Where did the "Resume" come from and how can you make yours PERFECT?

The resume, a concise document typically no longer than one or two pages, often starts the job search journey. However, while you pour hours into perfecting the material, research shows your reader will not dwell on your document for very long, six seconds in fact! So, whom can we thank for creating the resume or curriculum vitae (CV)?

Is it a resume or a Curriculum Vitae?

It all started over 500 years ago with Leonardo da Vinci, born on April 6th, 1452. While Leonardo's birth town, Achiano, in Italy is a town known for its quaint ancient chapels, Leonardo is world-renown for his painting masterpieces. Less broadcasted, Leonardo had another great passion, English literature. 

Leonardo da Vinci excerpt from his resume

Leonardo da Vinci's love for English literature enabled him to gain a more profound thought process to life.  It provided him with a platform to critical thinking, analytical skills and creative expertise. In 1482, at 30-years old, Leonardo created his own, handwritten Curriculum Vitae. A Latin expression which can be loosely translated as [the] course of [my] life, as he was seeking work in Milan. 

Last Supper

Leonardo was an armourer, passionate about weapons. A maker of things that go "BOOM!" Before Leonardo da Vinci was famous, before painting the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper.

Mona Lisa

Well before Leonardo da Vinci invented the helicopter,he produced one of the first examples of today's modern-day resume.  His CV was long, fact-orientated and detailed his career with precision, similar to an autobiography.

Leonardo da Vinchi's resume


What is the difference between a resume and Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is the outdated style of today's resume. The CV was typically a LONG comprehensive document, listing one's education, certificates, research experience, professional affiliations and memberships, much longer than the resume, similar to a autobiography. In the 1940's the resume was founded. From the Latin word, "resumere", meaning a "biographical SUMMARY of a person's career", the resumere was shorter. As the years have progressed, the resume itself has become shorter, and shorter.

In the last five years especially, the resume has become a 1-2 page personal marketing document, only showcasing your relevant education, work history credentials, accomplishments, and skills. While America and other countries still utilise the phrase "Curriculum Vitae", they have both come to mean the same thing, a short, concise, personal marketing document. In Australia, we favour the term, "resume".


What other documents are required to apply for a job?

Resumes are the most common document requested of candidates for a job application however, the cover letter is also highly valued by employers. The cover letter offers a motivational message of introduction. Full of the candidate's attributes, skills, and value-statements. 

Governments, large corporations, universities and competitive companies may have 300+ applications for one job role. 100+ candidates will have the same, if not similar qualifications. How can the employer determine who will be better for the task?

Employers use key selection criteria, OUCH! 

Selection criteria requests are usually, a two-page document that requires you to EXPLAIN and DEMONSTRATE how YOU measure up against their skill statements. For example, "Demonstrate a time when you were required to resolve conflict in the workplace." Without telling the employer the situations that ended, badly! You need to skillfully balance your examples with relevancy to the position on offer. Don't worry! The Perfect Resume team can help!

Ask yourself, do you have The Perfect Resume?

Unfortunately, many individuals do not have The Perfect Resume. We have reviewed hundreds of resumes for FREE!!!! We have had two Perfect Resumes! Every other review has been filled with common resume mistakes, grammatical errors, lack of specifics, and believing that one size fits all. Candidates highlight duties instead of accomplishments, provide a resume that is too long or too short, leave out important information or apply with a visually boring resume!

Fortunately for the 2.6% of candidates who get shortlisted for an interview, they have perfected the art of writing a resume. Unfortunately, for the 97.4% of other, not so lucky job seekers, still  job hunting, job seeking, or job searching is an arduous task.

It seems company loyalty is a thing of the past. For many of us, our large portion of our days are spent at work. The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. Hence it is safe to say your job can make a massive impact on your quality of life (as well as others). Sadly, many people don’t have their hard-working skills and expertise highlighted.  Some people work hard, persisting where others would give up — leveraging personal values to guide them, shaping their career one day at a time. 

We all want to make sense of why we do, what we do. We hope that our life's purpose will lead us to happiness and peace of mind. With the introduction of digital recruitment it has become easier to apply for a new job. In fact, your average professional will have 17 different jobs throughout their career! Swapping jobs every three years! (Source) Due to employment discontent, and the desire to strive for a better position, the competition to achieve a job interview is getting harder and harder. 

How can you get the edge over your competitors?

When reviewing resumes, managers look for diversity in employment, transferable skills, and accomplishments over responsibilities fulfilled, they also more frequently turn to LinkedIn.

Your LinkedIn profile provides you with a professional landing page for you to manage your brand. It's an excellent way for you to tell people who you are and what you do — displaying a general history of your professional experiences and achievements.  It allows you to add a personal touch that your typical resume may not reflect. You can attach photos of your portfolio, links to news articles, or certificates of achievements. You can show recruiters your interests, how you contribute to society, the reports you have published as well as elaborating on areas showcased in your resume.

At The Perfect Resume, our team want to make your resume; career highlights and expertise stand out above the rest, so that you too can showcase your abilities at a job interview — an opportunity to get on board the gravy train.

The Perfect Resume is a resume writing service that is 100% dedicated to your success, and the team's opportunity to help candidates land their dream job. If you need assistance with your job search, send an email to info@theperfectresume.com.au so we can help you say, in the late Leonardo da Vinci's words, "BOOM, I got the job!"

With kind regards,

The Perfect Resume Team 

 The Perfect Resume | Resume Writing Services


Melissa Peacock is the Founder of The Perfect Resume. An inspirational resume writer, who helps people cultivate self-confidence, ambitions, desires and determination to achieve success. To reflect and grow and ultimately influence the way people see themselves.