Resumes weren’t always typed with small font, organized carefully by the powerful tools of Microsoft Office, and printed onto a perfectly white, rectangular square of paper. Resumes have a fascinating and diverse history, and one not many people know about.

Here is a brief history of how our modern resume came to be:

The word “resume” is derived from a French term meaning “summary.” The first resume can be dated back 500 years, when Leonardo da Vinci cited his qualifications to the Duke of Milan in a written submission. The document included his wartime skills, like the ability to create bridges, chariots, mortars, and heavy artillery, and his ability to create fine art and sculptures in times of peace.

It wasn’t until the 1500s when the word “resume” became a widely used term. It is popular belief that an English land surveyor named Ralph Agas is said to have been responsible for the popularization of the word. He wrote several advertisements describing his abilities and skills in the field of land surveying. Agas was one of the first people to advertising his abilities through the media.

The resume remained relatively stagnant and unchanging until the 20th century, when it saw a comeback in the 1940s. Resumes were informal introductions of potential employees, meant to “sum up” the candidate in a simple, readable way. These early resumes often required a great deal of personal information, like height, weight, religious affiliation, and marital status—additions that would make any modern employer cringe.

By the late 1990s, e-mail became a convenient and efficient way to disperse resumes. As technology evolved, more and more job seekers turned to the newest technological innovations to upgrade their resumes, like interactive Online documents and PDFS.

In 2003, the introduction of LinkedIn made it possible for job seekers to publicly list their resumes—opening up employment opportunities anywhere, at any time. LinkedIn encouraged connections and interactions among professionals, marketing itself as a professional social media site. Now, LinkedIn is considered an essential to anyone serious about finding employment.
As resumes have evolved, so have expectations from employers. In today’s day and age, you are expected, if not required, to be social media savvy. Employers are looking for candidates with drive, character, and social ability—all of which can be discerned by browsing your social media profiles.

The resume is not so much a document as it is an entire Online presence. With one click of a mouse, employers can get your full background, and a sense of what kind of person you are.

If you are looking for professional resume-building, get in touch with Fast and Focused Resume Service today. We combine business operations knowledge and professional interviewing techniques to leverage your accomplishments into great career opportunities.