Your résumé is one of the most important documents you will ever prepare. It is a statement of your abilities, skills, achievements, and aspirations. Essentially, it is an advertisement where you are the product — your own personal marketing tool.
While you are developing your résumé, it is important to keep in mind:
- Just like real-world advertisements, résumés are meant to be attention-grabbing. Reviewers are often going through a batch of résumés quickly, which doesn't give you a lot of time to communicate your strengths, skills, and goals. Therefore, it is important to clearly and concisely capture their attention immediately.
- Résumés are fluid; that is, they are never "done." You will be adding, editing, and reformatting throughout your working life. Sometimes you will need to tailor your résumé to a specific field or even a particular job in a specific company. Résumés are also individualized — what works for your roommate will not necessarily work for you, and that's a good thing. You want your résumé to reflect your unique abilities, skills, achievements, and aspirations.
- A résumé alone will never get you a job. The primary function of your résumé is to convince an employer to interview you. It is the interview that will hopefully lead you to the job offer.