The Purpose of a Resume

If you’re a jobseeker, you know your resume is a valuable tool to land interviews. Most companies require candidates to submit a resume and a cover letter as part of the hiring process. 

So, what’s a resume and why is it important?

Your resume is a written compilation of your experiences, skills, education, accomplishments and your unique added value — consider it your marketing brochure. It will make a first impression of you when you’re not present. The main purpose of the resume is to showcase your offered value, your match with the organization and mainly, to persuade the employer to invite you for an interview

According to a study released by TheLadders, a recruiter will spend an average of 6 seconds looking at a resume before deciding to look into it further or toss it away. With years of recruitment experience myself, I know this statement to be true.  Through long lists of job applications, only a handful of candidates are selected for interviews. 

 The retained resumes usually possess these four strong characteristics. They are:

  1. Relevant to the role

    Structured and focused, with pertinent content (work experience, qualifications, skills, accomplishments, internship, education) for the targeted job.

  2. Factual

    Elaborated with valuable quantitative and/or qualitative information. 

    E.g., “Environmentally conscious manager” VS “An environmentally conscious manager, reduced department paper consumption by 60% and cut down office supply costs by transferring all manuals, policies, and all other employee documents to digital format.”

  3. Articulate 

    Express accountabilities and achievements in compelling and clear vocabulary. 

  4. Visually appealing

    A document with a clear format, white-space between paragraphs, section headings, bullet points, an easy to read font (e.g., Arial, Garamond, Calibri,Times New Roman), no typos and spelling errors.

 Clearly communicate how you can be of benefit to the employer’s organizational needs.

When a company/organization has a vacant position, they wish to hire a key individual to help them reach their corporate goals.  A hiring manager analyzing resumes, thinks:  "What can this candidate do for our organization?"and "Why should I hire this individual?". 

To answer these questions, carefully read and analyze the job description. Then, customize and align your resume for the job you want by doing the following:

  • Focus on your skills most significant to the role.

  •  Rearrange sections to showcase the most relevant experience at the top.

  •  Use specific keywords (they can be found in the job description). 

  •  Include accomplishments. Think of things you implemented or achieved in your past and current roles beyond your basic job duties, that left a positive impact on the company.

  • Add numbers and factual examples to emphasize your most pertinent accomplishments.

  • Proof read and correct typos, spelling errors. 

Your resume is the first step in the job application process; take the time to create a solid document that will get your phone ringing for interviews.

Wishing you much success!



About the author

Karine Shogher Touloumjian is a bilingual Canadian Certified Resume Strategist with a background in Recruitment and Human Resources.

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