RESUME BASICS All good resumes follow the same general basic guidelines. While there is some flexibility in these guidelines, you don't want to stray too far from them. You want a resume that is bold, exciting, and enticing. But not too much so. You also want a resume that is somewhat conservative. In other words, it must be bold. Not flashy. You must show that you have confidence in your abilities, but not sound like a braggart. You must sound eager to do the job, but not desperate. So there is a fine line that you must walk in order to produce the best possible resume.
OPTIONAL DATA There is a variety of personal data that may be somewhat controversial if included in your resume. In the past it was acceptable to include all kinds of personal data, but times and laws have changed. Affirmative Action laws have made it illegal to discriminate based on such things as age, marital status, race, religion, and so forth. Therefore, most experts recommend against placing this kind of personal data into your resume.
Another common misconception is that a resume must be one page in total length. I am not certain I know how that idea became popular or why it has remained so engrained as it ultimately serves little purpose for most candidates and it can work to the detriment of a job seeker. The reason why is that a one page resume, for a person who has fairly extensive experience, can sell them short. This type of resume will either leave off critical information or it will be typed in a font size that is not easy to read.
As has been indicated above, the word resume comes from the French word resume meaning "summary". Leonardo da Vinci is credited with the first resume though his "resume" takes the form of a letter written about 1481–1482 to a potential employer, Ludovico Sforza. For the next roughly 450 years, the resume continued to be a mere description of a person, and included their abilities and past employment. In the early 1900s, resumes listed things like weight, height, marital status, and religion. It was not until 1950 that the resume evolved into something more than words written on scraps of paper. By then, resumes were considered very much mandatory, and started to include things like personal interests and hobbies. It was not until the 1970s, the beginning of the digital age, that resumes took on a more professional look in terms of presentation and content.
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