Some people have asked, “What is the purpose of a resume?” A resume provides a summary of your skills, accomplishments, and experience. It is not an autobiography but, rather a “snapshot” of all the important aspects that best reflect your qualifications for the particular job you are applying for.
Another purpose of a resume is that it is an important factor in determining whether or not you get a job interview. Although certain job applications do not require you to have a cover letter, having a resume is an essential aspect of the job application. A resume is similar to a sales pitch where you are the product and you are trying to convince the buyer, who is the employer. It is a quick advertisement of who you are and why you should be “bought” or hired.
Aside from using your resume to apply for jobs, resumes are also required for other purposes. For example, a student applying for a scholarship or to graduate school may need to include a resume as part of the application. Knowing the purpose of a resume is important because it will determine how your resume should be structured and written.
The 10 second resume rule
Unfortunately, employers are deluged with resumes and may only spend 10 seconds to glance at each resume. Those 10 seconds could make the difference between whether your resume will be tossed or considered for further review. To pass the initial screening, you want to format your resume in a way that is easy to read with keywords that capture the reader’s attention. This includes using resume action words. All of this is important because, even if you meet all the requirements for a particular job, you need your resume to be presented in a way so that employer knows that you “have what it takes.”
Keep in mind that preparing a good resume usually takes a lot of time and effort. It is recommended that after you finish writing your resume, you get it reviewed at least several times before sending it out to employers. A fresh pair of eyes can be very helpful for finding any grammatical and spelling errors. Once you have a resume, be sure to keep it updated to reflect your newly acquired skills and experience. You never know when you might need it for an unexpected opportunity, so be prepared. After all, one purpose of a resume is to get an interview!