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What is a Resume?

Forgive the obviousness of this question, but I find that a lot of people don’t truly understand what a resume is and what it is not.

A Resume is a Marketing Tool Not a Record of Your Job History

When I work with clients I usually have them email me a copy of their old resumes. It helps me to see a list of their past work experiences. I often see what I call “kitchen sink resumes.” Those are resumes that include every position that they have ever held in their lives. No hiring manager is interested in the job that you held in 1985. The section titled, “Professional Experience,” should only feature positions held from the last 10 years or positions relevant to the jobs that you are pursuing.

Back to your resume as a marketing tool; your resume should sell you as the best possible candidate for the job that you are applying for. Think of your resume as making an argument. Everything on your resume should aid in building that argument. Your work study job in the college dining hall, that you held in college over 20 years ago, is not going to help your argument that you should be the new Director of Nursing at Newtown General Hospital.

Every Resume Should Include These Sections

  • Your contact information

  • An Executive Summary

  • Key Skills

  • Professional Experience

  • Education

  • Professional Associations

Your Resume Shouldn’t Include This Information

  • Your hobbies

  • Your gender

  • Your religion

  • Your marital status

Come back tomorrow and I will begin to go into each of the sections of the resume in detail.

Thanks for Reading,

Karen