A resume is a personal marketing tool, citing a person’s background, education, skills, relevant trainings and work experience, and other qualifications. It is often a major part of an application for employment, submitted with a cover letter expressing the person’s intent to apply for a specific job or position.

Essentially, it is a document that communicates the many reasons why the person is the best candidate for a job or an employment post.

Applicants use resumes to showcase what they have to offer; in turn, potential employers use them as a screening tool and a reference for a subsequent interview, if any.

Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae, or CV, is often thought of as the same thing as the resume. They may have the same purpose, but they are not one and the same.

Curriculum vitae, which literally translates to “course of life” in Latin, is an in-depth document containing detailed information about the person. The detailed information is presented in chronological order. It often reaches up to two sides of an A4-size paper.

Resume, on the other hand, is the French word for “summary”, and that is where its major difference with a CV lies. It is brief, concise, and highlights only the main points instead of going into great detail. Usually, it is only one page long. The presumption is that the person who will be reading the resume will only skim through it, so it is important that only the most important points are written.

They also differ in their customization. A CV is static; it does not change in accordance with the job being applied for. Therefore, it can be used in many different job applications. Meanwhile, a resume is more flexible; it can be adapted or changed to fit any position being applied for, emphasizing on the points why the person is most suitable for the post. Chronology of events is not strictly required, as the applicant can rearrange the listing in a way that will present his or her qualifications in the best way.

Elements of an Effective Resume

A good resume contains the following: personal information and contact details, educational background and history, employment history, major accomplishments, achievements and recognitions in education and in previous employments, any special qualifications or skills, and professional or character references.

To make a resume effective, the following elements should be present:

  • Proper Formatting – The flexibility of resumes also extends to how they are formatted. There are many layouts that can be followed; choose one that will highlight your qualifications the most.
  • Appropriate Content – This refers to the correctness or accuracy of the information presented. They should be based on facts, verifiable, and measurable.
  • Concise Presentation of Facts – Make sure to present only the information required for the job. Employers won’t bother going through blocks of unnecessary text when screening applicants.
  • Cover letter – A resume should always be accompanied by a letter of intent or an application letter.

A resume is a form of self-advertisement; you are selling yourself, so make sure to create more than a good copy.