What Is A Resume For?
The resume is a tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview. If it does achieve interviews, it works, if it doesn't, it isn't an effective resume and in short, it's a simple as that. A resume is an advertisement, nothing more, nothing less.
A great resume is not just a piece of historical record outlining what you have done in your working career. It is a document which turns your history into a statement of claim that the benefits that you have provided to previous employers are being made available to a prospective employer now. A great resume will not fabricate or mislead but it will present you in the best possible light for the role that you have applied for. It convinces the employer that you have the aptitude, background and skills to make you the successful in this new position or career.
A great resume is pleasing to the eye, clean looking with appropriate balance between a sufficient level of content and white space on the page to ensure that the resume is easy to read. The content itself also creates a balance between providing enough information to stimulate interest in meeting you and learning more about you and providing so much information that the employer at best feels that meeting you will not give them any more information however at worst has their mind wandering and wondering if they are reading a resume or a novel. A great resume is deigned to create positive question marks in the employer's mind and to ameliorate any negative question marks that might exist in your career history. It will leave the employer thinking, "this sounds interesting to me, I'd like to meet this person and find out more.." and at the same time will ensure that any red flags are sufficiently addressed that your resume does not end up in the reject pile.
Common resume mistakes include thinking of your resume as a simple historical record, as a personal statement or a novelty item with content that is the resume equivalent of a multicoloured bow tie and braces. Of course your resume will contain historical information and contain personal information but it will look clean and professional and if written from the perspective of engendering interest, will persuade (not dissuade) the employer to meet you.
Most people don't give their resume the due it deserves as a vital tool in their career armory. A fantastic career with the level of remuneration you deserve can positively affect your whole life and yet that first, critical piece of equipment for this journey, your resume, is generally produced in a rush, with relatively little care and often from a feeling of obligation. You wouldn't expect Coca Cola, McDonalds or BMW to put a half hearted effort into marketing their products and the same should be said about you. Your resume is your keystone of your personal career marketing plan and should be invested in wisely. Job seekers who make this connection understand that their resume can be their ticket to getting on their personal 5 star career cruise and that putting time, energy and enthusiasm into the resume writing process can yield career dividends for years to come.