What is a Resume really?

We all use Resumes, businesses and individuals need them for varying reasons, but what is a Resume really?

One definition of a Resume is ‘a compilation of your work experience, education, other credentials and accomplishments that is used to apply for jobs’. Sound familiar right?

Now read the definition of the word ‘promotion’. ‘The publicising of a product, organisation or venture so as to increase sale or public awareness’. Also sounds familiar yeah?

If you think about it, these are actually VERY similar. What you want your Resume to do is to highlight and promote you so a recruiter finds you an attractive candidate for their needs.

Abstract example: Imagine that a customer comes into a store and wants to buy a cake. This customer knows what they want. They look and look and after all their frantic searching through shelves, they can’t seem to find it. They next ask the Store Clerk to see if they have it; “Ah yes ofcourse! Why didn’t you just ask in the first place! Here you are”. The customer finally gets what they want.

Now with this example, imagine the customer was a recruiter, the cakes are all the candidates that have applied for the job and the Store Clerk is a database of Resumes.

Your ‘cake’ needs to be easy to find and buzzing with awesomeness, smelling fresh, visually appealing and tasting great, exactly what this customer wants. With your Resume, you also want it looking visually interesting and containing lots of information relevant for the job you are apply for which in turn means relevant for the recruiter's needs.

By this point you must be thinking two things… 1. I’ve heard that before. 2. I kinda fancy some cake.

I can’t help with your sudden cake cravings, but I can elaborate on the Resume subject. Well simply put your Resume is a sales document. It is there so you can look as appealing as you possibly can for that position and thus the recruiter. It’s not something that should be ‘good enough’ to send in. This document is arguably the most important document you will go through life with. It’s your own brand, it tells people who you are and what you do.

Michael Jordan was a famous basketball player, his last game being more than 12 years ago. In this ever changing, rapid moving planet we live on, how on earth is this guy the most famous basketball player even until this day?... I’ll tell you, absolutely fantastic marketing and branding… and they look pretty sweet.

Your name is your brand just like Michael Jordan. When someone says your name you want them to associate you to your desired industry in this case yeah? My point here being, what kind of brand are you portraying?

So, in this weird article, what should you be taking away from this? That you need to buy cake? That you need to get the next Jordans that come out? You can if you like and in both cases money well spent in my opinion but the bigger picture here is that your Resume is crucial if you want to be chosen for an interview, it is the single most important document that determines whether you will be called in for that interview or not. It communicates who you are and what you do (your personal brand).

It’s time you think of your Resume a little less as just a piece of paper and to start to think of it as your own sales document and personal brand.

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Harry Latham