We spend a lot of time discussing HOW to write a resume, but not very much on what a resume really is and why it’s vitally important.
This post is taking a step back to square one, to give you a comprehensive overview of a resume. We’ll discuss a tiny bit of the history and evolution of resumes. Then give a broad look at why we need resumes in the career world. Lastly, most importantly, I’ll give you a breakdown of writing a basic resume.
Let’s get going!
Where did resumes come from?
According to apollotechnical.com, Leonardo DaVinci can be the one to thank for all of us needing to have a resume. In 1482, he wrote a letter requesting a job from the regent of Milan.
Thanks, Leonardo! (That’s mildly sarcastic).
“It is even thought he hired someone to write it so it would look professional and land him the job.”
Unfortunately, he did not land that particular position. But he DID start a trend that would continue for centuries and still exists today. He clearly didn’t hire Resume Assassin.
FUN FACT: Michelangelo wrote grocery lists!
Evolution of the Resume
From there, it started to become increasingly the norm for people to submit a paper with previous roles or detailed accomplishments and tell stories of their work.
The more formal the writing, the more professional it was deemed. It got to the point where resumes were tossed out if they weren’t typed.
As companies expanded and industries grew, it soon became expected that a potential candidate would present a cover letter and resume.
In the 1980s, video resumes became popular, but that all changed very quickly when personal computers became readily available.
Video resumes became obsolete in a hurry. The standard of printing resumes held steady but emailing became a competitor.
Shortly after we started emailing applications, resumes, and cover letters, we began uploading to Indeed and Monster, then LinkedIn.
Now we have ATS to upload all our documents.
Is the Resume Dead?
Nope! Not yet!
But there are plenty of discussions about what is to come next.
It seems interesting in this day and age of RIGHT NOW our resumes are past-oriented. It wouldn’t surprise me if hiring managers will start looking more and more at social media profiles and job sites for more up-to-date information on who their candidate is.
There are also rumblings of a multimedia resume. Think of it like a PowerPoint of who you are.
If the idea of putting together a personal presentation sounds daunting, don’t worry yet. We still have a long road to combat bias before we can seriously start entertaining the idea of a multimedia resume.
Thanks for the History Lesson, now WHAT IS A RESUME?
Simply put, a resume is a document where someone summarizes their employment history, skills, and educational background.
And that is really all it is.
The document helps recruiters and those in charge of hiring make informed decisions to find the best fit for the opening at their company.
Imagine what it would be like if they didn’t have resumes to rely on. They might as well just draw names out of a hat without any information available to them!
How Do I Write a Resume?
Resumes are not easy to write. It is a challenge for anyone, including professional resume writers. It is usually harder for someone else to write their own resume though because most people have a hard time bragging.
Here you are going to earn how to write a very basic resume.
Step 1. Contact Information
The first part of any resume is arguably the most important. Making sure the company has a way to get a hold of you.
You should ALWAYS include your first and last name, email, and phone number. That is the absolute bare minimum. It is standard to include your city and state along with a LinkedIn Profile, if you have one.
Austin, TX – 641-351-9492 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 2. Summary
An executive summary is extremely important as it’s a way to hook the reader and sneak in keywords that align you with the position. The summary is a brief 1-3 sentence (sometimes more depending upon the position you’re targeting) that gives a glimpse into what kind of candidate you are and your most powerful attributes.
Driven and meticulous resume services leader, crafting compelling documents to propel candidates to greater heights in their careers.
Step 3. Skills
The third part of your resume is a list of skills. The amount listed is, again, dependent upon the position you’re targeting, but a fast rule is 6 to 10, up to 12. Don’t stray too far from the job listing when it comes to your skills. For example, if you have experience as a CNA in medication management but you’re in a career change that has nothing to do with medications, then leave that off.
Resume Writing – Cover Letter Writing – LinkedIn Profile Optimization – Project Management
Step 4. Previous Experience
This is the part everyone dreads.
Include your most recent experience for the last 10-15 years. You’ll want to add in where you worked, both location and company name, when you worked there, and your title. Then you will aim to include bullet points that describe your experience and your best achievements at each company.
This section will be keyword rich and full of metrics that help you stand out from the competition.
Resume Assassin, Austin, TX 2014-Present
- Craft 3000+ compelling career narratives from a blank page using client-provided data, tackling a high volume of application documents and client interactions by balancing competing priorities.
- Perform duties efficiently, independently, and accurately to be ahead of deadlines, ensuring all projects are completed, edited, error-free, and submission-ready.
- Explain complex resume writing information in a clear, non-intimidating manner, giving jobseekers the skills required to create an exceptional self-marketing tool.
Step 5. Education
Lastly, save space for your education and any other credentials or volunteer experience.
Master of Education in Leadership & Learning
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Spanish
And there you have it! A barebones, all you need to add, basic resume.
Feeling overwhelmed or don’t have the time to write your resume? Then. . .
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