Jobs: What is a Résumé and Why Do You Need One?

When you are looking for work, it is very important to make a good first impression, and almost all employers use résumés to decide who they will interview for a position. If your résumé is not good, you will probably not get an interview (an opportunity to meet the employer in person), so you will have no chance to get the job.

A résumé or CV (short for the Latin phrase Curriculum Vitae – which, in English, means “the course of one’s life”) is a short list of your work experience and education. Usually your previous jobs are listed, in point form by date (the years you worked at that job) – with your most recent employment at the top, followed by the job you had before that and so on.

If you are applying for a professional job (one that requires a great deal of education or special training) then only jobs related to that field are considered important.

If you have worked at other jobs in order to make a living while trying to get back into your field, they should be listed – in order to show the employer that you have been working – but you should only go into detail about the positions and education that are related to the job you are seeking. If you are seeking a non-professional job, then all recent employment should be mentioned, and you should provide details about your responsibilities and special skills that you gained during that employment.

Spelling and neatness are very important, so do not be afraid to ask for help. There are many books about how to prepare a good résumé, and many employment agencies, especially those that specialize in helping newcomers, will guide you through the process of creating a résumé. Most agencies that help newcomers offer workshops on résumé preparation. Miranda Yousefipour of Neighbourhood Link believes that the short, one day workshops are not as good as the longer courses.

If you do not have time to prepare your own résumé, you can hire a company to create one for you, but remember that writing résumés is how these people make a living, so this will cost you money. However, if you need a good résumé in a hurry, this method may help you get a job interview.

CNM