One of the first misconceptions that people hold about the use of resumes is that they are never actually read, especially when there are online application forms to be filled out. While this cannot be proven either way, I do know from my own experience as a professional writer that most recruiters do look at the resumes received because it provides a general overview of the candidate's attention to, or lack thereof, details such as the style and type of writing.
In many contexts, a resume is typically limited to one or two pages of size A4 or letter-size, highlighting only those experiences and qualifications that the author considers most relevant to the desired position. Many resumes contain keywords or skills that potential employers are looking for via applicant tracking systems, make heavy use of active verbs, and display content in a flattering manner.
In order to get a good job you must communicate to the employer that you are ready, willing, and able to do the job. So if you are capable of producing a top notch job resume, you definitely increase your chances of getting a better job.
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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