Demystifying Professional Resumes

Demystifying Professional Resumes

If you are in the point of looking for a job, you need to write your qualifications in a paper for hiring officers to see. And there are many ways to do it, you can create a bio-data, generic resume or you can create a professional resume.

Among these three choices, creating a professional resume will help you get the attention of hiring officers. But the question is, “Do you know how to create a professional resume?” or at least “Have you seen one”? It is a mystery to most job seekers what a professional resume is, especially to those who are new in job search.

What a Professional Resume is Not

professional resume vs common resume

  1. Bio-data. A professional resume is not a bio-data. Even though both are used for applications, resumes usually do not have personal information. Why? Because it encourages discrimination. Professional resumes focus on qualifications and relate why the applicant is the best candidate for the job. The exemption is if you are applying for a job from other countries where you need to include your personal information because of the country’s resume standard. In this case, applicants should use “curriculum vitae” instead.
  2. Job history. Many applicants think that a professional resume is just a list of their previous jobs. This is not true, although resumes should have previous jobs, it will destroy the applicant’s chance in getting the job if he/she will not include relevant accomplishments and qualifications relevant for the position applied for.
  3. Generic. A professional resume differs from a generic resume. A generic resume is a single resume used to apply for different positions. Although this is convenient, this is not  effective. In the current state of competitive applications, if you use the same resume for all of the job you are applying for, you will engage yourself in a longer job hunt.
  4. Curriculum Vitae. This is a matter of standard in your country. Australia, India and South Africa use the term resume and curriculum vitae interchangeably; but in the United States and in the Philippines, resume differs from curriculum vitae (CV). Curriculum vitae is a latin term meaning “course of life” and is usually longer than a professional resume. Academic positions and positions that involve significant research usually require curriculum vitae while non-academic and corporate positions are fine with resume. To give you a much deeper comparison between the two, here is a face-off between Curriculum Vitae and Resume.

Read: Top Resume Blunders


Professional Resume is

functional resume

  1. Marketing tool. Your resume is the best marketing tool you will ever have. It is an advertising and marketing campaign designed to sell one thing—YOU.
  2. Concise. A professional resume is concise. It means that it should contain all the necessary information using the least number of words.
  3. Clutter-free. A professional resume is free from clutter. Your resume will reflect your quality of work so never allow a typo or a grammatical error in your resume.
  4. Targeted. A resume is professional if it is tailored for a specific job. You must know that different job requires different skills.
  5. Appropriate. A resume is professional if it is appropriate for the industry and the position applied for. It should be designed and formatted wherein the position applied for is importantly considered.

Read: How to Create a Professional Resume


Resume Types by Level

Resume Types by Level

On my earlier post, I have stated that there are many resume types that you should know—resume types by format, resume types by level and resume types by design. I have already differentiated the types of resume by design and format.

This time I will differentiate the different resume types by level:

Resume Types by Level

1. Entry-Level or Recent Graduate Resume

Professional resumes in all fields up to 3 years of experience, excluding management resumes.

Students/intern resumes
Recent graduate resumes
Customer service resumes
Professional trades resumes
Retail associate resumes
Admin resumes

The job changes in the first three years of professional life can shape the trajectory of your career going forward. There’s much to learn at this time in your career, with job change and fresh starts with new employers representing the steepest learning curves in your professional life.

2. Professional Resume

Professional level resumes are for professionals with more than 3 and less than ten years’ experience who hold non-management titles.

As an experienced professional in a competitive world, you know that to compete, your new resume needs more power, it needs to demonstrate a higher level of professional understanding and sophistication. You may need this more powerful resume to navigate that next strategic career move or get back to work after a layoff.

3. Mid-Career Resumes

Mid-Career Resumes are for senior professionals with more than 10 years of professional experience. This category includes all professions and management resumes below the Director, V.P. and C-level and also career changers.

With the seniority that your experiences make, that means your resume is more complex and challenging in a myriad of ways. For example, as a manager, along with technical competence, you have to demonstrate the ability to manage productivity. While as a career-changer (it happens to all of us), you have to contend with the agonies of reconfiguring your skills to make the crossover to that new profession.

4. Executive Resumes

The executive-level resume includes: Director resumes, V.P. resumes, Senior V.P. resumes, Executive V.P. resumes, C-suite resumes, Board member resumes, and resumes for entrepreneurs.

You’ve made your mark as a consummate professional in complex business environments and it’s time for a change. But it’s also a time when every option is fraught with complexity, and the competition has never been tougher. You realize that all the skills and achievements in the world won’t get you to that next step in your career if your executive resume can’t open the doors of opportunity and position with the right story.

Creating the executive resume contains a challenge familiar to anyone in the executive suite: the challenge of making the complex succinct and accessible—and when it comes to your resume, you are probably too close to the action to tell the right story in the right way.

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