You have probably seen a job ad or job posting that asks for a resume. Resumes are becoming an expected part of the application process. It takes a little time and effort to put together an effective resume, but it is worth the effort. Recruiters get so many resumes that yours needs to stand out in order to help you with your job search.  Take the time and effort to make your resume the best it can be. Let’s learn more about the basics of resumes before you jump into creating yours.

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In this post, we will answer these questions about the basics of resumes:

  1. What is a resume?
  2. Why is a resume important?
  3. What do employers look for in a resume?

basics of resume

What is a Resume?

When you apply for a job, you will fill out an application.  You will most likely also need to include a resume.  A resume is a short document that summarizes everything about you in one place.  It highlights key areas like your job history, your experience, your skills and abilities, and your education.  You can also include other professional information you feel would be helpful for a recruiter to know about you.

A resume is given to a recruiter or hiring manager during the application process.  Recruiters get resumes from everyone who is applying for the job.  The resume is your opportunity to show your most important experiences in a positive way. You want to create your resume so that it stands out from all of the others.


Why is a resume important?  

The resume is a great tool to help you with your job hunt. If you do a good job writing your resume, you can paint a clear picture of who you are and what you can do for the company or organization. The purpose of the resume is to sell yourself as the right person for the job and to help you get a job interview.  You want your resume to cause the person who is reading it to want to meet with you. After the interview, the resume is also a great document that you can leave with the interviewer. You will not be the only person being interviewed.  Your resume can be a great reminder of who you are and what you can do.

Just having a resume is not enough, though.  When employers have a job opening, they usually get a large number of resumes. Because employers get so many resumes, you want yours to stand out from all of the others. Let’s say you have the abilities or qualifications for a job.  You have a resume, but it is not written well and doesn’t clearly show what skills you have.  This could cost you an interview.  Without an interview, you won’t have an opportunity to get the job.  This is why it is so important to have a well-written resume.

What do employers look for in a resume?

Employers and recruiters usually scan resumes first. This means they will skim over the resume to get an overall impression or feeling about the candidate.  The impression will be poor if the resume isn’t well prepared.  Some of the things that leave a bad impression include resumes that:

  •         Have spelling errors
  •         Have errors in grammar
  •         Are poorly typed
  •         Are not well organized
  •         Have formatting that is not the same throughout

You will notice these things don’t have anything to do with your skills or abilities. But employers feel that if you do not care enough to create a good resume, you will not care about doing a good job, either.  Follow the basics of resumes and don’t let the first impression screen you out of the running for a job.

To make a good first impression with your resume, make sure it has the following:

  •         Neat appearance
  •         Well organized
  •         No spelling errors
  •         No errors in grammar
  •         The same format throughout

Recruiters also look for detailed information about your previous jobs and what you did in those jobs. They look to see what skills and abilities you have and how they match the job you are applying for. They also take into consideration additional information beyond your work experience. This could be things like volunteer work or extracurricular activities. There are many skills and qualities you may have learned through these experiences such as teamwork, dedication, organization, leadership, and many more.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about the basics of resumes. If you would like to learn more about teaching workplace readiness, click the free trial link below.