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What Is a Resume? Your Guide to: Purpose & Definition (+Top Examples)

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Whether you’re starting out fresh from college or looking to land a better position, there's no doubt that the job application process is a nerve-racking experience.

What is a resume intro
This CV Professional Resume Template is one of many you can find on Envato Elements.

Your resume is the most important part of the job application process. In this article, we’ll cover what a resume is, why it’s important, and what you should include in your resume. 

What Is a Resume and Why Is It Important?

A resume is a formal document that shows a potential employer your skills, education, and experience. In most cases, you’ll make a resume to apply for various job openings. A resume is usually required for a job application within a company or organization that doesn't rely on application forms alone. 

Resume CV Template Pro
Resume CV Template Pro is another professionally designed resume template to give you an edge in your job search.

The main purpose of a resume is to land an interview with a potential employer. As such, a resume is as a marketing document that allows you to make a great first impression on HR managers and potential employers. 

5 Top Professional Resume Template Examples for 2020

We're going to show you the key sections of a resume and explain how to use them. But first, let's look at professionally designed resume templates from Envato Elements.

Resume Templates Envato Elements
There are hundreds of resume templates on Envato Elements with pre-defined resume sections to guide you through what goes on a resume.

Envato Elements a great place to find attractive resume templates. Not only do these templates have gorgeous and professional designs, they also have all the necessary sections formatted correctly. All you've got to do is add your information. 

Plus, for a low monthly fee, you get tons of extra design assets like photos, WordPress themes, fonts, and more.

Look at some of the best professional resume templates from Envato Elements that you can use in 2020 for all your job applications:

1. Cravy CV Resume

Cravy CV Resume

Use this professional CV resume template with a modern and fresh design for any type of job application. The template uses a standard two-column layout and lists skills and experience in an easy to read format. The template includes well-organized layers and image placeholders. Edit the template in Illustrator, Photoshop, Word, and even PowerPoint and Keynote.

2. Intiny Resume Template

Intiny Resume Template

The Intiny Resume template is a simple and unique resume template that would be a great choice for a college graduate. It's got plenty of space to include a resume summary or a personal profile as well as your education and skills. The template has image placeholders. Edit it in InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator. 

3. CV Resume Professional Template

CV Resume Professional Template

If you’re looking for a clean and simple resume template, look no further than this template. It uses minimal colors and clean fonts that are easy to read. The template includes a matching cover letter. Edit it in Photoshop or Illustrator. 

4. CV Resume Template

CV Resume Template

This template has a clean design split into two columns. Use the smaller column to list your contact details as well as your skills. The wider column is perfect for listing your education and experience. You can also add your own photo at the top. Edit the template in Photoshop, Illustrator, or Word. 

5. Resume CV Template 19

Resume CV Template 19

The Resume CV Template 19 is a great choice if you’re looking for a bold template. This resume allows you to add your photo. It uses three columns to list your skills, education, experience, and a personal profile statement. You’ll also get a matching cover letter. Edit the template in Photoshop. 

The resume templates above are a small example of what’s available on Envato Elements and Envato Market. To see even more resume examples, take a look the articles below:

Find More Resume Templates on GraphicRiver

Another option for professionally designed single-use resume templates is GraphicRiver. It's a pay-as-you-go platform for creative assets. So, there's no need to commit to a subscription if you don't need it.

Graphic River Resume Templates
You can find tons of professionally designed templates for individual sale on GraphicRiver.

Now, let's dive into our main tutorial on what's a resume and what goes on a resume.

Resume Types and Formats

When it comes to resume formats, there are three standard resume formats: 

  1. reverse-chronological resume
  2. functional resume
  3. combination resume 

1. Reverse-chronological Resume

Reverse Chronological Resume

The reverse-chronological resume lists out recent or current experience first and then continues with the achievements in a reverse chronological order. This is the most common resume format that’s usually a safe choice in any situation.

2. Functional Resume

The functional resume puts more focus on your skills rather than your work history or experience. This resume is a great choice if you’re changing careers or if you've got gaps in employment. It’s also a safe choice if you’re fresh out of college and don’t have an extensive work history.

3. Combination Resume

Combination Resume Template

The combination resume, as the name implies, is a hybrid format of the reverse-chronological and functional resume. The resume starts off with a summary of your skills and then lists the most relevant work history and experience. 

This format is rather flexible. It’s considered to give recruiting manages the best of both worlds. Like the reverse-chronological resume, you can use this format in any situation. 

Key Sections Each Resume Should Include

No matter what format you decide to use for your resume, the next step is to organize your resume and add the key resume sections. These include:

  1. resume introduction
  2. your contact information
  3. your previous experience
  4. your education and relevant courses or trainings
  5. any skills relevant to the job you’re applying for

Let’s look at each of these more in-depth: 

1. Resume Introduction

The first section of your resume is the resume introduction. This section sets the tone for the entire resume. There are four different resume introductions you can use: 

  • Personal profile, which is the combination of career objective and qualifications summary. This introduction is a great choice for when you’re applying for a position in the same industry.
  • Qualifications summary, which lists out what makes you the perfect candidate for the position by putting an emphasis on your skills. This is a great choice if you’re switching industries. 
  • Career objective, which is targeted towards a specific position and summarizes your objectives within the company you’re applying to. This is a great choice if you’re fresh out of college. 
  • Resume summary, which highlights your accomplishments. It's a great choice if you've got many work-related achievements.
Professional Resume CV
Professional Resume CV, this resume example has several helpful sections to list your information.

2. Contact Information

Your contact information should be listed at the top or close to the top of your resume. Make sure to include your email, phone number, physical address, and your date of birth. Use this section to link to your LinkedIn profile or your personal resume website. 

Flax Resume CV
Flax Resume CV has a clear section for your contact information.

3. Previous Work Experience

This section should be the main part of your resume. It tells the employer where you’ve worked before as well as what duties you performed. This section should include your job titles, company names, and years worked. 

Clean CV
Clean CV has a detailed list for your previous work experience.

4. Education and Relevant Courses or Training

When it comes to your education section, keep in mind you don’t have to include your entire education history. This section usually includes your college education or highest level of education completed. 

Include your school names, degrees, major and minors. You can also include your GPA and relevant coursework. 

If you’ve done any extra training that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for, you can include it in this section.

5. Skills Relevant to the Job Opening

Finally, include any skills that are relevant to the job opening you’re applying for. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you've got to stick only to skills that you’ve acquired as a result of your education. This can also include other skills that aren’t related to your job title but are valuable to a potential employer.

Jonathan Web Resume Designer
Jonathan Web Resume Designer lists the skills at the top.

Once you've got these key resume sections, consider including other sections such as references, volunteer work, language skills, professional affiliations or memberships, and similar. Including these sections depends on the type of job you’re applying for. The most important thing is to tailor your resume to the job opening. 

With that in mind, it’s always better to include the key sections first instead of including each professional affiliation or reference contact.

5 Quick Resume Design Tips

Now you know what resume formats are commonly used and which sections you should include on your resume. Yet another important part of your resume is the design aspect. 

A visually appealing resume is more likely to stand out and catch the attention of recruiters. Here are five quick resume design tips that you can use as you design and write your resume:

1. Use Legible Fonts

Given that most recruiters will initially scan your resume, you want your resume to be as easy to read as possible. As such, you should use legible fonts and avoid using script or decorative fonts. 

Another tip to keep in mind when using fonts is to stick to one or two fonts max otherwise your resume will look unprofessional. 

Resume CV Template 34

2. Add Icons or Graphic Elements for Emphasis

If you want to emphasize certain parts of your resume, consider using icons or graphic elements like lines. The key thing here is to use them in moderation instead of every chance you get, otherwise you’ll achieve the opposite effect. 

3. Use Color as an Accent

Make different parts of your resume stand out by using a background color or adding a colored line after each heading. Avoid using a ton of colors as this will make your resume look amateurish. 

A good example of color use can be seen in this resume template from Envato Elements.

CV Resume

 Note how the resume uses standard black text on white background and then incorporates shades of green for the section headings and contact information. 

4. Add Your Photo

Consider using your photo in place of a logo. This will make it easier for your resume to stand out, not to mention it'll make it more personable. Use a photo that looks professional. Consider asking a family member or a relative to take the photo instead of taking a selfie. 

5. Save Time With a Resume Template

Lastly, consider using a pre-made resume template to save time on resume design. There's no shortage of professionally designed resume templates on marketplaces like Envato Elements. 

Envato Elements is a subscription-based marketplace where you can download thousands of beautiful resume templates as well as other design assets for a low monthly price. 

What’s more, you can edit these templates to your liking and use them in an unlimited number of projects. 

CV Resume Template

Another place where you can buy beautiful resume templates is Envato Market. Envato Market allows you to buy templates individually. So, it’s a great choice if you know exactly what type of resume you need and want.

Learn More About Making a Great Resume

The tips above are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making a great resume. If you want to learn more about what a stellar resume should include and how to make it visually appealing, we've got plenty of tutorials to help you out: 

Create a Stellar Resume

We've just answered what's a resume and explained what goes on a resume.

To recap, your resume is a marketing document that you can use to make a great first impression on a potential employer. It’s a summary of your experience, skills, and education that shows them what makes you the perfect candidate for their job opening. 

Make your resume clear and concise and don’t forget to make it visually appealing as well. If you need help with your resume design, check out our resume templates over on Envato Elements if you want to download as many templates as you want. If you want to grab a resume template quickly, stop by Envato Market and check out thousands of attractive resume templates there. Download your favorite today!

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