What is a resume?

A resume is a document that is used to present your skills, qualifications, experience, education, and contact information to a prospective employer or associate. Resumes are commonly used by job seekers outside the fields of research and academia in North America. In Europe, the use of a curriculum vitae (CV) is more common.

What is the purpose of a resume?

The main purpose of a resume is to communicate your information to a prospective employer with the goal of getting a job. However, the document can also be used to quickly share your relevant professional qualifications with friends and allies who may be able to assist you in your job search.

Because your resume is created to help you obtain employment, the document should not only convey your relevant information to recruiters and hiring managers but also convince them of your value to them.

The best resumes are written to both inform and persuade.

How long should a resume be?

A resume should be as long as necessary to present all of the relevant information about you. However, you should exercise discernment when deciding what information is relevant to the particular role you’re seeking.

Most resumes are one to two pages in length and follow one of several recognized formats. Job seekers with an extensive work history or numerous professional accomplishments may create a resume of several pages. Unlike a Curriculum Vitae (CV), a resume may not include every detail of a person’s past work experience or other achievements. For this reason, a resume is often shorter than a CV.

What are the most common resume formats?

There are three commonly recognized types of resumes: the chronological resume, the functional resume, and the hybrid or combination resume.

In addition, some job seekers may use other formats designed to meet the needs of a particular employer or to reflect the individual’s unique characteristics. Less common resumes include the mini-resume, the infographic resume, and the video resume.

What is the difference between the various types of resumes?

Because the ultimate role of the resume is to convey essential information to a prospective employer, the various resume types differ primarily in their form and the emphasis placed on each type of information.

When choosing a resume type, you should favor the format that most persuasively presents your qualifications.

For most job seekers, using one of the more commonly recognized formats is appropriate. Of the three top resume formats, it is the chronological resume that is often preferred.