To begin with, the word resume comes from the French word résumé which simply translates to ‘summary.’ While it is not known who the first author of a resume was, we do know who was first accredited with its use. The Italian artist and icon of the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci.
In approximately 1481, Leonardo authored a letter, his resume, addressed to Ludovico Sforza who was the regent of Milan at the time. The purpose of the letter was to secure Sforza’s patronage for a commission, wherein da Vinci outlined his skills and experience.
The next instance of the word resume being documented in history was shortly after this time, in the 16th century. An English Lord and Surveyor, Ralph Agas, is accredited with popularising the word and even advertising it in media after penning and distributing several ‘advertisements’ of his skills and experience in surveying. He referred to his advertisements as his resume.