One of the basic requirements yet toughest tasks to do in a job search is resume writing. Do you agree? Yes. I thought so too. It seems like a simple enough matter to write about yourself. But then, when you sit down to capture all that you have done so far in life in a single sheet of paper, all hell breaks loose. You don’t know where to start or what to start with. These are times that are taxing enough to demand a lamp dwelling genie to come to your aid!
The situation is no different whether you are a fresher (as the term goes) or an experienced professional. In the case of a fresher, the concern is all about showing what you are, apart from your degrees. In the case of a professional, the concern is all about showing what you are, beyond your degrees and designations. The dilemma continues! In this blog post, my sincere attempt is to help you get to grips with resume making with the following guidelines. These guidelines have always been good help. They will help you too!
Applying for jobs now is a total online deal. Gone are the days when you walk in to an office to meet the HR and give your CV. Today, it is all via email. A photograph of you on the CV is not a mandate like that putting in your complete and official name. However, it works in your best interest to include your photograph. While at it, the photograph must be professional and need to only clearly show your face. You don’t have to crop the image so small that you look like an alien. Just ensure that the picture is not flamboyant and shows the future employer the face of the person behind the resume.
Choose a font that is readable on all kinds of electronic devices. Your future employer is accessing your resume through a smartphone or a phablet just like you. Fancy fonts may look great as an artistic form but might not impress your future employer the way you want it to. You can go about using trendy colors and experimental font if that is what the job description involves, like that of a graphic designer or an artist. A Calibri or an Arial font with size 11 is a general practice.
A general rule when it comes to any form of online writing is 20 words in a sentence at the max. The sentences in your resume should be just about 20 words or shorter. Phrase these sentences with enough care to make sure you are communicating the most important points about yourself. If you are describing your accomplishments from the past, make sure you indicate the reason why it is an accomplishment. If you are talking about your contribution in a particular role, ensure that you mention the difference the contribution made.
There is no other way of saying it. Your resume should be neat. Avoid clutter at all costs. Choose a format that is pleasing to the eye without diluting the essence of various sections. Make judicious use of the right amount of hyperlinks (email and social media profiles). Ensure sections that are critical to you are right at the beginning of the resume.
You are not the only one applying for a job. There are thousands more even in the least competitive jobs. It is your responsibility to project your best side through your resume. Each resume gets an attention span of about 5 minutes, if you are lucky! Be sure to highlight your strengths and best accomplishments. You can use action verbs, highlighted fonts to differentiate such sentences. If you have numbers to support your accomplishments, do not hesitate to mention them.
Utter honesty is an absolute must for a good resume. This is not a tool to be used to paint a rosy but untrue picture of your self. Far from getting your dream job, lack of honesty can put you in the bracket of blacklisted resumes.
More often than not, all jobs that are from one sector need a certain set of skills. It is most likely that you are from the same domain of education that caters to a particular sector. Like an MBA or a CFA for a BFSI job. In the rare case that you are shifting tracks in terms of career choices or shifting tracks in terms of specializations, make sure your choice of words and language in the resume is in sync with the job that you are applying to. This is a sure way to gain your future employer’s trust in your abilities.
In conclusion, the main principle that should guide your resume is your interest, enthusiasm and zeal in finding and retaining a job. The above mentioned aspects right help you start this phase on a good note. This will give you a good stand in comparison with your competition.