What is a Resume? [The Ultimate Guide to Resume and how to write it]
A resume is a formal document that is necessary for a job application. It is important to showcase your skills and qualification to potential employers and recruiters. In this article, you’ll find all fundamental information on the structure, format, and data to cover. You’ll get answers to such questions as:
- What is a resume;
- Why is it important;
- What is the purpose of a resume;
- What to include in a resume;
- What not to include;
- Guidelines on writing a resume.
Our expert resume writing tips will help you to land an interview.
Importance of a Resume to Job Seekers
It is hard to underestimate the importance of a resume for someone looking for work. It is the first impression you make on a recruiter. The resume needs to beat ATS bots that scan all the applicants’ documents before a human lays an eye on them. It is also essential because:
- It presents one’s skills and qualifications in an effective manner;
- It is the main reason why one would get an interview;
- It helps to seek better opportunities;
- It highlights the cultural fit for a company.
Often, a resume is the only chance one gets to grab employers’ attention.
What is a Resume?
So what is a resume? The resume definition is simple – it is a formal document created by a job seeker to summarize their qualifications, work experience, key skills, and training. It is used to apply for jobs.
What does a resume consist of? The main sections are:
- Contact details;
- Work history;
- Relevant skills.
But there are also additional sections one might add to their resume, such as:
- Certifications and training;
- Freelance work experience;
- Hobbies and interests.
The most effective resumes are always customized to a specific position.
What is a resume for a job application?
What does it mean to customize a resume to a job position? It means highlighting the most relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that a recruiter looks for in a potential employee. It is not efficient to create just a generic one-fits-all document and send it out to everyone.
What is a resume for a job application writing process?
- Explore the job posting, look at specific keywords, hard skills, and any skill that is repeated more than once.
- Choose a format that is the best for this case – chronological, functional, or combination.
- Highlight your qualifications and experiences that align with the job posting.
Skillhub tip: 20 words CV is not the same as a resume. CV is “the course of life” and resume is “summary”.
And if you want to save time and effort consider working with professional resume writer service online. They are certified and have years of experience in this field. You’ll get high-quality content adjusted for a position.
What is a professional resume?
A professional resume is created by an expert resume writer instead of using a builder. What is a professional resume good for? Well, for everything; it is much more concise and customized to apply for work and land an interview. A professional writer can write a resume that will:
- pass an ATS;
- showcase your qualifications and skills in the best light;
- use necessary keywords to illustrate you as a fit to a company;
- be adjusted to a specific position or company.
What is the purpose of a resume?
The purpose of a resume is to grab attention and land you an interview. Some think that a resume purpose is to get a job, but it is an oversimplification. The main goal is to attract the recruiter’s attention and make them want to contact you and ask for a meeting in person.
It is not the same as a cover letter, which shows your interest in positions and company as well as key skills in a letter form. The resume uses the bullet-list format of your work and education history. Cover letters can focus more in detail on specific moments in a career, like major changes or gaps. It can also go into specific about the position you occupy, the responsibilities and achievements, and why you are looking for new opportunities. On the contrary, a resume is strict to the point and very factual.
Writing a resume can be a daunting task, and updating an old one can be even harder, yet, don't give up! Finding an affordable resume builder service can solve both problems!
What to include in a resume to Get a Job?
The main rule is to include only relevant and essential information and leave out anything irrelevant. It shouldn’t be extremely long as recruiters can spend about 6 seconds on a document.
What to include in a resume:
- Correct contact details;
- Clear work and education history;
- Key skills for this position;
- Portfolio, certifications, awards.
What not to include in a resume:
- Hobbies that has nothing to do with the job;
- Photo, age, or physical address;
- Three pages of wall text with every online job you had;
- Passive language;
- Lies, mistakes, and inaccuracies.
What to include in a resume?
Now, let’s talk in more detail about what to include in a resume to impress a recruiter and pass ATS bots.
The resumes definition states it as a summary of work history that shows a hiring agency whether a candidate is a right fit. The necessary sections are:
- Contact details. First and last name, personal phone number, and professional-looking email address. One can add a zip code or city for employers hiring locally, but do not put the full physical address. It is also possible to add a LinkedIn profile.
- Introduction. It is a short yet powerful overview of who you are, what you do, and your main accomplishments. There are several forms for introduction – summary, profile, or objective.
- Education. Those who have a great work history and a lot of experience can only state the name of the institution, degree, major, and dates. Those who apply to entry-level positions or recent graduates can get into more details, include GPA, coursework, dissertation subject, etc.
- Work history. Reverse-chronological list of work experience, starting with the latest one. Write the position, company, dates, and a list of responsibilities and achievements.
- Skills. Include the most relevant ones; combine both soft and hard ones.
Skillhub tip: Use action words in your resume like “analyzed”, “enforced”, “doubled”, “determined”, “developed”, “handled”, “increased” to showcase leadership and proactiveness.
What not to include in a resume?
It is also important to resist the temptation to overload documents with irrelevant details or facts. A resume is not the case of the more the better. Here is what not to include in a resume for job seekers:
- Unnecessary personal info like age, marital status, or picture (unless you apply for modeling or acting jobs);
- Any negative comments about former places of work;
- Too much information that is irrelevant for the position, keep to key skills only;
- Hobbies and interest if they are irrelevant;
- Direct lies about work history or inaccurate representation.
Also, be aware of the readability and grammatical correctness of the document.
Smart Guideline for Resume Writing
Here are our resume writing tips to look more professional:
- Be concise and strict to the point, 1-2 pages in enough;
- Use action verbs, keywords, and industry-specific terms;
- Highlight accomplishment with examples, like “increased Instagram conversion by 25% in 3 months”. If applicable, use numbers to illustrate qualification.
- Use the simple yet readable format and font;
- You can use bold or italics to focus on specific parts of a resume;
- Skip the pronouns. It is common to write “served as” or “managed the team of 6” instead of repeating “I”;
- Use the same font for resume and cover letter, save it in PDF to make sure the formatting is the same;
- Always check grammar and spelling.
The Bottom Line for What is a Resume
Hopefully, now you know the answer to questions like "what is resume" and "what is resume used for". We’ve also covered what to include and what to abstain from, as well as practical guidelines for writing. The key points to take away:
- Pay attention to format and details;
- Use the structure that suits you best – with a focus on work experience or skills;
- Customize the resume for each position;
- Include only relevant information;
- Highlight achievements and use action verbs to showcase leadership;
- Write a powerful introduction to grab attention.
Skillhub tip: You're almost there! We know, writing a resume is a specific skill that not everyone possesses. If you do not feel confident in your writing, we are always happy to help you with your resume.
Don't forget of writing a great cover letter? Why? To increase your chances of getting noticed - if you're not sure, don't hesitate using a Skillhub's professional cover letter writing service to make it a bit easier is a sound choice.
To lean more on what to include in a cv, visit this page. You'll find all the information you need in one place.