How to Write a Resume

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When you want to work for someone? All the years of education/experience counts to nothing, if you cannot present your case ‘STRONG’ enough to the prospective employer. How do you DO that ??
with RESUME

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A well thought resume can make an average profile outstanding, while an outstanding profile can look average with a poor resume.

In many cases, getting called for an interview is like having the job within your reach if you actually know ‘how to write a resume’. Think about it, before you even step your foot into the door, your resume does all the talking for you. If what your resume conveys is convincing, employer will be inclined to meet you to see if you are what your resume claims you to be.

There are few variants in resume all targeted to present your case in the best way possible. We will look at all these types here so that you can make use of the one that is most apt for your situation. Before we go into the types and applicability of each type, let us first see some of the basic ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’t’s in relation to a resume:

DO:

  • Keep it precise and to the point
  • Keep the format simple and neat
  • Keep the details relevant to the job
  • Include sports and your role
DO NOT:

  • Fake or overly boast your credentials
  • Use the flaky/flairy formats or fonts
  • Include the personal (intimate) achievements
  • Include hobbies unless they help with the job

Coming back to the variants of resume, each scheme is laid to ‘show your experience from latest to old’, ‘highlight your skills (in case of new or inexperienced individuals)’, ‘highlighting job specific skill set’ and ‘hybrid model’.

One has to choose what they want to highlight based on their level in the career.

For instance, for a fresher, who is confused to fill out a one page resume as he/she may feel they have nothing to talk about. However, this is not the case. If you have a great GPA you can bring forth your qualities like dedication, focus, will power in your resume. If you don’t have a great GPA but you were the captain or super star of your college team, you can bring forth your ability to lead under stress (with an example of the title you won for your college). If your GPA was only decent at par and you never played in any games but if you paid for your tuition while studying, you can bring forth your great levels of energy and hard-working abilities shine on your resume.

Some will have the opposite problem; they have experience of over ten years and they want to brag about everything and it seems like the resume is turning into a bibliographical report. This is where your elevator pitch comes into play. What are THE most important achievements in each job? Detail, briefly, those things and just list the rest (you may have to let go of others). Idea is to give a great sense of what you have done that can let the employer know what your potential is, in a decent space (nothing too short or too lengthy). This can be done whether you have work experience or not.

There have been various formats that have come and gone but only a few have withstood the test of employer likability. And all of these formats follow the below scheme:

Standard Resume Format:

(from top to down)

Contact info: Name/email/phone at the minimum, mailing address is not required anymore.

Summary: 4-6 line snapshot of what you are, what you have done and what you are aspiring to do.

Experience (for experienced personnel)/Education (for zero experience (or campus) hires) – it is customary now to list experience (and education) in reverse chronological order, that is, latest goes first and your first goes last.

Academic/Extracurricular Projects – most relevant for zero experience (or campus) hires. For experienced individuals this is where certification(s)/education details go.

Achievements (for both) – don’t leave out any academic accolades or appreciation awards you got. If you were elected as your region’s head or your class’s leader it goes here. If you were elected as your colony’s president, it goes under charity/volunteer section (next).

Charity/volunteer roles – Imagine if you were the thread lead of a major charitable organization, what would that tell the employer about you? What if the employer has affinity to this organization? (for freshers, if you don’t have any volunteer experience, branch out immediately, even if you landed a job, you should involve yourself in a volunteer activity to expand your horizons).

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Even though there is no minimum we recommend to keep your resume at ideal one and half to two pages (if you have 10 years or more experience, then you got an excuse for one more page).

Novel idea: If you definitely and positively know that three pages is too less for your grandiose history of work then restrict your resume to three pages and do one of the two things:

  1. Let employer know that you will discuss the details during the interview, or
  2. Create a web page of your own (not a public profile like Linkedin) and ask your employer to check out your page for complete bibliographical details. If your profile is what the employer is looking for they will absolutely check out your page (and they will thank you for being cognizant about their time).

Caution: your public profiles (like LinkedIn) should only highlight your skill sets and indicate your experience but should never detail the project/client names. This may potentially be a flag about your inability to maintain confidentiality. We recommend that you refrain from disclosing the client/project details even on the personal web page.

And, remember these pointers:

  1. Highlight the inherent skills that you used in a specific role (role can be job, academics, sports or volunteer related).
  2. Always focus on your strengths. Never talk about your areas of improvement on a resume.
  3. If you got fired/let go/sacked from your previous employment, leave it for discussion during telephone/personal interview. Do not mention it on your resume. When your employer asks the reason for your move then you can mention the fact (do NOT lie).

With all the Do’s and Do NOT’s, basic structure of resume and pointers to remember, you have learnt how to write a resume to create your own resume.