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Comprehensive or Basic Resume

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Writing a resume or updating it's not always easy. Difficult to sort through the information without risking saying too much or not enough! To help you make an effective resume, a good technique is to first write a comprehensive resume, in which you mention all of your training, work experience and skills.

What is a comprehensive resume?

An exhaustive resume is a curriculum vitae in which one mentions all of its course: its trainings, professional experiences, internships, qualities, skills, extra-professional activities or interests and hobbies. This comprehensive (or extended) resume is there to trace all the history of your career and give as much detail as possible about your profile and your personality. Attention, this curriculum vitae is not made to answer the job offers and to be sent to the recruiters! Indeed, a comprehensive resume should serve as a basis for writing your targeted resume, which adapts to the type of job and the company to which you are applying and therefore doesn't contain all of your background and your experiences. The comprehensive resume is therefore a personal document that is not intended to be sent to recruiters but will greatly assist you in writing your resume.

Is the comprehensive resume mandatory?

The exhaustive resume is a strictly personal document that is there to help you write your resume, it's not mandatory! Specially since this document will not be sent to recruiters. Everyone is therefore free to decide whether writing an extended resume can be a good first step before writing your resume, allowing you to select your most important training, experience and skills for the coveted position. In any case, no one can blame you for having made one or not!

The benefits of the comprehensive resume

Making a comprehensive resume has several advantages:

- identify your strengths and weaknesses: by summarizing all your training, work experience and skills, the extended resume makes it easier to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You will be able to easily highlight your assets when writing your resume.
- don't forget important information: when writing your resume, it's easy to forget some training or experiences, specially if you already have a long career behind you. This is why making a comprehensive resume allows you to remember your entire career and avoid mistakes. A good technique to not leave a hole on your resume!
- sorting out information: the length of your resume should not exceed two A4 pages, it's often difficult to sort through the information of your career to keep only the most relevant, in order to write a resume target. By first providing a comprehensive resume, you will have more opportunities to locate important information and that deserve absolutely their place on your resume. Others may be ruled out if you run out of space.

The headings of a comprehensive resume

A basic comprehensive resume is a continuation of a traditional resume, listing all possible topics. The headings of a comprehensive resume are as follows:

- Work experience: indicate for each of the jobs you have held the start and end dates, the title of your position, the name of the company, the tasks and responsibilities you have faced as well as the projects on which you worked. Mention also the results you obtained, if possible with numerical examples.
- Training: In this section, indicate which bachelor's degree you have obtained as well as all your higher studies. For each of them, mention the name of the training or program, the start and end dates, the school or university, the courses followed and the work done, and any diplomas obtained.
- Internships: In this section, group the various internships you have done by mentioning the title of your position, the name of the company, start and end dates, missions and tasks performed.
- Skills: in this section, mention the computer software with which you have worked and which you master, but also the skills you have acquired during work, internships, training, leisure or extra-professional activities. Feel free to give examples of situations in which you used these skills.
- Foreign languages: in this section, indicate each of the foreign languages you know and your level for each of them.
- Interests and hobbies: integral parts of your personality, your interests and your hobbies should be mentioned in this section. Maybe specify your level and how often you practice these hobbies.
- Courses: if you take classes outside your working hours you can mention them in this section. Mention also the skills acquired during these courses.
- Extra-professional activities: detail here all your extra-professional activities and since when you practice them.
- The references: indicate the names of your reference contacts by specifying the company in which they work and their position within this company. It may also be some of your former teachers.
- Your qualities: in this section indicate all of your qualities.
- Your objectives: mention here your professional objectives . This will then help you to write your personal profile on your resume.

Choosing the right resume structure

By completing all these sections, we finally get a complete document that retraces your entire career and contains information about your personality. So when you have to write a resume to respond to a job offer, you just have to organize the structure of your resume and sort through the information in your extended resume to get a targeted resume! In this way your resume will be perfectly adapted to the job offer you are applying for. The structure of your resume (chronological, functional ...) depends on your situation.

With your comprehensive resume, you can easily choose the resume structure that's right for you. In fact, all you need to do is copy the items you want to keep from your comprehensive resume and reorder them into a targeted resume. In this way, you don't have to rewrite all your information each time or even make an effort to remember them!

Update your comprehensive resume

It's important to regularly update your comprehensive resume so you don't forget about new experiences, training or skills. You can do this every 6 months, for example, or as soon as you have acquired a new skill or a new experience so you don't forget anything over time. The frequency of updating your comprehensive resume depends of course on the pace at which you change positions or assignments. Nevertheless, even if you have been working for a long time in the same company, you have certainly taken new courses, acquired new skills or carried out new projects over time. It's also possible that your responsibilities have been greater because of your seniority in the company. All of this represents a good reason to update your comprehensive resume!

Our advice

If writing a comprehensive resume is not mandatory, it will be a great help when writing your resume to respond to a job offer! Indeed, a comprehensive resume brings together all of your training, your professional experience and your skills. It's therefore easier to "draw" in this information and reorganize to obtain a targeted resume and put the odds on your side to get a job interview! Lastly, don't forget to regularly update your exhaustive resume in order to never forget information that could be important for your application.


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