What is a Resume?
Employers are shopping to fill positions. You are the product. Your cover letter is your sales letter and your resume is your specifications and sales brochure.
Who Needs a Resume?
Usually anyone seeking employment, looking for a job, freelancing, or contract work.
How is a Resume Used?
While the job hunter uses the resume to announce availability to prospective employers, the employers are using the resumes to filter and eliminate unqualified or undesirable candidates.
The first step in the employer resume screening process is elimination!
Why is a Resume Important?
A resume and cover letter are often the only two items that can possibly get you an interview for a job.
The resume and cover letter are important to employers for the first step in the filtering process of possible job candidates.
How Do You Get a Resume?
With basic writing skills and formatting knowledge most anyone can write a resume. However, in a competitive job market and with today’s advanced automated algorithm resume keyword and phrase scanning systems, a winning resume takes more vocabulary knowledge.
There are numerous tips, aids, and help for resume writing such as the Resume Dictionary.
There are also resume writing services.
What is in a Resume?
First a resume needs to include your name and contact information so the employer can reach you for an interview. Even though you are sending a cover letter or email with this information, include the same contact data on your resume. Resumes are often separated from cover letters, even when attached as an email file.
Include your name, address, phone number, and email address.
What is in the rest of your resume will depend on:
- the type of resume format you choose
- the industry you are in
- the job you are applying for
- the amount of education you have
- the amount of experience you have
- the company you are sending your resume to
- the style of resume you choose
- your age
What Types of Resume Formats are there?
There are basically four types of resumes: Chronological or Reverse Chronological, Combination, Functional, and Modified Letter resume.
How does the Industry You are Job Hunting in Affect Your Resume?
There are certain industries that prefer certain types of resumes.
How does Your Amount of Education or Experience Affect What Will be on Your Resume?
You want to choose relevant work experience and education. If you have had seven jobs in 24 months you might only want to include those that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. This keeps your resume focused for the employers and does not make you look like you might have trouble keeping a job. If asked later, be prepared to be truthful about other employment.
If you have two degrees you might want to list only the one that is the most relevant to the position you are applying. A second degree might over-qualify you for example.
If you are new to the job market, you might want to list more information about your education and accomplishments.
How Should You Change Your Resume Based on Who You are Sending it to?
If your resume includes an objective, that should be tailored for each company and position for which you apply. Also each resume should focus on work history and education relevant to each employer and position.
How does Style Affect Your Resume?
There are many resume styles to choose from. Which style you choose is usually based on your industry and career field. More conservative styles often focus on traditional information while a creative field might call for a creative resume style with different information such as a portfolio of work.
How does Your Age Affect Your Resume?
If you are an older job hunter, you might want to choose a functional resume and include only relevant work history. You might choose to avoid expressing your age through your amount of work experience. While not legal, some employers do discriminate because of age, and the resume needs to get you in the door.
Where Should You Send or Post Your Resume?
You should send your resume and cover letter to any prospective employer via mail, fax, or email.
You can also post your resume on job boards.
Who Should You Send Your Resume?
The first choice to send your resume is to any prospective employer you know has an open position that fits your qualifications.
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