Whether you are graduating soon, needing to find some additional funding, or just wanting to take advantage of a job opportunity that has come along, one the things that stresses job seekers out the most is getting their resume perfect. Fact is, this only one of the many things that will probably get you stressed during the job search, so allowing yourself to get overly anxious about this step could set you up for a long and stress-filled process. Don't get us wrong, a well-written resume is clearly an important part of a successful job search, but that's all it is: one component. So, spend some time setting up a good basis for your resume ahead of time, so you can focus on more time on other aspects that might be more useful (like networking). Therefore, we've provided this quick guide to get you started.
The Purpose of a Resume
The purpose of a resume is to provide a quick summary of your skills, abilities and accomplishments. Think of it as an advertisement of who you are, emphasizing your interest and ability to do the job you are applying for. The goal is to secure an interview where you can talk more about yourself, so don't try to include everything in your resume. It's not an autobiography!
CV vs Resume
There are three major differences between CVs and resumes: length, purpose and the layout.
A resume is a brief summary of your skills and experience over one or two pages while a CV is more detailed and can stretch well beyond two pages. Your resume should also be tailored to each position you are applying for, whereas the CV will stay the same (however, updated with other scholarly accomplishments) and any real changes will be in the cover letter. Yes, this means you’re going to have to make decisions about what to include and how you present yourself.
How do you begin writing a resume?
In order to effectively convey your strengths, start with a short self assessment.
- Begin with a list of your greatest accomplishments and personal qualities.
- Describe your skills and accomplishments with each employer by using action words and list the skills that you would like to use on a new job.
- Write a chronological history of your employment, training, volunteer work and extra-curricular activities.
- Now, analyze the requirements of the new job you want to apply for. Compare the skills required with your background and indicate how you have demonstrated these skills.
Once you have this information organized and ready to go, check-out our resume formatting essentials.