Why Is A Resume Important? (With Types And Tips For Writing)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A resume is a vital tool in a job search since it provides you with a page or two to highlight your best and most relevant abilities and attributes. Employers use resumes to make recruiting choices, and it can also help you secure your first interview after submitting a job application. If you are engaged in a job search, you may benefit from reviewing the layout of your resume and the content you choose to include in it. In this article, we examine the importance of a resume and provide practical tips that can help you in crafting an efficient resume.

Why is a resume important for professionals?

The answer to the question, 'Why is a resume important?' is that it is normally required for moving further in an interview process in a competitive job market. An excellent and well-crafted resume can show companies right away why a candidate is a good fit. Here are some reasons why having a resume is beneficial while looking for a new job:

Lists your applicable experience and skills

To potential employers, a well-structured resume clearly displays your most appealing skills and expertise. For this reason, it is critical to make sure your resume reflects your most recent skills and experiences. You can use colours, suitable margins and design in an effective resume to ensure that you display relevant work experience in a way that showcases unique achievements.

Related: What Is Relevant Experience? (With Examples And Tips)

Showcases the benefits you provide to companies

A resume conveys to companies what you can potentially contribute to a business operation in addition to listing your skills and detailing your expertise. For example, instead of stating that you are a ‘top performer', you may consider adding that you ‘achieved ₹95,00,000 worth of sales'. Employers are more likely to be able to quantify the value you contribute to an organisation when you provide tangible metrics of performance. Including three or four achievements under each instance of work experience makes it easier for hiring managers to generate a comprehensive understanding of your abilities.

Attracts the attention of potential employers

The top-most portion of a resume is typically the section that a reader sees first. In addition to your name and contact information, be sure to provide vital summarising information above the first fold. Using a layout that allows for suitable colours or images is another technique to catch an employer's attention.

To introduce yourself to potential employers, you can use a headshot photo or a personal logo. If you print your resume, make sure that you print it on paper stock that stands out in terms of quality and durability. There are many alternatives to pick from, so keep industry standards in mind while selecting paper and printer ink.

Matches you to a job role

An excellent resume aligns your talents with the requirements of the employer. One way to do this is to make sure your resume has the same keywords as the job description. For example, if the job description specifies ‘knowledge of JSON', make sure to mention ‘JSON' on your resume. Employers are more likely to filter applications on the basis of crucial keywords. Some firms may employ automated tools to sort through resumes with keywords, especially if they maintain online portals for applications.

Might lead to an interview

Although a resume does not guarantee you a job, it can definitely improve your chances of securing an interview. A strong resume enables you to progress to advanced stages of a recruitment process. It is typically the interview that finally determines whether an employer hires you or considers you for a position.

Why is a resume important for employers?

Employers use a wide variety of channels to invite resumes and candidates typically submit them along with personalised cover letters to establish their eligibility for a job role. Employers can utilise resumes to learn more about a candidate's abilities, talents and experiences. A resume usually includes information on successes, awards, education, experience and any other noteworthy achievements that are relevant to your professional path and ambitions. The first point of contact with a potential employer is typically your resume and it sets the tone for the remainder of the recruitment process including interviews, and pre-screening and onboarding processes.

Types of resumes

A well-crafted resume is crucial for candidates who are looking to advance in the interview process. There are two major types of resumes that candidates typically present potential employers. They are:

Chronological order resumes

It is customary to start your experience section with your most recent employment record. After that, you can rank your experience in reverse chronological order. In addition to previous achievements, it is desirable that you share information relating to a few years of relevant work experience. Listing work experience and education in reverse chronological sequence also allows readers to view your most relevant qualifications first.

Custom resumes

In a custom resume, you can prioritise relevant education and experience, without following a predetermined order. This might be useful for professionals who are switching careers, are new to the workforce or have employment gaps. Individuals who have extensive experience in a specific field can also benefit from using this type of resume.

Using a custom resume to highlight your most essential and relevant career choices can help your application stand out. Custom resumes are ideal for professionals who work in fields where specialised qualifications are required. For example, a retail salesperson with a career focused on facilities maintenance could create a personalised resume that prioritises sales expertise in maintenance over other retail sales experience, regardless of chronological order.

Tips for writing an effective resume

When applying for a job, a resume is a document that you put together to market your talents and expertise to a hiring manager. Hiring managers go through numerous resumes to identify individuals that closely fit a companies' requirements. They normally conduct interviews with prospective candidates to select who to recruit. Given below are some tips you can keep in mind while organising your resume:

Examine some industry-leading examples

Examining examples of resumes in your field might help you figure out what is appropriate. A marketer's colourful, photo-heavy resume, for example, might not be appropriate for a manufacturing executive. Understanding what an interviewer expects from you in your sector and job is critical to determining the optimal strategy for designing resume layouts.

Use professional fonts

Think about the font you plan to use. Clean, straightforward fonts that typically perform well on resumes include Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman and Calibri. While you may want your resume to stand out visually, it also requires good readability to impress hiring managers. Choose fonts that appear professional and are easy to read. It is advisable that the font size remains between 10 and 12, as this is a widely accepted standard for documents in sizes A4 and letter.

Related: Best Font For Resume: How To Choose Type And Size

Include relevant information only

You may benefit from keeping your resume as concise as possible. Format it to fit in one page if possible, and make sure that it does not exceed three pages. You can do this by including only the most crucial details of your work experience, skills and qualifications. Hiring managers review resumes for relevant details and a neat, brief and relevant resume increases your chances of securing an interview.

Sort contents based on importance

While there are various methods to structure your resume, emphasising the traits that make you the perfect applicant for a position is one of the most effective ones. Organising by importance provides a strong focal point in a competitive job market where employers are likely to have several options at all times, to fill a vacancy. By listing out your key skills and traits, you can illustrate effectively how you stand out in comparison to competing candidates.

Explore the use of active language

Focus on active language and consider removing unnecessary words to make your resume concise. For example, you can write ‘Gained promotion to controller within four years of working for the firm' instead of ‘I earned the achievement of securing the job role of controller within four years of working for the company'. This can keep your resume short and may also appeal to a hiring manager who may not have much time to review each resume closely.

Related: Active Vs. Passive Voice: A Complete Guide (With Examples)

Proofread and edit your copy

Proofread your resume for grammatical, formatting and typographical errors before sending it to a potential employer. A professionally edited resume with few errors can impress potential employers. It can also show that you are dedicated and pay attention to detail.

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