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Receptionist: Resume Writing Guide & Sample Resume

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

Every office needs an efficient, diplomatic and capable professional to handle all of their outward-facing activities.

That’s where a front office receptionist steps in.

As a front office receptionist, you are a face of the company and a gatekeeper. The visitors and customers base their first impression about the company or a facility on you. At the same time, as a gatekeeper, you’re taking care of sensitive cases and delicate queries coming from customers.

To be successful in the role, you need to be an expert in making the best possible impression right from the start.

Also, you need to be able to multitask and juggle with all emails, queries and customers coming to you at the same time. You need to have amazing organisation skills to coordinate activities on multiple fronts. On top of that, you need to be skilled in diplomatic communication. If you are looking for a job at this position, your resume needs to communicate your organisation and communication skills right from the start.

Also, speaking of making first impressions, in the very first second of reading your resume, you need to leave employers thinking ‘Yes! This is the person we want to represent our company!’.

So, if you are about to apply for a receptionist job, you need a resume that reflects all the skills the company will be looking for, including:

  • Amazing written and verbal communication

  • Top-notch customer service

  • Excellent organisational skills

Every word you plug into your resume needs to display your eloquence and your ability to communicate effectively.

Also, you need to organise and structure your content in a compelling and easy-to-follow way. Having a crammed, labyrinth-like resume will make employers doubt your ability to structure information, and will consequently make them question your organisational skills.

And of course, there is no room for mistakes. This job requires attention to detail, so your resume must be 100% typo-free. Otherwise, it will immediately end up in the ‘no’ pile.

Simply put, your resume needs to be nothing less than perfect.

But don't get discouraged.

We have your back! We’ve created this step-by-step guide to help you create such a resume.

In the next 10 minutes, you’ll learn how to:

► write a perfect professional profile summary for a receptionist job

► quantify your responsibilities and achievements

► format your resume

► overall, create a receptionist resume that stands out from the crowd and gets you hired

You'll also get:

► a template and sample for a receptionist personal profile summary

► a list of 20+ action verbs tailored to receptionist’s responsibilities

► five examples of metrics to quantify your achievements

► 50+ actionable tips coming from experienced recruiters and resume writers

► a full and FREE sample receptionist resume

Let's get into it!


STARTING POINT: Job Description

It all starts with the job description (i.e. job ad, job posting).

Before you start crafting your resume, take a look at this sample job ad. We are looking for a Receptionist to manage our front desk on a daily basis and to perform a variety of administrative and clerical tasks.

As a Receptionist, you will be the first point of contact for our company. Our Receptionist’s duties include offering administrative support across the organisation. You will welcome guests and greet people who visit the business. You will also coordinate front-desk activities, including distributing correspondence and redirecting phone calls.

To be successful as a Receptionist, you will need excellent written and verbal communication skills, as this is also a customer service role. On top of that, you need to be competent in Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel. Prior experience as a receptionist is also helpful.

Receptionist responsibilities

  • Welcoming and assisting clients and visitors, and providing excellent customer service.

  • Assisting with a variety of administrative tasks including copying, faxing, taking notes and making travel plans.

  • Answering phones and emails in a professional manner, and routing calls as necessary.Scheduling appointments, preparing meeting and training rooms.Helping maintain workplace security by following procedures, monitoring logbook, and issuing visitor badges.

  • Assisting colleagues with administrative tasks and performing ad-hoc administrative duties.

Requirements for the job

  • High school degree; additional certification in Office Management is a plus

  • Prior experience as a receptionist or in related field is beneficial

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Competency in Microsoft applications including Word, Excel, and Outlook

  • Good time management skills

  • Able to contribute positively as part of a team, helping out with various tasks as required.

Everything you need to cover in your resume is written in the job description - usually in the sections called ‘Requirements’, 'Person specification', 'Essential and desirable skills' or 'What are we looking for?'

As you’re writing your resume, make sure that the content of your resume reflects their requirements and shows them that you have the same or similar (transferable) skills as those they are looking for.

Now when you have seen this, let's work on these must-have pieces of your resume:

  • Contact Details

  • Personal Statement

  • Work History

  • Education

  • Skills


Step 1. Start with your contact details

Open a new Word or Pages document.

Write down your name and surname. They are the first thing employers will read on your CV and you want them to be seen and remembered. They should be easy to find, so, put them at the top of the page. Emphasize your name. Be bold and highlight your name by using a bold font or capital letters.

Increase the size of the font to differentiate it from the rest of the text. Make it pop, but not too much. Don't exaggerate by using font size 72. Using 16-24pt, depending on the font, is perfect.

Then, tell the company how to reach you.

Your contact details should be right below your name and surname. They also need to be visible and clear. Don't confuse readers with three different phone numbers and two email addresses. One phone number and one email address - those you are always available on - are more than enough.

Simplify it and put all relevant information in two to three rows like this:


City, Country / +44 (0)203 000 000 /


Step 2. Write the best receptionist personal statement

The best way to grab the reader's attention is to immediately start with the information they are looking for. When it comes to resumes, they want to see that you have the experience or skills specified in the job description and that you are the right person for the job.

Therefore, you should kick off with a personal profile overview or personal statement which is essentially a snapshot of your career.

This short paragraph at the top of your CV should display who you are, what you do and what you were able to achieve. This section is often the shortest part of a CV and, at the same time, the hardest one to write.

Even though this section is not a mandatory part of a resume, we highly recommend starting with it.

If you need inspiration, here is a template:

[adjective 1] and [adjective 2] [current job title or most relevant title you can use] with [number] years of experience in [industry 1] and [industry 2]. Strong [key strength 1] combined with the ability to [skill 1] and [skill 2]. [Insert action connected with your achievement] resulting in [quantify success]. Currently looking to broaden experience and apply the existing skillset in [specific industry/company/role].

When you include relevant keywords here, it will sound like this:

Diplomatic and personable hotel receptionist with 5 years of experience in providing exceptional customer experience to guests and visitors. Strong organisation skills combined with an ability to efficiently manage written and verbal communication. Optimised booking process saving 20+ hours per month, equating to $25,000 per annum. Currently looking to broaden experience as receptionist or front desk officer in a corporate/business environment.

This is an example that fits well to the job description that we started with.

However, don’t forget that one size won’t fit all. You’ll need to customize this paragraph for each application to match the requirements from the job ad.

This is a pain, but with the template it can be done in less than 5 minutes while skyrocketing your chances of being invited to an interview.


Step 3. Structure your work history

The most common (and the best) way to structure it is to apply reverse chronology, starting from your current job and then listing older ones.

For all jobs you include in your resume, you need to have the following information:

  • name of the company

  • your job title

  • time-frame (starting date - ending date)

  • description of your responsibilities

Also, pay close attention to the formatting. Choose one formatting style and stick to it.

For example, if you decide to write the time-frames on the right side of the page, keep them there throughout the whole resume. Don't move them to the left side or anywhere else.

Additionally, if you decide to write it in the following form:

08/2016 - 07/2019

...don't mix it with:

May 2014 - July 2016

from 2014-05-15 to 2016-07-15

or any other option

Even though this might seem like a minor thing in your resume, paying attention to such things is the best evidence of your eye for detail which is one of the things employers expect from the best receptionists and front desk administrators.


Step 4. Describe your responsibilities and achievements

Descriptions of your responsibilities in the work history section are the most important part of your resume.

From what we have seen, hiring managers quickly scan everything else and focus mostly on the information about your previous employment.

Trust us, every word you include here counts. Therefore, this section needs to be as perfect as possible.

The key to writing efficient and compelling descriptions of your responsibilities is in tailoring your job descriptions to the job you are applying for.

Think about every word and bullet point you include. Assess the value of each sentence in your resume by asking yourself if it shows valuable experience, achievement, knowledge or a skill that you could use in the job. If the answer is "no", "not sure" or "maybe", remove it or tweak it.

Referring to the job description, if you want your resume to reflect the requirements, you should write down descriptions of relevant tasks and activities, such as:

Hotel Front Desk Receptionist

  • coordinated 20-30 successful check-in and check-out procedures per day for all guests

  • managed bookings and reservations; saved 20 hours/month ($25K per year) by optimizing booking process

  • increased guest satisfaction by 27% in 6 months by proactively reviewing and handling guest comments and complaints via email and phone

  • supervised and trained 20 seasonal members of Front Desk staff

  • handled Front Desk operations including cashiering, ensuring that policies and procedures were maintained

By reflecting the job description, you’ll create content for a CV that provides employers only with the relevant information.


Furthermore, in the description above, you can see a few additional rules that should be applied:

a. Use bullet-point lists.

b. Start each bullet point with a verb.

c. Be consistent with the tense you are using.

d. Quantify your responsibilities or achievements whenever possible.



Describing responsibilities in bullet points is a gold standard in resume writing. It is much easier to highlight the relevant information in a bullet-pointed list. On the other hand, reading bullet point lists is quicker, easier and more understandable.

Write 5 to 7 bullet points for your job.

You can write even less for older roles (e.g. 3-5 bullet points).

Wondering how you can describe everything you have been doing within 3-7 bullet points?

The key to writing strong bullet points is tailoring the descriptions to the job and including only information relevant to the job. Here is a refresher, in case you need it.

B. START EACH BULLET POINT WITH A VERB (a list of job-tailored actions verbs included!)

Omit repetitive phrases at the beginning of each bullet point, such as ‘I am responsible for/in charge of/I did’.

Instead, describe your responsibilities by starting bullet points with action verbs.

The recommended verbs to use depend on your experience and industry.

For example, a candidate applying for a managerial position will want to make use of words such as "oversaw, developed, improved and reduced", whereas someone looking for a more creative role will want to use words such as "designed, compiled and created".

Referring to the job description for a front desk receptionist role, it’s obvious that stellar communication and organisational skills are a must. Therefore, some of the action verbs in your resume should be:

Communication skills

  • Answered

  • Communicated

  • Corresponded

  • Defined

  • Informed

  • Greeted

  • Negotiated

  • Presented

  • Suggested

  • Welcomed

  • Wrote

Organisational skills

  • Arranged

  • Booked

  • Categorised

  • Coordinated

  • Prioritised

  • Managed

  • Maintained

  • Organised

  • Planned

  • Prepared

  • Scheduled


If you are talking about your previous employment or past achievements, use past simple tense – corresponded, informed, arranged. When describing your current role, use present continuous tense – communicating, organising, managing.


If there is only one piece of advice we could give you to take your resume to the next level, it would be this – add numbers.

Numbers help readers understand the impact you’ve made in your position; they grab attention and make resumes sound much more impressive.

Below is the same job description, without any measures of success:

  • coordinated successful check-in and check-out procedures per day for all guests

  • managed bookings and reservations; optimized booking process

  • increased guest satisfaction by proactively reviewing and handling guest comments and complaints via email and phone

You see? It’s still OK, but doesn’t sound that strong anymore.

For front desk receptionist jobs, you could include some of the following metrics:

  • the number of guests you’re responsible for during one shift

  • the number of hotel staff you’re providing administrative support to

  • the average number of phone calls or emails you manage per day/week/month

  • the average number of bookings you manage

  • time and/or cost savings you helped company spare through calendar management, optimisation of existing process or negotiation


Step 5. Include your education

List relevant education. Here are a few basic rules:

  • Add only the most relevant information: the degree you earned, your major, the name of your school/college and the year you graduated.

  • Start with your highest degree first. Add other degrees in reverse-chronological order.

  • If you finished college, don’t add your high school information.

  • Add other training, qualifications or certificates only if they are relevant to the job.

  • Other information, such as GPA, should be included only if requested, or if you are a recent graduate with an impressive GPA. Otherwise, no one will pay attention to it.

Additionally, if you are currently undergoing a professional qualification don’t forget to specify the expected date of graduation. It is important info that shouldn’t be omitted. Simply state when the expected graduation/certification date is.


Step 6. List relevant skills

The skills section of your resume includes your abilities that are related to the jobs you are applying for.

This is not a mandatory part of a resume. However, if you want to highlight additional skills that you didn’t have a chance to apply or show in your previous jobs, this can be the right place.

For example, some receptionist jobs will require proficiency in a foreign language or specific software. If you meet these requirements but didn’t have a chance to highlight it in other parts of your resume, we recommend including your level of proficiency into the skills section.


Step 7. Prepare a reference list

Skip the "References available upon request" sentence at the bottom of your resume.

Instead, prepare a reference list in advance, securing at least 3-5 references.

Bear in mind that references should be people who have supervised you or had a chance to collaborate with you in an academic or hands-on setting like an internship, job or volunteer position, as they can advocate about your potential for success.

In a new document (separate from your resume), sum up the following information about your references:

  • name and surname

  • their job title and company/institution

  • contact details – phone number and email address

Bonus tips:

1. Give your references a heads up

Before you add someone’s name on the list, ask your references for their approval to avoid any awkward situations. Additionally, advise them if there is anything they need to know in case your potential employer reaches out to them to avoid any confusion (e.g. if you have changed surname in the meantime since you have worked with them or if your current employer is unaware of the fact that you are actively looking for a job, so this needs to stay confidential).

2. Match formatting style

For a polished look, use the same design and formatting style on your references list like the one you used for your resume. Having matching documents will help you come across as a well-prepared, detail-oriented and professional candidate.


Step 8. Polish up formatting

Up until this point, you have been working on the content of your resume.

Now let’s put a cherry on top by polishing up the layout!

When it comes to the formatting and layout, little things make a big difference when you’re putting together a resume. In fact, choices about font, spacing, margins and alignment affect the overall impression your application makes on the hiring manager. Without the proper formatting, the content loses its edge.

Here are some actionable tips that can help:

A. Font

Select a professional, readable font for the body of your resume. Avoid too complex, unprofessional or hard-to-read fonts. Choose between Calibri/Calibri Light, Arial, Corbel, Cambria, Georgia, or Source Sans Pro/Light.

Also, set an appropriate font size. Generally, you should stay between 10 and 12 points.

B. Headings

Employers should be able to navigate through your resume with ease. This means they need to know where to look for specific information at first glance.

Differentiating headings of each section in a professional way can help. You can stylize your headers in a few different ways:

  • Write section letters in capital letters

  • Use a “bold” font on your section headers

  • Increase the size of your section header fonts to 12, 14 or 16 points

C. White space

Last, but not the least element that contributes to readability of your resume is an amount of white space. White space is an area of your CV that remains unused when separating sections and paragraphs of text. Lack of sufficient white space can make your resume look cluttered and disorganised, whereas too much can leave your CV feeling bare and lacking in content.

Therefore, to make a resume easy on the eye, it’s important to achieve the right balance between white space and content by adjusting the following elements:

  • Spacing: If your resume looks crammed, increase the spacing between lines from 1.0 pt to 1.15 pt.

  • Margins: Margins (white space around the content) will depend on the amount of text you have. They should be between 0.5’’ to 1’’. Play around with it until you get a layout that is easy on the eye.

  • Alignment: The most common recommendation is to align your text to the left. Alternative solution is to justify it (align both to the left and right distributing your text evenly between margins). This depends on your preferences. The only option that needs to be ruled out is centering the whole content – it’s OK for headings, but not for the body of a resume.

And that’s about it!

When done carefully, this step in creating your resume can make it stand out from the pile of other resumes - even if they all come from experienced front desk receptionists.



After those eight steps, the perfect front desk receptionist resume is here!

If you followed all the instructions above, your resume will look like this:

Receptionist Resume Sample, Hotel Administrator Resume

Download this sample in PDF format by clicking on the picture above. No registration required. This resume sample is a protected document. Copyright @ Recommended By Recruiters.

If you want to pick another resume template with a matching cover letter

and reference list, we've got you covered!



Creating your best front desk receptionist resume can be done in eight steps:

  1. Start with the job description. Make sure you understand the main requirements. Highlight the most important keywords, as you will need them to write your resume content.

  2. Open a new Word or Pages document. Write down your name, surname and contact details (including location, phone number, and email address). Make it as clear as possible.

  3. Write a killer personal statement by sparkling the keywords all over this intro section. Use a template or a ready-made sample we've created for you.

  4. Describe your previous responsibilities by using bullet-pointed lists. Write 3-7 bullet points per job. All bullet points should be relevant, specific, detailed and quantified.

  5. List your qualifications.

  6. If you have additional skills you couldn’t cover in the rest of your resume, include them in an additional section with the overview of your skills.

  7. Prepare a separate reference list.

  8. Polish up the formatting. A template can help!

And that’s it! Your resume is done, polished and ready to impress employers!

Do you have any questions about writing a perfect resume for similar jobs? Not sure how to describe your previous achievements? We’d love to help, just send us an email. Or book a FREE coaching call with our job search experts and have all your questions answered in 30 minutes.
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