Write a resume which stands out! We bring you top nine tips to modify/transform your resume into something un-put-downable.
The resume is your first impression on the employer and as they say, the first impression lasts long. Considering the grave mismatch between jobs available and professionals being churned out, your resume attains the status akin to Magna Carta! So, how exactly can you transform your resume for it to get noticed? We bring you the top nine guidelines to come up with a kick-ass resume-
1. Make your first look count- On an average, a resume gets scanned only for 10 seconds (source : Forbes Magazine). No matter how well-qualified you are for the job, your resume won’t get a thorough look if it isn’t presentable.
- Use the basic fonts that are clear and simple, like Times New Roman or Arial, size 12 in black color.
- Apply bold and italic typeface at selective places to help guide the reader’s eye.
- Using fancy fonts and special effects like shading or highlighting give an impression that you are trying to make up for the deficiencies in content.
- Avoid flowery language. Don’t use heavy words unless needed.
- Make a point to use lists and bullets for more clarity.
2. What should you include in Resume- Though this can be altered according to the industry you are applying in, but broadly, you should include the following things in your resume-
- Contact details
- Opening statement
- Educational qualifications
- List of technical/ software skills/ relevant skills
- Employment history/ Volunteering/ Work placements
- Personal attributes/ Achievements
Make sure you bring forth the most relevant information across the employer first. For example, if your education is not relevant to the field you are opting for then you might push it down on the list of things. Furthermore, mention any student exchange program or summer schools attended abroad under separate headings. Such accomplishments generally tend to give you an edge over other applicants.
3. Structure your resume- Use a reverse chronological order. Simply put, your accomplishments in college weigh more than your accomplishments at school. In addition, prioritize the content in each description. For example, consider a candidate seeking an internship in interior design. The resume might reflect a retail experience in which 80% of the candidate’s time was spent on the sales floor and 20% was spent designing window and floor displays. Priority, determined by relevance to the employer, dictates that design of window and floor displays should be listed before sales.
4. Quantify your work- Tell your story through numbers and statistics. For example, ‘Profit increased by 23% under my leadership’ sounds much better than ‘The company did excellent under my leadership’. Making a general claim and using too much of jargon would kill the reading appetite of the employer whereas crisp numbers would keep him/her engaged and impressed.
5. Keywords are the Key!- Include relevant keywords to enable the employer to gather maximum about you in a matter of few seconds. Some companies also use recruitment management software which scans for keywords in applications to screen them for an opening. Make sure to use words that are a part of the job description. But prevent yourself from the temptation of overdoing it! For example, if applying for a writing job, highlight all prior writing and editorial experience.
6. Aim for the industry not firm- Make yourself the hot pick by showing how suitable you are for the industry. Make Microsoft think that if they don’t hire you then Google could and your brilliant brain might spark the next big idea in the industry.
7. Highlight your skills, not personal details- Apart from the name, address, contact number and Email ID, skip all personal details (like marital status or family details). You are on a strict word limit and you would want to utilize the space as judiciously as possible.
8. Never falter with spelling and grammar- Incorrect tenses, wrong punctuation marks, and inappropriate verb-phrase could prove cataclysmic, if not taken care of. Besides exposing our weak grammatical skills these also reflect carelessness. Thorough proofreading is a must.
9. Use online tools to make a professional resume- Online sites like CV Maker, Visual CV, Online Resume Generator, etc. provide lucid layouts and structured templates to build a solid resume. Most of the services are free and they allow you to save and modify resume as per your needs.
A great resume lays the foundation of your internship/job search. While you may knock several doors, your resume is something which helps you open them; make sure you get it right! You can check out a template for a resume – Sample Resume.
There are also a few things you should absolutely avoid in your resume. Check out the ‘Five resume blunders you should avoid‘.
About author – Kudrat Agrawal, a 2nd year Law student at National Law University, Delhi.
Image credits : www.coldcollar.com/