What is a Resume
The resume is a selling tool that outlines your skills and experiences so an employer can see, at a glance, how you can contribute to the employer’s workplace. Your resume has to sell you in short order.
While you may have all the requirements for a particular position, your resume is a failure if the employer does not instantly come to the conclusion that you “have what it takes.” The first hurdle your resume has to pass–whether it ends up in the “consider file” or the “reject file”–may take less than thirty seconds.
The most effective resumes are clearly focused on a specific job title and address the employer’s stated requirements for the position. The more you know about the duties and skills required for the job–and organize your resume around these points–the more effective the resume.
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You will need information to write a good resume. Not just information about jobs you’ve held in the past but also information to select the most relevant accomplishments, skills and experience for THIS position. The more you know about the employer and the position, the more you can tailor your resume to fit the job.
Some people think of a resume as their “life on a page,” but how could anyone put everything important about herself on a single piece of paper (or two)? Actually, resumes are much more specific, including only relevant information about you for specific employers.
Like a life, however, a resume is always growing and changing. As your career goals shift or the job market changes–as you grow personally and professionally–chances are you will need to re-write your resume or at least create new versions. Writing a resume is a lifelong process.
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How do you know what in your life–past, present, and future–is most relevant to prospective employers? How do you select which information to include? The quick answer to both these questions is “it depends.” It depends on your individual career goals as well as on the professional goals of the companies hiring in your area or field of interest.
In the end, only you, through research, planning, questioning and self-reflection, can determine the shape and content of your resume, but the strategies below along with those on the job search can help you ask the right questions and begin exploring your options.
Depending on whom you ask, a resume may be viewed as the single most important vehicle to securing your next job, or it may be viewed as an unnecessary nuisance.
In both cases, this is incorrect. A resume is a professional introduction meant to encourage a one-on-one interview situation – the opportunity for communication that can lead to a job offer.
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It is a rare candidate who is hired by his or her resume alone. It is just as rare to be offered an interview without one.
A resume is often the first line of contact. It establishes a first impression of a potential job candidate’s skills, background and hiring value. If written well, this impression can be a positive one, offering the reader a sense of the candidate’s “fit” for the position and company being targeted.
If written really well, it may convince the reader that the job candidate is ideally suited for the job. When coupled with an effective cover letter, the resume can be a very strong marketing tool.