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A résumé (//, REZ-u-may or //; less frequently // or //; French: [ʁezyme]), also spelled resume or resumé, is a document used by persons to present their backgrounds and skills. Résumés can be used for a variety of reasons, but most often they are used to secure new employment. A typical résumé contains a summary of relevant job experience and education. The résumé is usually one of the first items, along with a cover letter and sometimes an application for employment, which a potential employer sees regarding the job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview. The résumé is comparable to a curriculum vitae (CV) in many countries. However, it is substantially shorter than a CV in English Canada, the U.S. and Australia.
In many contexts, a résumé is typically limited to one or two pages of size A4 or Letter-size, highlighting only those experiences and qualifications that the author considers most relevant to the desired position. Many résumés contain keywords or skills that potential employers are looking for via Applicant Tracking Systems, make heavy use of active verbs, and display content in a flattering manner. Résumés can vary in style and length, but should always contain accurate contact information of the job seeker.
A résumé is a marketing tool in which the content should be adapted to suit each individual job application and/or applications aimed at a particular industry. The transmission of résumés 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 résumé blasting, a term meaning the mass distribution of résumés to increase personal visibility within the job market. However the mass distribution of résumés to employers can often have a negative effect on the applicant's chances of securing employment as the résumés tend not to be tailored for the specific positions the applicant is applying for. It is usually therefore more sensible to optimize the résumé for each position applied for and its keywords. In order to keep track of all experiences, keeping a 'master résumé' document is recommended, providing job-seekers with the ability to customize a tailored résumé while making sure extraneous information is easily accessible for future use, if needed.
The complexity or simplicity of various résumé formats tends to produce results varying from person to person, for the occupation, and to the industry. It is important to note that résumés or CVs used by medical professionals, professors, artists and people in other specialized fields may be comparatively longer. For example, an artist's résumé, typically excluding any non-art-related employment, may include extensive lists of solo and group exhibitions.
Résumés may be organized in different ways. The following are some of the more common formats:
Reverse chronological résumé
A reverse chronological résumé lists a candidate's job experiences in chronological order, generally covering the previous 10 to 15 years. Positions are listed with starting and ending dates. Current positions on a résumé typically list the starting date to the present or to the current year. Both are considered acceptable.
The reverse chronological résumé format is most commonly used by those who are not professional résumé writers. In using this format, the main body of the document becomes the Professional Experience section, starting from the most recent experience and moving chronologically backwards through a succession of previous experience. The reverse chronological résumé works to build credibility through experience gained, while illustrating career growth over time and filling all gaps in a career trajectory. A chronological résumé is not recommended to job seekers with gaps in their career summaries. In the United Kingdom the chronological résumé tends to extend only as far back as the applicant's GCSE/Standard Grade qualifications.
A functional résumé lists work experience and skills sorted by skill area or job function.
The functional résumé is not used to focus on skills that are specific to the type of position being sought. This format directly emphasizes specific professional capabilities and utilizes experience summaries as its primary means of communicating professional competency. In contrast, the chronological résumé format will briefly highlight these competencies prior to presenting a comprehensive timeline of career growth through reverse chronological listings, with the most recent experience listed first. The functional résumé works well for those making a career change, having a varied work history or with little work experience. A functional résumé is also preferred for applications to jobs that require very specific skills or clearly defined personality traits. A functional résumé is a good method for highlighting particular skills or experiences, especially when those particular skills or experiences may have derived from a role which was held some time ago. Rather than focus on the length of time that has passed, the functional résumé allows the reader to identify those skills quickly.
The hybrid résumé balances the functional and chronological approaches. A résumé organized this way typically leads with a functional list of job skills, followed by a chronological list of employers. The hybrid résumé has a tendency to repeat itself and is, therefore, less widely used than the other two.
As the search for employment has become more electronic, it is common for employers only to accept résumés electronically, either out of practicality or preference. This has changed much about the way résumés are written, read, and processed. Some career experts are pointing out that today a paper-based resume is an exception rather than the rule.
Many employers now find candidates' résumés through search engines, which makes it more important for candidates to use appropriate keywords when writing a résumé. Larger employers use Applicant Tracking Systems to search, filter, and manage high volumes of résumés. Job ads may direct applicants to email a résumé to a company or visit its website and submit a résumé in an electronic format.
Many employers, and recruitment agencies working on their behalf, insist on receiving résumés in a particular file format. Some require Microsoft Word documents, while others will only accept résumés formatted in HTML, PDF, or plain ASCII text.
One advantage for employers to online résumés is the significant cost saving compared to traditional hiring methods. Another is that potential employers no longer have to sort through massive stacks of paper.
Infographic, video and website résumés
As the Internet becomes more driven by multimedia, jobseekers have sought to take advantage of the trend by moving their résumés away from the traditional paper and email media.
This trend has attracted criticism from human resources management professionals, who warn that this may be a passing fad and point out that multimedia-based résumés may be overlooked by recruiters whose workflow is designed only to accommodate a traditional résumé format.
Many résumé development agencies offer résumé evaluation services wherein they evaluate the résumé and suggest any necessary changes. Candidates are free to either do those changes themselves or may take help of the agency itself. Some career fields include a special section listing the lifelong works of the author: for computer-related fields, the softography; for musicians and composers, the discography; for actors, a filmography.
Keeping résumés online has become increasingly common for people in professions that benefit from the multimedia and rich detail that are offered by an HTML résumé, such as actors, photographers, graphic designers, developers, dancers, etc. Job seekers are finding an ever increasing demand to have an electronic version of their résumé available to employers and professionals who use Internet recruiting. Online résumé distribution services have emerged to allow job seekers to distribute their résumés to numerous employers of their choice through email.
Résumé as one part of a personal branding mix
In some sectors, particularly in the startup community, use of traditional résumé has seen a consistent decline. While standalone résumés are still used to apply for jobs, job-seekers may also view their résumés as one of a number of assets which form their personal brand and work together to strengthen their job application. In this scenario, résumés are generally used to provide a potential employer with factual information (e.g., achievements), while the social media platforms give insight into the job-seekers' motivations and personality.
- Background check
- Europass European Standardized model
- Federal Resume
- hResume – a microformat for marking up résumés on web pages.
- Résumé fraud
- Curriculum Vitae
Notes and references
- In French, résumé means "summary".
- resume. thefreedictionary.com
- resume. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 30 Oct. 2010.
- About.com Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume?
- "resume". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
French résumé, from past participle of résumer to resume, summarize, from Middle French resumer
- "Functional Resume Format". ResumeGenius.com. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- Garone, Liz (23 June 2014). "To Print Or Not To Print". bbc.com. Retrieved Jun 25, 2014.
- Career Development Articles – Career Planning Guide – Career Opportunities
- Shontell, Alyson (27 February 2013). "10 Resumes That Got Worldwide Attention". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved Jun 25, 2014.
- "Recruiters Tell Us: Do Résumé Fads Really Work?". forbes.com. 18 May 2012. Retrieved Jun 25, 2014.
- Lawrence, Daina (5 June 2014). "Is The Resume Dead?". forbes.com. Retrieved Jun 25, 2014.
|Look up résumé, curriculum vitae, or resume in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Bennett, Scott A. The Elements of Résumé Style: Essential Rules and Eye-Opening Advice for Writing Résumés and Cover Letters that Work. AMACOM, 2005 ISBN 0-8144-7280-X.
- Whitcomb, Susan Britton. Resume Magic: Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer, Third Edition. JIST Publishing, 2006. ISBN 978-1-59357-311-9.
- Thiollet, Jean-Pierre.Euro CV, Paris, Top Editions, 1997. ISBN 2-87731-131-7