What’s a Resume for Anyway?

While I certainly understand that looking for a new job can be a challenge, I think most people should write their own resume and cover letter.

The average recruiter spends seven seconds on a resume, so you better be sure your resume is as good as it can be. However, that doesn’t mean that you need a professional resume writer to draft it—especially since you should be revising your resume for each position you are interested in.

A well written resume showcases your strengths and your achievements. Before you respond to a job posting, you’ll have researched the position and the organization. You’ll know what they’re looking for and you will have used the keywords that will get your resume noticed.
This means you will be revising your resume for each position—not to in any way exaggerate your skill sets but to ensure you use their terminology so that your resume doesn’t get screened out by their applicant tracking system. This is why having one resume doesn’t make any sense.

The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview. You want the reader to know who you are; what you’re good at; what experiences you’ve had; what skills you possess; and what your educational background is. Since your resume should describe YOU, you’re the right person to draft it.

It certainly makes sense to have someone review your resume. Select someone you trust but who doesn’t know you very well. Ask them to take a critical look at your resume and see if they get a sense of who you are from what you’ve written. Remember the resume exists to get the interview.

Your resume should be easy to read with font size of at least 11. Use the space wisely but also don’t try to cram everything you’ve ever done on the page. Try to use the white space wisely to make it easy to read. Of course, no spelling or grammar mistakes are allowed! Start with your current or most current position and work backwards. Give enough detail to spark the interest of the reader. Aim for two pages but if you have to go longer, make sure the content is really useful.

I think the resume as we know it will disappear in the next five years. So many organizations now request you to fill out their online application and/or, let you import your LinkedIn profile into their system so focus more on your research into the organization and less on how your resume looks and you should do just fine!

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