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Your resume is an essential item in your job application and an absolute go-to for recruiters to get to know you as a potential candidate. However, it may seem overwhelming to grasp immediately if this is your first job search.
Learn what a resume is exactly and what it aims at, along with what information it requires to be complete and job-winning.
- What is a resume.
- What is resume purpose in a job search.
- An example of a resume to understand what kind of details you need to include.
- Four types of resumes and the difference between them.
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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.
Learn more about application documents from our other guides:
- What Is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?
- CV vs. Resume: The Ultimate Guide
- How to Write a CV?
- Academic CV Template
- What Is a Cover Letter for a Job?
- Cover Letter Perfect Length
- What a Cover Letter Look like?
- What Is a Short Cover Letter?
- What Is a Letter of Intent?
- What Is a Recommendation Letter?
What Is a Resume for a Job
A resume (also spelled résumé) is a formal document presenting your career background and skills. Usually, along with a cover letter, it’s created to help you land a new job. A traditional resume includes a professional summary, work history, education, and skills sections.
Pro Tip: In the US, you can use two types of documents to apply for a job. One of them is a resume. The other is a CV. The significant difference between them is the purpose. You use resumes to apply for traditional jobs, like accounting, IT, or communications. But you use a CV for academic applications, like research positions, fellowships, or grants.
Pro Tip #2: In the UK, a CV means exactly the same as a resume for Americans.
What Is the Purpose of a Resume
The purpose of a resume is to introduce yourself to employers, present your qualifications, and secure an interview. Writing a resume aims to showcase your experience, education, and skills in a standardized format that is easy for recruiters to read.
Want to learn how to create a resume like the one above? Fantastic! Read about it here: How to Make a Resume in 9 Simple Steps.
Types of Resumes
There are four types of resumes, and they are:
- Reverse-chronological resume: a classic format known to most recruiters and your best choice in most situations. It puts your recent or current experience upfront and promotes your proudest achievements going back in time.
- Functional resume: a format that focuses on skills rather than work history. It’s ideal for career changers and those with gaps in employment.
- Combination resume: a hybrid of chronological and functional resume formats (the most flexible). It begins with a summary of skills, then proceeds to the most relevant experience moments.
- Targeted resume: a resume written for a specific position. Create it by matching the resume keywords referring to skills, qualifications, qualities, and responsibilities listed in the job description. Targeting your resume for a specific job is what truly makes a good resume.
Choose the format that will help you best advertise yourself to the recruiter. Read more: Best Resume Format
Key Elements to Include on a Resume
- Contact information: your name, phone number, email address, and optionally relevant social media handles, such as your LinkedIn profile. In most cases, leave your address off your resume.
- Resume profile: a summary of your skills and proudest accomplishments. It tops your resume and serves as your job bio.
- Work experience section: only your relevant work experience. It’s where you tell your career history. This section includes your job titles, company names, duties, and years worked.
- Education section: your school names, academic degrees, major and minors, and optionally your high GPA plus relevant coursework.
- Skills section: job-related skills that may be of value to your prospective employer. Well-crafted key skills sections can boost your chances of getting a job. Always include soft skills and hard skills, and keep in mind that, according to a study, 76% of recruiters prefer the two types of skills separated from one another.
Those resume sections are more than necessary. But you can also list others depending on the job your resume is targeting. Consider adding extra information to your resume as well:
- Certifications and licenses
- Foreign languages
- Awards and honors
- Volunteer experience
- Hobbies and interests
- Publications and research papers
- Project descriptions
- Freelance experience
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Here’s a recap of what you should know before sending your resume to a future employer:
- Your resume is a marketing document. It’s used to make a favorable impression on the recruiter.
- Treat your resume as a summary of your work experience, education, and skills. Be concise and list only key career wins. Plus, be relevant.
- Make your resume aesthetically pleasing. Use the best formatting rules.
- Respect your reader, proofread your resume, and make it high-quality.
What do you think about the resume definition above? Does this brief overview answer your resume questions? Give me a shout in the comments!
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