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Online Writing Lab


A common application of academic writing in the professional world is the resume. A resume is a written document that conveys an individual’s knowledge, experience, skills, and abilities to a potential employer. An ideal resume is crafted with a specific job or job title in mind and targets an employer who will be most interested in the individual. Creating a resume that is well organized and accurately depicts a potential employee’s experience, skills, and knowledge is, in many ways, an art. 

Why are Resumes Important?

Success in academia is vastly different from success in the world of business. Although good grades, integrity, and a strong work ethic might result in “academic” success, transferring your talents into the workforce is no easy feat. There is immense competition within nearly every professional field – from finance to medicine. While good grades and regular attendance might warrant you a reliable academic, employers often remain skeptical. With money and economic gain as the bottom line, employers want to know that you are a reliable and predicable risk worth taking. Without knowing every facet of your life story, employers hope to gain an immediate sense of your integrity, work ethic, and areas of expertise – all from a simple resume.

Most of the time, the resume is the first application material a potential employer will see, and if the resume isn’t as strong as it can be, the hiring manager or committee might not give a candidate further consideration.  In other words, as a job candidate, the resume is your first, and in some cases only, chance to make a strong impression about your skills and abilities. 

Employers spend an average of seven seconds perusing each resume, looking for an ideal job match. Somehow you need to distinguish yourself from the many other job applicants, all while coming across a reliable person and employee. While it is important to distinguish yourself from the competition, you must also keep the resume organized and professional. Ultimately, you want to convey to the employer that you are reliable and yet possess a unique set of skills, knowledge, and experiences that no one else can match. In essence, your resume is a single opportunity to tell your story and persuade the employer that you are the best fit for a particular job.