what is a resume

Cover Letter + Resume Tips

What is a Resume

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 Cover Letters:
 What is a Cover Letter?
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 Resume Basics:
 What is a Resume?
 Writing Your Career Objective
 Writing Your Profile
 Gaps in Your Work History
 Common Mistakes

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Job Pixie   >   Cover Letter + Resume Tips   >   Resume Basics   >   What is a Resume

A resume is a short (one or two pages normally) document that you provide to potential employers. It contains basic information about you, your experience and your skills. Obviously, since the whole purpose of sending out your resume is to get a job, you obviously want to present yourself in the best light possible - while of course remaining entirely truthful. It is also essential that you include all the relevant information that a potential employer wants to know including career objectives, professional experiences and achievements, and educational qualifications.

The heading of the resume should contain your name, address and contact information. The body of the resume should be broken into the following sections:
  • Career Objective:

    This is a brief section of about two sentences; it should give your potential employers an idea of how you wish to move forward in your professional life.

  • Profile/Summary:

    This section should also be fairly brief (although somewhat longer than "Career Objective"), perhaps a few well-written sentences. In this section you should discuss who you are, and how your skills and experience make you suitable (ideal!) for the job that you are interested in. It's okay to be somewhat creative, but don't go overboard - remember to stay professional and business-like.

  • Professional Experience:

    In this section you should include information on one to five jobs you’ve held, starting with your current or most recent job, and working backwards through your previous positions in chronological order (most recent jobs before prior jobs). For each job you should includes the dates of your employment, the name of the company or person that you worked for, the city and state where you worked (the full address is unnecessary), your job title and a summary of your main responsibilites. You should of course draw attention to particular achievements or duties that you had in the past that would position you well for the job that you are applying for.

  • Achievements:

    In this section you should list achievements, volunteer positions, publications and interests if they are applicable or related to your professional career. For example, if you wrote a book or published magazine article for whatever industry you are in, if you invented something that was patented, if you won an award, or if you helped your employer in achieving an important goal, be sure to list these things.

  • Education and Qualifications:

    This section should include college, graduate and post-graduate work, as well as any courses or professional certifications that are relevant to your career development.

  • References:

    If the employer has requested references with your resume, you should list them - in fact, if applying for a specific position (rather than merely circulating your resume online or through recruitment agencies), it's a good idea to list them. Some people put statements such as "references being available upon request", however most employers will assume this is the case anyway.
In all the sections, you should be careful to avoid placing personal information that discloses ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, living situations, or any other personal information that is not directly related to your career. Additionally, you should be careful to present you resume as well as possible, and perhaps also (if applying for multiple positions), customizing your resume slightly for each position that you apply for, in order to emphasize those points which are most relevant to each job.

You must also make sure that there are no errors in your resume. Check it. Double check it. Triple check it! Ask your spouse or a friend to check it. Check the spelling, including any company or school names. Furthermore, while it is okay to use some formatting, don't go overboard - format your resume professionally and tastefully - that means no garish colors, no huge text, and stick to a simple classic font throughout such as Times Roman or Arial.

The key thing to remember is that your resume is your sales pitch to potential employers - and you need to sell yourself in the best possible way by showcasing your positive attributes. A great resume really will make you stand-out from other candidates!

Related Web Sites & Pages

Here are some other websites that may be of interest:
  • CareerAssist
    We offer affordable, easy-to-use cover letter and resume builder software and resume and cover letter critique services

  • Post Your Resume for FREE at HotResumes.com

  • Resume and Cover Letter Secrets Revealed
    "This do-it-yourself manual makes writing your own resume and cover letter a breeze... even for someone who's never written them before!"

  • Resume Rabbit
    This site INSTANTLY submits a customers resume and job requirements on up to 75 top job sites including Monster, Job.com, CareerBuilder, Net-Temps, Dice and more! Once finished our customers can be seen by over 1.5 million employers and recruiters daily. It takes customers ONLY 5 minutes & saves them over 60 hours of research and data entry. Best of all, its easy to use and produces REAL results! Since January 2001 ResumeRabbit has performed 1,000,000's of resume submissions for loads of happy customers. And the site has great testimonials to prove it!

  • Sample Resumes
    Resume and Cover Letter Samples Package.
Here are some other pages on this website that may be of interest:
Instantly post your resume on 75 career sites!

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