What Is a Resume for a Job?
What is a resume, and when do you need one to apply for a job? A resume is a document that outlines your education, experiences, and skills. When writing a resume, it’s important to show the reader how and why you’re qualified for the job you’re applying for.
Many employers require a resume (and often a cover letter) from candidates for employment. Your resume will help you get a job interview and possibly a job offer, so it’s important that it’s well-written and highlights your most relevant qualifications for the jobs for which you’re applying.
Here’s information on the different types of resumes, what to include in each section, and how to highlight your qualifications.
What Is a Resume for a Job?
Resume Definition: A resume is a concise and structured document that provides an overview of your education, work experience, skills, accomplishments, education, certifications, and other relevant qualifications. Your resume showcases your fit for the role when applying for jobs, internships, or other opportunities.
Types of Resumes
There are different types of resumes you can use to apply for jobs. The four most common types are chronological, functional, combination, and targeted resumes.
Chronological Resume: A chronological resume lists your work experiences in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. This is the most common resume format, used when you have a consistent work history and want to emphasize your career progression.
Functional Resume: A functional resume focuses on your skills and qualifications rather than the chronological order of your work history. It’s useful if you have gaps in your employment history or are changing careers.
Combination Resume: As the name suggests, this format combines elements of both chronological and functional resumes. It highlights your skills and achievements while also providing a chronological work history.
Targeted Resume: A targeted resume is tailored for a specific job or industry. It emphasizes the skills and experiences most relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Tip: Regardless of the resume format you choose, be sure to take the time to tailor your resume so it’s a good fit for the job. TealHQ has a free AI resume builder that will help you create and quickly and easily customize your resume for each application.
When Do You Need a Resume?
A resume is required for almost every job application for a professional role. Some employers only require them for some positions. For example, Amazon doesn’t require a resume for warehouse jobs in Amazon Fulfillment Centers.
If you need to submit a resume with your application, it will be noted in the job posting.
What to Include
A resume should be brief and straightforward, usually not more than two pages, with clear section headings. The key sections to include in a resume are the contact information section, a professional summary, work experience, education, skills, and achievements:
Contact Information: Your full name, phone number, email address, and optionally, your LinkedIn profile or website/portfolio.
Career Summary or Profile: A brief statement summarizing your career goals and what you can offer to the employer.
Work Experience: List your work history in reverse chronological order. Include the company name, your job title, dates of employment, and a description of your responsibilities and achievements.
Education: Include your educational institutions, degrees earned, dates of attendance, and any relevant honors or awards.
Skills: List relevant skills, such as technical skills, languages, certifications, and soft skills.
Achievements or Accomplishments: Highlight specific accomplishments, awards, or projects demonstrating your abilities.
Optional Sections: Depending on your circumstances, you might include sections like certifications, volunteer work, publications, languages, or hobbies/interests
Tips for Writing an Effective Resume
Writing a resume can be overwhelming, but the following tips can help you create a compelling resume that will catch the recruiter’s attention:
- Tailor your resume for each job application to emphasize relevant skills and experiences.
- Use action verbs to describe your accomplishments (e.g., “achieved,” “managed,” “led”).
- Keep it concise; aim for a one-page resume for early career professionals and a two-page resume for those with more experience. For some positions, a longer resume may be required.
- Quantify your achievements with specific numbers and metrics whenever possible.
- Focus on the most recent and relevant information.
- Be honest. If you’re not truthful on your resume, it could cost you a job offer.
- Use a professional and consistent format, font, and layout.
- Carefully proofread and edit your resume before you upload or send it.
- Print a copy to be sure the format is set and there is plenty of white space on the page.
Review Resume Examples
Review examples of resumes for jobs, including internships, entry-level, mid-level roles, executive positions, and many different professions.
Keep Your Resume Current
Once you’ve created a resume, it’s a good idea to keep it updated. It’s much easier to have a resume ready so you can apply for jobs without spending a lot of time updating and editing it.