Writing a business resume is very important as it’s one of the items, along with the cover letter, that you submit when applying for a job.
The recruiter has only a short time to look at each application and decide whether to shortlist it for an interview or just reject it. So the resume and cover letter need to be well written, clear, concise and focused on the specific job.
A resume is similar to a curriculum vitae (C.V.) but a little bit different. In business a resume will be required when applying to a job. But make sure that they don’t require a C.V. and just assume they want a resume. See the page about writing a curriculum vitae if you need to submit one of these and need help.
A resume is focused on your professional experience where as a C.V. would cover a wider range of information such as education as well as work experience.
When writing a business resume you should make sure that it contains all the information that's relevant to the job you’re applying to. You should tailor your resume to the job that you’re applying for. This means that for each job you’d want to revise your resume so it’s focused for that job.
The resume should be divided into two parts.
The first part will include your name, contact details (no other personal information, which is a big difference when compared to a C.V.) and a summary of your professional/work achievements, experience and academic qualifications.
Remember to only include what is relevant to the specific job. So for your education, include any higher education qualifications.
In the second part of the resume you'd provide details about the information provided in the first part. You'd give details and explanations about your work history. You'd explain how the skills you gained or projects you managed could relate to the position you’re applying for. Remember to keep this professional and verifiable. Don’t make any false claims.
In business often your experience will be more important than your degrees. Include information about your academic qualifications but unless the work you did for your degree has direct value for the job you’re applying to don’t go into extensive detail.
Your resume is going to be used to get you an interview and hopefully a business job. So the language used when writing a business resume should be the sort of professional language that a business person would expect to read.
The business cover letter and resume are the only things that the recruiter has to judge you on, so they need to be perfect.
Use professional and formal business language like you would use when writing business communication letters.
Do business proofreading on your resume once you’ve finished writing it to make sure there aren’t any mistakes. You need to make sure that it’s got proper spelling and there are no mistakes in the grammar. Spend time on this part as it’s very important for making a good impression. Any mistakes could lead to your application being rejected.
If possible write your business resume and then wait for a day or two before proofreading. This'll help you find all the mistakes much more easily. For more help with proofreading see the English proofreading section.
If you need any help with proofreading your business resume you can use my proofreading service.
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