A résumé (pronounced /ˈrɛzjʊmeɪ/ rez-ew-may or /rɛzjʊˈmeɪ/; French: [ʁezyme]; sometimes spelled resume) is a document used by individuals to present their background and skillsets. Résumés can be used for a variety of reasons but most often to secure new employment. A typical résumé contains a summary of relevant job experience and education. The résumé is usually one of the first items, along with a cover letter and sometimes job application packet, that a potential employer encounters regarding the job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview, when seeking employment. The résumé is comparable to a curriculum vitae in many countries, although in English Canada and the United States it is substantially different.
A simple résumé is a summary typically limited to one or two pages of size A4 or Letter-size highlighting only those experiences and credentials that the author considers most relevant to the desired position. US academic CVs are typically longer.
The functional résumé is used to assert a focus to skills that are specific to the type of position being sought. This format directly emphasizes specific professional capabilities and utilizes experience summaries as its primary means of communicating professional competency. In contrast, the chronological résumé format will briefly highlight these competencies prior to presenting a comprehensive timeline of career growth via reverse-chronological listing with most recent experience listed first. The functional résumé works well for those making a career change, having a varied work history and with little work experience. A functional résumé is also preferred for applications to jobs that require a very specific skill set or clearly defined personality traits. A functional résumé is a good method for highlighting particular skills or experience, especially when those particular skills or experience may have derived from a role which was held some time ago. Rather than focus on the length of time that has passed, the functional résumé allows the reader to identify those skills quickly.
The Internet has brought about a new age for the résumé. As the search for employment has become more electronic, résumés have followed suit. It is common for employers to only accept résumés electronically, either out of practicality or preference. This electronic boom has changed much about the way résumés are written, read, and handled.