Make an attractive design that catches employer’s eye. The employers may not have the time to read through each of your job descriptions to conclude if you have the skills that are required for the job. So effectively brand yourself by highlighting the most important information like your work experience, skills and education.
Titles and Headings:
Believe it or not, employers will usually make a judgment about your resume in just 5 seconds. Always use job titles and headings that perfectly match the job description you are applying for. Descriptive titles and headings when used appropriately grab employer’s attention and will generate you more interviews and higher salary offers.
In order to make your resume aesthetically easy-to-read:
1. Font size should be between 10 and 12.
2. Font type should be Times New Roman, Arial or New Century Schoolbook.
3. Use one larger font size for main headings and a smaller font size for subheadings and a completely different font for the body of your text.
4. Keep sentences as short, simple and direct as possible.
5. Font size should be consistent throughout the resume.
6. Margins should be at least .5 on the top and bottom and .7 on the left and right.
The most important information should be kept on the first line of a paragraph. Confine your writing to not more than six lines in any paragraph. Start a new section or a new paragraph if more content is to be added.
Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. Otherwise the employers will draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you. Also make sure there are no spelling mistakes on the resume.
Quantifying your achievements and responsibilities by using numbers greatly elevates your image. To strengthen this image, insert as many “management oriented” words as possible into your resume.
The length of an entry-level graduate’s resume should be limited to one page. If it is extended to the next page then it should fill at least 1/3 of the second page. A two-page resume does not need to be stapled unless you are attending a job fair, but your contact information should be included at the top of the second page.
Contact Information: Your contact information should be placed at the beginning of the resume to make it as an attractive resume. It should include your name, street address, city, state, zip code, phone number and email address that are currently in use. In case your current address and permanent address are different, it is always recommended to include both on your resume.
Objective: This section of the resume is job-specific and contains career plan statement of the applicant in relation to what the employer or company wants. It should consist of 1-3 sentences and should be in such a way that the employer will be interested to read the resume further. Do not include broad and complex phrases because it may cause the interviewer to doubt or just be bored of reading it.
Strengths: Always try to connect your strengths with real life and work experiences instead of creating a long and boring list with all your qualities (such as disciplined, creative, determined etc.
Education: This information is most useful in the resume of entry level candidates and recent graduates. Brief your educational background starting with the highest degree including elements such as the name of the institution you have studied in, subjects you have studied, year of passing, aggregate you have scored, scholarships or fellowships, courses or seminars you have attended, project work and notable achievements. Job seekers with work experience can place their “Education” section below their “Work Experience” section. Include your current degree program and anticipated graduation date, if you are still graduating.
Work Experience: Provide an overview of your work experience with each position you have held, employer, position title and dates of employment. Include a brief description of your position, roles and responsibilities, achievements and accomplishments.
Computer Skills: It is essential to mention your computer skills on your resume, however short the list may be. It is highly recommended to do so as a certain level of computer knowledge is mandatory in today’s job world. Listing the programs individually would be helpful rather than naming them as a package as the employer often conducts a keyword search for a specific program.
Activities/Honors/Professional Memberships: List out all notable professional activities, honors/rewards received and memberships availed either combined or separately to highlight your dedication towards your profession or zeal to learn and develop professionally.
Languages: In this section include your mother tongue and additional languages you know accompanied by your level of proficiency. Indicate your fluency level of spoken, written and reading skills using the following criteria:
1. Basic knowledge,
2. Working knowledge,
3. Fluent or
4. Excellent knowledge.
Research and Publications: Include all of your significant research projects/papers and publications in your resume if they pertain to the job you are applying for. If there is a vast list of publications, state that the list of publications will be available on request.
Hobbies or interests: This section should consist of a brief (2-4 items) list. Remember to keep your hobbies related to your field of work such as travel, personal investing, professional blogs and non-professional clubs that relate to the career area.
Additional Information: Add any additional information that you feel is necessary and relevant for that particular job.
♦ COVER LETTER:
A cover letter is a letter of introduction attached to your resume or CV to introduce yourself to potential employers and explain your aptness for the desired position. A cover letter
-markets your skills and conveys your interest in the company
-provide additional keywords that target the employer’s needs
-showcase your communication skills
-catch the employer’s immediate interest
Always tailor your cover letter for the job you are applying for and make sure it should be no longer than 1 page. Given below are some points that should be explained in your cover letter:
* Why you are sending your resume?
* What do you know about the company and the position you are applying for?
* Why you are interested in the position?
* Why the company should consider you for the position, drawing on your education, skills and employment experience.
Proof read everything to avoid spelling and grammar errors.
♦ DO’S OF YOUR RESUME WRITING:
1. Make your resume easy to read by simply scanning (not reading) your resume.
2. Arrange each section in reverse chronological order with most recent experiences listed first and least recent experiences listed last.
3. Keep your resume to one page, unless you have substantial working experience.
4. Always prioritize the content of your resume according to the job you want.
5. Bullets should begin with action verbs and be in phrases, not sentences.
6. Mention your willingness to relocate or travel as they are appealing factors to many employers.
7. Include your work status information such as citizenship, visa or residency status.
8. Use correct verb tense while describing your roles and responsibilities.
9. A flawless resume is essential. Proofread your resume at least thrice to make it error free.
10. Make sure that key words for your field are used in your resume.
♦ DONT’S OF YOUR RESUME WRITING:
1. Never use resume templates. Try to create your own document that is both appealing and easily readable.
2. Do not use abbreviations except for GPA (for your undergraduate institution), and academic degrees (M.Tech, MBA etc)
3. Avoid extraneous information.
4. Don’t include “references available on request” on your resume. Instead, put your references on a separate document (with the same heading as your resume) with not more than 3-5 professional references, their titles and contact information.
5. Do not rely completely on Spell Checker. Manually check each and every section of your resume to minimize errors.
6. Do not use personal pronouns such as “I.” Instead write in the first person.
7. Do not split names and phrases between lines or sections between pages.
8. Do not include personal information such as birth date, sex, marital status, ethnicity, religion, marital status, social security or license or certificate number on your resume.
9. Do not include salary information on your resume. In case the employer requests a “salary history” or “salary requirements,” include the salary range you are seeking in your cover letter.
10. Do not embellish your resume. Make it truthful.
♦ ACTION VERBS USED IN RESUME:
Action verbs are used in a resume to represent jobseeker’s skills and accomplishments—which are key components in creating a powerful and attractive resume. It is important to include these words at the beginning of your bullet points and accomplishment-based statements to make your resume more impressive. We organized a list of action verbs by general skill categories with their meaning. The verbs given below have more than one meaning. Though the meaning given here is with respect to resume writing, be sure to check all the meanings of the verbs before using them.
- Communication/People Skills [+/-]
- Creative skills: [+/-]
- Data/Financial Skills [+/-]
- Helping Skills [+/-]
- Management/Leadership Skills [+/-]
- Organizational Skills [+/-]
- Research Skills [+/-]
- Teaching Skills [+/-]
- Technical Skills [+/-]