- Ensure you get called for that interview
- Subtle indication of your personality / soft skills
A hiring manager is very busy. He has 50 resumes to sift through, deal with multiple meetings and manage regular business all at the same time. He is going to ‘glance’ through each resume which lands on his desk. You want to make sure he gets excited, wants to read it in a bit more detail and YES… invite you for an interview.
A resume also reflects your personality. While reading a resume, subconsciously first impressions are being formed:
Structure – demonstrates thinking skills
Flow – logic
Brevity – language skills
Presentation – does the applicant believe the ‘look’ is important
Business like – does the applicant demonstrate a professional approach
Relevance – does past work demonstrate ability to handle the role applied for
Here are some definitive things to do and things to AVOID when preparing your resume.
Structure – Is the look easy on the eyes? With a 20-second glance can a viewer immediately recall where you studied, what roles you have held and which organization you have worked for. This ensures he/she will come back for a more detailed read. Use bold or italics, but sensibly.
Language – Use business like words. Verbs like Achieved, Managed, Led, Drive, are good ways to start a bullet. While you should not fill the resume with jargon, it is essential to highlight technical achievements properly – such as Six sigma black belt or php certified developer.
Crisp – Keep reviewing your resume to ensure it is not repetitive and you don’t ramble. Use bullets to highlight your past responsibilities and achievements.
Substantiate – Where it is possible quantify each claim you make. Example – Top achiever for 3 quarters in sales – grew sales by Xx% to achieve INR Yyyy m.
Font – Fancy, cursive fonts are a definite no-no. Choose simple business-like fonts like Arial. Be highly selective in the use of colour, (only office colours like red or blue).
Non essentials – Every word should be well thought out. Include relevant events which either demonstrate a skill or an achievement.
Are you writing about an event which happened when you were in high school?
Do you need to include your passport number?
If you have 10 years of experience, do not mention 10th std or 12th standard marks.
Be highly selective about awards and achievements.
Spelling errors – This is the most annoying error a reviewer encounters. A spelling error acts like a blemish which retains the attention of the person reading the CV. Use spell check, keep re-reading the resume till you are sure it is spelling-error free.
Years – A large number of resumes reach the desk of the hiring manager with no durations against each role. This ensures the resume is relegated to gthe reject pile. It is essential to start with the most recent job and move backwards in time. Do NOT forget to mention the duration of each job / degree.
Designations – Don’t forget to mention each designation you held along with the period you held that position.
Sounds overwhelming – it isn’t – you can do it. And don’t hesitate to take professional help to write the perfect resume for you.