Tips to Create Impressive Resume

What to Avoid:

To begin with, most candidates resort to copy-paste the resume from a friend or colleague. You are a unique individual with unique skills, background and experience. Your resume should reflect you and not someone else.  Your friend or colleague’s strengths and weaknesses cannot be your strengths and weaknesses.

What to Create:

A professional resume should be clean, proofread, free of any jazzy colours and or fonts and spelling mistakes. One should use a plain/simple font of around 10/11 font size and black colour. Avoid ‘Bold/Italics’ as much as possible, if required ‘Underline’ the headings

Structuring a resume is extremely important as this makes it more meaningful and provides a consistent flow of information, making it easier to comprehend.

  1. An ideal resume should start with the synopsis of candidates career highlighting the key background/skill, years of experience and may include some of the known brands/organizations candidates has worked with. A synopsis can end with candidates’ aspiration in terms of career goals/objectives.
  2. Followed by Synopsis, the resume should have chronological career progression highlighting the tenure worked with each organization, job titles, locations and any other indication that can highlight career progression.
  3. Followed by the career progression, one should highlight the ‘Key Achievements’ throughout the career and these achievements should highlight the strengths of the candidate and make the candidature compelling for the hiring manager and this should take away the need for a recruiter or hiring manager to scan through the entire resume to shortlist or reject the candidature. For example, if you are a ‘Sales Guys’, the achievements can include the dollar value of sales achieved, % of target achievement or over achievement of the target or a number of products sold, a number of customers acquired etc. etc. If you are a software developer, this could include complete lifecycle of projects managed from conceptualization to software project going live and key contributions during the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle). Every candidate should mandatorily have achievements section in their resume as this could be the key highlight of candidates entire career and resume. Based on my experience, over 90% of candidates don’t have the achievement section in their resume.
  4. This is especially for software developers. Every software development project that you were involved in is unique and your role in each project will be most likely unique. Hence, you can not copy paste roles and responsibilities in all the projects. If all the projects were exactly the same (which is most likely not possible), mention all the project details and provide roles and responsibilities one time in the entire resume as there is no point of copying and pasting the same content multiple times. Every project should have a start and end time, should have a number of team members involved and ideally should have unique roles and responsibilities that you were involved in. Here, once again, you can highlight your key contributions/achievements as an individual contributor. One should especially highlight any new learnings/skills upgradation that you went through in order to deliver the project on time. This not only highlights your key skill upgradation but also highlight your learnability. Only provide keywords of actual technologies that you worked on and not stuff keywords to get your resume shortlisted, you will eventually get rejected by the recruiter or the interview panel as they will ask questions based on keywords for which you don’t have actual work experience.
  5. Don’t end the resume with statements like this is true to the best of my knowledge as the same is old-fashioned and obsolete. You could include your passport size professional photograph on top of your resume for quick recall of your candidature or for visualising you while someone is talking to you over the phone.
  6. Do not provide your permanent address which could be some other city and not the city of your work location. If you live in a place like Bangalore, it would be ideal to provide your residence location within Bangalore as both candidates and employers would like to avoid hiring candidates who live 25 kilometres away from office location unless candidates are willing to relocate within Bangalore.
  7. Do not provide a reference in the resume and no need to make the statement that references can be provided on request. If someone needs references, they will ask you to provide and you can provide at that point in time.
  8. Educational Qualification section is important but it is only complete when you provide complete details of your Graduation including your university, passing percentage, year of passing, mode of education (full time, part time, distance learning etc.). If you have work experience, no need to provide your school education details. If you are a distinction/rank holder, this information can go in your achievements section as well and you can provide your educational qualification section above or below the achievements.
  9. Languages Known can be highlighted in the resume but it can work in your favour and sometimes against you. This is because some hiring managers have a preference in terms of what geography,  background or ethnicity candidates should come from.

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