Tuesday, February 24, 2009


A resume is a document presented by a job applicant to a prospective employer outlining and summarizing that person's qualifications for employment. A resume generally includes data on education, previous work experience, and personal information, and well-crafted ones are composed in such a way as to maximize the applicant's attractiveness as a potential employee. A resume is generally accompanied by a cover letter which introduces the applicant and the resume to the employer. The purpose of a resume is to obtain an interview, not to land a job. This is an important distinction. Whether or not a person is hired is largely determined by what transpires during the job interview, not by the resume. A resume is extremely important, however, because it provides the employer with a first impression of the job applicant. From this first impression a decision will be made as to whether or not an interview will be granted.


In many contexts, a resume or CV is short (usually one page), and therefore contains only experience directly relevant to a particular position. Many resumes contain precise keywords that the potential employers are looking for, make heavy use of active verbs, and display content in a flattering manner.

In the past, resumes/CVs used to be no longer than two pages, as potential employers typically did not devote much time to reading resume details for each applicant. In some countries employers have changed their views regarding acceptable resume length. Since increasing numbers of job seekers and employers are using Internet-based job search engines to find and fill employment positions, longer resumes/CVs are needed for applicants to differentiate and distinguish themselves. Since the late 1990s, some employers have been more accepting of résumés that are longer than two pages, but not those in Australia. Many professional resume writers and human resources professionals believe that a resume/CV should be long enough so that it provides a concise, adequate, and accurate description of an applicant's employment history and skills. The transmission of resumes/CVs directly to employers became increasingly popular as late as 2002. Job seekers were able to circumvent the job application process and reach employers through direct email contact and resume blasting, a term meaning the mass distribution of resumes/CVs to increase personal visibility within the job market. However the mass distribution of resumes/CVs to employers often can have a negative effect on the applicant's chances of securing employment as the resumes/CVs tend not to be tailored for the specific positions the applicant is applying for. It is usually therefore more sensible to adjust the resume/CV for each position applied for.

The complexity and simplicity of various resume/CV formats tend to produce results varying from person to person, for the occupation, and to the industry. It is important to note that resumes/CV used by medical professionals, professors, artists and people in many other specialized fields may be comparatively longer. For example, an artist's resume/CV, typically excluding any non-art-related employment, may include extensive lists of solo and group exhibitions.