forget to check out these best practice resume tips for 2016.

Revise Your Focus to Fit the Job

As the face of an office, usually sitting at the front desk, you’ll be answering phones, greeting visitors and clients, coordinating schedules, and managing office events and logistical projects. If your most relevant experience was elsewhere in an office setting or in another industry all together, revise your position descriptions to highlight any experience you had with multi-tasking, interacting with the public, and communicating effectively. These tasks will be your priority on the job, so it should be your priority on your resume.


Format Strategically

However you format your resume to correspond with other industry standards, your Receptionist Resume should have your name and contact info at the top, with “Receptionist” as your title. The major headings should include Key Skills, Professional Experience, and Education.


  • Key Skills covers both office and technology skills—include anything you’d be comfortable doing on a daily basis or under a tight deadline. Be confident in your abilities, but don’t exaggerate.


  • For each prior employer, highlight your title, the company name, dates of employment, and then describe your specific responsibilities in paragraph form or in a tidy list (see #3: Demonstrate Your Skillset).


  • Education should include the names of any colleges or institutions of higher learning you’ve attended along with dates of graduation, degrees, certifications, or even relevant coursework. Don’t duplicate anything that was covered in Key Skills.


Demonstrate Your Skillset with Examples

In the descriptive sections of your resume, make sure you’re illustrating your skills and experience, not just telling your prospective employer about them. Sit down with a friend  and brainstorm specific instances where you successfully multi-tasked in a busy office environment, organized a chaotic project or packed schedule, or communicated effectively during a stressful time. Answering a question like “How would you evaluate your organizational skills” by referring to a particular project you managed with flying colors will impress your future boss more than a recitation of your abilities.

Finally, as with any job, make sure you proofread carefully—even down to formatting consistency and accurate punctuation. The polish you give to your resume will speak for your ability to present clean and concise documents at work, too!

About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.