What is the Purpose of a Resume?

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The resume has been part of human society for the longest time. No job application process is ever complete without it. Research shows that the earliest records of a resume date back to around 1500s England

No one can specify who first utilized a resume, but records say Leonardo da Vinci is one of the pioneers. In 1482, da Vinci wrote a letter similar to a resume to the Duke of Milan to gain patronage and support. Da Vinci’s correspondence contained detailed information about his education and career history.

In another 100 years, the concept of a resume became more relevant than ever. An English land surveyor named Ralph Agas wrote a summary of his services and past achievements as part of an advertisement. He purposefully did it to inform the public of his prowess and reach interested clients.

The modern usage of a resume became more prominent in the 20th Century. During the 1930s, a resume is a mere formality. Employees draft on scraps of paper during breaks. Decades later, specifically around the 1960s, companies started requiring it for anyone applying for a position. The same practice remains for all job seekers today.

A resume is a self-introduction, record of competency, marketing document, and more. Use it right, and it will boost the chances of landing a dream career.

resume and laptop

What is a resume?

A resume is a summary of abilities, positions, and achievements. It is what you give to hiring managers to convince them to hire you. Through it, you can create a lasting first impression even before the interview phase.

This document will introduce who you are as a person and professional. Looking at your resume, hiring managers will analyze your performance with past employers and your performance with them. The way you handle previous positions can separate you from others.

A resume then estimates your fitness for a chosen career. If you do not possess the required skills, getting a job will be more challenging. An ideal resume should prove to a prospective employer that you will become an asset.

What is the purpose of a resume? There are several ways to answer this question. Keep on reading.

Purpose 1: It demonstrates your writing proficiency

The ability to write proficiently is a must-have for any profession. Since you cannot display your abilities for specific roles before the interview stage, composing an effective resume is critical.

Writing proficiency makes a resume more marketable to a hiring manager. Submissions must be organized and functional. In most cases, applicants incorporate an attention-grabbing header. Rushed and improperly made resume headers will harbor negative impressions. It is ideal to be attentive to every detail.

Creating a good resume header can be tricky. Potential employers would view submissions differently. Despite their preference in style or format, choosing a formal-looking set-up would be the safest bet.

Draft better resume headers. Skill Success has a quick guide on how to write a resume header. It has 30 quick-to-follow examples.

Purpose 2: It encapsulates your skills

Good resumes strategically highlight assets. Applicants must entice a hiring manager or future employer that their services can add value to their desired positions.

Tips on outlining skills

  1. Categorize skills into hard and soft skills. Add these hard skills to your resume.
  1. Gauge personal competency. Add the level of proficiency for all skills listed.
  1. Provide a skill summary. Explain critical and niche skills briefly.
  1. List technical skills before interpersonal skills. Interviewers will look at skills that match the job post. Most of these skills are technical skills.

Candidates will benefit a lot from constantly learning new skills. While waiting for interview schedules, explore Skill Success’ educational repository. Find exciting career development courses to bolster your chances of landing better offers and positions.

Purpose 3: It summarizes previous job experiences

One of the first sections a hiring manager or future employer finds in a resume is the summary of past experiences. This list helps assess applicants’ level of professionalism and performance.

The job experience section should contain specific information detailing notable performances with a previous employer. Through it, candidates can bump themselves into the interview phase.

Creating a work summary is a meticulous process. Since not all work experience is relevant to every career prospect, candidates must be intent in refining their resumes. A good experience section should be well-formatted, brief, compelling, syntax-free, and comprehensive.

See an example in this entry level copywriter resume. Study how Resume Giants wrote the experience section and try to apply the same technique to your resume.

Improving the experience section

Good writing is at the core of an impressive experience section. Continue growing by reading reliable sources on how to improve basic writing.

Purpose 4: It quantifies your accomplishments

There is a lot to learn in understanding what is the purpose of a resume. Many forget that a resume is an assessment in itself. It is a self-made quantification of abilities for applicants to prove their fitness for a desired career.

Enumerating career achievements is an efficient use of resume space. Through it, applicants can recount how they excelled while working with past employers. But before making an accomplishment list, know that not all meritorious acts may add value to resumes.

Accomplishments interviewers look for

  1. Level of increase in sales
  2. Amount of money saved for the company
  3. Resolved corporate and organizational issues
  4. Successfully implemented procedures and systems
  5. Innovative initiatives that made significant contributions
  6. Latin honor titles and other education-based achievements
  7. Special projects, especially those made in collaboration with other entities

Depending on the required skills and qualifications, applicants should consider all kinds of contributions to create a positive impression on a hiring manager.

Purpose 5: It stands as a comprehensive profile

A survey says that a resume has a 75% chance of being rejected before a hiring manager reads it. To be part of the successful 25%, applicants should do their best to be as noticeable as possible. One way to achieve this is by incorporating creative ways to stand out in a job interview.

Besides creating a comprehensive and cleanly formatted resume, it is equally crucial to customize it. Many applicants forget that a resume is a document representation of their professional self. Since no two people are alike, so should resumes.

Ways to personalize a resume

A resume should custom fit your achievements, abilities, and other attributes. The interview phase would not be as challenging when you wholly capture yourself in a resume.

  1. Incorporate bullets and tables
  2. Highlight power keywords often found in job posts
  3. Attach relevant certificates
  4. List hobbies and miscellaneous services

Hobbies can add more dimension to your resume. Here is a guide on what hobbies to include in a resume.

Purpose 6: It sets the tone for your interview

A good resume creates thrice more chances of proceeding to an interview than a bad one. In addition, it will set a more dynamic interview phase. Proper preparation will make a difference along the way.

Impressing an interviewer through a resume

  1. Write concise paragraphs
  2. Show proof of all listed achievements, contributions, and skills
  3. Keep the outline as clean as possible
  4. Insert statistics and other relevant metrics
  5. Imbue your resume with personality
  6. Refrain using figurative languages and clichés
  7. Mention keywords that would appeal to recruiters

In addition to these tips, applicants should prove that they can be team players. Having a team player resume makes one more desirable for any company. Regardless of qualifications, all jobs need personnel who can cooperate with others to ensure systematic flow.

Purpose 7: It is an open invitation to potential employers

Besides being informative, a resume should be persuasive. It should be thought-provoking enough for any interviewer to consider that the sending applicant can fit perfectly into varied job positions. 

When submitting a resume, one should think about how future employers would react. Take advantage of experiences with past employers and job positions to create an engaging work summary. Before submitting a resume, determine if these details are inviting enough to warrant an interview.

What employers look for in a resume

  1. Academic and professional background
  2. List of accomplishments relevant to the positions applied for
  3. Bullet points of previous job descriptions
  4. Lack of clerical and grammatical errors
  5. Job keywords relating to a company’s needs

Skill Success has proven and tested tips on writing a killer resume. Take time to practice to ensure a more successful job application process.

Final thoughts 

Do not underestimate the power of your resumé. Anything you write in this simple document will say a lot about your potential for better jobs. For example, try refining your content to capture the interest of recruiters.

One of the best ways to improve your resume is to expand your professional qualifications. Succeed in any endeavor by accomplishing our career development courses. Skill Success’ e-library can transform you into a more competitive candidate.

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