The #1 purpose of a résumé is quite simple and straightforward: it’s to get you an interview! Companies use resumes to screen applicants for interviews and determine which candidates have the background that most closely matches with the employer’s requirements.
An effective resume should capture the interest of the person who is reading it, show that you are a close match to the criteria they are looking for, and make them want them to find out more about you. In other words, a resume is a marketing tool that should entice an employer to want to find out more about you.
Unlike a job application, it is not a legal document and there is no requirement that it must contain a complete history of everything you’ve ever done. It should be truthful, but it’s up to you to decide what to include or not include.
Most resumes only get 15 seconds of the recruiter or hiring manager’s attention, so you should do everything you can to make sure that your resume is easy to read and packs the most punch in as few words as possible. From scanning your resume, the hiring manager or recruiter should be able to tell easily:
1) What you do for a living;
3) What industry you work in;
3) What are your most significant skills and experience; and
4) What you are looking to do.
Have others you trust view your resume, and see if they can easily answer these questions after scanning your resume. If they can’t answer those basic questions after looking at your résumé for 15 seconds, you need to work on it! Use the checklist and tips throughout this guide as you go through the process of revising and rewriting your resume.