A resume is a document that includes relevant information on your job experience and education. It’s a professional introduction designed to obtain a face to face interview with a prospective employer. It’s also the first thing that any potential employer will see, and as such, can make or break you. If you’ve ever heard the expression that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, it couldn’t be truer than in the case of a resume. It’s unusual to be offered a job based on a resume alone, and it’s equally rare to obtain an interview without one.
A resume is used to screen applicants and narrow a potentially massive pile of resumes down to a select few that will be contacted for an interview. You could be up against just a few or potentially a thousand other applicants for the same job, so you want to make sure that your resume stands out. If your resume gets you an interview, then it’s served its purpose. If your resume singles you out as being ahead of everyone else in the eyes of the interviewer, then it has gone beyond expectations. A good resume will sell you and will convince the reader that you’re the right person for the job.
A resume can be fashioned towards a certain job or employer and coupled with a compelling cover letter it will be an extremely effective marketing tool. The purpose of a tailor-made resume is to demonstrate any particular skills you may have which are particular to the position you’re applying for. You can also enhance the personalization to make yourself more human to the prospective employer. Some employers may even ask for a list of your hobbies and favourite vacation getaways so that they can get a bit of an idea as to what type of person you are and what you’re involved in.
A resume, and particularly one for an entry level position, is typically not more than one page long, and includes basic information about you. It’s a personal summary of your professional history and qualifications and will include career goals, education, work experience, activities and hobbies, honors and any special skills that you bring to the table. In some areas of the world, a resume is used interchangeably with Curriculum Vitae (CV), though in other areas of the world, they’re two entirely different things.
Resumes are created in such a way that makes them easy for the reader to understand. They’ll typically start out with clear contact information at the top of the page, followed by a brief summary of qualifications. This will be followed with work experience, educational achievements, a list of skills and any pertinent certifications or awards. This is generally followed by contact information for references, though it’s not necessarily always in this exact order.
There are a couple of different ways to compile a resume. A chronological style is the most common, and makes it easy to spot gaps or inconsistencies in employment. With this particular style, you’ll generally start with education and achievements followed by your employment history.
The functional layout will have blocks of related information lumped together and will usually only feature work experience which is relevant to the job or position you’re applying for. This works well when going for a specific job as the prospective employer won’t have to sift through your entire work history to find the information they’re looking for.
You can also choose a combination style of resume which will incorporate the features of a chronological and functional style in a logical sequence.
Organization of a good resume takes a certain amount of skill and knowledge. If you think about it, looking for work is a job in itself of sales and marketing, and one of most important steps in your job search, so preparation is essential to your success. While you can find various templates on the internet which can help you with your resume, many people find it to be a worthwhile investment to seek professional assistance in preparing their resume.