What is a resume?

As a student, or someone who has been in a position long term, you may have never dealt with a resume, or at least not written one recently. This section will just get you familiar with what a resume really means for you as a job seeker and to your potential employers.

What a resume does for you

What benefit do you get from writing a resume? I’m sure you know, your resume is the first impression you make on your potential employer. Your resume should brag(in a good way) about your past accomplishments and what makes you great. So let’s dig in to what that means your resume should showcase.

Primarily, your resume should be a list of the things you’ve done well. Achievements from school, other work, any certificates or awards you’ve received, these all belong on your resume. Think of this as a list of your greatest hits. Did you have exceptionally high grades? Great make sure that is on your resume. Do you lead a successful team at work? Excellent, write it down. Are you certified in an obscure technology? Perfect, display it proudly. Your resume is the place to show off. At this point, don’t worry if you don’t have the most amazing track record, because there are ways that you can make even mundane or average work or grades stand out from the rest.

Do you have a few ideas for what you are going to put in your resume? Great, the next thing to think about is how a potential employer will evaluate your resume.

What a resume does for an employer

An employer gets a lot of job seekers. A great employer may get hundreds, or thousands, of applicants to sort through a day. If you had to sort through thousands of people to find the one or two that are right for the position you are looking to fill, how do you think would be the fastest way to do that? You can’t talk to everyone, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Even better, ask them to send a brief history of who they are and what they know. Then, you can sort out the candidates who are a good fit and spend more time with the right people. Does that sound good to you? It does to many employers and that is why they ask for resumes.

First, a resume helps them identify who is a potential match for a job. Any one can apply to any job, but if a job posting requires a specialized skill, it would make sense to only seriously consider people with that skill.

Second, a resume is a mini psych profile. It gives a reviewer a glimpse into how your mind works. Are you creative, goal oriented, or organized? A well crafted resume reveals some very important characteristics about the way you think. Start thinking of how you want to order your resume, and you can check here for some ideas if your feeling stuck.

Wrap up

Are you feeling more comfortable with why you will need a resume? It’s ok if you aren’t. If it’s been a while, or if it’s your first resume, this is a new skill and something that will take a little time to learn and master. Fortunately, now that you know why a resume is important, you can start brainstorming what should be on your resume. Or, if you are like me, you might want to come up with an outline or structure first. Either way, I wish you the best of luck in your resume writing and would love to hear your thoughts on what your resume means to you!