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Alternate Names:

A Resume is also known as:

  • CV
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Profile
  • Employment History
  • Conspectus

What is a resume?

A resume is a document that outlines your qualifications, including your previous work and volunteer experience, education, and skills. When you apply for jobs, employers review your resume to determine if you are qualified for a position.

What is included in a resume?

A resume includes various sections that list your qualifications, including:

Your contact information: how employers should get in touch with you. Usually, applicants will list their name, phone number, mailing address, and email address. Listing your mailing address indicates if you're a local or out-of-town applicant.

Career objective/profile/summary: located near the top of your resume, a career objective is a summary of your future career goals and may include an overview of your experience, skills, and education, as well as what kind of employment you're looking for.

Education: high school, college, or university coursework, as well as any diplomas, degrees, certifications, or licenses.

Work experience: your previous job history, including temporary, part-time, and full-time work, the length of each job, and a description of your duties.

Volunteer experience: any time you've spent volunteering for a non-profit organization, community organization, club, group, or association.

Skills: qualifications you possess, including personal attributes such as hardworking, or practical skills, such as data entry.

References: people, such as past colleagues, teachers, mentors, or employers who can speak to your character and skills.

Additional headings may include affiliations, hobbies/personal interests, work samples, awards, languages, and publications.

How do I write a resume?

You can use a word processor to write your resume, or you can use a resume builder that takes care of the formatting for you.

When entering your information into a resume builder, it's important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Try to ensure that you use professional language and that your answers are free of spelling or grammatical errors.
  • When describing past job responsibilities and accomplishments, use action words. For instance, assisted customers instead of customer assistance.
  • If you're describing an action that happened in the past, make sure to express it that way. For example, you assisted customers, organized fundraisers, or sold clothing.

What is the difference between a CV and a resume?

The terms, curriculum vitae (CV) and resume are used interchangeably. Although very similar in purpose, a resume is considered a short overview of your work experience, whereas a CV is a detailed explanation of your education and experience. CVs are also commonly associated with positions in academia and research.

How do I write a resume if I have no job experience?

If you have no prior job experience, don't worry. You can highlight other skills and experience instead. For instance, do you have any volunteer experience that demonstrates you're qualified for a job? Are you a recent graduate with special training or certifications? What are your top skills?

What you lack in job experience, you can try and make up in other valuable skills.

Should I tailor my resume to each job I'm applying for?

Your resume can remain the same for most jobs, but it's recommended that you tailor your career objective to each position you're applying for. Try to appeal to the employer's needs when customizing your objective by showing your interest and enthusiasm in the position.

If you're sending a cover letter with your resume, you should also make it relevant to the role and company that you are applying for by answering the question, why should they hire me?

What should not be included in a resume?

To avoid looking unprofessional, here are a few items that should not be included in a resume:

  • Your photo
  • The title, "Resume"
  • An unprofessional email address
  • Your salary expectations or what you earned at previous jobs
  • Why you left previous jobs
  • Personal details, such as your marital status
  • Social Security Number

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