Why is it important to have a great resume?

A great resume can mean the difference between a rewarding career and an unsatisfying job. Regardless of the field you are interested in pursuing, creating a solid resume is essential to obtain and maintain your professional career and conduct job searches.

Great resumes will make lasting impressions and open doors to new opportunities. Therefore, you should understand the purpose of a resume, and how that can help you write the best resume possible. From learning why a resume is a necessity to applying your knowledge of great resumes to your own work, this article relays all you need to know about great resumes.

The Purpose of a Resume

Resumes provide recruiters with the ability to assess the qualifications of potential candidates rapidly. Because recruiters may review numerous candidates who have applied for a position, resumes enable them to determine which candidates are most likely to succeed based on the work experience, skills and other information included in the resumes. The resume, then, serves as a type of advertisement advocating yourself as a worker to attempt to pass the preliminary screening process. In doing so, your resume should accomplish the following:

  • Summarize your skills and abilities
  • Effectively explain your relevant experience
  • Remain concise and readable
  • Emphasize your interests that pertain to the position
  • Use active verbs and keywords that attract attention

Depending on the platform on which your resume is presented, however, the purpose of your resume may vary. This is because the way resumes are read and are structured is based on the platform. For example, if you are creating an online resume, you must ensure that it is searchable. Internet resumes that contain words or phrases employers often search for in candidates are likelier to be reviewed.

Additionally, the type of job to which you are applying may affect the purpose of your resume. If a job specifies that the position requires applicants to reside in a certain area or to have prior experience with the company, then the purpose of your resume shifts to reflect those demands.

What to Include in a Great Resume

A great resume can surpass the initial stages of application process and grant you an interview or further consideration as a candidate. Consequently, you should choose only the most relevant information. A list of the sections you may need to feature in your resume includes:

  • Theme: The theme of your resume is meant to highlight its purpose. For instance, if your resume needs to stress your volunteer work, then you should center your resume on that work.
  • Heading: This is a vital section to incorporate in any resume, if you would like to receive a response from employers. Your heading should be at the top of your document, and consist of your name, address, email and phone number.
  • Job objective: Your job objective should be short, and describe what type of job you are hoping to find. Recruiters use your job objective to decide if you are a good fit for a company.
  • Education: Previous schooling you have had, such as high school and college or training courses, is reserved for this section of your resume. After mentioning each school or course, you should list particular details such as the location and name of the school or course, and your grades.
  • Work experience: You are advised to organize this section in reverse-chronological order, beginning with your most recent work. Listing your official job titles, the names of your employers and a summary of your work responsibilities is recommended.
  • Special qualifications or certifications: If you possess any special licensure or certifications that may apply to the position, like a CPR certification, you should list them briefly in this section of your resume.
  • Awards: Awards are nice additions to any resume. Employers like to see that you have been recognized for your skills, so you should include any applicable awards you have earned.
  • Memberships in professional organizations: Not only are memberships prestigious, but they are also useful to denote your affiliation with professionals – and maybe some employees – at the company to which you are applying.
  • Hobbies: Though hobbies are often regarded as less important than your work history, they should be included in your resume if they connect to a position. Recruiters may be looking for well-rounded candidates, as well, and your hobbies may reveal a side of you that is not discussed in other sections of your resume.
  • References: Some employers ask for a list of references separately, but you may also add a couple of references and their contact information at the end of your resume as a convenience.
  • Personal information: Any personal information that is not already included in your resume may be added in this section if you believe it is appropriate and necessary for potential employers to know.

Reasons Why You Need a Resume

While many believe that the resume is becoming obsolete with the rise of the internet, most employers and recruiters still require you to submit a resume as part of their application processes. In fact, resumes have even been popularized online, making them crucial to have when you are searching for a job. According to Forbes Magazine, there are various reasons why resumes – whether printed or online – are bound to remain useful documents in the professional world. Here are a few:

  • Resumes present your information, skills and accomplishments in a succinct manner
  • Resumes can quickly explain important details about you, as an employee
  • Resumes are easily customizable for different positions
  • Resumes are relatively standardized documents that facilitate comparisons and evaluations
  • Resorting to another method of formal applications would result in confusion and delays

Resumes are everywhere, especially in the hands of hiring managers or recruiters. Since most workers have some type of resume or other document to give to requesting employers, competition is tough. As a result, you will need more than just a resume to find employment; you will need a great resume.

How to Write a Great Resume

Great resumes are truthful, have compelling designs and are easy to read. Before designing and writing your resume, you must choose the proper format that can help you create a great resume. Multiple resume formats may be effective, but you should choose the format that best displays your information. The resume formats are explained below:

  • Chronological: This format is best if you have an extensive work history. While the format is called ‘chronological,’ you should put your work experience in reverse-chronological order.
  • Functional: Functional resumes are ideal for workers without huge backgrounds in their fields. Instead of focusing on your work history, functional resumes redirect the focus on your skills and qualifications.
  • Combination: For workers who have a mixture of both job experience and skills, combination resumes may be the best option. These resumes place your functional assets (i.e., your skills) at the top, and your work history at the bottom.
  • Scannable: This resume format is meant for online resumes that employers may review by using electronic searches. However, any resume you submit via the internet to an employer may need to contain some aspects of scannable resumes. Large companies tend to rely on software to sort or review resumes, because they receive countless applications. Utilizing the scannable resume format can help you attain positions with larger companies.

Once you select a format, you should compile a list of all the skills, work experiences and awards you currently have. Creating this list will help you decide which items are the most impressive and the most relevant. After completing a draft of your resume, be sure to edit it thoroughly for errors. The best resumes will entirely lack grammar mistakes.

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