Resume: An Overview
A resume is a formal document that a job applicant creates to detail their qualifications for a position. A resume is often accompanied by a personalized cover letter in which the applicant expresses interest in a specific job or company and draws attention to the most relevant details of the resume.
American job consultants insist that a resume should be only one or two pages long. Traditionally, British job seekers are expected to produce a somewhat more detailed document, called a CV (curriculum vitae).
How long should my resume be?
Understand the curriculum
A resume is almost always required for applicants for office jobs. They are the first step corporate recruiters and hiring managers take in identifying candidates who might be invited to interview for a position.
Successful resumes highlight specific accomplishments applicants have achieved in previous positions, such as reducing costs, transcending sales goals, increasing profits, and building teams.
- Resumes are now sent by email, not by post.
- The traditional one to two page limit is maintained, but nothing prevents you from attaching a short video introduction or other illustration if it is relevant and enhances your presentation.
- It’s smart to rewrite your resume to suit the specific job you’re looking for.
The most determined applicants rewrite their resumes to suit the occasion, concentrating on the skills and experience that fit the job they are applying for.
There are many formats for resumes, with many variations for particular professions such as investment banking and fashion trading.
Whatever the format, most resumes include a brief summary of skills and experience, followed by a bulleted list of previous jobs in reverse chronological order and a list of earned degrees. A final section could be added to highlight specific skills, such as fluency in a foreign language, knowledge of computer languages, useful hobbies for the professional, professional affiliations, and any honors earned.
Brevity, clean design, and succinct language are valued. People who have to review hundreds of resumes have short attention spans.
Resume trouble spots
Recruiters examine employment histories for significant job gaps or a pattern of job change. Be prepared to explain it in a cover letter or in an interview. An applicant with a short-term job history might consider skipping some of the older ones, especially if they are not relevant to the current job title.
For example, if you spent years working behind a counter in food service and then went back to school to get physical therapy credentials, forget about some of those early food service jobs. Develop sections that report your skills, training, and experience in the field that is now your specialty. You can mention those other jobs in the interview while explaining what a trustworthy professional you are.
The past can be particularly dangerous for tech startup applicants looking to build cutting-edge teams. Legacy skills can lead to obsolescence. The most powerful resumes underscore how an applicant can thrive in the job that is open right now.
Change of schedules for resumes
It goes without saying that resumes these days are delivered as email attachments, they are not printed or mailed.
Although the two page maximum still stands, many applicants use the web to the fullest when it comes to attachments. Video presentations, charts, graphs and other illustrations can make you stand out, as long as they are relevant and well done.
The resume header
Your resume header should include not only your name, email address, and mobile phone number, but also your address on LinkedIn or another professional community and your website or blog address, if you have one.
Note that any hiring manager will, of course, enter their name in the Google search field. Do a search on your own and see if you can optimize your own results or at least decently bury any youthful missteps.