Many job seekers undervalue the importance of writing a polished, professional and complete resume. They slap together a poorly designed, poorly structured resume filled with mistakes and then wonder why they didn't get the job. A resume is much more than just a description of your education and professional experience. It's a sophisticated self-marketing tool that can make a huge difference in whether you get hired. Your resume should jump out to an employer and convince him that you're the person for the job.
Gives A First Impression
Unless you've met your future employer in person under other circumstances, your resume and cover letter will likely be a first impression. When reading your introductory resume, your potential employer will automatically form an initial opinion of you that's likely to stick throughout the hiring process. A sloppy resume with spelling mistakes, formatting errors, ugly fonts and missing information can be a one-way ticket to the rejection pile. Prevent this by crafting an attractive, complete resume that represents your best qualities.
Tells Your Employer About Your Credentials
First and foremost, your resume is important because it lists your academic and professional credentials. Employers are looking for qualified individuals whose academic background, job experience and professional skills match the profile of the position for which they are hiring. You don't necessarily need to include all of your work experiences or coursework, just those that pertain to the job for which you're applying. Be as detailed as possible when describing your credentials without being overly wordy.
Improves Self Knowledge
Many people overlook this positive aspect of resume writing. One of the things that employers love to see in a job applicant is highly developed self knowledge; that means knowing your strengths and weaknesses, having clearly defined career goals and knowing what makes you unique and valuable in the work force. The process of writing a resume can really help you define these things for yourself. A general rule is that a resume should not exceed one page, and the process of reducing your entire work and educational credentials to such a short document can help you create a more clearly defined professional identity in the end. This will help you in the interview process and even help guide your job search.
Gets You An Interview
When an employer asks to interview you, you know she is at least somewhat interested in hiring you. This interest likely stems from what she first saw in your resume. Having a dynamite resume that really stands out among other candidates can catapult you from the endless pile of other resumes to the interviewee's chair. The interview itself presents a whole new set of challenges, but having a great resume is your ticket to getting there in the first place.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images