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What Is the Resume?

The resume is a document that briefly tells about your education, work experience, skills, and achievements. It is usually submitted to prospective employers together with the application form, cover letter, college transcripts, and recommendation letters, though the requirements for additional documents varies from employer to employer. Indeed, while the submission of the application form, cover letter, or college transcripts is often non-mandatory and depends on the requirements of a particular employer or the field of your specialization, you will not be considered for the position for which you apply, if you do not send your resume to recruiters. Your recruiters decide whether to invite you for a phone interview or a test based narrowly and exclusively on the information written in your resume. Although a well-written cover letter is indispensable for many positions, especially in academia or small businesses, with all other employers the resume carries more weight. It is, therefore, worth investing your energy and time into constructing your resume correctly and thereby turn it into a powerful marketing tool that eloquently reveals your professional value to employers. Nor should you underestimate the fact that employers make their first impression about you while reading your resume. And you never get a second chance to make the first impression; so, do your best to make it outstanding and lasting by writing your resume well.  


How Does the Resume Differ from the CV?

Both the resume and the CV are submitted to employers seeking to hire new employees, when applicants want to be considered for an advertised position. Yet there are telling differences between the two documents. The CV, whose name is abbreviated from the words “Curriculum Vitae” translated from Latin as a “course of life,” is more detailed and thus longer than the resume. To a much larger extent than the resume, the CV centers on applicants’ education and academic background, elaborating on their degrees, research interests, dissertation topics, awards, publications, and presentations. The CV also lists applicants’ memberships and professional affiliations.

The resume, by contrast, does not go to such great lengths to tell about the applicants’ academic achievements. It is thus much shorter than the Curriculum Vitae. What is, however, cognate to both documents is that they feature the most important information that the employer has to know about the applicant’s professionalism to make an informed hiring decision. Both include the information about job seekers’ education, training, work experience, professional qualifications, and people willing to recommend them for a new role. Both documents are also divided into such sections as “Education,” “Work History,” “Skills,” and “Achievements.” The difference between the resume and the CV is often in a degree to which they specify information and not in kind.


What Information Does the Resume Contain?

Your resume is the first document that your recruiters will see, when you apply for your desired position. It needs to be so constructed that after reading it, your potential employers decide to invite you for an interview or a test. To inspire them to go ahead with your candidacy, you need to write your resume according to certain rules. First and foremost, divide it into the following sections:

Education

There are only few jobs in the world to do which people should not be taught. To perform most of the roles in any workplace, employees must have education higher than the one received at school. Including information about your higher education in your resume is thus essential, if you want to be considered for the advertised position. The order in which you list your degrees should be from the lowest to the highest. There is no need to mention your high school diploma, but your bachelor’s degree should be emphasized. There are three types of the bachelor’s degree: the Bachelor of Arts (BA degree), of Science (BS degree), or of Fine Arts (BFA degree). Choose the one relevant to the field of your specialization. Next to your degree, write the name of the institution where you earned it and indicate the year when it was awarded to you.

If you have the master’s degree, write it down after your bachelor’s degree. As there are more master’s degrees available to undergrads, take care to write your degree correctly. People already holding the bachelor’s degree may apply for a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS, MSc), Master of Research (MRes), Master by Research (MPhil), Master of Studies (MSt). Specialized and professional master’s degrees are as follows: a Master of Business Administration (MPA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Public Health (MPH), to name only few of them. Just as you do with your bachelor’s degree, add to your master’s degree the name of the institution that accredited it to you and specify the date when it was awarded to you. If you wish, you can also mention the title of your dissertation.  

Those applicants who hold PhD should list it after their master’s degree. The format is the same. Next to your degree, write down what institution accredited it to you and when. If you are applying for a position where your research counts, refer to the field of your specialization and add the title of your doctorate thesis. Write also the names of your PhD supervisors, since sometimes the name of a scholar who helped you to write your thesis or was on the thesis defence committee may favorably influence your recruiters’ hiring decision. Listing any associate degrees or courses that you completed in the past to advance your career should also be included in your resume. Note that all your degrees and courses should be accompanied with the information about the institution or organization that accredited them to you together with the dates during which you studied toward their completion.   

Work Experience

This is probably the most important part of your resume. In many cases, employers choose whom to call for the phone interview based on their work experience. Invest more effort into constructing this section correctly. First of all, put on the list all jobs you have done for the last ten or fifteen years but do this in a reverse chronological order; that is, your latest job should open up the list. The penultimate work place should come after it, itself followed by the role performed before it. Your list of work places should go back in time descending to the first job relevant to your position. You may omit all jobs extraneous to your expertise or the role for which you are applying. Or list all irrelevant job positions separately under one heading such as, say, “Jobs Done from 2003 to 2014.” Listing all your job positions in the reverse order will help your recruiters clearly trace the trajectory of your career.

Another rule you should follow while describing your work history is this: begin the enumeration of your job places with giving a job title headline. For your potential employers, your job titles will conspicuously highlight your career development. Equally crucial is to indicate dates of your employment. Next to your job title, write a combination of the month and the year in which you started and stopped working in this workplace: August 1999 – December 2007.   

Next comes the name of your employer. Write the name of the company where you worked alongside the job title you had there. It is possible that your recruiters will want to ask your former employers about your past performance at work. A name of the company can serve also as a kind of recommendation, if it is well-known and if it conducts its business successfully. Any big, famous organization mentioned in your work history will put a spotlight on you, immediately giving you more credits, when recruiters see your resume.    

What is also helpful is to write a summary of the responsibilities you shouldered in each of your workplaces. Concisely describe your duties and projects that you completed. The summary of your responsibilities will cause your recruiters to understand whether your work experience matches their expectations and whether you will carry new tasks with precision and success.   

An entry in your Work Experience section should look like this:

February 2012 – October 2015                      Architectural Solutions

                                                                   Intern Architect

                                                                   Developed and executed online, social media, and print  

                                                                   marketing strategies for the new projects.  

Skills

This section of your resume includes a list of your hard and soft skills. To make a better-informed hiring decision, your potential employers will surely want to know what skills you acquired in your former workplaces and what personality traits you possess. Compiling such a list is thus of paramount importance. Your task is to make it relevant to the position for which you are applying. You should have no problem understanding what skills your employers are seeking in their job candidates by looking closely at the job advertisement. Most of the advertised jobs specify not only what duties a hired person will perform but also what skills employees are expected to possess. If, for some reasons, the advertisement of the job for which you applied does not list required skills, you will still understand what they are, if you read the description of responsibilities borne in your new position. Read the list attentively and mentally match a duty with a skill that may help perform it well. If your job requires you to summarize weekly meetings with the upper management, write in your resume that you have strong analytical and writing skills. These two skills will convince your recruiters that they will have a good digest of what was going on during their meetings with their managers, if you get hired. To make this section of your resume more effective, list up to ten hard and soft skills.    

Achievements

To produce a favourable impression on your employers, highlight your achievements. Your success recommends you more than the duties you had in your previous workplace. Everyone can be given tasks, but not everyone can excel in performing them. Show to your potential recruiters that you have skills, abilities, and mettle to shoulder the most difficult responsibilities. When you list those duties that you had in your former workplace, describe also what you achieved performing them. Do not just say that you developed and executed online, social media, and print marketing strategies; emphasize what you and your company accomplished, when you did this. When you bring your achievements to your employers’ attention, you will increase your chances of being invited for the phone or face-to-face interview. It is also advisable to write on your resume what you accomplished in other spheres of your life, be it sport, arts, or entrepreneurship. People who are generally successful and creative impress employers stronger and have more opportunities to become employed.   

Contact Information

Do not forget to put contact information on your resume. On the left upper side of your first page, leave your snail mail and email addresses together with your telephone numbers. If your resume catches the attention of your recruiters, they should know how to get in touch with you. You should also supply the telephone numbers and emails of people who can give you recommendations. Or just write on the bottom of your resume that the details of these people will be available upon request. Your resume will look even more eye-catching, if you write a short statement about yourself on its first page. Before you start elaborating on your education and work experience, write a summary description of yourself and your accomplishments. You may also state in this summary how your experience will contribute to the development of the company for which you are applying.


 

How Can JobTestPrep Help with Writing the Resume?

JobTestPrep goes out of its way to help applicants become employed. To this end, we design close test simulations, step-by-step study guides, and answer keys. We also put a lot of work into assisting job candidates with constructing impressive resumes. We are keenly aware that their resume is what recommends job candidates at initial stages of their recruitment process. Hence, we offer comprehensive interview kits that contain tips on how to conduct oneself impressively during phone and in-person interviews.

JobTestPrep also knows that many companies use a SuccessFactors Applicant Tracking System (ATS), when they want to weed out unpromising job candidates. The Applicant Tracking System scans, screens, and analyzes submitted job applications and resumes. Having done this, it discards the documents of the undesirable applicants. Only if the ATS evaluates job candidates as suitable will they be contacted by Human Resources representatives. As every system, this method of screening is imperfect. The ATS is not a thinking human and thus often turns down resumes that are incorrectly structured and not because their owners do not have required qualifications. Hence, it becomes particularly crucial to construct your resume well, if the company where you want to work deploys the Applicant Tracking System. Here, at JobTestPrep, we give assistance with rewriting your resume according to the requirements of the ATS screening system. With our help, your resume will pass the ATS with success.

Send your resume to us, and our specialists will read and revise it for free. By rewriting your resume, they will make it adhere to the rules of the Applicant Tracking System. Rewritten by specialists, your resume will pave the way for your invitation to the phone and face-to-face interviews and, if you do well during your conversation with your recruiters, to your subsequent employment in the company of your choice.  

JobTestPrep specializes in helping job candidates become hired. The span of our assistance is large. We do not only design accurate test simulations, but we also provide exhaustive information on a variety of subjects related to a recruitment process. Read our information, purchase our tests, and embark on a new stage of your career development.