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100 Best Resume Quotes: Get Inspired & Help Your Career

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“The great thing about inspiring quotes is that they pack so much wisdom in so few words.” ― Chris Hughes. 

Quotes inspire, give hope, boost your energy, and sometimes can make a difference when properly placed on a resume. I’ve combined 100 resume quotes and divided them into 10 categories. All in the hope of getting you inspired and to help you finish a resume you’re currently working on. So read on, find some wisdom in these words, and get the job you’re after!

This guide will show you: 

  • 100 resume quotes to get you motivated and inspired.
  • Where to put quotes on a resume.
  • Wise words about success, work, determination, passion, and other things you might impress your recruiter with.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

Looking for some more inspiration? Read our guides:

Good Resume Quotes

When writing a resume, you can sometimes find yourself staring at a black cursor, rhythmically blinking on a white sheet of paper. Whether you’re trying to format a resume, write about your work experience, or choose what to include in your educational section, you might need a little push. Some people use music, some go for long walks, and some find encouragement, energy, and inspiration in famous quotes. 

I always encourage you to go for a walk, as it is an extremely healthy thing to do. But before you go, look at a few words of wisdom in some quotes I find the most inspiring when thinking about my career.

Quotes About Beginning

Let's begin with some quotes about the beginning. After all, a resume is the first step in your career path and the first document from which your future employer will learn about you. Also, you’re trying to begin something new with your resume. A new job, a new career path, and, if you’re writing a career-change resume, a completely new beginning.

Start your resume after reading these quotes:

1. “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” ―T.S. Eliot

2. “This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.” ―Taylor Swift

3. “Life is a progress and not a station.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. “Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.” ―Germany Kent

5. “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” ―Mark Twain

6. “The funny thing about wishes. Sometimes all it took to make them come true was a first step.” ―T.J. Klune

7. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” ―Martin Luther King Jr.

8. “If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one.” ―Dolly Parton

9. “The beginning is always NOW.” ―Roy T. Bennett

10. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” —Walt Disney

Quotes About Confidence

Confidence is an important quality in the workplace. It's critical on every level of professional experience. A good amount of confidence leads to better studying, which can help you in entry-level jobs. And it is obviously in high demand for anyone trying to land a management position.

Let’s see some quotes about confidence:

1. “Why should I care what other people think of me? I am who I am. And who I wanna be.” ―Avril Lavigne

2. “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” ―Marie Curie

3. “It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” ―Sally Field

4. “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” ―Louise May Alcott

5. “Success is most often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable.” ―Coco Chanel

6. “Accept who you are; and revel in it.” ―Mitch Albom

7. “Be you, love you. All ways, always.” ―Alexandra Elle

8. “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.” ―Cicero

9. “Your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.” —Michelle Obama

10. “It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.” —Oprah Winfrey

Pro tip: Creating a perfect resume is a great idea. But never forget about boosting your chances of impressing a hiring manager with an amazing cover letter.

Quotes About Accomplishments

You need to show some achievements on your resume to impress the recruiter. However, pinpointing them from the top of your head can be challenging. Many people focus on their duties and responsibilities. But it’s your achievements that separate you from other candidates. Including some wise words about them in resume quotations might be a good idea.

Read these achievements quotes. The resume you’re writing might need their help:

1. “There is no progress or accomplishment without sacrifice.” ―Idowu Koyenikan

2. “Mistakes are the foundation of achievement.” ―Steven Magee

3. “If you go out without a plan, you will return home without any achievement.” ―Awolumate Samuel

4. “Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

5. “All great achievements require time.” ―Maya Angelou

6. “The roughest roads often lead to the top.” ―Christina Aguilera

7. “The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.” ―Michelle Obama

8. “Don’t mistake activity with achievement.” ―John Wooden

9. “Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.” ―Brian Tracy

10. “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” ―Jimmy Johnson

Quotes About Courage

Changing workplaces, switching careers, and moving forward with your life requires great courage. Courage will help you not only when writing a resume. You’ll need it when preparing for a job interview after you ace your resume.

Here are some quotes about courage you might find inspiring:

1. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

2. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.” —Mark Twain

3. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ―Winston Churchill

4. “The secret to happiness is freedom … and the secret to freedom is courage.” —Thucydides

5. “It is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit.” ―J.R.R. Tolkien

6. ”Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” —Steve Jobs

7. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” — Muhammad Ali

8. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.” —Anais Nin 

9. “You'll never do a whole lot unless you're brave enough to try.” —Dolly Parton 

10. "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest." —Maya Angelou

Do you have enough courage to see what career is the best for you? If so, click here: Best Career Tests for 2024

Quotes About Work

Work hard, play hard. It’s not a bad motto. But this order is not accidental. You need to work hard to earn/deserve/have time to play hard. And while playing hard is easy, you might need some push to work hard. Whether you have tons of experience or trying to write a resume without experience, you might find these work-related quotes boosting your energy to work harder.

These quotes might help you find strength and inspiration to start your work, to keep good work, and to work harder than ever:

1. “It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.” —J.R.R Tolkien

2. “Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.” —Anne Frank

3. “I hate that word: ‘lucky.’ It cheapens a lot of hard work.” —Peter Dinklage

4. “Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.” —Stephen Hawking

5. “The more I want to get something done the less I call it work.” —Richard Bach

6. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” —Thomas Edison

7. “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What's important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” —Carrie Fisher

8. “Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room.” —Dwayne Johnson

9. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” —Walt Disney

10. “Work hard and be kind and amazing things will happen.” —Conan O’Brien

Quotes About Goals

Some recruiters will ask you where you see yourself in 5 years. It’s hard to answer this question without setting career goals. Your recruiter will love to learn all about them, but what’s even more important is that you need to learn more about them to keep growing. Setting goals will give your career the right trajectory. And it can help you write a great resume that reads.

Let’s see some inspiring quotes about goals that will make it happen:

1. “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ―Diana Scharf

2. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”—Henry David Thoreau

3. “Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying.” — Amelia Earhart

4. “One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” —Michael Korda

5. “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” —Tony Robbins

6. “A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement.” —Bo Bennett

7. “Set realistic goals, keep re-evaluating, and be consistent.” —Venus Williams

8. “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” —Bruce Lee

9. “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” —Albert Einstein

10. “There’s nothing better than achieving your goals, whatever they might be.” —Paloma Faith

Ready for yet another tricky interview question? See it here (with the answers!): How to Answer “What Motivates You” Interview Question

Quotes About Productivity

Productivity is important, and there’s no doubt about it. It increases inputs, and it increases efficiency. Yet, with so many things happening around us all at once, it can be difficult to be productive 24/7. I know that quotes can’t change that 100%. But if they will help you with your productivity even by 0.5%, my job here is done.

Let’s give it a go with some of my favorite quotes for a resume about being productive:

1. “Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.” —Franz Kafka

2. “Don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many people are simply busy being busy.” —Robin Sharma

3. “The key to productivity is to rotate your avoidance techniques.” —Shannon Wheeler

4. “Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.” —Gretchen Rubin

5. “Stressing output is the key to improving productivity while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite.” —Paul Gauguin

6. “Productivity growth, however it occurs, has a disruptive side to it. In the short term, most things that contribute to productivity growth are very painful.” —Janet Yellen

7. “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” — Peter Drucke

8. “Productivity is not about getting everything done, rather it is about getting things done effectively” —Brianna Gray

9. “Focus on being productive instead of busy.” —Tim Ferriss

10. “Sameness leaves us in peace, but it is the contradiction that makes us productive.” —Johnann Wolfgang von Goethe

Quotes About Determination

Determination is a feeling that drives you to do certain things, achieve your goals, and finish what you started by putting in hard work to finish it perfectly. Can you see why this quality is so significant for recruiters? You can lack the experience and some relevant skills, but your determination might make up for it, especially if you’re only starting your career.

Here are some determination quotes for a resume:

1. “Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you.” ―Denis Waitley

2. “The determination to win is the better part of winning.” ―Daisaku Ikeda

3. “A great book begins with an idea; a great life, with determination.” ―Louis L'Amour

4. “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.” ―Vince Lombardi

5. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” ―Og Mandino

6. “I just hate losing, and that gives you an extra determination to work harder.” ―Wayne Rooney

7. “What does it take to be a champion? Desire, dedication, determination, concentration and the will to win.” ―Patty Berg 

8. “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.” ―Dan Gable

9. “The most important characteristics you need to succeed in business are resilience, determination, and persistence. ” ―Karren Brady

10. “If we attack our problems with determination, we shall succeed.” ―Franklin Roosevelt

Pro-tip: Some of your skills might need a little backup that will help you prove you really have them. Hobbies and interests might support your soft skills (such as, i.e., determination), while certifications and licenses will convince the recruiter that you have hard skills you’ve mentioned on your resume.

Quotes About Passion

Your recruiters don’t want another worker who only works for a paycheck and is willing to jump to the next good offer. They’re looking for someone passionate about the job who believes in shared values. That kind of hire is a recruiter’s dream come true. And showing that passion in a resume quote seems like a great idea.

See some great quotes about passion:

1. “Enjoy the journey and try to get better every day. And don't lose the passion and the love for what you do.” —Nadia Comaneci

2. “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” ―Oprah Winfrey

3. “Our passion is our strength.” ―Billie Joe Armstrong

4. “If you feel like there's something out there that you're supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” ―Wanda Sykes

5. “Always go with your passions. Never ask yourself if it’s realistic or not.” ―Deepak Chopra

6. “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” ―Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

7. “Once something is a passion, the motivation is there.” ―Michael Schumacher

8. “To succeed, you have to believe in something with such passion that it becomes a reality.” ―Anita Roddick

9. “Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.” ―Jon Bon Jovi

10. “People's passion and dedication can conquer anything.” ―Brie Bella

Quotes About Success

Let’s finish our list with quotes about success. That’s what I want you to believe awaits you when you finish your resume. And these quotes will only help you believe in that.

Here are some inspiring resume quotes regarding success (that’s ahead!):

1. “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” ―Stephen Hawking

2. “Success isn’t overnight. It’s when everyday you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.” ―Dwayne Johnson

3. “Success is survival.” ―Leonard Cohen

4. “Failure is success in progress.” ―Albert Einstein

5. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ―Winston Churchill

6. “I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. ” ―Michael Jordan

7. “Success is never accidental.” ―Jack Dorsey

8. “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” ―Estée Lauder

9. “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” ―Colin R. Davis

10. “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” ―Oliver Goldsmith

These are some of my favorite quotes. I hope you like them too. Maybe you even feel they’re so great you want to put them on a resume. There’s a section that can look even better with some extra quotes.

Looking for some more success? Read our guide: High-Income Skills to Learn for 2024

Where to Put Quotes on a Resume?

I hope you’ve found some inspiration in those quotes. They can motivate you, change your way of thinking about certain things, and help you overcome a sudden lack of writer’s block when you don’t know what to put on a resume

Sharing those quotes can change other people’s perceptions. Maybe you’d like to share them with other people? And maybe you’d like to share them with your recruiter

There is a way to include these quotes on your resume. The best place to do it? In the resume summary or resume objective. Including them there seems the most natural place to do it. Since you write a few sentences about yourself, you might as well include a quote that works as a motto that drives you to do what you’re doing.

Let’s see an example of how to include some quotes on your resume:

Right Example
Dedicated elementary school teacher with 10+ years of experience devising individualized curricula within state standards. Prepared 400+ students for international language certifications with a 99% pass rate. Lives by the words of Estée Lauder, who said, “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” That’s exactly the way of thinking I’d love to teach students at Tower Hill Primary School.

See how the author incorporated an inspiring quote into the resume introduction and how consistent it is with the rest of the summary? It tells the recruiter immediately what values this candidate believes in. And maybe this quote will seem important to the hiring manager as well. If so, that can be a true winning point in recruitment.

Get ready for everything that awaits you during the recruitment process. Read our guide: Application Process Step-by-Step 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

I hope you’ve seen some inspiring and moving quotes that will help you write a job-winning resume. Maybe they’ll even find their place on your resume and inspire your recruiter. 

Just for a quick recap:

  • If you choose to include a quote on a resume, do it in your resume introduction.
  • Try to incorporate it naturally and make it consistent with the rest of your summary or objective.
  • Don’t write a stand-alone sentence that doesn't correspond with the rest of your introduction.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to come back here any time you need some extra inspiration. And most importantly, remember what Taylor Swift said: “Never believe anyone who says you don’t deserve what you want.”

Good luck!

Would you like to share some other inspiring quotes to help others with their resumes? Perhaps you’ve got some questions about adding the right resume quotations? Share them in the comments below!

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Maciej Tomaszewicz, CPRW
Maciej is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and career expert and resume writer with a versatile professional background, creating tools for job seekers in various industries. His creative writing background and HR-related experience allow him to create highly readable articles clarifying even the most complicated professional development aspects. Since 2022, he has authored guides on professional resumes and cover letters, written articles on work-related scenarios, and developed research-based career advice.

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