Chapter I. Selling Yourself on Paper
What is a resume?
- A personal, individual summary of your background, experience, training, and skills.
- An opportunity to present your best qualities to an employer the way you want to be seen.
- A calling card to remind the interviewer or employer who you are.
- A prospect for you to generate interviews outside your geographic area.
- A way for employers to compare your specific qualifications to those of other candidates.
Why is a resume so important?
- Resumes are expected for almost all types of jobs from clerk to chief executive officer.
- Resumes serve as a focus for, and will help you improve, your interview. Once they are organized on paper, you will find it easier to discuss your assets.
- Resumes allow you to have all the facts at your fingertips. This will eliminate fumbling for dates and significant facts.
Three types of resumes
- Chronological - Lists your experience in reverse order. The focus is on your work experience. Although most familiar to employers, it causes gaps in work history to stand out. It does not allow you to highlight skills. Good for those searching for work in a same/similar field and those with strong work history.
- Functional - Highlights your best skills and downplays work experience (good for students, ex-offenders, displaced homemakers, those with less experience).
- Combination - Combines the best of chronological and functional. Although it takes longer to write, it allows for greater versatility. Choosing words carefully and laying out the resume effectively are the greatest priorities in this style.