What is a resume?
A resume can be defined as a written compilation of a person’s background, skills, academic and professional qualifications and accomplishments sent to a potential employer for review. It serves as an individual’s personal marketing brochure that helps them to gain the attention of the prospective employers. Through the resume, a job applicant provides the necessary information the employer needs to instigate the hiring process. The resume is the first document an employer needs to get an overview of the applicants’ professionalism and suitability for the position. The employer compares the resumes of different applicants to decide the most appropriate person to interview.
Preparing to write a resume
The preparation to write a resume begins with self-assessment. An individual should begin by enlisting the past successes and achievements. The successes can be in academics, career experience, volunteer activities and hobbies. It is important to brainstorm and prioritize only the achievements that apply to the qualities that the employer is looking for.
Considerations When Writing a Resume
The most important message an individual passes across when writing a resume is their ability and efficacy in performing the duties outlined by the employer. The best way of showing this is to showcase accomplishments. Resume writers should quantify their accomplishments to demonstrate what they are capable of doing. Simply listing tasks does not show how well an individual can do the required duties. Presenting the specifics of previous duties helps the reader to visualize the individual’s skills and increases credibility. The specifics include how the individual used his/her skills to improve a condition, how the individual grew in the previous position and how the employer benefitted from the previous his/her work. The resume should create a connection between the individual’s qualifications and the job requirements being applied for.
Types of Resumes
A majority of job seekers make a fallacious assumption that the purpose of a resume is to get them an employment. A resume demonstrates to the employer the suitability of the job seeker to do the job being pursued. It creates interest in the employer to invite the applicant for a job interview. Two types of resumes exist to create interest that the applicant fits the mold.
The first element of a chronological resume is the individual’s work history, starting with the most recent position held. The rest of the work history is listed in reverse chronological order. Key specifics of qualifications and accomplishments should be listed alongside each position held to give the employers an impression of the kind of duties the individual has undertaken before and the capability of doing the desired duties. Immediately following the work history is the education section. It includes the schools attended, the academic credentials earned, majors and minors and awards received. New graduates should begin by listing education then work experience. The third section skills, where the individual should list the relevant skills acquired such as computer skills, data analysis skills, and communication skills.
Employers prefer this resume because it saves their time when they need to quickly identify the suitability of the applicant through the searching the jobs held, period and the accomplishments at the previous duties held. Chronological resumes also present well the job seekers that harbor strong work history.
A functional resume lays more emphasis on the skills an individual has acquired rather than the positions held. It highlights the main areas of experience and the responsibilities and supports each area of responsibility with the respective accomplishments. The listed skills should be specific and relevant to the position held and also fit well in the job being pursued. The functional resume works well with fresh graduates with little professional experience and conspicuous gaps in their work history. Functional resumes can also be beneficial to the people who intend to change careers to a field that is least related to their previous work experience. The applicant using a functional resume should demonstrate that the skills acquired in the previous position or educational training are transferable to the pursued position. The work history is summarized at the bottom of the resume. Though, many employers have less preference to functional resumes as they are more interested in the level of ability the job seeker has acquired from the previous work.
A resume is a document that job seekers use to demonstrate their suitability for the position they pursue. It opens up opportunities for job seekers to gain the attention of the employers. A resume is either chronological or functional. A chronological resume showcase the applicant’s work history and is most appropriate for job seekers with a rich work experience in the position being applied for. A functional resume showcases on and individuals’ skills rather than the positions previously held. An important aspect in resume writing is to explain the specifics of the knowledge, experience and skills previously gained.