A resume is an initial pitch for job opportunities as it showcases an individual’s education, experience, accomplishments, skills and strengths. Resumes are considered as a marketing tool to advertise and reflect one’s expertise. A well-written resume improves candidates positioning and provides a chance to be considered to the role that he/ she is vying for.
Here’s what needs to consider while drafting a resume:
Keep it Brief and Get to the Point – An ideal resume should be written in simple language and limited to two pages. Refrain from using long sentences and paragraphs, the content should be presented crisply in points and bullets. Maintain consistency with regard to the format and fonts. Avoid colours, images and flashy fonts.
Career Summary – Summary serves as the introductory paragraph to the resume as it provides an outline for the HR or hiring manager to follow. It explains what the candidate can offer if chosen. It should highlight their career objective, competencies and strengths. The objective should be written well. It should be short and yet effective.
Education and Learning – List the educational institutions and qualifications in reverse chronological order. Include certificates or degrees from accredited institutions as well as other professional training that has been completed. Incorporating recently completed coursework in this section to demonstrate a commitment to learning new skills. Freshers should stress and place education details at the top.
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Professional History – Career history should be placed in reverse chronological order. Resumes are reviewed and shortlisted based on work experience, relevance, accomplishments, education and overall fitment to the role. The strongest and most relevant information should be included so that the hiring managers can get a complete overview of the current experience. In case of any gaps, explain it briefly.
Quantify Accomplishments – Numbers, percentages, and supporting facts go a long way in showcasing the success track record. Do not shy from mentioning any special projects or initiatives that one may have lead or was part of. Organizational achievements are worth mentioning and highlighting.
Timely Resume Makeover – Resume needs a constant makeover and it is imperative to have an updated resume. The resume should reflect the latest achievements, certifications and training and should contain skills that are in demand in today’s workplace.
Fit the Bill – Do not maintain a generic resume as each job description is unique and role expectation varies across organizations. It is important to customize the resume based on the job expectations while emphasizing on the skills and abilities that is required for the particular role. Have tailored versions of the resume to the different profiles.
Use of Power Words – It is important to use power words in the resume as it showcases the candidate’s strengths, domain knowledge and fitment for the job role. They are useful especially in companies which use Applicant Tracking System (ATS), as it screens and shortlists the applications based on the relevant keywords.
Personal Details – It is important to mention the current location and residential area in the resume as few jobs require relocation and this indicates openness towards mobility. It is also important to mention hobbies and volunteering activities as it showcases a candidate’s personal interests and personality.
Save the Resume Correctly – Filename should not be saved as “resume” or “my profile” or a generic file name. It should be saved as first and last name, along with the word “resume”. It is always a good idea to save resume as a PDF as it takes care of the styling, format and font.
Review- Last but not least, a resume should always be reviewed for formatting and grammatical errors. Spelling mistakes and wrong punctuation are some mistakes that are often overlooked, it should be avoided. Proofreading the document multiple times to avoid typos, grammar mistakes and other small errors.
Now that the resume is ready, it can be used to apply for job applications.