Purpose for Resume Writing

Determining the writer's goal in a resume seems relatively simply on the surface: to get a job. However, like any writing project, it is often more complicated than that. Many resume writers begin with an advertisement for a job, fellowship or other employment opportunity. This advertisement may address the resume writer's specific background and qualifications and it may not, depending on the field, the position, and the culture of the company or institution.

Sometimes, however, a resume is required for other purposes. A teacher, for example, may need to include a resume in her licensing portfolio. A student applying to graduate school may need a Curriculum Vitae (a specialized resume style used only in academia) for his application materials. Even scholarship applications sometimes require a resume. A writer should consider other issues as well: what salary considerations are important; why does this particular job offer sound promising?; why work for this particular company or organization?

Why is purpose so important? Because it will determine how the resume is written. A teacher that needs a resume for her licensing portfolio, for example, will probably write a more comprehensive, general document focusing on education and teaching experience. A student applying for graduate school would probably avoid including every single part-time fast-food job he had as an undergraduate and instead focusing on the parts of his history that are important to a graduate entrance committee. In this case, the student may choose to write a Curriculum Vitae instead of a resume, because it is the form the entrance committee knows best.

Purpose can also dictate the structure of a resume. Depending on what qualifications an employer finds important, the career field the job falls into, and the applicants history the structure of the resume will change.

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