The Fascinating History of the Profitable Resume

Have you ever wondered when, where, why, and how the “resume” started?

Most of us have never been interested in the mundane aspects of the working world but the resume is still without a doubt the most powerful networking tool ever used.

For those of you who are interested, you’re in luck because Empire Resume is here to tell you more about the history of the resume and what happened before the all-mighty career platforms like LinkedIn.

History of the Resume

The evolution of the resume can be traced back several centuries. It originated as a simple document called a curriculum vitae (CV), which is Latin for “course of life.” The CV was primarily used by scholars and academics to summarize their education, work experience, and accomplishments.

However, the modern resume, as we know it today, has undergone significant changes over time. Here is a brief overview of how the resume started and developed:

Ancient Times: In ancient civilizations, such as Egypt and Greece, individuals used letters written on papyrus to provide references and recommendations.These early forms of written documentation can be considered the precursors to the modern and optimized CV that you know so well today.

And you thought the best things to happen out of Egypt and Greece were the pyramids and those delicious salads made mostly with cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, and… feta cheese.

15th to 17th Centuries: Ever hear of the polymath who created famous artworks such as: the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper and the Vitruvian Man? If you said Leonardo Da Vinci, you are correct.

During the Renaissance, European scholars and professionals like Leo started creating formal written summaries of their qualifications and experiences. These documents were often handwritten and called curriculum vitae (CV), focusing on academic achievements, publications, and notable accomplishments.

18th Century: As industrialization began to shape the workforce, resumes shifted from being primarily used by scholars to being utilized by professionals in various fields.

For example, job seekers in the mining industry would use “miner’s resumes” to highlight their skills and experiences. This really revolutionized the resume and social order in favor of a new system.

And although nepotism was heavily favored during this century, it also introduced a whole new world of talented applicants and broke barriers so businesses could hire the most brilliant and skilled individuals.

19th Century: With the rise of industrialization and the expansion of businesses, resumes became more common. They were used to provide concise information about a person’s qualifications and suitability for employment.

Resumes at this time were typically handwritten or typed and included basic details such as name, contact information, and a brief work history.

20th Century: Resumes became more standardized and widely used during this century. The development of typewriters and photocopying machines made it easier to create multiple copies of a resume.

Resumes began to follow a chronological format, listing work experience and education in reverse chronological order.

Late 20th Century: As technology advanced, the use of computers and the internet had a significant impact on resume creation and distribution. Word processing software made it easier to format and edit resumes, and email allowed for electronic submission.

Additionally, the rise of online job boards and professional networking sites further influenced resume styles and content.

So basically, you were pretty lucky to be job hunting during this era. The only problem that most hiring managers and recruiters complained about most was the lack of drive from most applicants. I mean why go above and beyond when you can just list the same regurgitated job descriptions found on most company sites.

Present Day: Congratulations! You’ve made it. We’ve learned so much about resumes over the past few centuries that we’ve been able to continue to evolve in response to changing technology and hiring practices.

Digital resumes, often in PDF or online format, are now common. Visual resumes and infographic-style resumes have gained popularity, particularly in creative industries.

Additionally, there is a growing emphasis on tailoring resumes to specific job descriptions and using keywords to pass the automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) used by most companies today.

Updating Your Resume for the Modern Times

You now also have the option to choose a reputable and certified resume writing service, like the aforementioned, Empire Resume.

This 5-star rated company specializes in tailoring your resume to the job, or industry, you may be interested in. Their qualified and seasoned writers work with you day and night to ensure that your accomplishments paint you as the perfect candidate.

They will also create or tweak your LinkedIn profile, cover letter, and follow-up/ thank you letters. And that’s not all. They also work closely with all branches of the United States military.

And because the CEO and President personally served in the Air Force, his writers can translate all military and federal job evaluations and K,S,A’s to ensure that your military-to-civilian resume is seen by all the important hiring managers.

Overall, the resume has undergone a much-needed transformation from a scholarly document to an essential tool for job seekers in various fields. Its format, content, and delivery methods have adapted to meet the changing needs of employers and advancements in technology.