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What is a resume?

The resume is the first impression that a prospective employer has of you, making it not only the initial, but also the most crucial step you take in your job search.

It is your personal marketing tool, and you have to use it properly.

Think always of your resume as a selling tool that outlines your skills and experiences so that an employer can see, at a glance, how you can contribute to the company.

Resume is the American English word used for the Latin expression “curriculum vitae,” which is a brief written account of one's past history, used when applying for a job. In the American English usage, the term “curriculum vitae” is reserved for longer resumes, used in the medical and academic fields, which generally include not only experience and education but also publications, certifications, courses taught, presentations, awards and honors and professional associations.

Well designed resumes

Even though content is important, well-qualified people often are not considered for positions because of poorly designed resumes, and just the opposite can be true. Even if your qualifications are not the greatest, a well-designed resume improves your chances of getting an interview. Incidentally, many people assume that sending a resume to an employer will get them a job. This is not the case: The purpose of a resume is to secure an interview and, through this, to get the job.

You should write your resume tailored both for the position you want and for the employer to whom you send it; consequently, you probably won't send any two resumes that are exactly alike.

Chronological resumes and functional resumes

There are two basic types of resumes: the chronological and the functional or skill-based resume.

The chronological resume lists your job history beginning with your present or most recent position.

The skill-based or functional resume emphasizes your abilities and accomplishments without providing detailed background information on where and when you acquired these skills.

The right resume for you

Choosing one type of resume or another will depend on your personal job-search situation. The functional or skill-based resume, which allows you to play down gaps in your experience, is especially suitable for people entering the job market for the first time. Conversely, people who can show a long labor history may choose the chronological resume as the one that fits their situation best.

Once you define your own job-search situation, EasyJob will propose the right type of resume according to the option you made. Obviously, you may introduce any change you think is better for your particular case. Take care, however, not to change the order of the sections given by the software. The order provided is based on the accumulated knowledge of many employment experts. Certainly, you may change the order of the elements within a given section as a way to draw attention to the ones you think should be emphasized (for instance, mentioning first the name of the company when this is more "impressive" than the position).

Resume writing techniques

Use action verbs (administered, assisted, budgeted, completed, gained, inspected, reduced, organized, upgraded, structured, etc.) and avoid using first-person pronouns (I, We).

Be extremely careful with grammar and spelling. Remember that spell-check programs do not catch all typos, particularly those words that are spelled correctly but used incorrectly.

The following sentence gives you an example: “I was glad to get his advise.” “Advise” in this sentence is wrong. The correct word is “advice.” Spell check programs, however, will not change “advise” to “advice,” because “advise” is the correct spelling for the verb “to advise.”

Always use high-quality paper (at least 40-lb. weight) in white, ivory, or light gray. If you want to be noticed, use a soft-colored paper such as salmon, light blue, or light blue-green; your résumé will stand out against the piles of ivories and whites. Before making your final selection, make sure that the color that you have chosen will photocopy well. Your resume will most likely be duplicated and faxed by employers, so this is an important factor.

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